Klay Thompson made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers to lead the Warriors’ comeback victory over the Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night. The way these playoffs have unfolded, Thompson’s record might not last this postseason.
The 3-point shot has been around since the 1979-80 season but in the last few years, it’s become much more prevalent. During this postseason, long-range shots have been fired up at a record pace.
The Cavaliers stormed into the Finals not so much on LeBron James‘ brute strength and versatility but on 3-point flurries. They are averaging 14.4 made 3-pointers in the postseason and hitting them at a 43.4% rate. Nearly 41% of their field-goal attempts have come from beyond the arc.
Not surprising, the Warriors are second on the list with an average of 12.2 made threes while shooting 39.9% from long range. A handful of teams in this postseason have averaged at least 30 3-point attempts per game and six more averaged at least 21 per contest.
It’s a stark contrast to what we saw just a few years ago. During the 2012 postseason, for example, the Heat won the championship with 3-point averages of 6.8 makes and 19.7 attempts with a 34.7% success rate. The Western Conference champion Thunder averaged 6.8 makes and 19.2 attempts with a 35.5% success rate.
Meanwhile, mid-range shooting and low-post play has been lost in the process. Most of the top teams lack a dominant post presence and when someone does post up, it’s usually to set up a kickout for another 3-point attempt.
The NBA Finals this season might resemble the 3-point shooting contest during All-Star weekend.
This leads us to our question of the day: Should the league make rule changes such as extending the 3-point line or widening the lane in order to de-emphasize the 3-point shot?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.