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Daryl Morey oversaw the creation of the most 3-point-happy teams in NBA history. He now wants to see fewer 3-pointers.
The Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations had some interesting comments about the 3-pointer during an appearance on the podcast "The Rights to Ricky Sanchez," in which he discussed the rise, impact and future of the shot that now dominates the league.
Specifically, he suggested 3-pointers should be worth only two and a half points.
"We have two of the elite — out of maybe like seven in the NBA — people inside the three-point arc," Morey said. "If you have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and even Tobias [Harris] who's an elite sort of 15-foot-and-in player, you know, you can still win that way, but it's just so rare.
"There's so many more people who can shoot threes wide open than there are who can be efficient 15 feet and in. So... it's just too big of a bonus, right? You wanted the three pointer so people would have to space the floor and get more dynamic play, which has worked, but they just gave it too much, you know. It should be two-and-a-half (points), I mean that's really the bottom line."
We can imagine plenty of teams and players might have an objection to that, though plenty of others — like, say, nearly every big man in the league — would welcome such a change.
Morey later endorsed another suggestion: widening the court to increase the distance for corner 3-pointers, one of the most statistically advantageous shots in basketball:
"I expect that to happen," Morey said. " ... A corner three is basically the same as getting a rim shot, a medium-guarded rim shot, which is sort of insane when you factor in fouls and everything else. So yeah, it's too big of a positive.
"I mean, I would be fine if we could reconstruct arenas, having the court be wider, push the line back and keep the corner three. Well, it's just you'd have to change out arenas and ... I mean, it would take like 25 years."
Despite Sixers' success, it's still a 3-point league
Morey's Sixers currently rank 28th in the league in 3-points attempts per game, despite adding the likes of Seth Curry and Danny Green last offseason. As Morey notes, the team's three biggest stars — Embiid, Simmons and Harris — do most of their damage in the paint rather than from deep.
The Sixers have still managed to thrive despite a lack of 3-pointers, currently leading the Eastern Conference with a 28-13 record, though Embiid's recent knee injury could make them vulnerable.
Prior to his time with the Sixers, Morey was one of the NBA's biggest beneficiaries of the fact that a shot taken from a certain distance counts for one extra point. His Rockets teams dominate the NBA leaderboard for most 3-point attempts in a season, spearheaded by the notorious volume shooter James Harden. For years, the Rockets constructed their teams under the principle that all shots should be taken in the paint, from the 3-point line or at the free throw line if possible, and saw immense success that was ultimately overshadowed by the Golden State Warriors, a team sporting even better 3-point shooters.
The dominance of the 3-pointer has persisted into this season. Six of the eight teams in the NBA with a winning percentage of .619 or better form the league's six top teams in 3-point percentage. The two exceptions: Morey's Sixers and the Los Angeles Lakers, who also have some superstars known for dominating in the paint.
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