Is the three-point shot the new slam dunk?

Ever since players were able to dunk the ball into the basket, slam dunks have been an important part of basketball. They are still one of the certain ways to score points, but there is a new trend that is seeing teams go for fewer slam dunks and more risky three-pointers. The three-pointer is not seen as risky as it used to be and the rewards are being reaped by many of the teams in the NBA, but why?

Point guard importance

Ten years ago the NBA was filled with giants, all dunking and making use of their huge frames, but things are changing. Over the past five seasons or so there has been a greater emphasis on skill, and the point guards of most teams are now required to be both playmakers and points scorers.

The issue is that often the more skillful players are the smallest, so how to give them a scoring advantage over others? Drilling three-pointers has made several of the point guards scoring machines in the NBA, and in the past couple of seasons, three-point efforts have increased greatly.

More often it is becoming a case that the team with the most three-pointers are winning the games, unlike times in the past when three-pointers were an added bonus. They have become a critical play on the court, and as well as winning single games, teams that score the most three-pointers are winning playoffs, championships, and the championship.

Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors point guard has become the most influential player in the league. He is regularly battling for the MVP award with LeBron James, but Curry is the player who keeps winning the championship. In the 16-17 season, Curry attempted more three-pointers than teams took on average in the early ‘80s. Curry is throwing more than entire teams were and he’s not the only one.

The Houston Rockets are relying on their own point guard, reigning MVP James Harden, to facilitate the entire team to throw more three-pointers than ever before. The Rockets have been averaging over 40 three-pointer attempts per game, and it has proven to be a great weapon for them.

It is successful

The most successful teams in the NBA over recent seasons have all adapted their games to throw more three-pointers than the others. Those who are changing their playing style to add more three-pointers to their game are becoming the most successful in the entire league.

Teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets all make use of their technical point guards to great effect. Even the typical big guys of the league are getting in on the three-pointer action, and they are neglecting their height in favor of higher value scores.

Basketball has always been a game of skill and athleticism, but in years gone by, athleticism was key. The skill involved in throwing three-pointers is high, which is bringing a new element to the game, one which failing teams need to adapt to or be left behind.