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The 3 Point Hoax

By Eze Nwachukwu

Years from now NBA fans are going to wake up thinking “it was all a dream”. Too many fans analysts and front office personnel believe three-point shooting is the best way to win basketball games. As a result, NBA teams have increased the amount of three pointers they take and make every game. This does help create more space and a better pace. Supporters of this game style believe this is the way to win and be successful in the NBA going forward. However, it doesn’t look like the data supports this narrative. The factors that determined an NBA club’s win ratio in 1996-97 season are still the main contributors to winning basketball today. It is possible the invention of PERs and other player metrics have really confused us but the raw box score data on and is clear. I analyzed all the stats from

to see which stat contributes to a higher winning percentage. This led me to the stats in table 1.1 which was collected December 19, 2018. I looked for stats that had the strongest linear relationship with win percentage. For the current 2018 – 2019 season FG%, Op FG %, and Op Reb. are the best determinant of a team’s win percentage. 3-Point shooting didn’t make the cut and it doesn’t contribute to higher win percentage. My research shows a good defense and high percentage field goal still wins ball games. Rule changes have made it more difficult to play defense but it is still the best single determinant of a team’s win percentage.

“He taught us a lot about friendship and all the things you can accomplish as a team.”

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