Can a NBA player make a statistical difference?

Tobias Harris (34) during the Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 18, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Teams made significant changes to their rosters coming out of the NBA trade deadline but two teams that made newsworthy trades were the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Clippers seemingly gave their best player Tobias Harris along with Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the 76ers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala.

Then the 76ers traded a 2nd round pick in exchange for James Ennis from the Houston Rockets. Then acquired Jonathan Simmons from the Orlando Magic for Markelle Fultz.

These moves made at the trade deadline made it seem as though the Clippers had put themselves outside of the playoffs but in fact the Clippers have been able to increase their 3 point percentage by 2.95% taking it from 37.7% to 40.65%.

They also have raised their free throw percentage by .6% increasing it from 78% to 78.8%, while evidently increasing their 2 point percentage by an outstanding 23.1%.

The Clippers were only hurt in one category, the field goal percentage taking a hit by 11.1% decreasing it from 46.7% to 35.6%.

The 76ers in theory should have seen a massive increase in percentages seeing they added shooters like Harris. Although on paper the 76ers have seen decreases almost across the board in all but one category.

With the new additions settling in on the team they have dropped 1.6% in field goal percentage from 48.1% to 46.5%. Also dropping their 3 point percentage 5.3% from 37% to 31.7%. With the only gain in percentage being in the free throw percentage with an increase of 5% taking them from 76% to 81%. They again see themselves drop in 2 point percentages falling 1.6% from 54.4% to a 52.8%.

Looking at this data it brings up a question. With the moves made and players added to both squads who makes the difference?

It comes down to Los Angeles Clippers Landry Shamet who since joining the Clippers on the trade deadline as seen significant growth in 3 point percentage and free throw percentage.

Shamet has added 5% to his 3 point shooting raising it from 40.9% to 45.9% as well as increasing his free throw percentage by .9% raising it from 80.9% to 81.8%. Shamet only takes a slight 2.4% hit on his field goal percentage lowering it from 44.9% to 42.5%.

Shamet has been seeing an improvement in his shooting, unlike Philadelphia 76er Tobias Harris who has seen a steady decrease in numbers since joining the team.

Harris has seen only a .1% increase since joining the 76ers. He added a .1% increase to his field goal percentage going from 48.1% to 48.2%. Things worsen for Harris as he drops 4% in 3 point percentage 41.9% to 37.9%; and dropping another 2.1% from the line dropping under 90% from 90.3% to now 88.2%.

Now with the Clippers being the only team in the playoffs without an NBA All-Star and outshooting a team who has multiple it is safe to say new players can change a team shooting stats regardless of stardom.