Is The Three-Point Shot The New, Better Slam Dunk?

Over the last ten years, we’ve seen teams rely more and more heavily on their three-point shooting. What was once considered a low-percentage shot is now the go-to for many teams but is the three-point shot replacing the slam dunk?

Is The Three-Point Shot The New, Better Slam Dunk?

Stephen Curry

The first thing we should mention is how much of an impact that Steph Curry has had on the change of team’s attitudes toward three-point shots. Curry is such a sharpshooter that the Golden State Warriors can rely on him to score from well outside the arch on multiple occasions.

His success from three-point shot range has led to the Warriors’ most dominant period in their history. Coaches are always going to see a team that’s having success and try to emulate it, that’s why more and more shooters will enter the league.

College Basketball

Curry’s success has inspired so many kids to hone their shooting skills. They now know that they don’t need to be the biggest guy to have success and if they can prove to be a threat from distance, then teams will want them. Many college programs are now specifically looking to add shooters to their rosters.

Villanova has become one of the most successful college teams in recent seasons, and it’s all thanks to their reliance on shooting from three-point territory. The college attempted almost 50% of their field goals from three-point range, sinking 40% of them and becoming national champions. There is proof that shooting from range is effective.

Is The Three-Point Shot The New, Better Slam Dunk?

Losing The Dunks?

With so much reliance on three-point shots, is there a danger we could lose dunking? Not really because it’s still a guaranteed two points. What we are seeing less often is the mid-range field goals.

Coaches are discouraging their players from shooting for two when they could take a step back and earn an extra point. The reward is worth the risk for coaches, but not inside the arch, so mid-rangers are less common than ever. Shots from above the break have replaced the more common mid-ranger from 20 years ago.

Basketball is currently divided into two kinds of plays. Either players are making a beeline to get to the paint and ram the ball home with a dunk, other hanging back and shooting from beyond the arch. Dunks are sticking around, but the mid-range is becoming a play of the past.