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Thread: Some Love for the Three

  1. #1

    Default Some Love for the Three

    It has become fashionable to gripe about the Pacers' use of the 3pt shot.

    Let's take a moment to reflect on a couple of facts.


    Greater reliance on the 3pt shot is an NBA wide trend. All teams are using the 3 more, and the trend continues from year to year.



    The reason the Pacers (and everybody else) are ussing the 3 more than in the past is that players are getting better at shooting it, and so it has become a very potent scoring tool.

    Plus it spreads the floor!



    Next, the Pacers are not, repeat not, out of line with the rest of the league in their use of the 3. The Pacers have never been the top user of the 3 in any season:




    If you follow the yellow markers, you'll see that the Pacers trend in using the 3 is going up over the long run -- not just under O'Brien. Look back at the years when Rick Carlisle was coach, and you'll see that the Pacers increased their use of the 3PA during his years by a wider margin that O'Brien has done subsequently.



    The bottom line is winning, of course. And the evidence of the past 20 years is that 3pt attempts are not just for losers. I know I've read the argument that only under-skilled teams like the Knicks, Warriors and Pacers use the 3pt shot, as a way of trying to make up for other deficiencies. That is probably true in particular cases. But over the long run, the 3 is used just as much be winning teams as by losers:



    Each dot depicts an NBA team since 1990, aligning the team's reliance on 3PA and its season winning percentage. The complete random placement of the dots shows that there isn't any relationship between shooting 3s and winning (or losing) games.
    Last edited by Putnam; 08-25-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Or, if none of that matters to you, consider this. A high arcing jumpshot is probably the most beautiful thing about the game of basketball -- and the most exceptional skill possessed by basketball players:













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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Or, if none of that matters to you, consider this. A high arcing jumpshot is probably the most beautiful thing about the game of basketball -- and the most exceptional skill possessed by basketball players


    That was freakin amazng!!! To shoot from over 3/4 of the court so effortlessly.
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Thank you for this thread. It is obvious looking at the graphs, that Larry Brown was not a big proponent of the three point shoot, neither was Isiah, but Bird, Carlisle and Jim O'Brien are.

    Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan are not. Popovich, Stan Van Gundy, and Jeff Van Gundy all are.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 08-25-2010 at 04:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    That was freakin amazng!!! To shoot from over 3/4 of the court so effortlessly.
    uhh, it's faked.
    (notice how the camera doesn't follow the ball, the ball disappears after it leaves his hand, then appears again coming down to the basket.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Yes that one is faked, but it's a commercial that was spoofed from events that were not fake.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmuEZ...eature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiBSNiab-tU

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That you for this thread. It is obvious looking at the graphs, that Larry Brown was not a big proponent of the three point shoot, neither was Isiah, but Bird, Carlisle and Jim O'Brien are.

    Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan are not. Popovich, Stan Van Gundy, and Jeff Van Gundy all are.
    The successful coaches who are proponents of the three also tend to both preach defense and a slow pace, and have the interior presence that they utilize early and often to open up quality looks at the arc. They do not create space by shooting the three as their primary offensive threat. Duncan, Howard / Shaq, and Ewing / Ming were / are the primary threats of their respective offenses.

    The Bird years for the Pacers had Rik Smits as a major component of the offense, plus some highly effective 3pt shooters. The year the Pacers got to the Finals, the Pacers ranked 20th in the league in overall FG attempts, yet were 4th in 3's, and were effective primarily because they shot .392 from the arc as a team and ranked 1st in 3P%. This led to an extremely high offensive efficiency which also ranked 1st and enabled them to almost win it all.

    At no time during the tenure of the current head coach has the team met the above criteria. Also, the three O'Brien years have seen the team with the three worst league defensive rankings of the last 11, while seeing the three highest league pace rankings of those same years. There may not be a 100% causal relationship, but those factors are related, and they are also related to franchise success within the league. Pace rating tends to be inversely proportional to effective defense as well as playoff success from what I found, also.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    Yes that one is faked, but it's a commercial that was spoofed from events that were not fake.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmuEZ...eature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiBSNiab-tU
    Awww Lebron was so much more likable then. Sigh... Where does the time go?



    Great charts! They made it very clear to see your point. I think it will be interesting to see how Murphy's departure effects the 3 ball stats this coming season.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    At no time during the tenure of the current head coach has the team met the above criteria. Also, the three O'Brien years have seen the team with the three worst league defensive rankings of the last 11, while seeing the three highest league pace rankings of those same years. There may not be a 100% causal relationship, but those factors are related, and they are also related to franchise success within the league. Pace rating tends to be inversely proportional to effective defense as well as playoff success from what I found, also.
    is that points allowed or FG% defense?

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    The successful coaches who are proponents of the three also tend to both preach defense and a slow pace, and have the interior presence that they utilize early and often to open up quality looks at the arc. They do not create space by shooting the three as their primary offensive threat. Duncan, Howard / Shaq, and Ewing / Ming were / are the primary threats of their respective offenses.

    The Bird years for the Pacers had Rik Smits as a major component of the offense, plus some highly effective 3pt shooters. The year the Pacers got to the Finals, the Pacers ranked 20th in the league in overall FG attempts, yet were 4th in 3's, and were effective primarily because they shot .392 from the arc as a team and ranked 1st in 3P%. This led to an extremely high offensive efficiency which also ranked 1st and enabled them to almost win it all.
    OK, the Pacers do not have a low post threat anywhere close to Duncan, Howard, Shaq, Ewing, Ming, Smits.

    The question is and always is: Is the current offensive system maximixing the Pacers offensive potential. You would argue no way, I would argue, yes I think it is.

    Another closely related (and more important) question is whether the offensive system gives this current Pacers team the best chance of winning. Here I think you have a better argument, as my position would be somewhat weaker. Using more shot clock probably would make the pacers a better team as it would help their defense, but I think it would hurt their overall offense - just a trade off defense for offense. Not sure

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888
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    The successful coaches who are proponents of the three also tend to both preach defense and a slow pace, and have the interior presence that they utilize early and often to open up quality looks at the arc. They do not create space by shooting the three as their primary offensive threat. Duncan, Howard / Shaq, and Ewing / Ming were / are the primary threats of their respective offenses.

    The Bird years for the Pacers had Rik Smits as a major component of the offense, plus some highly effective 3pt shooters. The year the Pacers got to the Finals, the Pacers ranked 20th in the league in overall FG attempts, yet were 4th in 3's, and were effective primarily because they shot .392 from the arc as a team and ranked 1st in 3P%. This led to an extremely high offensive efficiency which also ranked 1st and enabled them to almost win it all.
    Even as a proponent of the 3pt shot I accept what Brad is saying. If the Pacers had more overall talent and more scoring threats, they'd win more.

    What I'm trying to show here is that the 3 is NOT the problem that is is often made out to be. If O'Brien is susceptible to criticism for using a gimmicky game plan, it is the fast pace and not the use of the 3 that is his gimmick.
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB007 View Post
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    uhh, it's faked.
    (notice how the camera doesn't follow the ball, the ball disappears after it leaves his hand, then appears again coming down to the basket.
    Good catch

    For the record, I retract my original statement
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    The fast pace isn't a gimmick.

    Chuck Daly, Mike Fratello, Larry Brown and later Rick Carlisle made the "use the full 24-seconds" gimmick their game plan. And like lemmings, everybody followed it for a while. Except for Phil, Pat, Nellie, and Larry Bird. And also Jerry Sloan.

    Now we're swinging back the other way.

    With a 24-second shot clock, its hard to argue that any team is actually playing a slow pace. Remember college ball before the shot clock. I remember an IU-Iowa game once where IU went to a "four corners" offense and had an eight-minute possession. Was that a gimmick? Probably. But at that time, it was a common coaching technique that if you accumulated a modest-sized lead against another good team... and if you had a team of solid FT shooters... that you stretched out the possessions until a defensive breakdown resulted in a layup or they fouled you. If the defense didn't break down, you'd just re-set the four corners and try again. Eventually you'd score. They'd come down and shoot a bad shoot quickly and either way you had the ball back again and you'd have offensive patience until you got an unconstested layup.

    THAT is a slow pace. Even though I didn't like Rick Carlisle's mentality that a 24-second violation was almost as good as scoring, its still hard to call anyting in the NBA a "slow pace."

    I'm torn between whether a shorter shot clock or the elimination of the shot clock would make the game better. Its a trade off between activity and effeciency. With a shorter shot clock you'd have more bad shots and more possessoins. With a longer shot clock, you'd have a better opportunity to break down the defense for a high-percentage look. A shorter shot clock certainly favors the defense as (1) the offense has a better chance to score on a low-percentage shot than on no shot attempt at all; and (2) only requiring the defense to play for 24 seconds allows players to exert more energy in short bursts. If you allow an offensive player to run around screens for 40, 50 consecutive seconds, you won't have to settle for a jumper and you'll get a wide open backdoor cut for a layup.
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    is that points allowed or FG% defense?
    It is the Team Defensive Rating as shown at basketball-reference.com. I am not certain how that is derived.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ
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    The fast pace isn't a gimmick.
    Good stuff, J. I've never watched much college ball, but I've seen a high school point guard stand motionless for six minutes with the ball on his hip waiting for a defender to come out to him.


    My comment was "IF O'Brien is susceptible to the accusation of using gimmicks." I think his talk about early shots is a gimmick -- even if the team's actual use of the clock isn't far out of line with the rest of the league.

    By contrast, the Pacers' use of the 3 is just good basketball.
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Even as a proponent of the 3pt shot I accept what Brad is saying. If the Pacers had more overall talent and more scoring threats, they'd win more.

    What I'm trying to show here is that the 3 is NOT the problem that is is often made out to be. If O'Brien is susceptible to criticism for using a gimmicky game plan, it is the fast pace and not the use of the 3 that is his gimmick.
    I'm not certain the fast pace is totally a strategy gimmick, or if it is more a result of the overall mentality instilled in the players to get things done before the defense sets up whether they themselves feel comfortable enough to shoot or pass at that point or not (Rush, particularly, doesn't thrive offensively for that very reason IMO, and would benefit from a more structured approach that emphasizes passing over shot creation).

    I believe the pace is fast due in part to the encouragement of taking shots early in the clock and then either making them or losing possession due to not having anyone to get the offensive boards, or early drives into traffic that result in early poor shots and turnovers. Before long, the opposition gets into a rhythm with us and does the same thing unless they have a disciplined coach who runs a highly structured offense. Combined, our overall pace is possibly higher as a result whether the Pacers are actually pushing the ball or not.

    Also, I would add that the lack of the available type of talent that is required to win with the O'Brien system, namely very high percentage 3 pt shooters, and under circumstances where there are injuries to our better shooters, particularly Granger last year until he returned late in the season, the Pacers did, in my view, shoot way too many threes and team performance suffered mightily for it on both ends of the floor.

    Live by the 3, die by the 3. Hopefully this year we will live by the 3 because Walton will have taught Roy enough to have him on the receiving end of a lot more passes from Collison and Rush, thereby allowing our perimeter players better spacing (!) created by improved interior play and the requirement of defenses to collapse more to defend against it.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I don't think shooting early or late is a gimmick, just bad coaching. Don't let the clock dictate the shot selection. When you have a good, high-percentage shot, take it.

    If we had a team full of guys shooting >40% from behind the arc, then those are high percentage shots too. Especially if they're inside-out opportunities that force the defense to be on the run.

    I like getting the ball quickly to the interior of the court to force the defense to react and make a mistake.

    I'm not opposed to them shooting the three as it falls out of an aggressive, moving offense. I don't like the no-motion, (or the pass-it-around-the-perimeter) quick three offense because its lazy.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I would personally view fast and slow paced offences as very little to do with the shot clock. Both are looking for a good shot, and shouldn't take a shot, unless it is a good shot (or time is low on the shot clock).

    I believe the pace of the offence is defined by the team either looking to push the ball, get out and run, then creating/setting up an offence from there (e.g. Golden state) or slowing down the ball to set up a more structured possession from the outset (e.g. the Jazz).

    (Conversely, when there is an opportunity for a transition basket or an oportunity to push the ball before the defence is set, the implication is changed, as all teams, fast or slow paced, will look to take advantage of this.)

    Fast paced offences often do put up shots earlier in the shot clock. Intuitively they are in a position to shoot sooner. But I personally wouldn't define fast and slow paced offences like that.

    Others may disagree.


    EDIT: For what it's worth, in reference to J's mention of the shot clock. I would personally love to see a form of the modern game with a 1 minute shot clock. This would change the nature of the game massively, but the disipline of both offence and defence would be rewarded massively. I would also greatly enjoy the added detail that one would be able to derive from seeing so many more structured and completed offences. Just my opinion of course.
    Last edited by The Hustler; 08-25-2010 at 06:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    More threes is not so much the problem. I don't mind my guards (as long as one of them is not a midget) or maybe the SF putting up volume threes. Everyone back in the day loved it when Reggie Miller put up lots of threes. That's what the guards are supposed to be doing.

    I wouldn't even mind a PF like Sheed putting up a few on my team. The problem is when PF's like Troy and Antwan Jamison are launching volume threes while they are not capable of getting tough rebounds, kicking the ball out, forcing the interior players into more fouls via a post-up, etc....all things Sheed can do too. Those are PF tasks that soft players cannot do...and which ultimately is needed in most playoff games.

    Also, if you look at the two best teams in the NBA, you have Boston and LA. They are much better than most of the teams in the league and although Odom and Sheed can hit the three, it's not like that's a huge part of their game or that they launch that many. In fact, Odom only made one three during the finals.

    So...the complaint about threes has more to do with the emphasis some teams place on their PF, especially the Pacers. The fact JOb loves the three just made it worse. The fact is, a player like Murphy with his rebound numbers and three point percentage was traded for a reason. It's because that type of PF is not what you need to win...and it's one reason he has never played a single playoff game.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    More threes is not so much the problem. I don't mind my guards (as long as one of them is not a midget) or maybe the SF putting up volume threes. Everyone back in the day loved it when Reggie Miller put up lots of threes. That's what the guards are supposed to be doing.

    I wouldn't even mind a PF like Sheed putting up a few on my team. The problem is when PF's like Troy and Antwan Jamison are launching volume threes while they are not capable of getting tough rebounds, kicking the ball out, forcing the interior players into more fouls via a post-up, etc....all things Sheed can do too. Those are PF tasks that soft players cannot do...and which ultimately is needed in most playoff games.

    Also, if you look at the two best teams in the NBA, you have Boston and LA. They are much better than most of the teams in the league and although Odom and Sheed can hit the three, it's not like that's a huge part of their game or that they launch that many. In fact, Odom only made one three during the finals.

    So...the complaint about threes has more to do with the emphasis some teams place on their PF, especially the Pacers. The fact JOb loves the three just made it worse. The fact is, a player like Murphy with his rebound numbers and three point percentage was traded for a reason. It's because that type of PF is not what you need to win...and it's one reason he has never played a single playoff game.
    Also, it's not necessarily how many a team takes, but rather when they take them.

    If we have a wide open three, that's a good shot..but running up the court and jacking up a semi guarded three...meh..

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Maybe I'm wrong here but isn't the biggest complaint about O'Briens offense not so much that they shoot a lot of three's or even that they don't use a lot of clock but isn't it because players do not either understand or are not taught what is and what is not a good shot?

    I guess I've always had somewhat of a problem with shot selection as much as I do either of the other two things.

    Now the question is and has been is it coaching or is it the players?


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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    There are 3s and then there are 3s. Two teams can shoot the same number, even the same percentage of their overall shots, and be dramatically different.

    I think the best use of the 3 is to make the other team pay for defensive mistakes, double teaming the post, jogging around screens, and sagging off penetrating wings.

    If the pg brings the ball up, the team swings it around the perimeter a few times and chucks up a partially contested shot, that is a low quality 3. I'm also not a fan of 3s in transition, since if the other team is out of position they will usually commit a foul or give up a layup, both of which are better than the 3 (Farokhmanesh notwithstanding!)

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Maybe I'm wrong here but isn't the biggest complaint about O'Briens offense not so much that they shoot a lot of three's or even that they don't use a lot of clock but isn't it because players do not either understand or are not taught what is and what is not a good shot?

    I guess I've always had somewhat of a problem with shot selection as much as I do either of the other two things.

    Now the question is and has been is it coaching or is it the players?
    IMHO the team has had no situational awareness at all. At some point you have to say it's the coach, not the players. I don't think O'Brien cares that much about situations... just jack up some threes and outscore the opponents shooting their lowly 2's....

    I mean if it was the players a good coach would eventually tighten the reins and rein it in a bit rather than put your (flawed) system on display no matter the personnel or their execution.

    But then I said good coach and I'll never mistake O'Brien for a good coach...
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    More threes is not so much the problem. I don't mind my guards (as long as one of them is not a midget) or maybe the SF putting up volume threes. Everyone back in the day loved it when Reggie Miller put up lots of threes. That's what the guards are supposed to be doing.

    I wouldn't even mind a PF like Sheed putting up a few on my team. The problem is when PF's like Troy and Antwan Jamison are launching volume threes while they are not capable of getting tough rebounds, kicking the ball out, forcing the interior players into more fouls via a post-up, etc....all things Sheed can do too. Those are PF tasks that soft players cannot do...and which ultimately is needed in most playoff games.

    Also, if you look at the two best teams in the NBA, you have Boston and LA. They are much better than most of the teams in the league and although Odom and Sheed can hit the three, it's not like that's a huge part of their game or that they launch that many. In fact, Odom only made one three during the finals.

    So...the complaint about threes has more to do with the emphasis some teams place on their PF, especially the Pacers. The fact JOb loves the three just made it worse. The fact is, a player like Murphy with his rebound numbers and three point percentage was traded for a reason. It's because that type of PF is not what you need to win...and it's one reason he has never played a single playoff game.
    It always gets back to Troy, right? If I hear that tough rebound bs one more time I will puke.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkman View Post
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    It always gets back to Troy, right? If I hear that tough rebound bs one more time I will puke.
    Wow. And you've only been here a couple of months and you're ready to puke? Just be glad you haven't been here longer. Like before June (when you joined PD, remember), when they were actually playing games and everyone was griping about Troy's soft rebounds.

    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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