Three is Greater than Two? Not So Fast…

In the advanced analytics era of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the notion is that 3-point field goals and dunks have become the perceived norm. As of the 2019–20 NBA season, 38.2% of field goal attempts have been 3-point tries. Compare this to just 10 seasons ago, when teams attempted a mere 22.2%. Similarly, 28.4% of field goal attempts come from within the restricted area: the 3-foot circular region around the basket. Compare this to 10 years ago, and we see a modest decrease of roughly 4% (from 32.0%). What has dramatically changed over the decade is the midrange jump shot: 32.8% from between 10 feet and the 3-point arc in the 2009–10 season down to 16.9% of attempts during the current season. This line of thinking has been termed as “3 > 2” by many casual viewers.

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