Detroit Pistons: The numbers behind Saddiq Bey’s shocking decline in 3-point shooting

Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons was struggling mightily before going out with an ankle injury, especially from long range.

In his last seven games before getting hurt, Bey had only made seven 3-point shots total and shot just 18 percent from long range overall.

This has been a trend over the last two seasons, as Bey has slowly gotten worse from long range, a pattern that is inexplicable considering he was one of the best rookie 3-point shooters in NBA history.

Saddiq Bey owns the all-time Pistons’ record for made 3-pointers by a rookie and wasn’t far off the overall NBA record, but since then, it’s been a slow demise into a guy who looks more like Josh Smith out there.

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Not only is Bey not making them, but he isn’t shooting nearly as many, which is something that is probably going to have to change if he wants to have a long-term future with this team, as his value to the Detroit Pistons is significantly lowered if he can’t make 3-point shots.

So what is going on?

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey’s 3-point decline

In Bey’s rookie season he shot 38 percent from 3-point range on 6.6 attempts per game, with 66 percent of his shots coming from long range.

It’s been a steady decline since then, as he is making fewer of them and a lower percentage of his shots have been 3-pointers.

In his second season Bey dropped to 34 percent on 7.4 attempts per game with 53 of his shots coming from 3-point range.

This year, he has dropped even lower in all categories, as he is hitting a pathetic 29 percent from long range on just 5.5 attempts per game, lowest of his career. Only 49 percent of his shots have been 3-pointers this season, which is something that has to change, as Bey has never proven himself to be consistently effective inside of the arc or off the bounce.

So what is going on? The answer may be in the types of shots Bey is taking, as he is shooting and making almost the exact same number of wide open shots as he did in his first two seasons, getting around 3.5 of these attempts per game and hitting around 39 percent of them.

Wide open is defined as not having a defender within six feet. Where Bey is really struggling this season is on “open” shots which are ones in which a defender is 4-6 feet from the shooter.

Bey is getting about half as many of these attempts as he did last season and is only making 16 percent of them, way down from the 36 percent and 33 percent he shot in his first two seasons, respectively.

So Bey is not taking or making as many 3-point shots overall, is getting fewer open ones and is missing a much higher percentage of the open shots he does get.

This shouldn’t be the case considering the Detroit Pistons now have two playmakers to get him open shots, so it’s possible that Bey is dribbling too much, being too indecisive and not getting them up quickly enough when he does have an opening.

The Pistons need Saddiq Bey to make 3-point shots, it’s that simple. He doesn’t do enough as a playmaker or inside scorer to create space in the offense, so let’s hope when he returns that he gets back to shooting and making more from long range.

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