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Key INferences

What additional data can we use to inform the model?

Sometimes we do not know a lot of information about a player, like college freshman, NBA rookies, and international players. Other times a player experiences a dramatic change, like transferring or improving over the offseason. In these instances, our shooter ability estimates can’t tell the full story. For every elite shooting freshman that makes their first few threes of the season, another poor shooting freshman that started with luck and shot three-for-three. In the moment, we cannot know who is who. This is where some key inferences come into play.

Tall Players are Bad Shooters

The worst free throw shooters in NBA history are mostly centers. The best free throw shooters in NBA history are mostly guards. When a player has short or non-existing history, their height and position provide valuable information. A seven-foot center is probably not a knockdown shooter, and a six-foot guard is probably an okay layup maker, and same guard probably struggles inside.

Free throw percentage

Under 6 feet81%77%
6-0 to 6-6 80%74%
6-7 to 6-1174%67%
Over 7 feet71%63%

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