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Kirk Goldsberry Reveals 6 Most Common Shot Locations In The Modern NBA

The 6 Most Common Shots In The NBA: Is The Mid-Range Dead?

The era of analytics in the NBA has caused changes to the game that have turned many fans off the game. Through the 2000s, analytics started pointing towards the most high-reward shots, which turned out to be shots under the paint or from three. The mid-range game is slowly disappearing from the NBA, as those specialists aren't as valued as snipers anymore.  

With the 2021-22 season wrapping up, it was great to see the success that mid-range specialists like DeMar DeRozan had, while also watching players like Luka Doncic and Devin Booker further perfect their mid-range. However, those cases don't reflect a league-wide trend. 

ESPN statistician Kirk Goldeberry has released his heat map of the 6 most common shots in the NBA. Disappointingly, 5 of the 6 most-taken shots in the NBA are threes. However, most attempts still come under the basket and within the paint. Corner threes are the most popular threes in the league.

The fact that all 5 spots from three are more commonly used than any of the mid-range areas is a telling sign of how basketball has evolved. The current generation of players had the likes of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan's mid-range to model themselves after. However, the next generation will be inspired by Steph Curry and try to become amazing three-point shooters. 

This doesn't mean that the mid-range is dead. Versatile scorers will always develop their mid-range to be more offensively potent. Kevin Durant is one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history and is a mid-range maestro.

Players who want to develop their skills will always look to perfect the turnaround mid-range fadeaway. However, most players in the NBA play certain roles and in those situations, the higher the odds, the better the results. Due to that being the reality of NBA basketball, we won't see any role player who is a mid-range specialist.