clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What you should know about Rasual Butler's hot start

Rasual Butler has gone from training camp invitee to the second-best three point shooter in the NBA in less than two months. Can he keep up his shooting from the beyond the arc or is something about to give?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

When Rasual Butler was signed to fill the Wizards' final roster spot at the end of the preseason, most people assumed he was solely there to be a fill-in on the wings until Martell Webster returned from injury. From there, the Wizards would just to be able to bid Butler adieu and keep their last roster spot open if they needed some extra depth late in the season, similar to when the Wizards signed Drew Gooden when Nene went down late last year.

Now that the Wizards are nearly one-fourth of the way through the season, it's inconceivable that the Wizards would think about letting him go right now. He's far too valuable to release right now, even if it means means less time for Martell Webster in the short term. Butler is averaging 11 points per game, despite averaging less than 21 minutes per night. He's getting lots of points up in limited time because he's shooting the ball at an absurd level at the moment.

Butler is second in the NBA in three point percentage, at 54.5 percent (trailing only Kyle Korver). On the whole, he's shooting 56.3 percent from the field and has only missed one free throw this season. The only players with a higher effective field goal percentage this season are Brandan Wright, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Korver and Tyson Chandler.

At this point, we can't keep saying that Butler's shooting is a blip on the radar, but there's still lots of the season left. Here's a few things to keep in mind about Butler's season so far.

Don't credit John Wall for his hot shooting

We've seen how John Wall has helped Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster put together career years, but that's not exactly the case with Butler. Of the 53 field goals that have been assisted, only 14 (26 percent) have come from John Wall. Andre Miller is has been responsible for more of Butler's assisted shots than anyone, with 17. But he's been getting help from everywhere, including five assists from Kevin Seraphin and four from Bradley Beal.

He's anti-midrange

Rasual Butler Shot Chart 12-8-14

Seriously. Just take a look at that shot chart. Other than those midrange shots, Butler has been fire from everywhere else.

He probably can't keep this up all year

If Butler maintains this percentage the rest of the season, he would set the record for the highest three point percentage ever shot by someone 35 or older. Eclipsing Jeff Hornacek's old mark by seven full percentage points. When someone is on pace to shatter a record by THAT much, an alarm should start going off inside your head to tell you this isn't sustainable.

While there's certainly enough evidence to suggest Butler will continue to have a very good season, asking him to keep up this level of output is only going to lead to disappointment. Because if he were able to somehow maintain this, he wouldn't just be breaking the record for best three point shooting by anyone over 35, he'd be breaking the record for best three point shooting ever, over the course of a season (unless Kyle Korver stayed ahead of him, and wouldn't that stink).

When he's not drilling shots, he's also an excellent videobomber

Even though a slump to even out Butler's hot start is probably inevitable, his videobombing game is still top notch and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.