The NBA has undeniably become a shooter’s league. Gone are the days of low-post banging, midrange magic, and the triangle offense.
Nowadays, if a player can’t be a viable scoring threat behind the 3-point line, especially if they’re a perimeter player, chances are, they won’t survive in the NBA for very long.
Stellar athletes who can provide high-level value in other facets of the game aside from 3-point shooting nowadays either find themselves entirely out of the league or reduced to a specialist role after failing to prove themselves as a floor-spacer within a few seasons.
Take Justise Winslow, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Michael Carter-Williams, and Stanley Johnson as a few examples.
All of these players were highly regarded coming out of college, but were quickly cast to the wayside once the league figured out that they didn’t need to be guarded outside of the paint.
|League Average 3p%||Per Game|
|1||2022 – 23||12.3|
|2||2021 – 22||12.4|
|3||2020 – 21||12.7|
Click the link for the full list
That’s the reason why 3-and-D wings are valued at such a premium in the NBA. While it’s easy to find an athletic perimeter player who can generate stops, it’s much harder to mine an available one who can also present themselves as a threat on the offensive side of the ball.
Teams in the league are constantly searching for more shooting. And even if they have some viable stand-still, spot-up snipers, it’s all the more lethal if they can find a movement shooter who’s a constant threat to opponents even without the ball in their hands.
The popular complaint against this era of the league is that teams jack up too many 3-pointers, to the point of passing up possibly better shots in search of the coveted triple. While it’s true that the average number of 3-point attempts has skyrocketed recently, so has the average 3-point shooting percentage.
3-point attempts per game has been steadily rising over the last 20 years, with the average team taking 14.9 triples in the 2003-2004 season, to 18.1 in 2007-08, to 24.1 in 2014-15 (hello, Stephen Curry!), to now taking 34.2 3-pointers per outing
In the same way, average 3-point percentage has also climbed consistently in the last two decades, starting at 34.7 percent in 03-04, up to 35.9 in 12-13, to 36.7 in 20-21, to now having plateaued at 36 percent this season.
There have been similar stagnations before.
The question is, with shooting becoming evermore important, will the NBA see these marks continue to climb beyond these numbers in the future?
Who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage?
1. Kennard 46%
2. Horford 45.7%
3. Brogdon 45.7% #BleedGreen #Celtics pic.twitter.com/hocDhVvFDK
— The Celtics Journal (@CelticsJournal) March 21, 2023
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| Title: Will average 3-point percentage ever stop climbing in the NBA?
| Author: Sam Profeta
| Date: Mar 22, 2023