The NBA playoff field shows just how important 3-point shooting has become
During the 1984-85 season, in the heart of the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson era, NBA teams averaged 3.1 3-point shots per game and made less than one per game (0.9). Thirty years later things are a lot different and there is no sign of it slowing down.
This season, teams made a whopping 7.8 3-pointers on 22.4 attempts per game. More importantly, as Jason McIntyre of TheBigLead.com pointed out, teams that were better at shooting threes this season were much more likely to make the playoffs.
Of the top 14 teams in 3-point FG%, 13 made the playoffs and the 14th team, the Indiana Pacers, was eliminated on the final day of the season. On top of that, of the three teams to make the playoffs that were not among the top 14 3-point shooting teams, two (Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics) had losing records in the weak Eastern Conference.
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