Once upon a time, the three-point shot was a seldom deployed, last-second option that was only used in dire situations, or when a player was showing off. However, in later years it has completely overshadowed the mid-range jump-shot as the primary weapon of a championship basketball team. No longer do coaches look to a monster in the post to be the foundation of their team, going instead with nimble shooters who can drain shots from the outside. What was once a game all about fundamentals, positioning, leverage, and stamina, has become a quick draw contest with teams looking to knock out three-pointers, while using power in the post as a secondary option. Teams opting to hoist ‘em from the outside, instead of pounding it out in the post is completely revolutionizing the way offense is played in the game of basketball.
Evolution, it’s science
Basketball purists and pundits have long belittled the rise of the three-point shot as a widely utilized tool in the game. They have shouted down the deep-shot as a trick or a gimmick, but never a legitimate weapon in a sharpshooter’s arsenal. Now in 2020, with combined scores ballooning up to 240-points and beyond, no one can deny that the three-pointer is a major part of the game. Instead of teams just bringing in their best shooter when the game is on the line, they are building their entire offense around that player and trying to get the ball into their hands as much as possible.
The excitement factor
There is no denying that slam-dunks are the most exciting way to score in the NBA. Nothing gets the crowd going better than someone nearly ripping the rim off of the backboard with a big-time jam. But, high scoring affairs also add to the overall excitement of the game, and the rise of the three-point shot is adding a whole lot of intrigue. Fans are on the edge of their seats with every shot because just a little more is on the line. There is one more point at stake with each shot, and the rebound is usually a lot harder to bring home.
Aim to win
Basketball statistics used to strongly indicate that whichever team could control the paint would win the game. But, in modern basketball, the stats tell a whole different tale. These days it’s the team knocking down the most three-pointers that most often come away with the win. It may not seem like a huge deal, the team that puts the ball through the hoop most wins, right? Well, actually the three-point shot’s track to prominence has completely flipped the script on the game. Not only did NBA coaches have to rewrite their offensive playbooks to lock horns with the most accurate shooting teams in the league. But, the fundamentals of defense had to adjust as well to account for the collection of perimeter shooters team’s began fielding, instead of the traditional mix of big and small players. “Stop the other team from scoring” might seem like an easy directive, but it becomes nearly impossible if your team is set up for close quarter combat, and the opposition is dropping bombs from a mile away.
Beauty that slew the beast
Is there anything more beautiful in the world of sports than watching that orange sphere float through the air and smoothly “swish” through the net? The visuals that go along with the three-point shooting are just stunning. But, along with being gorgeous, the shot has also caused a change in who gets to be a star in the modern National Basketball Association. There is no doubt that there will always be a place for a seven-footer in the NBA. But in 2020 The Shaquille O’Neal’s and Tim Duncans are being replaced by a new breed of star players that no longer uses height and leverage to score, but rather pinpoint accuracy from beyond the arc, Guys like Stephen Curry and his trigger happy cohorts on The Golden State Warriors changed the very fundamentals of a century’s worth of basketball.