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The Boston Celtics appreciate the three-point shot. No, that needs rephrasing - they are in love with the long ball. Shots behind the arch are admittedly a very exciting part of the current NBA game but a source of extreme frustration for fans. Sharpshooters like J.J Redick and Steph Curry are a lot of fun to watch when they’re launching and making long range shots - Josh Smith? Not so much.

As currently constructed the Celtics do not have an absolute knock-down three-point shooter outside of Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk, but both can be frustratingly inconsistent so giving them that label would be somewhat inaccurate. Despite this, the C’s love to shoot from long range. This fact has been evident since last season but now this season their overzealousness has been rearing its ugly head.

In the 2015-2016 season one of the thorns on the side of the Celtics was their 29th ranked three-point shooting. In total, Boston would go on to launch 2,142 three’s at a 33 percent clip; Kelly Olynyk led the team with 40 percent shooting. So far, through 16 games this season, the team has attempted 493 three’s and rank fifth in attempts per game. If they keep up this pace they will surpass last season’s total with 2,527 attempts.

Last night in the loss to the Spurs, the Celtics shot 12 of 34 from three and attempted only 9 free-throws. What?! 34 three's? Well, don't be so surprised. This is no anomaly for the C's.

In another losing effort, this time against the Pelicans, Boston attempted 41 shots from deep and 20 free-throws. In a win against the Nets this week only 8 free-throws were attempted to 38 three’s.

In essence, the narrative of Boston’s season thus far has been chucking up a ton of three’s and, as a result of their lack of aggressiveness driving to the rim, very few free-throws. At this point they are shooting from long range at a historic rate.



At least 38 three's three times this season? And twice in a single week? Are these the Boston Celtics or the Houston Rockets? (the Rockets attempt 37 three's per game)

Despite their insane amounts of attempts per game, Boston has creeped its way into ninth place in three-point shooting percentage in the NBA. Their offensive efficiency is also ranked ninth. Taking this into consideration, is the volume of shooting good or bad? Well, it seems to be working. Sort of.

Some will argue that knocking down more long range shots leads to more driving opportunities since opponents will be forced to defend the perimeter more. Others will say that you live and die by the three and shooting so much from behind the arch limits your offense.

At this point it all seems like a necessary evil for Boston. Fans love them when they shoot well from three and beg them to stop chucking it up so often when the opposite happens. When the C's have a good shooting night from long range they're hard to beat. On the other hand when the shots aren't falling but they insist on shooting from three, they're a little bit easier to defend, thus turning into a sort of complicated situation.

Either way it doesn't seem like this trend is going to end any time soon, for better or for worse, especially if Amir Johnson can summon his inner Ray Allen again.




So what do you think? Are the C's shooting wayyy too much from deep or should they just keep letting them fly? Do they just need to acquire a sharpshooter at the trade deadline? Sound off in the comments section.





Photo credit: Nathaniel Butler/Getty Images
Follow Luis on Twitter @luisdgnyc
Stats via Basketball Reference

Luis Gonzalez 11/26/2016 12:00:00 PM Edit
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