Create
Notifications

"A lot of times if you get to the rim and there's help coming, you throw that thing out and shoot the three" - Former NBA coach highlights change in approach around the rim, cites finals as an example

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors passes out of the paint during Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors passes out of the paint during Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Kunal Sethi

The NBA has seen a drastic change in shot attempts over the last few years. Steph Curry's shooting brilliance triggered a 3-point revolution, where every team started to prioritize shooting over low-post dominance.

Several players and coaches have blamed analytics for favoring the 3-point shot, while some outright blame Curry for "ruining the game."

However, the science behind these changes is pretty simple. Former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy explained the reason, as reported by Sports Illustrated's Michael Pena:

"Instead of challenging people at the rim, a lot of times if you get to the rim and there's help coming you throw that thing out and shoot the three. That approach has certainly changed."
There’s no simple way to explain why shots at the rim are not dropping in the NBA playoffs trib.al/IYlLaev

A wide-open layup will get you the same points as a contested mid-range jump shot. Why not space the floor and attempt a 3-pointer just a few feet behind? The spacing opens up the paint and gives more high-quality looks from both the arc and the rim.

Mid-range scoring has practically disappeared in the NBA. Drives to the rim are now primarily used for collapsing the defense for a kick-out pass to the perimeter.

The Boston Celtics Grant Williams believes the changes in the NBA's shot selection make the league great. He essentially agreed with Stan Van Gundy and said:

"The dynamics of the league changed. The rules have changed. Spacing has changed. Players have changed. You have talent that not only can space the floor but also create and get to the paint.
"But most of those times when you do, they’re so focused on defending it, that leads to open threes and kick-out opportunities. ... It’s part of, I feel like, what makes the league great."

A 3-pointer after a kick-out pass is more likely to be open or wide-open compared to a three off a screen or off the dribble. After a successful drive to the basket, the defense is bound to collapse in the paint. This leaves at least one shooter open beyond the arc.

Golden State Warriors stars believe Steph Curry brought the change in the NBA

(L-R) Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
(L-R) Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Many people want to blame Steph Curry for "ruining the game." However, the two-time NBA MVP recently got it off his chest that he isn't responsible for players attempting ill-advised shots.

He was a guest on the "Knuckleheads Podcast" and used the platform as an opportunity for a public service announcement, saying:

"Stop tagging me in all these horrible basketball clips of people taking bad shots, telling me I ruined the game. I did not tell you to shoot that shot."

If no one pretends to be Steph Curry, then the game is not ruined after all. The shots that the "greatest shooter in NBA history" can make are not similar to what everyone else can make.

Andre Iguodala believes his Golden State Warriors teammate Curry is responsible for the hype around the 3-point shot. He hopes that rim attempts will improve over the years. As reported by SI, Iguodala said:

"There's just more emphasis on shooting threes. I guess that's taken away the aggression to get to the basket. ... I don't know, it's just the way it's trending with the rules, and hopefully it gets back to where you can see guys finishing more at the basket."

Draymond Green agreed with coach Van Gundy and his teammate Iguodala. Green added that improved rim protection and athleticism are also a factor in the increased shot attempts from distance.

He reminded everyone of the "Steph Curry" effect, saying:

"I think there's an increased priority in protecting the paint because three-point shooting is so good. It goes back to the Steph Curry effect. If you can constantly get into someone's paint, then the world opens up.
"Then I [also] think the game is just much more athletic than it was before... the overall length of guys in this league, it just makes it so much tougher to get to the rim and finish. I think that's a huge change in this game."

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Did Steph Curry ruin or improve the game?

Ruin

Improve

38 votes so far

Edited by Adam Dickson

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...