Daily 49er

The past, present and future of the three-pointer

Stephen Curry’s incredible NBA Finals performance paints a brighter future for the three-point shot.

Stephen+Curry+made+nine+three-pointers+Sunday+night+which+set+the+new+NBA+Finals+record+of+most+made+three-pointers+in+a+game.
Stephen Curry made nine three-pointers Sunday night which set the new NBA Finals record of most made three-pointers in a game.

Stephen Curry made nine three-pointers Sunday night which set the new NBA Finals record of most made three-pointers in a game.

Keith Allison

Keith Allison

Stephen Curry made nine three-pointers Sunday night which set the new NBA Finals record of most made three-pointers in a game.

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Sunday night saw Stephen Curry break another NBA record by hitting 9 three-pointers in game two of the NBA Finals. He surpassed Ray Allen, who held the previous record of eight three-pointers in game two of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Curry finished the night with 9-for-17 shooting from beyond the arc, an efficient number. But what is most impressive is the fact that he shot 1-for-5 from three in the first quarter.

Michael Jordan’s 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls attempted a little less than 25 threes in its whole finals run. The Warriors took 36 Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Every time Curry shoots a wild deep three that cleanly swishes in, the game evolves. Whenever I go to the park, I see young children attempting deep threes, even when they don’t have the strength to pull it off.

The new generation has begun to practice these types of shots seriously at a very young age. And with teams like the Houston Rockets basing their whole system around shoot the three — it’s time to look back at where it all began.

The 1979-1980 NBA season changed the league forever. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird got drafted into the league, but ratings were plummeting and something had to be done. The answer: create a three-point shot. It made a lot of sense. Three is more than two, and the shot had perfect risk or reward value to it. Yes, the shot is a lot harder than one from midrange or even a dunk, but team’s would reap the benefits if shots began to fall from distance. It changed the whole dynamic of the game and created what we have today, but many were not fond of the idea.

The New York Times’s season preview called the shot a “gimmick” in its headline and twice in the first two paragraphs. Coaches and president’s did not want their players to throw up bomb’s because it was “boring.” Teams averaged less than three attempts that year, but today the NBA averages 29 attempts per game.

Personally, I love the three-point shot. It creates a fun offense that involves a lot of ball movement, setting screens and encourages unique off-ball movement.

Defenses are forced to adapt and switch and skilled play is more rewarded than ever. The old “big man” way of playing in the post is a game that I admire, and it is sad to see it fade away everyday but the league has always been an adaptive one.

I’m sure twenty years from now, the game will continue to develop into something new. Who knows, you might see an abundance of Shaquille O’Neal-size players running the offense and pulling up from deep. It’s a funny to imagine, but the truth is that it could really happen. It might sound unreal, but eventually a four-point shot could be created if things start to get out of hand.

Steph Curry continues to change the landscape of the NBA with his record breaking shooting. He may go down as the greatest shooter of all time, until one of the Shaq sized shooters surpasses him one day.

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