Antoine Walker was (half) right
October 2nd, 2014

Throughout his playing career, Antoine Walker was always something of an object of ridicule. Rightly or wrongly, this happened. The fearsome, unrelenting uniqueness of watching him play was precisely why. For all his talent, particularly his prodigious handling and passing skills for a big man, Walker became best known for shooting three pointers. More specifically, he became best known for not shooting three pointers very well, yet doing it anyway. Toine was not a Josh Smith-like shooter out there. However, it was closer than it should have been. Walker’s career 32.5% three-point shooting mark ranks him 217th on the list of players with over 500 career three pointers made, nestled in between Stephon Marbury (216th) and Baron Davis (220th). And considering there are only 232 players who have hit at least that many in their career, this is not a strong placement for Toine. What further separates him from the good shooters on the list was the sheer volume of attempts – of those 232 players, Walker was 16th in total attempts, but only 26th in makes. He was not quietly inefficient. Indeed, he was never quietly anything. For two seasons in particular, Antoine’s three-point volume was ginormous. Walker hit 221 of 603 three pointers in the 2000-01 season (both leading the league), and 222 out of 645 the following season (second in makes only to Ray Allen, and again leading in attempts). This was the era of the three-point explosion – whereas in 1997-98 the 29 NBA teams shot a total of 30,231 regular season threes, that number had jumped almost 20 percent in the 2001-02 season to 35,071, led by Jim O’Brien‘s Celtics team willingly fuelled by Walker. That Celtics team and its 1,946 three-point attempts led the second-highest placed team (Orlando with 1,660) by almost 300 attempts. Although that league-wide number pales compared to the 52,974 […]

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