100 days of hoops, hardwood

100 Days of Hoops 61, the 3-point shot

On day 61 we understand why Ray Allen, Steve Kerr, Glen Rice and Steve Kerr were able to survive in the NBA. They lived and died at the 3 point line. In 1961 the 3-point line was created in the American Basketball League. However, the league only lasted for 1.5 seasons and so did the 3 point shot.

The 3-point line was later reintroduced to the basketball universe by the American Basketball Association. The line disappeared again with the NBA ABA merger of 1976. Finally, in 1979 the NBA finally adopted the shot. The line was placed 22.9 feet from the basket.This was the rookie year of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. The legendary Larry Bird was quoted, “We didn’t gravitate to the three at first…We weren’t like, Oh boy, here it is! No, it takes time…When they first put it in, some teams took five three-pointers a game and that was a lot...This season, teams averaged more than twenty-four attempts, many of them taken from well beyond the arc.”

The 3-point shot has changed how the game is played. Players now make the extra pass on the perimeter if they see a three point specialist open, offensive schemes run to get a player open on the arc, setting screens and understanding how to read them is now a skill that will separate you from other players, and the game is now more appealing to smaller players. The 3-pointer is also a huge momentum changer for the team, and not to mention the fans love it.

Superstar Stephen Curry is incredibly hard to guard due to the fact that he can drain a three right in defender’s eyes. In fact, Curry owns the top three 3-point seasons of all-time!

Rank Player 3P Season
1. Stephen Curry 402 2015-16
2. Stephen Curry 324 2016-17
3. Stephen Curry 286 2014-15

Although the 3-point shot has created a more exciting environment, that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan. A famous icon who isn’t in favor of the shot is the big man himself, Gregg Popovich.

Gregg Popovich stated “I don’t think it’s basketball. I think it’s kind of like a circus sort of thing. Why don’t we have a 5-point shot? A 7-point shot? You know, where does it stop, that sort of thing. But that’s just me, that’s just old-school.”

Although Gregg Popovich isn’t a fan, he isn’t dumb. He knows that in the past three years the Golden State Warriors have made it to the NBA finals the past 3 years, and taking the crown twice.

And so Popovich has learned that “You better embrace it or you’re going to lose.”

The league has embraced the shot like never before, shooting more 3-pointers than ever before in the last six consecutive seasons dating back to the 2012-13 season in which the average team took 18.4 shots from deep per game. Last season, that number climbed all the way to 27. So what is the point?

The most dangerous weapon in basketball warfare is the 3-point shot. The best teams in the world are those with the personnel to fire the long-range missile. Just ask Steve Kerr and the Warriors.

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