When it comes to the American style of basketball, it is clear that the ability to score off-the-dribble in this league is on another level, compared to any other country in the world, and this is one of the main reasons why the NBA is the most spectacular league all around, even though some may say that it is not as tactic as in Europe. To be a “natural unassisted scorer” is not an easy thing to do, as there are not many who can do that in the NBA either, so that’s why we’ll take a look at the most efficient unassisted scorers in this season (per NBA.com).
Sometimes the 1-on-1 is indeed used way too much and it can look like a game played in the park, where everybody just shoots 3s and try to make everything by themselves. So, the factor that divides the ugliness of what we just described above and the art of scoring off the dribble, is efficiency. If you are an ISO player and you manage to be efficient with that style of play, then nobody can say anything, because, at the end of the day, the game of basketball is pure math.
As you could see in the infographic of this article, Stephen Curry ranks no. 1 until now on the Most Efficient Unassisted Scorers ladder. It’s hard to say that this is a surprise… we all know what Curry can do with the ball, either in traffic or in ISO situations. He is one of those main actors that take unassisted scoring to an art level. The difference between him and other godlike ball handlers who are feeling themselves in ISO, is the efficiency of making those shots, as I mentioned before. This season, he has 62.4% on effective field-goals made. For those of you who don’t know exactly what an effective field-goal is (eFG%), I’ll give you the formula here – (2pt FGM + 1.5*3pt FGM) / FGA.
Steph Curry "Night Night" Dagger 🗡
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) November 21, 2022
Donovan Mitchell, who is on a tear since he came to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ranks 2nd on the ladder. Mitchell has made 60.9% of his total unassisted eFG%, and this is a big reason for the Cavs strong start of the season, as they currently stand in the 3rd place in the East, having an 11-6 record. Donovan is also a versatile player; he can penetrate, stop-shoot and take a step-back three as well.
Donovan Mitchell is crazy talented. Some of these moves are 🤯 pic.twitter.com/TzRh5Ievei
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 22, 2022
Surprisingly, Tyrese Haliburton comes in on the 3rd spot. Even though he was a boost for the Pacers since he was traded there from Sacramento, by averaging almost a double-double last season, with 17.5 points, 9.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds, it comes as a surprise for him to be ranked so high, given the fact that he is only in his 3rd season and there are so many well-known 1-on-1 players, such as Luka Doncic or James Harden. We’ll see how he develops going further into the season, but the signs are showing that he is a valuable and consistent player for the Pacers organization.
De’Aaron Fox, who also has a stellar start of the season with the Sacramento Kings (currently on a 7-game winning streak, marking the longest such streak for the Kings organization since 2004), is our 4th player, with 59% eFG%. Given the fact that the Kings are sitting 3rd in the West after 16 games, we can easily say that Fox is the reason for this long-awaited success, as he is not only leading the team in this particular category, but in points, assists and steals also.
De'Aaron 🦊 sinks the triple to beat the buzzer 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/3NFGm9wMGE
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 16, 2022
Last but not least, the Serbian player from Detroit Pistons, also comes as a surprise, because he was known to be only a catch-and-shoot player. It appears he worked on other aspects of his game and is now a better all-around player for the Pistons. The only thing that we don’t think suits his vision is Detroit’s place in the rankings, as they hit rock bottom once again.