Tag Archives: Casper Ware

Half-Court Heaving Vs. Pitchers Hitting

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If you’re a first-time visitor of this blog or new to my work in general, just know I track some random, possibly pointless statistics, and one of them involves shots from beyond half-court. Also, most of my posts here are just me forcing myself to write to stay in the routine. This is what happens when I combine the pointless stats and forcing myself to write while it’s the off-season.

I compared shots from beyond half-court with batting statistics from pitchers.

The goal was to find a hitting statistic, preferably a positive outcome, that had about the same percentage of happening as a 45+ foot shot going into the basket, and the simplest way for me to do that was to start by looking at pitchers, the worst hitters in baseball. 45 feet isn’t half-court, by the way, but it’s a two-foot cushion I like to give after Casper Ware made a heave in 2014.

With that in mind, a more recent post on half-court shots showed that the average accuracy from 2001 to 2015 was 2.55 percent. Huge, but justtttt a bit lower than a pitcher’s batting average from 2001 to Wednesday night:

hv1

Micah Owings leads all pitchers in batting average, minimum 100 plate appearances, with a .283 mark. 100 plate appearances is the filter I decided on, fair or not or whatever.

On-base percentage would be hopeless to compare now. Maybe walk percentage?

hv2

Much closer, pitchers walking are 10.4 times less likely than a strikeout but not high enough to be compared to made heaves. That’s even if we took out all two of the intentional walks by Chris Hatcher and Brooks Kieschnick. Kevin Jarvis is the current leader in walk rate at 9.6 percent.

What about plate appearance ending with a hit by a pitch?

hv3

Too low now. Kevin Brown got hit in 2.2 percent of his plate appearances, three total. Roy Oswalt leads with five HBPs, but okay, maybe it’s time to screw around here.

Stolen base attempts for every single or walk?

hv4

Okay, that was closer, but making that stat up felt really dumb. Greg Maddux had seven stolen bases, though, so there’s that.

Pitchers bunt way more often than they would move a runner with a fly ball in the outfield. What’s the sacrifice fly to hit percentage?

hv5

EVEN CLOSER, but still a weirdo stat. What about trying extra-base hit percentage, because surely when pitchers get a hit it’s just a blooper or whatever.

hv7

Welp, might as well start all over. Carlos Zambrano had 24 home runs and 53 total extra-base hits in his career, the most, as you might have noticed, since 2001. 32 percent of his hits were doubles, triples, or home runs, but Manny Parra had the highest percentage of hits go for extra bases at 44.4 percent.

What about extra base hits per plate appearance?

hv6

XBH* Whatever

I don’t follow baseball closely, but not only are these percentages close enough to each other, the outcome we just compared to NBA heaves makes enough sense to be the baseball version, right? Maybe this outcome would be way too high, though, if pitchers were told to swing away more often than move runners along. Regardless, Owings, also the leader in batting average, takes the cake here with 11.4 percent of his plate appearances leading to extra base hits.

I suppose I could’ve filtered this to see pitching numbers from the seventh inning on, or whenever a pinch hitter becomes logical, but I don’t want to look this up and I don’t know how to. However, in an effort to spread heave awareness (STOP RUNNING THE CLOCK OUT TO PRESERVE YOUR BASIC STATS WE LOOK PAST ANYWAY BECAUSE THERE ARE TONS OF DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN SEPARATE THESE LOW PERCENTAGE SHOTS OR ANY OTHER KIND OF SHOT FROM THE REST) just remember that over the last 15 years, the chances of making a shot from 45+ feet in the NBA has been about as likely as a pitcher stepping up to the plate and hitting a double, triple, or home run.

Now you know. So now when a pitcher is up to bat, you should also think of heaves.

Stay tuned more attempts to reach “peak off-season”, but for your safety you probably shouldn’t.

Statistics were from Basketball-Reference and FanGraphs. I love you both.

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HEAVE UPDATE: 2014-15 is a struggle

With just over a month of NBA in the books, I decided to round up a couple random stats and put them here. This post went on the silly side of things as I looked at half-court heaves, which are unfortunately not doing too hot compared to last season when I posted a few (a different link for each letter!) thoughts.

Below is a look at 2001 to 2015’s numbers, via Basketball-Reference’s Shot Finder tool. The numbers are a bit different from previous posts. Since Casper Ware’s half-court shot last season was logged from 46 feet instead of the ~50 that was obvious on film, I gave the Shot Finder a two-foot cushion, increasing the range of shots to 45-94 feet. This isn’t meant to needle Basketball-Reference. Getting exact shot locations and the time the attempt was taken, among other things, is not easy.

Anyway, below are the numbers this season. I also added another column looking at how many points the heaves would have to be worth to reach an average of one point per attempt.

heavo

Four-point line? How about one worth 40 points? If this ever happens, some fans are getting max contracts.

John Henson is the only player to make a shot from beyond half-court this season, because I don’t know. Jamal Crawford leads the league in most attempted heaves with three, somehow not creating four-point plays on all of them. Some surprising names to attempt a shot or two: Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard, Gorgui Dieng. Weeeeeeeee

2015 is behind 2014’s pace in made heaves, though. Not too surprising since 2014 was the second-best heave percentage ever tracked, but 2015 is also in contention for the least-accurate ever. It even looks like 2015 is behind 2014’s pace is in attempted heaves, which, I don’t know. I’ll try to remain optimistic. MOAR HEAVES C’MON.

Stay tuned over the rest of the season for more heave updates. Until then, have a good heavening. /Hides

Casper Ware’s half-court shot sets league record for made heaves in a season

At a time when efficiency is as important as ever, taking a half-court shot is like a fork in the road for NBA players. It’s an opportunity for a team to score a free three points since the opposition is never getting the ball back, and that amount is more than the difference between Miami’s league-leading offensive rating and eighth-place Phoenix’s, according to NBA.com. (The drop-off is about the same anywhere in that statistic, save for one of the worst offenses ever in Philadelphia. More on them in a bit.)

The drawback to the heave is that it also counts in the box score whether or not it goes through the net, and as I’ve used as an example in previous posts about those shots, it affected how Kevin Durant and others of the Oklahoma City Thunder approached those end-of-quarter situations last season.

But to the advantage of teams and the entertainment of fans, this season’s attempts from beyond half-court (currently 331) are on pace to top 2013’s total of 361. It’s a positive sign since heaves rarely ever affect individual stats by a season’s end and never accounted for more than one percent of all attempted threes anyway.

And last night added a little extra to the uptick thanks to none other than, um, Casper Ware?

The 76ers guard, in just the second game of his career, scored the league’s 13th shot from beyond half-court this season, surpassing the record for made heaves previously set in 2010 according to Basketball-Reference.

Below is a season-by-season breakdown of shots from beyond half-court:

Before Ware, no player made a heave since March 1 when Marc Gasol dialed one up from deep, and as you might guess from the total made shots in the table above, that drought for multiple weeks is quite common. The longest came in 2005 when the first of only two made heaves was scored on January 26. 2010 and 2012 are the only seasons when two were made on the same night.

And if those field goals were ever worth more than three points, they should be way higher than the four discussed earlier this season. Very similar to what I’ve included in previous posts about half-court shots, to reach an effective field goal percentage of .500 we’d need either 1,598 of those 4,794 total heaves to go in or the 115 already made to be worth about 42 points each. If the latter were the case, even a casual NBA fan would surpass Wilt Chamberlains 100-point game in no time.

Lastly, below is the company Ware joins this season with his made heave last night:

It’s probably unnecessary given Tony Wroten‘s out with a high ankle sprain, but he’s more accurate near the opposition’s arc than his own.

But at least he has a contract guaranteeing him money next season. The same can’t be said for a few players who’ve suited up for the 76ers, including Casper Ware. If the former guard for Long Beach State never plays a minute after this season, his name will at least have some lasting power with NBA fans.

When reaching for other reasons to remember Ware, though, hopefully sinking a record-breaking half-court shot all while Philadelphia lost a record-tying 26th game will come to mind. He still has a couple games left on his 10-day contract to add to his resume, but that heave currently stands as one of the few bright spots for the post-trade deadline 76ers.

All stats are according to Basketball-Reference unless noted otherwise.

Edit: According to Basketball-Reference’s shot finder, Ware’s shot was made from 46 feet, a foot across half-court even though his player page lists the attempt from beyond that point. ESPN’s shot chart and NBA.com also marks his shot from behind the line and video confirms that. Going forward, however, maybe I’ll have to dial back the filtered shots to beyond 45 feet, but maybe it’s just an error in the Shot Finder that will be fixed in time.

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