Community Shootaround: 3-Point Shooting

Thanks to analytics, the NBA has undergone radical changes in the way the game is played.

The traditional center has become more and more obsolete. The mid-range jumper and isolation plays are discouraged, rather than being a staple of every team’s offense. A big man’s game has been replaced by small ball.

Now, every game is a bevy of drives to the basket and 3-point shots. It wasn’t long ago that players would get benched for taking transition threes. Now, coaches get upset if someone passes up a good long-range look on the fast break.

But like eating too dessert, has the emphasis on 3-point shooting become too much of a belly-ache instead of sweet satisfaction?

The amount of 3-point attempts has skyrocketed in just a decade. In 2009/10, the Magic led the league in 3-point attempts at 27.3 3-point tries per game. The Grizzlies ranked last at 12.4 per game.

Five years later, the Rockets led the league at 32.7 attempts per game but there was a big dropoff to second place in that category, as the Cavaliers shot an average of 27.5. The Timberwolves ranked last at 14.9 and 10 other teams shot fewer than 20 per game.

Look at where we are today. The Rockets, no surprise, rank first with a whopping 44.2 attempts per game. The eight teams immediately below them shoot at least 35 per game. The Pacers rank last at 27.7 per game.

That’s right. The team taking the fewest 3-pointers this season would have ranked first in that category 10 years ago.

The way things are trending, 3-point attempts will continue to rise, though not as dramatically as they have the last five or 10 years.

Is it time for the league to step in and prevent every game from essentially turning into a 3-point shooting contest? They could try to experiment with limiting the amount of threes that could be taken, such as counting shots beyond the arc as three points only at certain times of the game. Or they could do something really drastic, like erase it altogether.

The latter is a pipe dream, but there are many fans out there who would like to see basketball return to its roots.

That brings us to our question of the day: Do you like the dramatic increase in 3-point shooting in recent years or do you think the NBA should take steps to curtail or discourage teams from taking so many 3s?

Please take to the comments section to voice your opinion. We look forward to what you have to say.

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