When good true shooting percentages look bad

True shooting percentage (TS%) is a statistic that takes into account both field goals and free throws, and only 36 players have recorded one over .600 for this season. DeAndre Jordan, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Hollins, and Greg Smith are four of those players, joining the company that includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kyle Korver.

But something is off when looking at the four centers who made a list featuring a few of the best shooters in the game: their TS% is lower than their field goal percentage. You probably don’t need a table to realize that’s because those guys are poor free throw shooters, but I included one anyway. Eight other players have had the same problem this season, minimum 100 minutes played and via Basketball-Reference. They’re sorted by the total minutes they’ve logged.

True Shooting Percentage < Field Goal Percentage 

If you explore the table, you’ll notice I included other stats like PER, usage, and defensive rating. The only players with a PER over the average of 15 are Jordan, Bogut, and Andre Drummond. Bogut’s already a destructive defensive force while Jordan and Drummond at times have done the same. They also have the lowest foul rates per 36 minutes among the 12-player group, which is kind of a big deal when just about every player on that list is more known for their defense than offense, save for alley-oops. (One exception is Jan Vesely, who’s probably still known more for his draft night kiss and more-fouls-than-points-chase last season.)

Overall, 150 players in NBA history have recorded a higher field goal percentage than TS% at least once, minimum 100 minutes and including this season. When making the minimum 1,000 minutes, the number of players shrinks to 37.

I’ll end this blog post with a table of the current “lower TS% than FG%” streaks, including those who had one going into this season:


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