Looking at the NBA current leaders in three point shooting percentage, you can’t help but notice a few things. First, the top ten shooters percentages are separated by 5% (46.9 – 41.9%) and that you have to go down to the twenty-seventh shooter on the list before you get to someone who is shooting below 40% (min 141 attempts is the fewest). Ther are also players who are not shy about letting the ball fly three to five feet behind the arc as well.
With such success the question arises as to whether the three point line should be moved back again to make the shot harder?
Henry Abbott (of True Hoop and now ESPN’s NBA editor) along with the sites Hoops Idea have presented an idea of placing a second arc at twenty eight feet away that would give the scoring team four points.
They brought the question up to Rod Thorn, the NBA’s Vice President of Basketball Operations and apparently, Thorn didn't think the idea was ludicrous at all, seemed intrigued and said the idea has come up in league discussions. He also said there are several players that can shoot the ball from 30 feet away without issue.
Since then, NBA spokesman and PR chief Tim Frank has declined that there have been any serious discussions about a four-point shot or expanding the size of the floor. However, at some point, the three-point shot and line had to be created and its interesting to think of how this would affect the game.
The creation of this shot would benefit the offensive team in a couple facets of the game.
With the defense having to cover more ground to either get back to their man or cover more ground for their rotation, players hanging around on the perimeter, offensive players will have more open looks.
This shot would help increase the value of an inside game as well. A team with a big man who can pass will be one step ahead of the defense by having more room in the paint and make the double teams easier to see and be able to get the ball out to the perimeter shooters. This reluctance will give them more room to work in the paint as well. Imagine how much damage either Tim Duncan or Tiago Splitter could inflict on the block without having someone running at them in order to get the ball out of their hands?
The shot will help by making games more watchable. A five point lead becomes less formidable. Now trailing teams will need to play defense longer instead of turning the game into a free throw shooting contest.
Matt Bonner used to regularly shoot from the three-point line all the way out to halfcourt in pre-game warmups, so he'd likely benefit from the addition.
How about the idea of Patty Mills or three-point champion Marco Belinelli raining 4s in the AT&T Center?