February 25, 2005, Newsletter Issue #203: TO THREE OR NOT TO THREE-THAT IS THE QUESTION

Tip of the Week

Players need to find their range. Some shooters simply have not developed their shot to the point where a three point shot is suggested. If a player has to alter their shooting form to get enough power into the shot at that distance, it certainly is too far to shoot form there.

Players also need to assess their proficiency. Start from close to the basket and shoot several shots. Chart how many are made and missed. Move back a couple of steps and shoot the same number of shots. Continue doing this until the player reaches a point where they cannot shoot without changing their shooting mechanics. Do this over several shooting sessions and the player will see at what point their shooting percentage begins to drop substantially. That should be their shooting range.

You always want good shooters to take open shots. There is a huge difference in shooting percentage (generally over a 40% difference) between wide open shots and heavily contested shots. This can be substantiated by some stats at the following link covering the Sacramento Kings and their FG% when open or contested.

Shooters shoot better when it is an inside out offense. This quote from Mark Cuban found on his blog at
"The (San Antonio)Spurs take the greatest percentage of their 3 pointers from the corner. 56.7 pct of their 3s are corner bound and they hit 40 pct of them for an effective field goal rate of 60 pct! Given they shoot 8 points better from the corner, and their effective field goal rate is higher from the corner than anywhere else on the court other than 5 feet and in, could this be the key to the Spurs offense?

The only team in fact that takes more corner 3 point shots than the Spurs, is the (Phoenix) Suns. They have taken 534 to the Spurs 501. The Suns have hit 41.1%, for an effective FG rate of 61.7% Maybe they have figured out something the rest of us havent..."

This is because the Suns and Spurs offense is built from the inside out, the Spurs by passing into the post to Tim Duncan and the Suns by having Steve Nash penetrate and kick it out to shooters. Of courese once the ball gets inside the key it is usually a good idea to shoot it.

But Dave Arseneault at Grinnell College and several of his colleagues like Gary Smith at the University of Redlands believe that passing the ball outside to a wide open three point shooter, with their feet set and facing the basket is the best shot in the game. After all, that`s how shooters normally practice - a rebounder underneath and passing them the ball. Arseneault has said that his team makes 62% of those 3`s. That`s equivelant to shooting 92% on 2pt shots.

So I suppose that the answer is available strictly in numbers. Evaluate the percentages and IF you have a good Effective Field Goal Percentage and if you are still making enough trips to the free throw line then start shooting!

About LifeTips

Now one of the top on-line publishers in the world, LifeTips offers tips to millions of monthly visitors. Our mission mission is to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Expert writers earn dough for what they know. And exclusive sponsors in each niche topic help us make-it-all happen.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Basketball Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar