I’m going to be honest: I knew Rasheed Wallace was having a poor three-point shooting season, that any sub-30 percent mark from deep was pretty awful.
But I didn’t know it was this bad. Sheed isn’t having the all-time worst three-point shooting season, but he’s in the discussion.
Sheed has jacked 245 three-pointers, which puts him on pace for about 345 attempts for the season at a rate of 6.8 attempts per 36 minutes of play. He is shooting 28.5 percent.
Let me preface the rest of this post by saying three things:
1) In public comments, Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers have (mostly) said that Sheed has the green light to shoot when he’s open;
2) His ability to shoot threes, even if he doesn’t make them, drags a big man away from the hoop and opens up the lane. You can see this during games.
3) Sheed’s per-minute total is high (by any standard), but it’s actually down considerably from where it was after 20 games or so.
But: Since the NBA introduced the three-point line in ’79-80, only 11 players have attempted more than 300 three-pointers and hit fewer than 30 percent of them in a season. Two guys have done it twice—Jason Williams (the one that is shooting 46 percent from deep for the Magic right now) and our very own Antoine Walker. (‘Toine pulled this trick off for Miami in 2007 and Dallas in 2004).
Paul Pierce also makes the list, by the way. He hit just 29.9 percent of 384 three-pointers in ’04. He’s shooting 46 percent from deep this season, and you wonder how much of that improvement is due to actually being a better shooter and how much is due to having better teammates and learning to be a smarter shooter.
The full list (from worst percentage at the top to best at the bottom):
Back to Sheed. Most of the 11 guys on the above-mentioned list were starters playing heavy minutes. Sheed is a bench guy getting mid-level run and jacking threes at the high rate of 6.8 per 36 minutes. To put that in perspective, Ray Allen has attempted threes at that per-36 rate just three times in 14 seasons. Antoine Walker surpassed it just once.
So I decided to look at the players who have attempted threes at Sheed’s prodigious per-minute rate (at least 6.0 per 36 minutes) while making fewer than 30 percent of them (minimum: 250 attempts).
Oh, Toine. You never really learned. It somehow makes you more lovable.
And Michael Adams: Stop shooting! But these were the Paul Westhead Nuggets of ’90-91, so you can almost forgive Adams for attempting an astronomical number of threes even though he hit just 29.6 percent of them. It was part of the team’s run-and-gun philosophy.
As poorly as Sheed is shooting, it will be hard to top the two seasons that really stand out here as arguably the worst three-point shooting seasons in NBA history: Antoine Walker’s ’07 season in Miami and Jason Williams’ ’00 season in Sacramento. As you can see, Toine tossed up 6.0 threes per 36 minutes and made just 27.5 percent of them. That’s beyond awful.
J-Will, though—wow. Dude jacked more than 500 threes in ’00! Ray Allen has only attempted that many four times in his career!
In any case, it’s obviously not news that Sheed is having a poor shooting season from deep. Danny Ainge has said he brought Sheed here in hopes that he would hit about 35 percent of his threes—a mark he hovered around in each of his last four seasons in Detroit.
So we can listen all we want when people talk about all the side benefits Sheed’s perimeter range creates. The fact remains: Very few players in NBA history have shot threes as poorly and as often as Sheed has so far this season. He needs to improve. Now. Or stop shooting them so often.