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NY Times: The Story Arc of the 3-Point Shot

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 11, 2011

From way downtown...BANG!

Keeping Score: The Story Arc of the 3-Point Shot

Read all about it in Friday's print edition too.

5 Responses to “NY Times: The Story Arc of the 3-Point Shot”

  1. Math2 Says:


  2. Pageup Says:

    I still say for it to be a true 3-pointer you have to be shooting a red, white and blue ball before 3500 in the St Louis Arena...

  3. DWarner Says:

    Nice timely piece. I've been saying that the 3 point records will continue to be broken by the younger generations and because of that, even Silky Ray's record will fall.

    We didn't grow up playing with the line so our comfort level those first few years was shaky at best. Putting pressure on the defense and finding the best available shot like Larry or Magic was the mode of operation at the time, and the 3ptr didn't quite fall into those parameters. I remember playing High School Varsity ball in 1987, the first year of the college and high school 3pt experiment, and when I left the school I had the record for 3's made in a game with 5. Within 4 or 5 years, that record had been broken and pushed to double figure makes for a game. So I recognized the massive change in basketball culture then.

    I see the NBA record 12 in one game falling within the next 2 or 3 seasons, and the totals that players make annually will continue to rise slowly. It does look like it's leveling off, but teams will better utilize advanced metrics to exploit players hot spots more efficiently, possibly increasing the ratio of corner 3's to random 3's, and we'll see the results.

    Nice piece.

  4. BSK Says:

    From what I see on the courts today, I have to concur with DWarner. When you see guys shooting around and warming up, they're usually working in the paint, at the free throw line, or behind the arc. Why work on a 20-footer when a step back nets you the extra point? That seems to be the thinking. I don't know whether it is the ideal strategy, but there is no doubt that most youth, especially without structured coaching, gravitate towards the key or the arc.

  5. Dave Says:

    Players like Ray and Dirk and to a lesser extend Kobe are always going to be extremely valuable because of their midrange threat - as well as beng a threat everywhere else as well. But 3s just make so much more sense, if you can get open from 23 ft as well as 19 ft, why not go for the extra point?

    Modern Defences are actively working to deny the open 3. There are few roster spots for perimeter players who can't shoot a passable 3, and it seems increasingly desirable to have 4 or possibly 5 players on court who can attempt a 3 pint shot - Kevin Love?
    I was a little bit disappointed KP didn't put his neck on the line and nominate a player or two to take Rayray's title - Kevin Durant?

    Over at hoopdata - we can see that all teams still shoot better at the rim than from 3 (comparing eFG%) - not even taking into account FTA - And I'm not yet sure the advanced analysis has caught up with ORB % following shot type - Neil have you seen any work on this?