The three-point shot is more valuable than ever in today’s NBA. Just ask the two NBA Finals participants last year, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both teams shot and made a crazy number of threes which propelled them to the last round of the playoffs.
As with all sports leagues, success gets copied in short order by the teams that are less successful. Not everyone can become good at these skills overnight though. How do teams improve on skills like three-point shooting?
By adding talent through either the draft or free agency.
Here are three teams that are poised to drill an increased number of attempts from behind the arc:
Dwyane Wade was Mr. 305, but now, he plays in the Windy City. Where does that leave the Heat? With Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside and a bunch of perimeter guys left over. That sounds like a good thing with the presence of Goran Dragic and his pick and roll prowess.
One problem, South Beach was terrible at shooting from behind the line last season. They only made 34.5 percent of their wide-open looks. However, There is some good news on Biscayne Boulevard.
The club has brought in some much needed shooting help in veterans like Wayne Ellington and Dion Waiters. Tyler Johnson is back with the team and free to soak up the minutes created by The Flash’s departure. Look for them to be a better shooting team this year.
Los Angeles Lakers
Byron Scott was notoriously against three-point tries in his tenure as Lakers coach. He wanted to play to the strengths of their aging star in Kobe Bryant. Now, with Kobe gone, and Scott gone with him, they can enter a more modern playstyle.
Luke Walton is the new head man. He will install a system similar to the one in place while he was the assistant coach in Golden State. D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram will have a chance to show their skills without worrying about the Mamba’s touches.
Speed and athleticism will be one of the only weapons that the young squad can count on in this upcoming season. The NBA’s golden franchise might not win that many more games, but they will be exciting to watch, and after last season that should make all the difference.
The Jazz are a dark horse pick for playoff contention among many fans of the league. They have a mix of youth, defensive prowess and intriguing young players that have a lot of eyes trained on Salt Lake City. Last year they had a bevy of shooters but only connected on 38.3 percent of their chances.
They only lost Trey Burke in the offseason and added some great veteran shooters in Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw. The real coup of their offseason was snagging George Hill who morphed into a deep jumper draining machine last year in Indiana.
So with all those additions, it is easy to see why so many are high on the young nucleus in Utah. You have to play the games but things are going to look better for all these teams moving forward.