Is the Three-Point Shot Boring?
Most of you know about the three-point shot in basketball, especially with the ongoing NBA playoffs. For the three-point play, there is an arc around the basket. At the corners of the court, the three-point line is 22 feet from the basket. At the top of the arc in the middle of the court, the three-point line is 23 feet 9 inches from the basket. If a player takes a set shot standing outside of the arc and makes the basket, the basket is worth three points, not the ordinary two points. The three point shot was originally implemented in 1967 in the American Basketball Association when it was 25 feet from the basket. In 1979, the National Basketball Association (NBA) adopted the three-point shot.
The Golden State Warriors currently playing in the NBA Finals have two players who have the uncanny ability of being able to make almost 50% their three-point shots – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. It is quite a sight to behold these players heaving the ball into the air from way beyond the basket, and see the ball swishing through the net. This skillset gives the Golden State Warriors an advantage over the competition who have to work at making more two point shots to keep up with Curry’s and Thompson’s three-point plays. Additionally, defenders of the three-point shots on the opposing team have to venture from “in the paint” closest to the basket to far from the basket to try to block the three-point shot, leaving other offensive players under the basket less guarded and more able to make a shot closer to the basket.
Some people say that the three-point shot has made the game of basketball less exciting. When the three-point shot is not in play, players need to (i) pass the ball closer to “inside” to get a better shot at the basket or (ii) dribble the ball and “drive” to the basket to get a better opportunity to sink a shot. This requires more teamwork coordination, more dribbling prowess and more strategic plays. It is also more competitive and physical with the opposing team. With the three-point shot, the players just pass the ball around the perimeter until one of the outside players is open, who then takes the shot. There are those who say that (other than being able to make the three-point shot) this takes less overall basketball skill.
Last night, Golden State players other than Curry and Thompson were not hitting their three-point shots (collectively 3 for 17), contributing to the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the game 112-97.
What do you think? Is the three-point shot boring? Is it bad for the game?