In some ways, NBA basketball has become a volume game. You can score more points on fewer shots if you make a lot of 3 points, and as a result, the average number of 3 point attempts per game has almost doubled over the past 10 years, from 18.4 per game in 2011-12 at a record 35.5 per game this season.
If teams have been shooting around 35% what they have, give or take, since the early 1990s, it makes sense to let it fly from a 3 point range as much as possible. The problem is, however, that the numbers tend to hold for an entire season. This means that on any given night, you can be warm and shoot 60% deep, or, as the Boston Celtics found out on Wednesday night, you can get freezing cold.
In Wednesday’s 91-82 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Celtics scored 4 for 42 (9.5%) at 3 points, marking the second-worst 3-point shooting night in NBA history. for a team with at least 40 attempts. the only worse performance came from the Houston Rockets, who went 4 for 45 from long distance in a 133-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last February.
Both teams were shorthanded on Wednesday, with the Celtics without Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schroder and Enes Kanter Freedom, among others, and the Clippers without Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum, in addition to Kawhi Leonard, who didn’t still played. this season. Here is the breakdown of the Celtics’ 3-point shot of the historically freezing night:
Weft. Maybe Grant Williams should have gone for a bit more?
Interestingly enough, Clippers guard Luke Kennard scored more than 3 points (five) than the entire Celtics squad. You might also think it had to be the Celtics’ worst shooting performance of the season, but it isn’t. They notched the worst 3-point percentage of any team this season when they went 2 for 26 (7.7%) against the Wizards in October.
It’s remarkable that despite the poor shot, Boston was still within striking range in the dying minutes on Wednesday night. When the Rockets had their record-breaking dry night, they lost almost 50 points. The Celtics were down four with just over a minute to go.
It was the third straight loss for the Celtics, who are now 16-19 this season and face losing their playing position. Over the season, Boston has achieved 34% of their 3 points, good for the 22nd in the NBA. Assuming the Celtics get 42 points higher at 3 points in Friday night’s game against the Suns, they would need to hit 25 for 42 (59.5%) in order to hit an average of 34% over the two games. Careful, Phoenix.