The 3 Has Changed the NBA Game Strategy

The regular season is over with the Golden State Warriors breaking the Chicago Bulls best regular season won/lost record by one game finishing 73-9. Now 16 teams start playing and coaching in the best 4 out of 7 series instead of one opponent at a time as in the regular season.

There is no question that the Warriors have changed the way the game is being played in the NBA with the success in posting the best regular season won/lost record ever by relying so much on the 3 point shot.

We have to remember that the NBA three point line is 3 feet longer then the college line and 4 feet longer then the high school line except in the shortened corners.

With Steph Curry reinventing the long game it will be interesting to see how teams try to defend him on the 3 and which team will be the most effective in slowing down the regular season record breaking 402 3’s.

The Warriors led the league, of course, in 3 point percentage as they were the only team in the 40%’s at 41.6% and they take 36.6% of their 87.3 field goal attempts as 3’s per game.

The Houston Rockets get the first chance to attempt to slow down the leauges leading long distance shooter and his sharpshooting teammate Clay Thompson, the keys to the Warriors offensive attack.

The Warriors “may live by the 3”, but “they only died by the 3″… 9 times this season.

The key in the playoffs in most of the 8 series will be how do teams defend against the 3 point shot.

After watching many NCAA college and NBA games this winter I’ve noticed that many times players defending the 3 point shooter do not have their left hand up when guarding the player with the ball, especially when they are getting ready to shoot the 3 point shot.

Many defenders leave their feet when the 3 point shooter leaves his feet and they use their right hand and arm to defend the right handed shooter which means that the players arm is 6 inches or so shorter to bother the 3 point shooter than if the defender used his left hand.

Also, when using the right hand across the body to defend the try the defender is more likely to be off balance and fall into the shooter for a foul because he is off balance.

I just cannot figure out why coaches don’t force their defenders to use the left hand against right handed shooters and vice versa on the left handed shooter all the time.


In fact, sometimes the defender will have the left hand up until the 3 point shooter leaves his feet and then as the defender leaves his feet to defend the shot THEY ACTUALLY SWITCH ARMS AND GO FROM LEFT ON THE FLOOR TO RIGHT ARM/HAND WHEN THEY LEAVE THE FLOOR TO DEFEND THE SHOT.

So for this first weekend look to see which team defends the 3 point shot with the correct left arm/hand against righthanded shooters and vice versa for the lefties.