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The Spurs midrange game continues to be an anomaly in the NBA

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One graph shows just how much the game has evolved in the NBA.

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

During last night’s telecast, the following graphic was presented.

Kirk Goldsberry created two charts demonstrating the most common 200 shot locations in the NBA for the 2001-02 season as well as the current season.

The 2001-02 season has a well distributed array of baseline shots as well as midrange, top of the key and an even spread around the arc.

By contract, today’s NBA features an all-or-nothing attitude toward driving to the basket and either lay it up or kick it out for a three. All 200 preferred shots are either in the key or from beyond the three-point line.

Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan has scored 20 points or more while shooting over 50% over the last eleven games, all while only shooting 7 three-pointers. Let that sink in . . . seven of his 175 shots since December 21st have been from downtown.

The game has changed. And even when the Spurs haven’t kept up, they are contenders. Considering their stalled start this season, coming home having beaten three of the four best teams in the East should bolster their confidence before they take to the Rodeo Road Trip.

[On a personal note, my band The Gunslingers have their biggest gig of the year this Saturday, January 18 at Sam’s Burger Joint opening for the legendary Monte Montgomery. If you have yet to catch Monte’s show, it is a must for any music fan. You can read about his latest album here.]


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