Gregg Popovich's 3-point comments vs league averages vs the Warriors

Gregg Popovich's 3-point comments vs league averages vs the Warriors

Programming note: Watch Friday night's Warriors-Bucks game streaming live at 5:00 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

NBA teams are shooting 3-pointers at historic numbers -- but you already knew that. And you also probably know that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich isn't a fan of the increased volume.

“These days there’s such an emphasis on the 3 because it’s proven to be analytically correct,” Popovich said last week. “Now you look at a stat sheet after a game and the first thing you look at is the 3s. If you made 3s and the other team didn’t, you win. You don’t even look at the rebounds or the turnovers or how much transition (defense) was involved. You don’t even care. That’s how much an impact the 3 shot has and it’s evidenced by how everybody plays.

“I hate it, but I always have. I’ve hated the 3 for 20 years. That’s why I make a joke all the time (and say) if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a four-point play. Because if everybody likes the 3, they’ll really like the 4. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There’s no basketball anymore, there’s no beauty in it. It’s pretty boring. But it is what it is and you need to work with it.”

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The funny thing is -- Steve Kerr played for Popovich and the Warriors currently rank 19th in 3-point attempts (29.5), while the Spurs shoot the second fewest (24.4).

NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh decided to put Popovich's comments to the test, so he dove into the numbers. After analyzing the box score for every single game this season (through last Sunday), here is what he found when it comes to the win-loss record of teams that "won" each stat:

Here's the W-L record of teams that "won" the stat in the box score.

So basically, simply making more 3-pointers isn't the most important statistic that determines winning or losing. However, shooting better than your opponent from distance is pretty dang important.

Are these numbers representative of the Warriors? Let's take a look at 3-point shooting, with the important caveat of Steph Curry's availability:

-When Curry plays this season, the Warriors are 10-2 when they shoot better than their opponent from deep -- an 83.3 winning percentage, which is about nine points higher than the league average.
-When Curry plays this season, the Warriors are 8-2 when they make more 3-pointers than their opponent -- an 80.0 winning percentage, which is 16 points higher than the league average
-Without Curry this season, the Warriors are 3-1 when they shoot better than their opponent from deep -- a 75.0 winning percentage, which is essentially the league average.
-Without Curry this season, the Warriors are 1-1 when they make more 3-pointers than their opponent -- a 50.0 winning percentage, which is 14 points below league average.

(Another important caveat -- Draymond Green was out for nine of the 11 games Curry has missed this season, which obviously has a negative impact on the Warriors)

As you can see, the Warriors shot better than the opposition from distance only four times and made more triples only twice when Curry was not in uniform. Without him, they went just 5-6 and struggled to generate points from beyond the arc.

So how about this for a main takeaway: When Curry plays -- whether they're making 3-pointers or not -- the Warriors win a lot more than they lose, and Curry is really good at the sport we call "basketball." 

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

NBA rumors: Warriors' Kevon Looney possible Rockets free-agent target

NBA rumors: Warriors' Kevon Looney possible Rockets free-agent target

Warriors big man Kevon Looney will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday. And unlike last summer, Golden State will have to give the 23-year-old more than the minimum to re-sign him.

There will be a market for Looney, and the Houston Rockets are expected to be a suitor.

As Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote on Tuesday night:

As it stands, [the Rockets] have no cap room and are limited to the midlevel exception (annual salary starting at $5.7 million).

A source with knowledge of the Rockets’ plans said Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb, Al-Farouq Aminu, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez and Kevon Looney are also possible targets.

The Dubs have Looney's full bird rights and can give him a max contract if they wanted. That obviously won't be happening, but the point is they aren't limited financially in terms of what they can offer like they were last summer.

In Golden State's memorable Game 6 win in Houston last month, Looney recorded 14 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 20 minutes.

The No. 30 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft sustained a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture on the right side of his chest during Game 2 of the Finals in Toronto. His expected recovery time is six to eight weeks, which means Looney should be at full strength when training camp opens up in late September.

You should expect the Warriors to make it a priority to re-sign him.

“Looney has become one of our foundational pieces," Golden State head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on May 22.

And now, they're going to have to show him the money.

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Kevin Durant all smiles roaming around New York after Achilles surgery


Kevin Durant all smiles roaming around New York after Achilles surgery

Kevin Durant isn't expected to play in any NBA games next season, but he's not letting that dampen his mood.

Nearly two weeks after having surgery to repair his right Achilles tendon, Durant is up and roaming around New York City with the assistance of a knee walker.

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Tony Durant, Kevin's brother, posted that image Tuesday evening of them walking around SoHo.

Immediately after the Golden State Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant flew to New York City and had Dr. Martin O'Malley perform the Achilles surgery.

With the start of free agency just days away, rumors have started swirling about Durant's mindset as he approaches his big decision.

On Monday, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported that Durant was "pissed" with the Warriors for their role in his injury. But a day later, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there is no such rift between Durant and the Warriors.

[RELATED: Two teams have backed off Durant]

Based on the new image, Durant appears to be in good spirits.

We'll find out in the next few days if Durant will bring that smile back to the Bay Area for the next five years, or if it will stay in New York City for the next four.