|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 11, 2013 at 12:50 AM|
I knew something was a bit odd when Jared Sullinger attempted two three-pointers during the Knicks game Wednesday night. Sullinger only attempted five three-pointers last year in 45 games. I know Sully stroke it well for Ohio State, but I personally want him on the block, or shooting no more than 15-17 feet out.
That's why when it came to having a 3-point shooting drill on Thursday, Brad Stevens didn't hesitate to have the entire team participate.
Veteran Gerald Wallace said the only team he played for where he remembers something like that happening was in Sacramento.
So when he heard Stevens invite the entire team to participate, he was surprised.
"It did, but we have pretty good shooting bigs," Wallace told reporters at the Celtics' practice facility prior to heading off for the preseason game Friday against Philadelphia that will be played at the University of Delaware. "All our bigs, even Vitor Faverani, can shoot threes. Those guys can spread the floor so it doesn't surprise me that our bigs do the shooting that they do."
While Stevens said not to read too much into the team-wide 3-point shooting contest, there's no mistaking the value that his team will have to place on the 3-ball this year.
Boston doesn't have the size to pound the ball inside often, so scoring for the Celtics has to be generated via slashing to the basket and of course, the 3-point shot.
And while it's still early in the preseason, that practice is indeed being put to use in games and will likely continue throughout the regular season.
The inclusion of big men into the 3-point shooting equation might help explain what's expected to be a sharp rise in 3-point shot attempts under first-year coach Stevens.
In Boston's first two preseason games, the Celtics took 24 3-pointers in each.
That is a significant departure from the 3-point shooting under his predecessor, Doc Rivers.
In his nine seasons with the Celtics, Rivers-coached teams in Boston never shot more than 19.1 three-pointers per game in a single season and never ranked any better than 12th in the league in 3s taken per game. Both of those statistics came in the team's 2008 championship run.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley sees the team's use of the 3-point shot simply playing to what is one of the team's strengths.
"We have stretch fours [power forwards] and fives [centers] that shoot the ball pretty well," Bradley said. "So I think we are going to shoot a lot of threes this year."
The roster currently has decent three-point shooters. Jeff Green led the team with .385% from three-point land last year. Courtney Lee finished 5th on the roster last year with .372% from beyond the arc. I can't say that I'm thrilled that the C's are jacking up 3's. I know the league seems to be going that way, but why do the Celtics need to conform to that. I was impressed with Kris Humphries in the post against New York.
The Celtics did post 40 points in the paint Wednesday night. Will see if the three-point bomb trend continues. I think when Rondo returns, that the three-point percentage will improve.