StaTuesday: Among big men, Towns is the truest of shooters
Towns currently has a .647 true shooting percentage (TS% takes into account 2-point and 3-point field goals, as well as free throws), putting him on pace to finish well above the .618 mark he posted last season.
He’s one of just four 7-foot players since the 1946-47 season to finish above the .600 mark while shooting from deep while attempting at least 100 3s, joining Boston Celtics big Kelly Olynyk, Portland’s Arvydas Sabonis (who did it as a 31-year-old “rookie”) and Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki.
Interestingly, the other three players were all born outside the United States: Olynyk was born and raised in Canada while Sabonis is a Lithuanian who helped his home country win bronze medals in the Olympics twice as well as a gold in 1988 for the Soviet Union.
The iconic Nowitzki is German, and his one-legged fadeaway’s impact on the game are readily apparent in the following chart. Nowitzki accounts for 15 of the NBA’s top 20 true shooting seasons by 7-footers all time.
At just 22, Towns has plenty of time left to give that list a dramatic rewrite.
KAT currently ranks fourth in the league in TS% under similar conditions, behind only Cleveland’s Kyle Korver, Reggie Bullock and Anthony Tolliver of Detroit and master sharpshooter Steph Curry of Golden State. Olynyk is the next 7-footer to enter the list, all the way down at No. 19.
Here’s the top 10 in TS% for those also qualifying for 3-point percentage leaders entering Tuesday’s games:
Statistics courtesy of basketball-reference.com and NBA.com