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A visual account of the 3-point streakiness of the Hornets

The Hornets had an up and down 3-point shooting season, so I decided to look at how up and down it was.

Denver Nuggets v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets, like much of the NBA, have become heavily reliant on the 3-point shot in recent seasons. With the heavy reliance on threes comes the challenge of keeping the confidence high when the shots aren’t falling. Some players and teams are better than others at this. We all probably have some idea of who the streakiest shooters are on the Hornets, and I decided to see what that looks like.

So here’s what I did. I took the seven Hornets currently on the roster that got regular rotation minutes last season and regularly attempted 3-pointers—Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, Cody Martin, Kelly Oubre, and Jalen McDaniels. For each player, I charted their rolling 3-point percentage over the course of the season along with their rolling 3-point percentage for the most recent five game and recent ten games. In other words:

  • The gray lines show their 3-point shooting percentages over the course of the season
  • The purple lines show their 3-point shooting percentages for the most recent five games played
  • The teal lines show their 3-point shooting percentages for the most recent ten games played

So let’s look at the pictures then we’ll talk about them.

Terry Rozier

LaMelo Ball

Gordon Hayward

PJ Washington

Cody Martin

Kelly Oubre

Jalen McDaniels

The first thing I took away from making all these charts was how well they represented the nature of shooting consistency. Every player had their ebbs and flows; no one shoots at their actual 3-point percentage for any extended period of time. The only player that was close is LaMelo Ball, whose shooting consistency is striking given his youth and how big a question mark his shooting was before he got to the NBA. Some other notes:

  • Terry Rozier was relatively streaky, but he rarely bottomed out as a shooter. Also when he got hot, he got very, very hot as evidenced by the peaks in the 5-game line where he approached 60% 3-point shooting.
  • Kelly Oubre has the most notable reputation as a streaky shooter, but the magnitude of his highs and lows wasn’t much different than anyone else. The things that set him apart are the frequency of the ups and downs and how low the downs got. He also never hit the peaks you’d expect given some of the outbursts we saw within a few individual games.
  • There’s reason to be concerned about the sustainability of Cody Martin’s 3-point shooting from last season given the fact that he didn’t have a single five or ten game stretch over the last ~40% of the season where he matched his season long 3-point percentage.

Here’s an overlay of the five high volume 3-point shooters to see how they all compare to one another in one chart (this excludes Martin and McDaniels).

Rolling 3-point percentage

5-game 3-point shooting percentage

10-game 3-point shooting percentage

On the whole here is how the Hornets as a team shot the ball from three using the same parameters as above.

The team as a whole had ups and downs throughout the season, though the general trend was pretty consistently downward as the season went along until they got hot for the stretch run. For comparison, this is how Hornets opponents shot the ball.

Again, the big takeaway from all of this is that 3-point shooting is inconsistent by nature, so it’s something to keep in mind if it feels like particular players are hot and cold. There’s nothing Earth shattering about this data, but I thought it was interesting to visualize since we’re generally fed shooting percentages as somewhat static entities.

So let’s discuss. Anything you find particularly interesting about these charts?