Based on distance and location, the corner 3-pointer offer tremendous bang for the buck. Otto Porter's production from those spots in the postseason is paying dividends for the Wizards.
When it comes to shots from beyond the arc, one 3-pointer location trumps them all. "It’s a bedrock principle of modern NBA offense that the corner 3 is one of the more desirable shots in the game," an author for NylonCalculus.com, a basketball analytics website wrote during the season.
At a basic level, the corner 3-ball is simply closer (22 feet) than those elsewhere around the arc (can extend to 23 feet, nine inches). The tucked away spots also tends to be an open as defenders collapse on action inside and veer toward players up high.
The second-year forward shot a credible 35 percent from both the left and right corner during the regular season. However, he only attempted 46 from both spots combined in 74 games played (0.6 att).
Both the accuracy and volume of tries has more than ticked up during the postseason. Porter is 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) in seven playoff games (1.7 att) with an equal split from both corners.
Playoff pocket corner Porter pic.twitter.com/l5FG87UsPl
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) May 10, 2015
Overall, Porter is 11 of 24 (5.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the postseason compared to 33.7 during the regular season.
Porter's current role remains more complimentary than lead. He's not initiating the plays, but seeking ways to help ensure success. In his case, that runs the range of relentless movement in pursuit of hustle plays or, in regards to the corner looks, standing still after finding cracks in the defensive alignment and waiting for the kick out pass.
Both of Porter's threes in Saturday's Game 3 win came from the corner. In the first quarter with the Wizards leading 17-14, Porter, defended by Hawks wing Kent Bazemore, starts high on the right wing before dipping inside as the other four Wizards are above the foul line. Eventually the ball is feed on the right block to Marcin Gortat, who passes to a lane-cutting Bradley Beal. As the ball moved, Porter drifted into the left corner while Bazemore went into free safety mode, staying put in the lane. Double teams come for Gortat and Beal, who avoids traffic with a pivot and pass to a waiting and wide-open Porter.
On the second bomb, Porter starts the play as the inbounder on the right wing. He moves gently above the arc as passes go to Beal and then Ramon Sessions on the right wing. DeMarre Carroll's Porter's primary defender, ventures inside to help guard Gortat down low.
Seeing an opening, Sessions turns the corner with powerful lefty dribbles and blows by Hawks guard Dennis Schroder. Atlanta center Al Horford cuts off Sessions' path and Carroll moves further into the lane.
Meanwhile Porter mirrors Sessions' movement and starts moving toward the right corner. Before reaching Horford, Sessions throws a pass toward that spot with Porter in mind. Gortat, now between Carroll and the corner, picks the forward, giving Porter time to catch and fire.
Knowing how to take advantage of open corner 3-pointers is one thing. Making them is another. Porter is doing both right now for the winning Wizards.