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Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

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  • Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    One of the best-known and most widely accepted truths around here is that Jim O'Brien makes the Pacers take too many 3pt attempts. I don't remember hearing that about Carlisle or any previous coach, but O'Brien gets hatred because the Pacers shoot "too many" 3s. Well, lookee:







    This is the Pacers' 3pt Attempts (the bars, scaled on the left side) and 3pt percentage (the line, scaled on the right axis.) for every season since 1981. Note the strike-shortened year in 1999.

    It doesn't take a genius to see that 3pters have increased steadily over the years. The Pacers' use of the 3 has grown with every coach except Irvine and Thomas. Even Rick Carlisle raised the team to a new high in 3s. And with his slow tempo, that is saying something!

    Yes, O'Brien has pushed the team to new heights, too, but you can see a big boost in the percent made under O'Brien, too. He definitely did something right in his first two seasons.

    I would be curious to hear comments about how high the number of attempts can go in the future. Reasonably, as long as the eFG of 3pt attempts is high enough, the team should continue taking more. (Note, when I say the future, I'm not talking about the rest of this season, but beyond that.)


    To refresh your memory, here the Pacers coaches since 1981:

    O'Brien
    Carlisle
    Thomas
    Bird
    Brown
    Hill
    Versase
    Ramsey
    Irvine
    McKinney


    .
    Last edited by Putnam; 01-04-2010, 07:28 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  • #2
    Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Nice work.

    Frankly, I didn't like all the jump shooting by the Bird/Carlisle coached teams with Reggie/Jalen/Mullin, etc. I thought that team lived and died by the J as well. I yearned for the return of Larry Brown.

    They just really happened to live it up by the J in 2000.
    "Look, it's up to me to put a team around ... Lance right now." —Kevin Pritchard press conference

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    • #3
      Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

      MckeyFan - I agree with you. I often say my perfect offense would be if the pacers shot 50 free throws a game. And in order to do that you have to get the ball inside. But with zone type defenses now allowed it is harder to get the ball inside

      Putnam - I would be interested in the number of 3-pt shots attempted for the league overall. I suspect it goes up every year. The only time it might have dropped is when they moved the line back where it was I beleive after the '96 season.

      Carlisle was a big believer in the three point shot, so was Bird - they liked it as a means to space the floor. Most coaches agree with that. Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan don't like the three.

      Jim O'Brien discussed on his radio show a couple of weeks back about how poor the midrange shot was. He believes in either getting the ball and shooting it 5 feet from the basket and in or shot the three.

      Pacers currently are 7th in 3-pt attempts, but are tied for 5th worst in %, but all the other 5 teams all shoot the three many fewer times than the pacers.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statis...r=true&split=0
      Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-05-2010, 10:23 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

        I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
        Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

        ------

        "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

        -John Wooden

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

          Originally posted by Bball View Post
          I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
          Its no secret that once this team gets a lead they like to chuck the 3 ball at will, and pretty much everytime they end up losing the lead in a matter of minutes because they are chucking up shots too early in the shot clock giving up extra possessions. Instead of using up the shot clock and rebounding the ball. Nothing kills another teams momentum for a comeback like denying possession of the ball.
          You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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          • #6
            Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

            Originally posted by Bball View Post
            I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
            Carlisle would agree with you there. he likes the three, but hates the quick three because the offense isn't set.

            I don't mind quick open threes by excellent shooters. Reggie Miller, Ray Allen - shooters at that level. Pacers really don't have a shooter like that currently, although if Granger is hot - I don't mind him taking a quick three

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

              Even Rick Carlisle raised the team to a new high in 3s. And with his slow tempo, that is saying something!
              I've infamously ranted about this very thing, not against Rick but in his defense. Detractors said he was a slog ball coach determined to feed the post, drag the game down and constrict the offense.

              My counter is specifically how he dealt with the post-brawl/injury era. He went small because that's all he had and they went to a bomb and pray style to keep up with bigger or more talented rosters, and to some degree it worked. Certainly they still made the playoffs and were at .500 at the time of the GSW trade.

              However that doesn't mean I support that style as an intentional goal. It's one thing to make the best of things and another to target that approach. When your main players are Reggie, Fred Jones, and Jackson, this is what you do to survive.

              I mean right now Granger, Rush and DJones are all much better dribble attack players than the post-brawl group was. There are options now, back then there weren't any.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                Originally posted by McKeyFan View Post
                Nice work.

                Frankly, I didn't like all the jump shooting by the Bird/Carlisle coached teams with Reggie/Jalen/Mullin, etc. I thought that team lived and died by the J as well. I yearned for the return of Larry Brown.

                They just really happened to live it up by the J in 2000.
                They were extremely good at it though. That's why they played that way, it was a serious strength AND they had an all-star rebounding specialist PF on the squad, someone who was good at getting OFFENSIVE rebounds.

                If you're jump shooting around 50% or better you're doing a lot more living with it than dying. Plus that team was running designed plays to get shots in rhythm, repetitive plays that they honed with years of play and practice. Not just Reggie's baseline curl but the plays for Rik, Mullin, etc.



                We see this now. We all know that Troy wants to step into the top of the arc 3 as a trailer. If you get him that shot it's pretty reliable. The issue is that it's very simple for the defense to take that away, there is no complexity to force the defense to make a choice or read. And that's one of the most complex plays they run for a jump shot, or the optional TJ/Troy high PnFade with Troy slipping back out behind the arc.

                At crunch time those plays get removed by the defense. Then what do you do?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                  Originally posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
                  At crunch time those plays get removed by the defense. Then what do you do?
                  Get crunched while continuing to shoot jumpers and drive inside into traffic rivaling Castleton at Christmas?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                    The Pacers, for several seasons, had two guys that are ranked in the top 30(ish) for 3FGA and 3FGM for their careers.

                    And with Chuck and Reggie on the roster together, the team averaged 9(ish) 3FGA per game. 20% of Chuck's FGAs were 3's and about 1/3 of Reggie's FGAs were 3's. The three was a WEAPON, not a GAMEPLAN. Just under 11% of that team's FGAs were 3's.

                    Reggie averaged 4 3FGAs/ game, Chuck was at 2.5, McCloud (who shot a decent percentage) was at 1.7 and rest of the team shot 1.

                    And that season is the gold standard in playing offense, at least in the Pacers' history. They were only 41-41 because the players wouldn't commit to playing hard on defense, but they were certainly effecient offensively. Even our guys that only watch the defensive side of the ball will admit that team was very good on offense.

                    In my opinion, that team took a lot of 3FGAs but it made sense because they had two legit weapons from that distance.

                    Fast foward to last season (I'm not sure the current season - while in progress and with a depleted roster - is meaningful.

                    That team averaged 21 3FGA's per game. More than double. Yes, Granger is a legit threat from outside the arc and Murphy hits a high percentage from out there whether I think the PF should be at the arc or not. 24% of that teams FGAs came from behind the arc.

                    So look at this crap:

                    TJ Ford: 104 attempts, 33%.
                    Marquis Daniels: 90 attempts in 54 games, 20%.
                    Stephen Graham: 66 attempts in 52 games, 30%.
                    Dunleavy shot 90 in only 18 games and only hit 35%.
                    Jarret Jack also shot 35% on his 221 3FGAs.

                    These guys all shot a lower % out there than Detlef did during the 1990-91 season, but Detlet only attempted 40 3FGAs.

                    Vern Fleming and Mike Sanders were comparable to those five guys, and they shot 38 3FGAs combined, for the season. That's what those guys do in a week.

                    The blame is not solely on Jim O'Brien. But good gracious, we should keep in mind that the 90-91 team shot a boatload of 3's. Granger and Murphy should both be allowed to shoot 4 3FGAs per game and if they happen to be hot (at least 2-4) then maybe the team can ride the hot hand. But that would get this team back to ~10 3FGAs per game. There's no way this roster should be jacking up the shots from outside the arc like they are doing.

                    What's so bad about taking a high percentage 2-point shot? The 1990-91 team figured out how to do it (similar -- but not as effecienct of course -- as the Showtime Lakers did it.) You don't have to solely play low-post, shot-clock eating isolation ball to get a good 2-point shot attempt.
                    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
                    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
                    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
                    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
                    And life itself, rushing over me
                    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
                    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                      If you're referring to the 90-91 season:

                      The team shot .493 from the field and .332 from 3.

                      Reggie was .512 and .348
                      Chuck was .504 and .340
                      McCloud was .373 and .347
                      Detlef was .520 and .375 (best on the team at both)

                      I don't know how that looked then, but by today's standards those 3 point % don't exactly wow.

                      http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/IND/1991.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                        They were 3201 - 6245 on 2FGAs. 52%. EDIT - they were 9th in 3FG% and 8th in 3FGA. The league average was 32%.

                        Last year's team was 2568 - 5355 on 2FGAs. 48%. EDIT - they were 8th in 3FG% and 4th in 3FGA. In 2007-08, they were also 8th in 3FG% and third in 3FGA. I guess you could say they got a little bit "better" in 2008-09 since they dropped a spot in 3FGA with the same 3FG% ranking. The league average was 36%.

                        - - - - - - - -

                        That was one of Chuck's worst seasons at shooting the 3-point shot, as his percentage went back up to the 37%-38% range until the arc was shortened. And Chuck shot >50% in the playoffs, which is what everybody remembers about that team anyway.

                        That was Reggie's second-lowest 3FG% season (only 2004-05 was lower). And that's probably why he shot forty fewer 3FGAs than he did the previous season (played 82 games both season, a difference of 0.5 3FGA/ game.)

                        So we had two guys that were very legit threats out there but knew the difference between "use it as a weapon" and "Plan A is jack up a lot of three's and see if we can hit enough to make up for not shooting the higher percentage, closer shot (where we also have a chance to get an "And-1" situation.

                        Nowadays, too many players think that shot is "in their range". On the 1990-91 team, if you weren't Reggie, Chuck or McCloud, you did not have a "green light". And Detlef's 3FG% was all over the board until the arc was shortened (and the new line was within his shooting range.)

                        If O'Brien, Carlisle or Bird were coaching them, Detlef, Kenny Williams, Micheal Williams, Vern, and perhaps Mike Sanders would probably all be firing them up, with disappointing results.
                        Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
                        Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
                        Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
                        Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
                        And life itself, rushing over me
                        Life itself, the wind in black elms,
                        Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                          Originally posted by ChicagoJ
                          So we had two guys that were very legit threats out there but knew the difference between "use it as a weapon" and "Plan A is jack up a lot of three's and see if we can hit enough to make up for not shooting the higher percentage,

                          Is this statement justified, do you think, by the difference in the 3pt%?

                          You describe 3s as "a weapon" in the hand of the '91 team, but you disparage it with last year's team. The actual difference in 3pt% isn't all that different.
                          And I won't be here to see the day
                          It all dries up and blows away
                          I'd hang around just to see
                          But they never had much use for me
                          In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                            Then use it as a weapon... strategically, selectively.

                            Not the centerpiece of the entire gameplan.

                            Given the relative same %, I'm questioning the increased use of it.

                            Reggie and Chuck (and later Byron) did not launch a bunch of bombs throughout the game. But they were ready to crush your spirit with a big one at a critical time. Unless they had a heat check and determined that there was sufficient temperature. And then they just let you have it until they cooled off or your took the shot away from them.

                            Sort Chuck's 90-91 game log by 3FGAs. 9 games with 5 3FGAs or more. Of those nine, there is a dreadful 0-5 game (that also has a dreadful 4-11 from inside the arc. Ouch). 1 1-5 game (7-14 inside the arc, that's better), 2 2-5 games. The other five games are > 50% 3FG%.

                            Sidenote, its also interesting to note that all but one of those >5 3FGA games came before the coaching change (December 20). You've got to blame Cotton-Ball-Head for that, not Bo Hill.

                            Similar for Reggie... he had thirty games with more than 5 3FGAs. He aslo had 18 games where he took two or less, and was a combined 3-19 in those games.

                            If you're telling me we can expect either Granger or Murphy to limit themselves to 2 3FGAs in a game because they "don't pass the heat check" then I'll just shut up about it.
                            Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
                            Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
                            Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
                            Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
                            And life itself, rushing over me
                            Life itself, the wind in black elms,
                            Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

                              Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.


                              Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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