Title: Bucks and Raptors highlight the proliferation of the big-man triple
Date: May 17, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the historic amount of threes likely to be shot by bigs in the Raptors-Bucks series and what has led the NBA to this point.
MILWAUKEE – Brook Lopez is clapping wildly. He has just opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3s, cutting a seven-point Raptors lead to one and putting the visitors on their heels. Fiserv Forum is getting loud in response, the Raptors eschew a timeout and moments later the Bucks have a lead. Later in the quarter, Lopez will deliver another 3, this one a back-breaker that puts the Bucks ahead four with under two minutes to play, a lead they won’t relinquish.
Between the 2003-04 and 2017-18 seasons, the total number of 3-point field goals made in an NBA season doubled. The explosion of the 3-point shot as a weapon is a story that’s been well-told. The math is pretty simple, and with more size, speed and athleticism inside the paint, enterprising teams and players have sought out ways to expand the game and hunt higher-efficiency shots in broader ways. Even in 2018-19, as the league set yet another record for 3-point makes – volume has increased ever year since the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season – the 3-point game continues to evolve, with the floor stretching even further vertically.
Another part of the 3-point expansion is on full display in the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Bucks and Raptors: Big men shooting the 3.