I’d love for someone to explain why teams first of all attempt that many heaves—most of them dry— from that distance, particularly since many of them are attempted with lots of time left on the clock and (when missed) trigger fast breaks the other way since the long rebounds that three pointers create are fielded by the fastest players on the court (opposing guards) who are usually positioned around the free throw line poised to head the other way.
This approach makes no sense no matter how you look at it.
In the context of last night’s game against the Cavs, the Clippers were never 100 points behind. So there was never a need to fire so many low percentage shots in the first place. It would have been smarter for the Clippers’ players to work themselves in a bit closer to the basket—even five to seven feet—(something I thought sure the best PG in basketball would have figured out at some point) and begin their offense from THERE. I’m not saying that this lunacy is unique to the Clippers; regrettably, EVEYONE DOES IT these days. But equally disturbing, hardly anyone in the media, or among the fans, coaches, or players themselves ever bothers to question it—as though with a silent, but collective, shrug everyone just thinks that this is just the way things have to be until somebody wakes up, locates their “Y” chromosome and reverses the trend back to the way basketball used to be played when Earvin Johnson, George Gervin, Walt Frazier and Dave Bing, et al, directed offenses—namely: TAKE THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE SHOT each time down the floor and let the chips fall where they may.
I’m convinced that (along with wet-behind-the-ears players who spend a year or two in college and are forced to learn on the job in the pros) this is one reason so few teams in the past 25 years ever tally 115 points or more in a game, whereas that used to be almost commonplace. They just don’t know how to play offensive basketball. There are other reasons—like the sad fact that there are no true 5’s left in the league other than Andrew Bynum to dump the ball into who actually have the ability to do something with the ball whenever a team’s perimeter game falls apart. But he’s got fragile knees and—for much of his career—a fragile head to match. So who knows how long even he’ll be around….
Yes, I pine for the days when basketball was played the way the Celtics from the mid 60’s through the mid 80’s, the Knicks during the 70’s and the Lakers when coach-on-the-floor Earvin Johnson manned the point. But I’m sure those days are not only gone, but unlikely to return.
Indeed, if today’s game has become the New Normal, you can have it…
Filed under: NBA