Daryl Morey says 3-pointers worth too much: ‘It skews the game’
Daryl Morey’s Rockets set NBA records for percentage of their shots coming from beyond the 3-point arc in 2014-15 (39%), 2016-17 (46%), 2017-18 (50%) and 2018-19 (52%)
That system (which also emphasizes shots at the rim and free throws) became known as Moreyball and spread throughout the league. This season, the league-wide 3-point rate is higher than Houston’s record-breaking mark in 2014-15.
Morey on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” produced by Mike Ryan:
Morey is right: Teams should do whatever they can within the rules to win. Leagues should proactively adjust the rules to create the desired system.
But fans generally like the NBA game as it’s played today.
Yes, 3-pointers have become an essential element. But Morey is being reductionist when saying there’s only one path to being a good team. In this same interview, Morey – now the 76ers’ president – lauds Ben Simmons’ ability to set up 3-pointers even though Simmons nearly never shoots them himself. Even as all teams seek 3-pointers, each team does so with a unique style.
Plus, 3-pointers have generally replaced 2-point jumpers – not shots at the rim.
Seth Partnow of The Athletic:
In 1997-98, 52.6% of NBA shot attmempts were jumpers (midrange or 3). So far this season, that percentage is 51.6%.— Anchorage Man (@SethPartnow) March 10, 2021
There’s minimal aesthetic difference between a long 2-pointer and a 3-pointer. Really, 3-pointers are probably more thrilling.
As the NBA continues to embrace 3-pointers, they could become too ubiquitous. The league should consider moving back the arc or other solutions for down the road.
But there’s a far more pressing issue that invites the type of good-for-the-sport rule change Morey advocates: tanking.