Jayson Tatum is tops in three-point percentage this NBA season with an average of 51.3% to go with a 51.1% overall field goal percentage. This accuracy hardly sounds sustainable over a full season, but even a significant decline could put him in the record books. So, is this long-range shooting a fluke or an indicator that he is a long-term Master Marksman?

Jayson is often compared to Paul Pierce, so let's look at Paul's rookie season. He shot .412 from three in his first season and .368 for his entire career. Pierce's rookie FG% was .439 and .445 for his career. Steve Kerr is listed as having the highest overall three-point percentage of .454, but he averaged less than one three per game. So take a look at Steph Curry's numbers. Steph shot .437 on threes in his rookie year and ..438 for his career. Curry's FG% as a rookie was .462 and .476 career-wise.

The numbers tell us that in both cases (Pierce and Curry) their rookie field goal percentages were sustained throughout their careers. Paul's career three-point percentage dropped a bit from his rookie number but not drastically, and Steph's basically stayed the same.

In Jayson's case, he has played 25 games, and his rival defenders have had a chance to adjust to his offensive game. It hasn't helped them. He is still shooting the lights out. This is no fluke. Tatum is for real and he is a true Master Marksman. An NBA rookie's first couple of months are often the most difficult. Shooting so well early in his career while maintaining veteran-like poise tells me he can keep these percentages close to what they are now, and we may see him in the record books at the end of his career.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Tom Lane 12/05/2017 02:28:00 PM Edit
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