Arron Afflalo an elite shooter, study finds

Arron Afflalo - Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

According to one metric, only four high-volume shooters score more efficiently than the Magic swingman.

It no longer qualifies as a surprise that Arron Afflalo is one of the NBA's best scorers: at 20.9 points per game, he ranks 15th in the league in scoring. And according to ShotScore, a metric that Grantland analyst Kirk Goldsberry devised before the 2013/14 season began, Afflalo stands as the league's fifth-best volume shooter. The Orlando Magic swingman trails only Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs point guard José Calderón, and Portland Trail Blazers swingman Wesley Matthews in this metric, Goldsberry says.

"We refer to the difference between a player's actual point yield and his expected yield as ShotScore," Goldsberry wrote in October. "For good shooters this number is positive; for bad shooters it is negative." His story Wednesday shows Afflalo's ShotScore per 100 field-goal attempts is plus-12.

"He can score from anywhere, but he’s particularly great from the baselines in the midrange, where many teams struggle to produce," Goldsberry says of Afflalo. The Grantland scribe says he hopes the Magic trade him to a contending team to see how great Afflalo really is.

"The key word for me is just 'efficiency,'" Afflalo said in December. "It's not just about having the ball and getting a lot of shots; it's about taking and making the right shots [and] making the right plays."

Afflalo's Magic visit Matthews' Blazers on Wednesday in Portland. In December, an ESPN panel compared the two players, with three of the five panelists concluding they prefer Matthews.

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