The New Yorker article on the 4 Point Shot. Reggie Miller and Larry Bird on the NBA introducing a 4 point shot and Larry's shocking admission that this might be the "greatest era" in basketball.
If you follow knicksin60's "Today in Knicks History" thread, you can see how the game has changed when you watch the highlights of those 90's playoff games and todays games. The Cavs shot 41 3s yesterday in a losing effort and a record setting 25 3s made against the Hawks on 45 attempts. Watch those old YouTube videos and most of the shots are in the paint with hard fought offensive rebounds and guys battling inside for layups.
I respect the style of play of past era's but I think the facts speak for themselves, 2 pt pcts have not gone up averaging about 49% but 3pt shooting has gone from under 30% to over 35% in recent years giving the edge to the 3 pt shot in points per possession now.
I would love to see the 4 point shot at least tried in the pre-season for a few years and maybe in the D-League. A shot worth 2 possessions is going to lead to a few thrilling last minute come from behind wins during a season. I think the entertainment value would be tremendous with a shot like the 4.
Two of the World’s Greatest Shooters Consider the Four-Point Shot
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May 20, 2016
If you’ve watched HBO lately, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a promo for the upcoming show hosted by Bill Simmons, formerly of ESPN and Grantland, called “Any Given Wednesday.” The ad, unapologetically cribbed from a scene in “Bull Durham,” is titled “I Believe” and shows Simmons spouting a string of alternately odd and obvious convictions—“soup is the perfect food,” “billionaires should pay for their own ****ing stadiums”—among them, that the N.B.A. should introduce a four-point line. This is not a new idea, but it has gained a surprising head of steam lately, and for a simple reason: when the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry has the ball, a thirty-foot shot suddenly appears as natural and possible as a twenty-three-footer, and sixty-two-footers are, somehow, not entirely unexpected.
“It’s comical,” the N.B.A. Hall of Famer Reggie Miller said recently, of the proposed innovation. Miller is one of the great three-point shooters in basketball history—he held the record for most consecutive playoff games with a made three-pointer until Monday night, when Curry broke it during the Warriors’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. “The league will be a laughingstock, and I will be in front of the line laughing the loudest. Why are we always trying to change and adjust the game?”
Of course, the three-pointer, like the miniskirt, was once a shocking idea, too. The American Basketball Association, which merged with the N.B.A. in 1976, was the first major basketball league to adopt it. (The short-lived and little-known American Basketball League had three-pointers, too, back in 1961.) The three-pointer was sometimes dubbed “the home run” in the A.B.A., for its startling effect on fans, according to Terry Pluto’s “Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association.” Pluto tells a story about one of the first game-winning threes, made by an Indiana Pacer against the Dallas Chaparrals, in 1967, the first year of the A.B.A.’s existence. The Pacers were down by two with a second left when Indiana’s point guard, Jerry Harkness, heaved the ball toward the basket from more than ninety feet away. It went in, and the Pacers won, but most of the players didn’t realize it. Harkness explains in “Loose Balls”: “We were running off the floor to huddle up for the overtime when the official, Joe Belmont, came up to me and said ‘Jerry, it’s over. That was a 3-pointer.’ I said, ‘I forgot all about that. A 3-pointer.’ “ It was the only three that Harkness made during his career, in five attempts.
The N.B.A. didn’t adopt the three-point line until 1979, putting it between twenty-two and twenty-three feet and nine inches from the basket, depending on where a player stood along its arc. (The N.C.A.A. didn’t officially add the three-pointer until 1986, with high schools doing so a year later.) Its introduction in the N.B.A. coincided with the Hall of Famer Larry Bird’s rookie season. “We didn’t gravitate to the three at first,” Bird, now the president of the Indiana Pacers, told me. “We weren’t like, Oh boy, here it is! No, it takes time. When they first put it in, some team took five three-pointers a game and that was a lot.” This season, teams averaged more than twenty-four attempts, many of them taken from well beyond the arc.
“It’s funny how the game has changed,” Bird continued. “And my thinking about it. I was really worried—back sixteen, seventeen years ago—that the little guy didn’t have a spot in the N.B.A. anymore: it was just going to be the big guards like Magic Johnson. But then players started shooting more threes and spacing the court, and everyone wants small guards now. Watching these kids play now, I’m like everybody else: Wow, man. They can really shoot! They have more freedom to get to the basket. The ball moves a little better. These kids are shooting from farther, with more accuracy. Now some teams shoot up around thirty threes a game. My era, you always think that’s the greatest era. But I’m not so sure anymore.”
Miller is less sanguine about these developments. “Kids aren’t working on that ten-footer anymore,” Miller said. “Or that fifteen-footer, eighteen-footer. Everything is either a lay-up in the paint, a free throw, or a three. Where is the mid-range game? It’s gone.” Spectators don’t seem quite as concerned about these changes, particularly when the super-long bombs go in: from beyond thirty-feet, Curry makes baskets at a higher rate than a few dozen N.B.A. players manage from the free throw line.
“But that’s one guy!” Miller said, when I mentioned Curry’s prowess. “No one else has that kind of range. Maybe Damian Lillard? Even Kyle Korver doesn’t have this kind of range, and he’s a great three-point shooter. If there were ten guys doing what Curry can do, then we could talk about it. But even then it feels like it could become a pinball machine: ‘Add a four-point play! Then a half-court shot!’ I just think a four-pointer would be a gimmick.” (That last word was the one that the New York Times used when referring to the three-pointer, in its 1979 N.B.A. season preview.) Korver, a thirty-five-year-old guard for the Atlanta Hawks, is more open to the idea. “I think people would be surprised how many guys can shoot it from pretty far and have their percentages not suffer too much,” he told me. “But there would probably be a lot of guys who can’t, trying. It would make for some ugly possessions. It would be fun to test, though. I’d be in.”
Behind closed doors, N.B.A. officials may be slowly coming around. Two years ago, E.S.P.N. revealed that league executives had discussed adding a four-point line to its courts. And there are other well-known players who have come out in favor of it. Last year, three-time N.B.A. champion Byron Scott told the Orange County Register: “I think the 3-point line is exciting. I would add another line and make a 4-point line as well. I’d say let’s go another three or four feet back and that’s a 4-pointer.”
Larry Bird is nearly sixty years old now, having spent most of those years in or around professional basketball. He is ready for whatever awaits the game. “When I played, I never did practice three-point shots,” Bird said. “But these kids here, that’s all they do. The game has changed, no question about it. Every ten, twelve, fifteen years, there’s something new coming in. You put that four-point line in there and people will start practicing. And once they start practicing, they get better at it. Maybe five or ten years down the road, fours are what everybody will be shooting. The game evolves.”
My immediate reaction to that is that Golden State went 73 - 9 this last season and Stephen Curry averaged 30 points per game on 50% shooting, including 45% from 3 point range, and we're going to do a rule change that gives them an even bigger advantage given that Curry has, as far as I tell, the longest accurate shooting range in the game today? I know Curry is mentioned in the story, but it doesn't seem to address how this rule change would make GS even more unstoppable.
The only rule change I want right now is one that somehow allows us to play a 6th defender when Jose Calderon is on the court.