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Tayshaun Prince and the corner three

When the Pistons re-signed Tayshaun Prince in the offseason, Lawrence Frank was reportedly one of the biggest proponents in bringing Prince back. It didn’t make total sense to me at the time. Not that Prince is a bad or ineffective player, per se, it’s just that Frank was presented as an advanced stats friendly guy, I’ve yet to come across an advanced stat that pegs Prince as having some sort of secret production that doesn’t show up in his rather pedestrian counting stats and, on top of that, Prince is aging and also publicly called his previous coach a buffoon. I’m not surprised that Frank, as most coaches do, wanted a veteran player at small forward, I was just a little surprised he seemed to lobby so hard for it.

But, thanks to SI’s Zack Lowe, there is now a statistical reason to explain why Frank may have been so high on Prince. First, last week, Lowe explained that Frank is one of a few coaches who understands the importance of both making and defending the corner three. Then, yesterday, Lowe posted this:

Via NBA.com’s stats database, here’s a list of all players who have taken at least half their three-point attempts from the corners this season, with some slight fudging to include a couple of Rockets who miss the 50 percent barrier by a hair. (Note: We’re only looking at guys who have taken at least 50 threes this season.)

Prince is eighth on that list. Now, I’m not saying that Frank necessarily knew Prince could hit corner threes when he advocated his re-signing, but as one of the more intelligent players in the league, perhaps Frank was convinced that Prince would be receptive to stat-based philosophies, like why the corner three is actually a pretty high percentage shot, for example.

6 Comments

  • Apr 19, 201211:53 am
    by labatts

    Reply

    That’s interesting.  So, players have better success shooting from the corner than elsewhere on the perimeter?  I would imagine it gets more wide open attempts (easy pass from kick outs, etc).

    • Apr 19, 201212:11 pm
      by RationalSportsFan

      Reply

      The main explanation usually given is the simple fact that the corner three is a closer shot than any other three (22 ft vs 23 ft 9 in I believe).

  • Apr 19, 20121:01 pm
    by Pistons87

    Reply

    Other then attempts at the basket the corner three is the most efficient scoring area on the court. There’s several articles about this if look around the web.

  • Apr 19, 20122:41 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    I dont think it being slightly closer has much to do with it. Bottom line is that the vast majority of players are much more comfortable shooting from the wing, or the top. Guys dont often force corner 3′s, they way they do other shots. So IMO, I would bet it has a lot to do with players having more open looks from the corner.

    • Apr 19, 20125:37 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “the vast majority of players are much more comfortable shooting from the wing, or the top”

      do you have any kind of support for this claim?

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