With the NBA playoffs going full steam ahead the 3 point shot has seemed to become even more important this season for teams to be successful. So let’s look at the magical number 3 in 3 point shooting in the NBA.
The NBA’s 3 point line is 23 feet 9 inches from the center of the basket and 25 feet from the backboard compared to the college 3 point arc which is 20 feet 9 inches from the center of the hoop and 22 feet from the backboard which is a difference of 3 feet.
This 3 foot difference is a much harder for NBA rookies making the adjustments to 3 point shooting success compared to high school players only have to make a 1 foot adjustment from high school to the college 3 point line as the high school 3 point line his just 19 feet 9 inches from the center of the basket and 21 feet from the backboard.
Until the rookie 3 point shooters in the NBA demonstrate that they can be effective in actual games compared to just shooting in workouts their teams cannot be sure if they really drafted and signed just potential 3 point successful shooters.
The additional 3 feet of the NBA 3 point line means that the college draftees have a big adjustment in shooting the 3’s in practice let alone in the NBA games.
The one place on the court that they do not have to make an adjustment is from each corner of the court as that is the same distance of 23 feet 9 inches because the corners have to be shortened because of the width of the floor at 50 feet so that 3’s can be taken from the corners.
So it will be interesting to watch the NBA summer league games to see which rookie draftees from college are successful and make the adjustments needed compared to those that don’t. Only time will tell to see which teams made the right decisions in who they drafted and signed to be successful 3 point shooters for their NBA teams.
Until they show that they can make the NBA 3 and shoot over 36.7% will the teams know that they made the correct draft decision or they can hope that the shooters can improve as they get adjusted to the different length of 3 feet and the defenses that are played against the 3 in the NBA compared to college defenses.
Off the 450 plus NBA players in 2017-18 only 100 (22%) shot better than 36.7% from beyond the arc and they had to have made 55 3’s to be ranked. 30 players shot 40% or better and 70 shot 36.75 to 39.9%.
This is much like what the man from the state of Missouri the show me state said, “SHOW ME”.
Interesting that the number 3 is so prevalent in this situation 3 feet longer 3 point line for the 3 point attempt considering the the NBA has turned into a 3 point league with each passing season.
Remember the old basketball 3 point shooting saying (live by the 3 you may die by the 3) that happened to the Houston Rockets vs. Golden State and the Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland as they both died by the 3 in the second half of those game 7’s in the 7th final game of each of the conference finals. Boston and Houston both “died by the three because they lived by the 3” in those second halves.
When it is win or go home or one and done games it seems that some times “the rim gets smaller and seems further away and the ball seems to get bigger and heavier”.
This isn’t the situation in the non one and done or win or go home games. That is why there is less pressure in the NBA quarter-finals, semi-final and final conference games and the championship series compared to the NCAA’s March Madness Big Dance of lose and we will see you later o0r the single elimination high school tournaments..
Also, fatigue is a big factor in the 4th and final quarter of games which can lead to tired legs and when the legs go the 3 point shooting can go also. The facts that the NBA teams in the playoffs are coming off a long, tiring 82 game regular season schedule can add to the fatigue and that the games are tougher because they are playing the same team in each series they are in makes it easier to make defensive adjustments to teams that rely on the 3.
Note: Thanks to Archer Bunker of MBR who has given me permission to use the two terms he added to my the two terms that with the pressure on of one and done or win or go home games the ball seems to get BIGGER and to rim seems to get SMALLER.
He added FURTHER AWAY to rim seems to get smaller AND HEAVIER to ball seems to get bigger. Very appropriate additional adjectives to smaller and bigger.