Phil Jackson says he likes three pointers, but relationship appears complicated
Remember is the second round when Knicks president Phil Jackson tweeted this:
NBA analysts give me some diagnostics on how 3pt oriented teams are faring this playoffs...seriously, how's it goink?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 10, 2015
Well, all four of the teams left in the playoffs were in the top five in the NBA in three pointers made this season. It looks like the Finals will be the three-loving Warriors against a Cavaliers team that has leaned on the three more come the playoffs. That’s not even talking about the Spurs who won the title last season, or the Heat the couple before that (or the jump-shooting Mavs before that). So things are “goink” pretty well, thanks.
Sunday, Jackson decided to clarify his position.
Some corrected thoughts:1)like 3pt shooters, check it out, but to play for 3pt shot is an error. Penetration, first principal of offense.— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 24, 2015
2)we are glad for JR,Shump,Pablo,etc...players have comfort zones that they need to play their best...we want them to find that in NBA— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 24, 2015
3)the 3pt shot is not the be all end all of basketball. WNBA is taking their exhibition game to extremes-do not disvalue the 2pt shot.— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 24, 2015
Phil Jackson has forgotten more about basketball than I will ever know, and certainly when you think about his teams one thing that comes to mind is Robert Horry or Derek Fisher hitting threes with the Lakers, or Steve Kerr and John Paxson with the Bulls.
That said, how he’s trying to position himself in these tweets isn’t exactly revolutionary — play the game from the inside out. A team can’t just shoot threes, they have to have balance and be able to score inside and in a variety of ways. Notice all four of those teams left can score inside as well — LeBron James for Cleveland on the drive-and-kick, Dwight Howard in the post or James Harden on the drive in Houston, and Golden State does it on drives and cuts and the occasional post up (they had 58 points in the paint Saturday).
The question is prioritization of the three pointer.
None of those teams would pass up a dunk or uncontested lay-up for a three — it’s a matter of efficiency. But what about a contested eight-footer? An open free throw line jumper? Do you prioritize a lower-percentage (in terms of points per possession) midrange shot over an open three? It’s about value, and the league has moved to valuing the three more.
And that’s the smart thing to do.