The NBA is increasingly becoming a 3-point shooting league. Statistical reality supports this notion and those who like to place NBA picks can’t ignore this fact.
It might be just one extra point, but the 3-point shot holds more weight in today's NBA than we could imagine.
Having a long-distance offense has become life or death for NBA teams and nowadays we are getting to a point where players want to be trigger happy, and rightfully so, as the stats tell us that they're better at outside shooting than their counterparts from recent generations.
The large number of players who are confident from 3-point range has made teams shoot an awful lot more. Last season we placed our NBA picks and witnessed more teams “living and dying” from the perimeter than 10-15 years ago.
The significance of the 3-pointers has gotten heavier by the year, and NBA odds makers have noticed that it has also helped elevate the quality of entertainment. You don't have to be a Golden State Warriors fan to enjoy watching them drain 3-pointer after 3-pointer. You might not like the Atlanta Hawks but you can't deny that the way their offense works around the perimeter is inspiring.
Teams like Golden State and Atlanta get crowds into frenzies as the 3-point shots become a more monumental formula to success in the NBA.
Efficiency Behind the Arc Not Going Unnoticed
This offseason, many front offices will have to reevaluate how to build their rosters. After witnessing the immediate success that the Golden State Warriors found last season, a lot of teams are looking for 3-point shooters.
Stephen Curry (.443 3-point field goal percentage) and Klay Thompson (.439 3-point field goal percentage), the obvious long range threats for the Warriors, ranked third and fourth in the NBA last season, respectively, while Kyle Korver of the Hawks led the league at .492 3-point field goal percentage.
It's worth noting that 3-point shooters can have different styles of play. Korver mostly catches-and-shoots, while Curry and Thompson are capable of creating their own shots off-the-dribble while excelling in catch-and-shoot situations.
Just as important as how the 3-pointers are made is where the shots are made from. Over the years, the best area to take a 3-pointer has been from the corner, where those who like to catch-and-shoot thrive, but today's most effective three-point shooters are successful from anywhere on the court.
Additionally, the number of attempts has increased without a significant drop in percentage, compared to years past.
Note: The percentages of Catch-and-Shoot and Off-the-Dribble do not sum to 100% because sometimes players catch the ball, take no dribbles, but hold the ball for more than two seconds. These attempts do not qualify for either metric.
When Did It All Started & What to Expect in the Future
The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors drew inspiration from the 2004-05 Phoenix Suns, a team that attempted 24.7 3-pointers per game, while the teams that finished second and third in that category, the Supersonics and the Lakers, made 22.2 and 22.1 attempts respectively.
What will happen during next year’s offseason when 3-point shooters like Eric Gordon (.448 3-point field goal percentage) and Kevin Durant (.403 3-point field goal percentage) become free agents? Don´t forget that the salary cap will jump from $67.1 million to about $90 million.
Stephen Curry won the MVP award this season and I wouldn´t be surprised to see another prolific 3-point shooter winning it again this year, so back a terrific outside shooter to win the Regular Season MVP award at sportsbooks like William Hill.