Originally posted on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 1/29/13
In anticipation of the Cavaliers’ matchup with the sharp-shooting Golden State Warriors, I began to marvel about how efficiently Kyrie Irving shoots the basketball from three-point range. If you haven't marveled about anything lately I suggest you do so. Really breaks up the day. Anyway, Irving's 41 percent from three currently ranks 22nd in the NBA as of Tuesday. Stephen Curry, meanwhile, comes to Cleveland ranked second behind only Kyle Korver at 45.2 percent. This thought process quickly streamlined away from Curry, though, and into the following question that I then posed to myself: How does Irving’s three-point shooting percentage, thus far in his career, compare with the great Cavaliers’ legend Mark Price by the time he was a second-year baller doing it big all over the NBA?  Initially stumped by my own question, I turned to Basketball-Reference.com for answers. Turns out, Price appeared in 67 games as a rookie for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1986-87 season. In 18.2 minutes per game that year, Price converted 23 of 70 attempts from three-point range. In his second season, he then became a starter and played an average of 32.8 minutes. Price averaged 16 points in his second season and converted 72 of 148 three-point attempts in 80 games. That number from Price, as a 23-year-old, was good for the staggering conversion rate of 48.6 percent on the year from long-range.  Crazy good from an efficiency standpoint.  Through his first 85 games overall, however, Price made 36 of 90 three-pointers specifically. That includes the 23-70 as a rookie in addition to going 13-20 from three in his first 18 games of year two. That three-point percentage for Price—in his first 85 NBA games—is equivalent to 40.0 percent. After his first 85 games, despite shooting a ton more three's, Irving is making 40.4 percent from long-range. Following his second season, Price would go on to become one of the premier three-point shooters in NBA history. The 40.2 percent that he shot for his career ranks 28th all-time in terms of three-point field goal efficiency.  As a member of the Cavs, in particular, Price shot over 40 percent on the season five times. While it obviously remains to be seen if Irving will break out into the 45-percent plus territory from deep, or even maintain his current rate for the decade-long run that Price did, it's relatively interesting to know that Irving is on pace with the greatest three-point shooter in Cavaliers franchise history so far. At least to me it was, anyway. Especially considering that Irving broke into the NBA at 19.
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