PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Should we only be shooting three-pointers and dunks?


#1

There’s been some discussion about the pros and cons of the three-point shot. The following chart shows the points per attempt for each spot on the court. Granted the data is using NBA players, but I presume that the same trends still hold.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/03/06/mapping_the_nba_how_geography_can_teach_players_where_to_shoot.html?wpisrc=twitter_socialflow

Basically it seems like shooting a mid-range jumper is wasting your time. If you aren’t going to shoot a layup, go out to the three point line, where your payoff is higher. Conversely, if you are fine taking a two-point shot, then make sure it is as close as possible.

Perhaps Chambers can look at this chart for our pathetic defensive field goal numbers as well. We need to help on D, but not at the expense of leaving the three-point line open. Give them the mid-range jumpers.


#2

One of the problems with empirical evidence is that it doesn’t provide an explanation - only a result.

It might be the combination that a mid-range jumper is “only” a two-pointer and that the defense is clustered in this area that makes the value lower–and that giving open mid-range jumpers might not be the best response to this information.

That the game is a three-point and dunk contest has been evident for some time.

I’m not completely sure why this is seen as such a bad thing. My hunch is that people like tradition and they don’t like change. Many game rules are arbitrary, and I’m not sure that making a rule that says throwing it in the hoop from farther away is worth more than throwing it in from close up is any kind of sacrilege. I enjoy what it has done for the game, although I agree that the shot clock (another apostasy when it was proposed) might be the bigger reason why nearly every goldarn game we watch at this time of the year goes to the wire.


#3

Really interesting that as you go away from the hoop it gets blue, then gets greener again around the college 3 pt line (even though in the NBA it’s still only worth 2pts).

We could have an interesting debate if it’s because there’s more open space there, of if kids today only practice dunks and 3 pointers, so thats the only way they’ve learned how to score efficiently.


#4
[quote="PSUClassof2011, post:1, topic:3163"]Give them the mid-range jumpers.[/quote]

One of the problems with empirical evidence is that it doesn’t provide an explanation - only a result.

It might be the combination that a mid-range jumper is “only” a two-pointer and that the defense is clustered in this area that makes the value lower–and that giving open mid-range jumpers might not be the best response to this information.

That the game is a three-point and dunk contest has been evident for some time.

I’m not completely sure why this is seen as such a bad thing. My hunch is that people like tradition and they don’t like change. Many game rules are arbitrary, and I’m not sure that making a rule that says throwing it in the hoop from farther away is worth more than throwing it in from close up is any kind of sacrilege. I enjoy what it has done for the game, although I agree that the shot clock (another apostasy when it was proposed) might be the bigger reason why nearly every goldarn game we watch at this time of the year goes to the wire.

The points-per-attempt statistic, if I understand it correctly, would account for what the shots the defense was willing to let you take. For example, teams tend to obviously guard the area around the hoop pretty well, and it’s still one of the most efficient areas.

In other words, that chart doesn’t take place in a vacuum without any defense…it’s taking into account that the defense is probably guarding the area around the rim, and possibly the three-point-line, relatively tough.


#5

I think plenty of coaches are already using this strategy, and it makes a lot of sense when you see such a small difference between shooting percentages on medium 2’s vs 3.

But I agree with TJB, I think the evolution of the game has brought us to this point. Teams play extreme help side defense now, packing the paint (trolling for charges, really) and forcing teams into taking outside shots rather than trying to stay in front of guys 1 v 1 and giving up all kinds of shots at the rim.

It’s easy to say from the defensive perspective that teams give up too many 3’s, but you’re ignoring how many 2’s you would give up if you took away all those 3’s!!!


#6

[quote=“Craftsy21, post:5, topic:3163”]I think plenty of coaches are already using this strategy, and it makes a lot of sense when you see such a small difference between shooting percentages on medium 2’s vs 3.

But I agree with TJB, I think the evolution of the game has brought us to this point. Teams play extreme help side defense now, packing the paint (trolling for charges, really) and forcing teams into taking outside shots rather than trying to stay in front of guys 1 v 1 and giving up all kinds of shots at the rim.

It’s easy to say from the defensive perspective that teams give up too many 3’s, but you’re ignoring how many 2’s you would give up if you took away all those 3’s!!![/quote]

From the look of the chart, most of the two-point range is less efficient than the three-point line, save for the area RIGHT around the rim. Let them shoot two pointers. Prevent dunks and guard the three-point line.


#7

I love the advanced analytics, and would like to go to the MIT Sloan Conference at some point. Maybe that will be my spring break next year…

On topic, it makes sense purely from a percentages standpoint. People are only now really learning what EFG% is, so I don’t think people really understood just how valuable a 40% 3 point shooter was/is.


#8

[quote=“Ajk822, post:7, topic:3163”]I love the advanced analytics, and would like to go to the MIT Sloan Conference at some point. Maybe that will be my spring break next year…

On topic, it makes sense purely from a percentages standpoint. People are only now really learning what EFG% is, so I don’t think people really understood just how valuable a 40% 3 point shooter was/is.[/quote]

Even in the high 30s is a real boon…


#9

This has been evident for some time, certainly in the NBA. In college, the Princeton offense is really this, but actually, I think it’s a 3 point offense which runs back door only when you overplay them at the arc. If teams didn’t overplay NW at the arc, they’d never run back door plays, and just shoot 3’s. I think the inability to score inside, either by give and go’s/back doors, or posting up, has kept too much pressure on the arc for PSU’s shooters. When Diebler hit 10 treys vs. PSU last year, it was always off inside passes to Sullinger, then he’d kick it out, and it’d find Diebler. So, whether give and go, or post up, yes, I think you get inside points or treys. I also think it’s easier to get blocked in the lane trying to pull up. Easy buckets or 50% more points not bad options.

It is interesting that Fed Ex driver Ed Weiland, who predicted that Jeremy Lin was the second best pg in John Wall’s year, uses shooting 2’s better than 55% and rebounds/blocks/steals>10 per game as showing dominance at each end. This year he likes Jae Crowder of Marquette and Tony Mitchell of North Texas. So, in his mind, 3’s don’t matter.


#10

This data makes me conclude that we should run a 4-1, or box-and-one, defensive scheme. Guard the line, and have one defender down low who keeps teams from getting dunks and layups.


#11

This is really a 2-3, right? To my uneducated eyes (correct me if I’m wrong, anyone with more basketball expertise than me), we seem to usually play some kind of matchup-2-3.


#12

Really good read on Dick Bennett’s “pack line” defense in this week’s SI. Don’t think there is a free version to link to.


#13

Easier said than done when you play vs. Sullinger, or any team with a decent big man. Remember Allen on V Tech? He allowed V Tech to smother the arc. That last game vs. them a couple years ago was one of ugliest ever for PSU. They were afraid of him and chucked 3’s all night, despite horrendous looks. Somebody like Epke Udoh allowed Baylor to play that way.


#14
I think plenty of coaches are already using this strategy, and it makes a lot of sense when you see such a small difference between shooting percentages on medium 2's vs 3.

But I agree with TJB, I think the evolution of the game has brought us to this point. Teams play extreme help side defense now, packing the paint (trolling for charges, really) and forcing teams into taking outside shots rather than trying to stay in front of guys 1 v 1 and giving up all kinds of shots at the rim.

It’s easy to say from the defensive perspective that teams give up too many 3’s, but you’re ignoring how many 2’s you would give up if you took away all those 3’s!!!

From the look of the chart, most of the two-point range is less efficient than the three-point line, save for the area RIGHT around the rim. Let them shoot two pointers. Prevent dunks and guard the three-point line.

I still think this ignores the idea that 2pt jumpers are going to be better contested than 3’s. You’re not going to shoot a tightly contested 3 very often and stay in the game as a player, unless you’re making them. But contested 2’s are just the rule, it’s easy to get closed out on shooting those because you’re closer to the rest of the defense.

But if you shifted your defense to start allowing more open 2’s (which i’m not even sure is possible given that the hoop doesn’t move), 2’s made would go up significantly.


#15

I started typing the same thoughts then I saw your post. Thanks for saving me the keystroke :slight_smile:


#16

I still think the sport needs to consider adding the 10pt, 25pt, and 50pt shot like Rock N Jock used to. Put circles out in Talor Battle range around the ‘hash marks’ for 10 pointers, then install 20 and 30 foot high hoops directly above the regular one.

Maybe they could just try it out in the Big 10 tournament one year and see…? :smiley:


#17

John Wooden thought dunks should only be 1 point. Fair chance we’ll see that. He also got less enthused about the game as it became more individualistic, less team oriented.


#18

That’s ok because then Ayn Rand suddenly became interested.


#19

Youngsters may not know that the NCAA banned dunking from 1967 until 1976! No kiddin.


#20

Watching the America East final (two colleagues and friends are Vermont alumni). Stony Brook is behind and is basically just jacking stupid threes. If you wanted to make a case for the three changing the game in a negative way, this might be it. It bears no resemblance to the offenses we typically see that are designed to create a good look for a three.