Three or Dunk Baby!!!! Future of Basketball?

Posted: January 31, 2017 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2016-17

Leave it to the Wall Street Journal to come up with one of the most controversial  changes coming to basketball.  Three or Dunk Baby!!!!!

The Basketball Team That Never Takes a Bad Shot

The NBA’s most efficient offenses seek out layups and threes. A high school in Minnesota takes the idea to the extreme.


PINE CITY, Minn.—Jake Rademacher made a mid-range jumper in a recent high-school basketball game. But as soon as the ball left his hands, even before it banked in, Rademacher knew it was a bad shot. And his team doesn’t take bad shots.

Pine City High School seeks out only the most valuable shots in basketball: from underneath the rim or beyond the 3-point line. They play as if they’re allergic to all the space in between.

On the night that Rademacher accidentally made his shot from the mid-range, Pine City attempted 64 field goals, and 62 were layups or threes. It was a remarkably ordinary game for the Dragons. Mid-range shots—the sport’s least efficient—account for only 4.2% of Pine City’s attempts. That’s lower than any NBA team or Division-I men’s college team and likely every high-school team in the nation.

“In all honesty,” said Pine City coach Kyle Allen, “that’s even higher than we want it to be.”

A high school basketball team in Pine City, Minn., almost exclusively shoots 3-pointers and layups—the game’s most valuable shots. Here’s a look at attempts and scores by the Dragons in a recent game. Photo: Angela Jimenez for The Wall Street Journal

Pine City has become so obsessed with efficiency that its players don’t bother looking at the basket if they’re not in the paint or behind the arc. It can be jarring to watch them play this way. But it’s why this high-school team in rural Minnesota might be the future of basketball.

The understanding of how basketball shots are valued has radically shifted in recent years and upended strategy at every level of the game. It explains why the sport has evolved in favor of players who can make 3-pointers and teams built around taking advantage of high-percentage shots. It also suggests where the sport is going—except the Pine City Dragons are already there.

Like the savviest college and NBA teams, Pine City studied the numbers, realized that certain shots are worth more than others and changed its game plan to take as many of those shots as possible. In a perfect game, they would only take those shots.

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