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For any die-hard NBA fans from years ago who might catch a game here and there nowadays, the amount of three-point shots today has to be absolutely staggering. Even compared to the early to mid-2000's, the game has completely changed as offenses are looking to spread out defenses more through the use of shots from long range.

Although there are still a good amount of teams who will use the low-post and others who will let players attack the rim at will (hi, Kyrie Irving), the three has still become arguably the league's biggest premium right now. Every great offense in the league nowadays from the Golden State Warriors to the Houston Rockets to even more modest ones like our Boston Celtics can be characterized by a strong usage of the money-ball.

Last night's game between the visiting New Orleans Pelicans against the the C's might as well have cemented the transition of the game into a much more spaced out sport.



Setting a franchise record for a single game by hitting 19 three-pointers (NINETEEN), the Green amassed 50 total attempts from deep in their loss yesterday.

While watching the game, it was probably hard not to notice how every other trip down the court someone was jacking one up. But when it's all said and done, just to hear the number 50 (five-zero) and know they rattled off that many, is equally mind-blowing and mystifying.

50 threes attempted. FIFTY.


Just imagine if Larry Bird had played on a team where they would hoist up fifty shots from deep in a game, hell even forty! Larry Legend would have probably set and still held every last record from beyond the arc had he had the privilege to use the three at his expense the way guys nowadays do. Here’s to looking at you, Steph Curry).

But then again, we saw how this strategy didn't even pay dividends for a team like the Celtics who many would consider one of the better shooting teams across the league.

At almost every position on the court, especially with Al Horford playing center a lot, coach Brad Stevens can yield a five-man rotation with each player having the ability to knock down shots from long-range at times. Yet as we saw last night, even setting a franchise-record for threes (19, that's 57 total points) from downtown won't help you get over the hump some times.



As good of a reflection of the games transition away from the net as anyone, Big Al noted it's obvious that making shots from the outside is very important in today's game but noted it could be a potential issue. And let’s be honest, at what cost does it come if your offense starts to rely too heavily from deep?

The C’s took 50 shots out of 101 total from beyond three-point range. So literally half their shots, pretty much on the button, we're ones that Boston has hit at a .369 clip right up until last night's game (their three-point percentage this year). So if we're doing basic math, pretty much half of the offensive output in last night's game came in the form of something we do at a .369 clip, right? Got it? Okay, cool.

Now for the year, the median field-goal rate, or roughly what would be close to the average, is .456 across the NBA. So in other words, if the Celtics shoot about .369 from deep and plan on taking half of their shots from there, they need to hit about .543 from inside the arc just to keep pace with the league-average team field-goal percentage. Never-mind trying to keep up with the better offenses in the league...

That was easy enough to keep up with, huh?


For any of those I didn't completely lose there going through that mathematics exercise, the overall point is that relying too heavily on the three pointer will dilute a team's overall field-goal percentage.

Hopefully Stevens can devise a plan to workout any possible issue here by maybe finding more ways for his young squad to shoot more efficiently from deep. This way they can take less shots from out there and get more of their high-percentage looks from closer to the bucket.

Overall the Celtics might be one of the teams better positioned to deal with a circumstance like such where they may not need to sport the best offensive field-goal percentage as their defense is absolutely terrific. However this could still be a problem to watch out for down the road, let's hope not though.



Do you guys think the Celtics should rely so heavily on the three-ball or no? Is this maybe just a product of the shift in offenses today?


Follow Brendan for more Celtics/NBA info at @brendan_ronan_




Photo via Brian Babineau, Getty Images
GIF via Tenor
GIF via Giphy

Brendan Ronan 1/17/2018 08:00:00 AM Edit
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