Our stat reveals truth about shooting

Updated: March 10, 2005, 4:22 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider

Talk about a glaring omission. When the league invited six players to compete in the 3-point Shootout at All-Star Weekend, the league's leading 3-point shooter, Fred Hoiberg, was conspicuously absent from the list.

But don't let that slight cause you to underestimate Hoiberg's remarkable shooting this season. After all, these are the same well-meaning folks who invited Antoine Walker to compete two years ago, marking the first time the words "Antoine Walker" and "accuracy competition" appeared in the same sentence.

What made Hoiberg's omission so indefensible is that he's not just leading the league by a few percentage points – he's running away with the 3-point title. The Mayor is hitting at a 53.4 percent clip, more than seven percentage points ahead of his closest competition (Phoenix's Joe Johnson at 46.2). If Hoiberg keeps this up, he'll break Steve Kerr's NBA record of 52.4 percent set in 1994-95. Yet despite his record-setting pace, Hoiberg's exploits couldn't get the attention of Mr. Stern's lackeys in New York.

That's a shame, because he's having one of the greatest shooting seasons in NBA history. Hoiberg buttresses his amazing 3-point shooting with equally stellar marks elsewhere on the floor. When he moves inside the line, he's hitting 51 percent; while at the free-throw line, he's nailing 88 percent. If he can raise his free-throw mark down the stretch, he'll hit the shooting trifecta of 50-50-90 – making more than half his 2-pointers, half his 3-pointers and 90 percent of his foul shots.

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