Saturday, July 31, 2010 Blog: Biggest Yearly Declines in 3-Point Attempts

Continuing the evolution of this blog into an annotated edition of the Blog's RSS feed, I share this item from Neil Paine regarding Josh Smith refusing to shoot three-pointers last season (During the regular season* at least.):
Among players who played at least 2000 MP in back-to-back seasons, Smith was actually the very first player in NBA history to go from taking 80+ 3-pointers to taking under 10 the following year (the previous record for fewest 3PA the year after an 80-attempt season was Derrick McKey in 1990, who went from taking 89 to taking 23). This was a very good thing for both Smith and the Hawks -- by cutting back on his threes, he turned into a more efficient player (109.4 ORtg vs. 103.5 in 2009), a more willing passer (he passed on 57% of his touches instead of 43%), a better offensive rebounder (9.0 ORb% vs. 6.5 in 2009), and the Atlanta offense improved to become the NBA's 2nd-best during the regular season.
Just think how effective Smith could be offensively if he eliminates the 240 long two-point jump shots or gets back to being a 70% free throw shooter.

*Smith went from attempting 1 three-pointer for every 143 field goal attempts in the 2009-10 regular season to attempting 1 three-pointer for every 21.5 field goal attempts in the 2009-10 playoffs. Over the last three regular seasons, Smith has attempted 1 three-pointer for every 15.4 field goal attempts. Seriously. In the playoffs, he's attempted 1 three-pointer for every 9.6 field goal attempts. It's not just Joe Johnson who takes what the playoff defenses quite willingly give.

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