Running the regular offense will work just fine. Why make specific changes to accommodate the three-point shot? Why focus on specific fundamental skills to take advantage of the 3-point shot better? After all, the three are only one part of the basketball game!
If it takes a little convincing to see the need to integrate the 3-point shot into your regular offense and develop players who can take advantage of 3-point shot opportunities, consider the following eight concepts:
- Score in big surges
- To a point, you are never out of a game
- Create an opportunity to catch up in a hurry
- Open up the offense
- Create driving opportunities
- Change how teams defend you
- Creates a fun style of play for the players
- Creates a fun atmosphere for the fans
Score in Big Surges
Basketball is a game of momentum. The 3-point shot can play a significant role in shifting or creating momentum. For example, if the opponent scores six points by making three consecutive 2-point goals, this can create some momentum.
If your team responds with a pair of consecutive 3-point goals, not only has the six points been matched, but how it was accomplished can negate the opponent’s momentum and transfer it to your team.
Because three points are rewarded for a made 3-point field goal, making three or four 3-point shots in a short period scores more points than a comparable number of made 2-point shots. The extra points from the 3-point field goals create a surge in scoring that can snowball into unanswered points.
To a Point, You Are Never Out of a Game
There is a point where a team is so far behind it becomes unlikely the team will be able to score enough points to catch up and take the lead. With the 3-point shot, the number of points a team can fall behind and catch up on becomes greater.
The ability to create momentum, surges, and long unanswered runs by using the 3-point shot makes it possible for teams to stay in games longer and make a comeback even after falling behind by a considerable margin. To put it a different way, significant leads are no longer safe.
Create an Opportunity to Catch up in a Hurry
When trailing in a game, time is always the enemy. The 3-point shot allows more points to be scored for the same number of shots taken from 2-point field goal range, increasing the speed with which a deficit can be overcome.
Combining the increased scoring from the 3-point range with the surges and runs, the 3-point shot can create a significant number of points that can be scored quickly.
Open Up the Offense
With proper spacing, which is always a key component of good offensive play, the 3-point shot will open up the offense, creating more scoring opportunities for post players, penetration, and generally balanced scoring opportunities for all players.
Create Driving Opportunities
The 3-point shot, when combined with good offensive spacing, forces the defense to extend further from the goal than many defensive teams would like, creating more significant gaps in the defense and increasing the distance defenders must travel to provide help against penetration.
The effect of spreading the defense, increasing the distance between defenders, creates more extensive attack lanes for offensive players to dribble penetrate to score or create scoring opportunities for teammates.
Change How Teams Defend You
Teams will be forced to alter their usual strategy and tactics in defending an excellent 3-point offensive team. Teams who usually prefer to play a “pack” style of man-to-man defense, clogging the lane and making post-play difficult, will be forced to extend their defense, opening the lane and making post-defense more difficult.
Teams who prefer a “push” style of aggressive denial man-to-man defense will have to dial back their pressure or be overly vulnerable to dribble penetration. Zone defense teams may have to play man-to-man defense due to the significant gaps now created in the zone defense.
Creates a Fun Style of Play for the Players
The 3-point shot is a fun part of the game. It encourages players to develop their skills to take advantage of the shot. Players who can shoot the three-point shot must develop the ability to penetrate, score, and pass.
Post players must not only be able to score inside but now be able to find and pass to open perimeter shooters. The increased scoring opportunities, often combined with an up-tempo pace, make the game exciting and fun!
Creates a Fun Atmosphere for the Fans
Basketball is a spectator sport. Large, vocal crowds make the game fun for players, fans, and coaches. The 3-point shot, with its ability to create surges in scoring, momentum changes, and the possibility that the team behind can always come back, makes the game more interesting and entertaining for the fans.
The shot itself is exciting when a player scores from such a distance from the goal, and when combined with other plays in the game of basketball, such as the give and go, a fast break, or the dunk, it is one more component of the game that makes it so fan friendly.