The Bucks have been on the lower end of teams in terms of how many threes they attempt per game, many people have been critical of this as the NBA continues to emphasize the three point line. So I asked our writers how we improve this, specifically which player will play into the improvement the most.
Tony Snell. Tony Snell’s 3PAR (or percentage of shots that are 3s) was 65.8%. But he only took a fuzz under 7 shots a game and about 4.4 3PA per game. We have seen games last season and this preseason where Snell is seemingly hunting his shot a bit more and the facilitators are looking to get it to him where he can get his attempts way up. This is the Tony Snell I want to see every night this season, running aggressively around screens and setting himself up to catch and shoot. It is not about simply standing in the corner, it is finding the right spots in transition and knowing when to drift when your man collapses. Snell might be a role player, but elevating his attempts from distance could make him an elite role player.
Thon Maker. The Bucks had exactly 0 players last year that finished in the top 50 in 3 pointers attempted per game last year despite having 5 players shooting above 40% behind the arc. Of all the players on the Bucks that could increase their 3 point output, I believe that Thon Maker has the most potential to jack up more 3 point shots per game. Thon shot a lowly 1.3 shots from behind the arc last year, which is very low for a player shooting 37% (I think he can hit 40% of his 3’s this year). I would like to see Thon at around 3.5 3 pointers per game, which hovers around the same amount of 3’s Jabari took last year. While players like Tony Snell and Khris Middleton both could use an increase in 3 point shots they may only have room to add maybe an extra shot per game, whereas Thon could add a healthy two shots extra per game from behind the arc.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. Some people will be shocked when I say that Giannis Antetokounmpo is the number one reason the Bucks will shoot more three’s next season. Before you question everything I say let me explain, it is no secret that Giannis is essentially un-guardable one-on-one when attacking the basket. This forces teams to send multiple defenders to try and stop the Greek Freak from scoring at will. As Giannis’ drive attracts multiple defenders it will always leave someone open on the perimeter, allowing Bucks shooters to have more time to fire off uncontested looks. The Bucks took advantage of this last season as six players shot over 40% from three in the right and left corner. Those spots are important because modern help defense principles mandate those defenders be the ones to help on Giannis’ drives. If Giannis can continue to improve his vision when driving to the lane and trust that his teammates can knock down the open shot, the amount of three point attempts should rise significantly from last season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. One obvious way the Bucks can shoot more threes is Giannis Antetokounmpo getting involved in the catch and shoot game. At many times last season, Giannis received the ball at the top of the key with his defender sagging off him near the lane. He would either reverse the ball, or dribble himself into a pull up midrange jumper. He can improve the Bucks three point attempts by one, taking the catch and shoot three, and two, not using the five to ten seconds dribbling before his shot. By simply taking the shot, Giannis could give the Bucks extra possessions, and thus more three point attempts.