By Travis Duncan
—Oakland, California, double-overtime, the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors combined to shoot 88 three-pointers. Perfectly, symmetrically divided in half, 44-attempts per team.
Golden State, the creme a la creme of modern long distance shooting, made 12, two less than Houston. The Warriors are hard to beat at Oracle, and it took two overtimes for the Rockets to pull off the feat and for one Rockets player to declare post-game “this shows we can compete with anyone.
It became the first time that two NBA teams each attempted 40 or more three-pointers in a single game.
Of course, there’s a philosophical angle.
Charles Barkley said on Inside the NBA on TNT postgame, “The analytics guys will love it.”
The reasoning is not complicated. You shoot more threes you make more threes. You get a chance for offensive rebounds. Also, there’s one fundamental truth: Three is more than two.
There’s also a fundamental debate about what “pretty basketball” is. The grind it out, physical boxing matches, that highlighted the 90s (Think New York Knicks Anthony Mason era) had a certain toughness to them. The modern game (Think Steph Curry and the G’dubs) is so much based on one-on-one and the high-ball screen. The pro game also features at least three to four, if not five players on the floor at all times who will jack of a three point shot. Make no mistake about it though, the three-point shot is dominating all levels of the sport of basketball.
Perhaps one day that thrill will go away, but for now, shooting and making three-pointers is an exciting brand of basketball, even for the NBA.