Which NBA Players Draw Shooting Fouls at the Highest Rate? by Dominic Samangy

Which NBA Players Draw Shooting Fouls at the Highest Rate?


Dominic Samangy


The ability to draw fouls has become an asset in today’s game, as players continue to find niche ways of maximizing efficiency. So here are three separate visualizations to analyze who consistently draws fouls on shooting attempts. There seems to be a linear relationship between fouls and attempts but still some interesting points throughout.


First, our group of point guards and shooting guards. The emergence of Bradley Beal as a legitimate star this season is shown as he leads this group of players in both categories. Other superstars such as LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and Stephen Curry fall just below Beal while the uber-athletic De’Aaron Fox has noticeably separated himself from other guards.



Next, a look at small forwards and power forwards reveals a slightly different trend. All but four players are noticeably clustered in a fairly linear trend. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zion Williamson, Julius Randle, and Damontas Sabonis draw fouls on made field goals at a much higher rate than the other plotted forwards. This is undoubtedly something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.


Finally, a look at the group of centers reveals another linear trend without a few glaring outliers. Joel Embiid, who is having a career year, is getting to the line on made field goals at a rate of approximately 13%. On the other hand, Nikola Jokic, another dominating big, is only getting to the line on made field goals at approximately 8%. At an even lower rate of 2%, Nikola Vucevic is hardly reaching the line of made field goals. While these percentage differences are quite staggering, it does not necessarily mean a player is performing poorly. Vucevic is used in a much different role than both Embiid and Jokic, which may be one of several factors of explanation.


While there are many other factors that explain some variance seen in these charts, these variables allow us to get a good look at which players are able to create and finish through contacts on field goals. Other variables to possibly explore may be the average distance of the shots that players are fouled on, which could help explain where on the court each player is creating these opportunities.


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