As has been noted, the trend in the NBA is for more three point shooting from more positions. Nowadays, teams needs stretch-4s, they need perimeter players of all types who can shoot from deep, and everyone wants to keep pace with the Golden State Warriors. It's a fact of NBA life.
After last night's game - a contest in which the Raptors and the Suns shot a combined 56 threes - many reflected on the Raptors' current three-point shooting state. Both TSN's Josh Lewenberg and the National Post's Eric Koreen penned articles cataloguing the changes in the Raptors and in basketball philosophy. (Have a read.)
Now, the franchise leader for the Raptors in made 3s remains Morris Peterson - he led the team in makes for three non-consecutive years. Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, is hard charging at the record. He's got 475 as of today, and given the rate at which he's taking and making them this season (almost three of almost seven a game, good for 41.9 percent efficiency), it feels inevitable Lowry will take the lead.
The Raptors as a team, however, may actually shoot less three pointers this year than the last two years, when Toronto put up 1,917 and 2,060 threes. Currently, the team averages just shy of 22 attempts per game (21.9) which, if that rate holds, would be good for 1,799 threes for the season. This puts them in the bottom third in the league in threes attempted (and threes made, incidentally), though the Raps are currently ninth in 3-point efficiency. Will things change? The team's percentage is up to 36.5 percent (from 35.2 percent last season), but that remains to be seen.
Some other random 3-point Raptors facts:
- The 82-game season low for the franchise in 3s is 345 on 1,091 attempts in 2010-11. Andrea Bargnani led the team that year with 77 makes. You're not going to believe this but, the Raptors were 22-60 that year.
- Best shooting season for Toronto? That'd be 2007-08 when the team shot 39.2 percent from deep. Turns out having Jason Kapono (and his 48.5 percent shooting from deep) helps this stat immensely.
- Most makes and attempts in a season goes to Lowry, who put up 500 threes in 2013-14 and made 190 of them. Second place goes to Peterson with 177 back in 2005-06.
- My favourite thing I learned doing this research: Linas Kleiza (!!!) led the Raptors in three pointers made in the lockout shortened 66-game season of 2011-12. He had 62 of them and I triple-checked this stat to make sure.
So, will Lowry break the single season record (he set) for most threes taken and made this season? Will the Raptors set a new franchise high in three pointers? (A question that seems predicated on whether Terrence Ross will come alive.) Will Dwane Casey and the rest of the NBA's coaches continue to have their teams just let fly?
What do you guys think?