Which Three NBA Players Should Shoot More Three-Pointers?

Which Three NBA Players Should Shoot More Three-Pointers?

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A few years ago the New York Knicks had one of the best teams in the league that unfortunately lost in six games to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The team was built around Carmelo Anthony offensively, complementing his talents with players that didn’t turn the ball over and could bomb away from three-point range. They jacked up so many that they broke the single season record for most attempts taken by a team with 2,371, beating the Houston Rockets that same season by two attempts.

The funny thing that happened that season was that one of the best shooters on the team flat out refused to shoot. Pablo Prigioni was a favorite of Knicks fans because he did all of the little things right. The one drawback was his timidness from launching away, which even prompted calls for more assertiveness from his superstar teammate.

Teams now shoot from deep on the regular, but some players still don’t get them up quite as often as they should. You could call it the “Prigioni”, if you must. Here are a few players that could benefit their teams and numbers by calling for the ball a bit more when they step back behind the arc. 

Domantas Sabonis

Remember when Sabonis was a part of the Oklahoma City Thunder? It feels like forever ago, but the 23-year-old was once a fresh-faced rookie chucking up three-point attempt after three-point attempt in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The team was so starved for a stretch big option that they essentially turned Sabonis into a one-dimensional catch-and-shoot player. Up until the All-Star break that year, he had taken 35 percent of his shots from deep. For some perspective, Bojan Bogdanovic last season took 36.7 percent of his shots from three-point range. 

The problem was that Sabonis just wasn’t very good at hitting them. His three-point mark of 32.1 percent was below average at his position, and helped perpetuate the constant lack of efficiency the Thunder suffered on the regular. Instead of honing the shot over time he’s nearly abandoned it all together, taking a mere 54 attempts over the past two seasons. 

So why would a player that had such a propensity for taking those shots all of a sudden just stop? Part of the reason is the team he is playing on. The Indiana Pacers are allergic to shooting from beyond the arc as they’ve ranked in the bottom-five in attempts over the past two seasons. Shifting away from a brand of basketball that is becoming all the rage in today’s game has worked for the Pacers as they’ve won 48 games in each of the past two seasons. 

With that being said Sabonis is going to be playing less at center this season, emphasizing his need to add some spacing to the Pacers’ offense. He has gradually become more efficient over the past couple of years, notching a 63 true shooting percentage last season. Pushing his limits to unleashing a few more three-pointers won’t take away from his pleasant high-post game, but it can help give some additional spacing to an intriguing offense. 

E’Twaun Moore

The New Orleans Pelicans have such a deep roster that Moore almost seems like an afterthought. The 30-year-old combo guard has been a solid contributor since signing a four-year, $34 million contract, one of the few 2016 signings that hasn’t become a complete unmitigated disaster. His bread and butter is the three-ball where he has shot over 42 percent over the past two seasons. Only 11 other players have been able to hit that mark for the past two consecutive seasons. All of this sounds good, but as you can tell from the title he probably doesn’t shoot enough.

You guessed right! Moore hasn’t averaged more than four three-pointers per game in a season in his career, an absurd statistic in an age where they are taken at will. On a team that is likely to formulate long range shooting lineups around Zion Williamson, it’ll be imperative that he lets loose. The competition for minutes will make it even tougher for Moore to see court time with the recent shooting guard acquisitions of JJ Redick and Josh Hart. It’ll be essential for Moore to keep up the hot shooting in his contract year after the team drafted Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the first round.

Seth Curry

Reading that a Curry brother doesn’t shoot enough three-pointers may raise some eyebrows, but that has been the case with Seth. He has bounced around the NBA a bit over the past few years, but finally reached a multi-year contract that locks him in with the Dallas Mavericks for the next four seasons. 

Curry doesn’t necessarily have the same problem as the other players on this list. He shoots a fair amount of his shot attempts from deep (about 50 percent for his career), but should be increasing that percentage to even higher levels. He has a career 44 percent shooting percentage from three, which has led to him being in the 89th percentile or higher in his career each season that he has played. That stat shared earlier regarding how Moore is one of only 11 other players to shoot over 42 percent over the past two seasons? Curry would have placed 5th on that list if you counted the past two seasons that he played in (he missed the 2017-18 season due to a stress fracture in his left leg). The Dallas Mavericks should be able to provide Curry with some catch-and-shoot opportunities, a category in which he drained 49.7 percent of his looks. Seth is not Steph, but he should learn to let it fly a bit more frequently like his older brother. 

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