Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Challenged 3s

Part of the rationale for a reliance on the three-point shot is that is counts half again as much as those inside the arc, which is true. However, if you watch games, there is an inordinate number of shots from outside that are freebies - unchallenged shots where the shooter is wide open. I am not enough of an Xs and Os man to know if that is at least partially by design because of needing the defenders on that side of the court to cheat to the inside to help.

Further, the argument is made that you only need to shoot 33% from the arc to equal the point production of 50% shooting from inside the arc. And that is true - IF you totally leave free throws out of the equation.

But, given the inordinate (it seems to me) number of wide-open threes that are shot these days, a question I would like to have answered is the relative shooting percentage of challenged and wide open threes. How much does the average shooting percentage from the arc drop if the defender is at least there and trying to challenge the shot? I suspect that major college coaches know that number, but sometimes the defense played by their teams doesn't reflect that fact.

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