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Can Dirk Have a Historic Shooting Season?

The 50-40-90 line is frequently used to look for good shooters. The requirement is that a player needs to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the line to qualify. Of course, my biggest problem here is using Field Goal Percentage (FG%) as a criteria. An amazing three point shooter has every incentive to shoot more from beyond the arc, and this hurts their FG%, at least if their goal is 50%. So I have a more preferred method: over a full NBA season, can a player:

  • Shoot at least 10 shots a game?
  • Hit 40% of their threes?
  • Have an effective field goal percentage of 55%?
  • Shoot 90% from the free throw line?

Such players are indeed daggers in the NBA. Can it be done? Of course! Thanks to Basketball-Reference's Player Season Finder, I found 15 such instances. (Technically it happened 16 times, but I cut Raja Bell because he only played 6 games)

Player Season EFG% 3P% FT% PPG
Larry Bird 1987 Celtics 55.5% 40% 91% 28.1
Larry Bird 1988 Celtics 55.6% 41.4% 91.6% 29.9
Mark Price 1989 Cavaliers 57.2% 44.1% 90.1% 18.9
Reggie Miller 1994 Pacers 56.2% 42.1% 90.8% 19.9
Reggie Miller 2002 Pacers 55.2% 40.6% 91.1% 16.5
Peja Stojakovic 2004 Kings 56.6% 43.3% 92.7% 24.2
Steve Nash 2006 Suns 58.3% 43.9% 92.1% 18.8
Peja Stojakovic 2008 Hornets 55.2% 44.1% 92.9% 16.4
Steve Nash 2008 Suns 59.7% 47% 90.6% 16.9
Steve Nash 2009 Suns 56.6% 43.9% 93.3% 15.7
Ray Allen 2009 Celtics 57.5% 40.9% 95.2% 18.2
Steve Nash 2010 Suns 57% 42.6% 93.8% 16.5
Stephen Curry 2011 Warriors 55.1% 44.2% 93.4% 18.6
Ray Allen 2012 Celtics 56.6% 45.3% 91.5% 14.2

This season, Dirk Nowitzki sits very close to joining this list. He currently sits at 54.7% Effective Field Goal shooting, 40.3% from three, and 91.6% from the line. In fact, this is one of Dirk's greatest shooting seasons in years! Interestingly, three players on the list – Miller, Nash, and Allen – had one of these seasons as a 35+ year old player. Dirk will be 36 years old in June.

Will Dirk join his old pal Nash on this list? Check back with us once the regular season is over!