Daryl Morey, now against the triple: "Distort the game"

One of the fathers of the analytical revolution in basketball criticizes the excess of shots of three: "It is a matter that is going to be debated in the NBA."


It is a fact that the shot of three has become the fundamental weapon of today's basketball. The outside launch is no longer a resource and is the pillar of attacks that are increasingly built in terms of efficiency: for its value and in the current percentages, the triple capitalizes the game together with the points added under the rim in a basketball that More and more repudiates the shot of two as it moves away from the rim, the closer it is to the own line of three and the production is lower for a score as difficult or more than just a little further back.

It's difficult to build a title contender in the current NBA without having a good exterior weaponry. The annotations are very high and you can't keep up if it doesn't happen with continuity. The 2020 Lakers were champions without being an elite team in that section. But they established themselves as a rare bird thanks to having two generational talents like Anthony Davis and the now legendary LeBron James.

There is a cataract of data and statistics that show this turnaround. Ten years ago, the Magic were the NBA's top 3-pointer at 25.6 per night. Now, the Cavaliers are the least trying ... with 28. Four teams shoot more than 40 triples per game, the most (43) Utah Jazz, the one with the best balance of the season so far. Those shots have not taken the place of attempts near the rim, the best-percentage actions, but of the suspension of two points: in the 1997-98 season, that of Michael Jordan's last ring, 52.6% of the shots were suspensions (medium distance or triple). Now that data is 51.6%. So what has happened is that the shot of two has been delayed by three times, in some cases with a real sensation of allergy between some teams and with matches that seem like an outside shooting contest in which the one who simply hits the most wins.

There are fans pissed off with this style of basketball. And, interestingly, Daryl Morey has assured, on the Dan Le Batard podcast, that he thinks largely like them. Morey is considered the great architect of the triple revolution, one of the key personalities to interpret the revolution of advanced statistics in the NBA and the massification of the shooting of three.PROFILE | Daryl Morey, the crazy NBA engineer

“A lot of people don't like the basketball that is played now. And I empathize with them. It's basic: when they created the three-point line, that shot became worth three. And the bottom line is that it's worth too much. Distort the game. And he does it to such an extent that there is finally only one way to be a good team, and that is by maximizing that resource. It is a great challenge for the NBA, and I think it will be something that will be debated in the League in the next three to seven years, ”says Morey, who now directs the Sixers' offices, where in his first season has the team in first place in the East.

“One of the things that NBA offices have to realize is that teams are getting smarter. There are exceptions, and they are mocked by the press. But in general, teams are smarter in their planning. Work, our work, is to win. And what you are going to do is optimize the pieces you have according to the rules of the game. So from the offices of the League they have to be more active, more than they are being. Competitions need to adapt their rules and regulations to ensure that the teams have the type of game that is considered optimal and that is enjoyed. In the NBA, the NFL, the MLB ... the rules cannot be static, they have to be highly adaptable ”, concludes the executive who built a radical team in terms of his proposal in the Houston Rockets, with Mike D'Antoni as coach and James Harden as a star.

Between 2015 and 2018, Morey and Harden's Rockets broke the NBA record for percentage of shots attempted from beyond the line of three four times (39% of total, 46%, 50% and 52%). That 39% that was a record in the 2014-15 season is now below the League average in this 2020-21 season. Morey is now seeking the title in Philadelphia with a more old-school style and a team based on a dominant center, Joel Embiid, and a playmaker as particular as Ben Simmons, who has no outside shooting at all. Of course, the quintet is completed by three with good wrist: Tobias Harris and two specialists acquired by Morey before this season, Danny Green and Seth Curry.

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