Klay Thompson and the 3-point chucking gods: What it takes to break the attempts record | High Score
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Klay Thompson and the 3-point chucking gods: What it takes to break the attempts record | High Score

October 9, 2019

– Okay, check this out. The object of this game is simple. You’re a basketball
player, you have 48 minutes plus maybe some overtime
to attempt as many shots behind this three-point line as you can before time runs out, but
if you don’t pace yourself or you don’t get enough of your shots into the basket, you might
irritate these other four players or your coach or your
fans and get yourself stuck on the bench. Three-point chucking is
one of so many little games you can find between the
winning and losing of sports, and with so many volume shooters running around the NBA these days,
we’ve seen some incredible high scores set in this particular game. But long before guys like James Harden and the Splash brothers
made three-point barrages a regular event, before playing
this game was even possible within NBA basketball, the
weirder and more experimental ABA awarded three points
for an outside shot. And when it came to threes,
you better believe the ABA had guys who chased high scores. There aren’t many good, definitive stats from this era, but there
are some bananas anecdotes, like reports of Tony
Jackson attempting 12 threes in a half in 1962 and making 10 of them, but the ABA’s real king of
threes was this little cutie, Louie Dampier, Dampier is on record attempting over 2200
threes in his ABA career, including a number of games
with double-digit takes from behind the line. He was nice too. Look at this gorgeous form,
his gooseneck follow-through. That crisp shot went in 36% of the time over Dampier’s ABA career. The NBA acquired the ABA in a 1976 merger and adopted its three-point line starting with the 1979-1980 season. That was Larry Bird’s rookie year and the future three-point
champ had a couple nights that season, putting up
five, six or even seven threes in a game, but the
guys who really leaned into the rule change were those who were used to it from the ABA. In 1981, former ABA-er Joe Hassett became the first player on record to shoot 10 three-pointers in a game, doing so a couple times
including one night in which he only hit three of the 10. Shout out to Joe Hassett. Aging superstar and
former ABA-er Rick Barry is supposed to have attempted 10 threes the night he set a
record with eight makes, that’s an unofficial
stat, because attempts weren’t tracked in the
box score that night, and I don’t respect it
anyway, because Rick Barry refused to shoot his threes underhand like he shot his free throws. Anyway, to find official high scores that stuck for a while, we need to visit a chucking hot
bed, Denver, Colorado. On January ninth, 1982, John
Roche came off the bench for the Denver Nuggets
to fire 13 three-pointers in just 26 minutes. He hit eight of them,
including seven in a half. All of this happened in a
blow-out loss, delicious. This is not a coincidence. The Nuggets are a former ABA franchise, and in the 80s they were
coached by a former ABA player, Doug Moe, who brought that
league’s reckless flare with him to the NBA. Moe basically never called plays. He barely made his team practice. Moe’s system was known
as the passing game, players ran and shot and passed
and ran and shot some more, hardly pausing to play
defense and counting on the thin Denver air to
ensure their tired opponents couldn’t defend them much either, or to quote Moe, the
passing game is basically doing whatever the hell you want. Moe’s nuggets once scored
184 points in a game, but surrendered 186 to the Pistons. Doug Moe kicks ass, and the guy
who broke Roche’s high score for three-point chucking was
basically the quintessential Doug Moe Denver Nugget. Michael Adams wasn’t really anyone. The 5’10 point guard
fell to the third round of the 1985 NBA draft then spent time bopping around leagues
like the CBA and USBL before he landed with the Nuggets. In Denver, Adams found a
real role and the green light to his extremely weird jumper fly. Adams had this one-handed push shot that looked kinda like a teardrop floater, but he used it for everything from free throws to three pointers. Once Adams became a Nugget,
he released it constantly, averaging almost five
three-point attempts a night, and he typically justified
his volume with accuracy, like the time in 1989 when
he attempted 12 threes and hit eight including seven
in the first half alone, but we’re not here to talk
about averages or typical games. We’re here to talk about extremes, and Adams really let loose on March 14, 1988. He attempted 15
three-pointers, hitting five in a loss to John
Stockton in the Utah Jazz. On the very same day
Adams set that high score for threes in the game, over
1000 miles away in Ohio, another great shooter named
Del Curry and his wife Sonya brought a son into the
world, little baby Stephen. That is just too marvelous
to be a coincidence. I know a prophet when I see one. Anyway, as the 80s turned into the 90s, players like Adams had
pushed the three-pointer far enough into the mainstream that others felt like they had license to chuck now and then. Dudes like Vernon Maxwell,
who often took a bunch of three-pointers for
legendary Houston Rockets teams that would go on to win championships, or like Dale Ellis who became an all-star with the three-pointer
as his weapon of choice. In 1990, Ellis actually set a
record with nine three-point makes in a game, but he did
it extremely efficiently on just 11 attempts. Very impressive, but
that’s not the game, Dale! Only one man from this era had the nerve to beat Michael Adams’s
high score in the game of attempting threes, whether
or not they went in: Michael Adams. In 1990, the Nuggets
parted ways with Coach Moe and replaced him with Paul Westhead. They played even faster than before, but they sucked. By April of ’91, the Nuggets
had long since figured out that they were garbage. Winning just 20 games would
get them the lottery pick that became Dikembe Mutombo. While playing out the string,
Adams figured he might as well shoot for a record number of threes. On April 12th, 1991, Adams was only able to tie Dale Ellis’s record of nine makes, but he obliterated his own
high score to get there, attempting 20 three-pointers. That nothing to lose
might as well shoot logic resurfaced with another
team a couple years later. During a brief era in
which the three-point line was a bit shorter, Coach Dick Motta’s 1996 Dallas Mavericks crumbled. They were badly hurt, and
their stars hated each other. With no hope of winning and
intrigued by the fore-shortened three-point line, Motta tried
something revolutionary: playing small ball long
before it was cool. Jason Kid ran point, the
center was 6’9 Lorenzo Williams and everyone else in the
line up was a wing player compelled to shoot and shoot. Motta’s Mavericks absolutely destroyed team three-point records including a single-game
output of 49 threes against the Nets on March fifth 1996. That record would stand for over 20 years, but Dallas’s most prolific
individual shooter, George McLoud couldn’t quite crack the high score that night, tying Michael Adams’s
mark with 20 attempts, and 20 remain the high score
for a whole other decade, even as the record for individual three-point makes got broken. Kobe Bryant hit 12 three-pointers in the game in January of ’03, but did so on only 18 attempts. You might call that
efficient, I call it a waste. You’re hot, shoot more
than 18 threes, coward. No, for someone to break Adams’s record of 20 three-point attempts, it would take another bad
team of despondent players mailing in a meaningless,
late-season game. Specifically, it would take
the Golden State Warriors verses the Portland
Trailblazers on April 15, 2005. What an occasion, both teams sucked. The Warriors won the game by 20 points and did so while attempting
32 three-pointers, a strategy coach Mike Montgomery described as we thought we’d shoot some threes. Portland shot even more,
37 in a losing effort. The two teams combined for an NBA record 69 three-point attempts. The Blazers barely had
a coach at this point. They’d fired Maurice Cheeks in March and let their director of
player personnel Kevin Prichard replace him as interim,
and the Blazers were so badly injured that
night, that Ruben Patterson who’d recently demanded a trade, was forced to participate
simply so Portland could fill the minimum active
roster of eight players, but the real hero in the losing
effort was Damon Stoudamire, the dominative point guard
had to play all 48 minutes and in that time, he unwittingly
set a new high score, attempting 21 three-pointers,
even though he was ice cold. Stoudamire hit only five
of those 21 attempts, that’s the kind of performance
you can only produce on a garbage team, wrapping
up a forsaken season with only eight healthy bodies
and a non-coach as coach. Does that freedom to heave feel good? Well, asked about his
achievement following the loss, Stoudamire reportedly
shrugged in surprise and said, “You’re on the floor long enough, and that’s just going to
start bouncing your way.” He makes it sound kinda tedious. It’s like when Mom and Dad have tickets to see Lord of the Dance
and leave you alone for the night and you eat
a whole cake for dinner. The freedom’s fun for a little bit, but you just end up feeling sick. But some people always
eat cake for dinner. If meaningless April basketball
is the perfect Petri dish for three-point high scores, then JR Smith might just
be the perfect organism to culture in that dish. Smith played his formative years in Denver and surpassed Michael Adams’s
record for three-pointers made in a Nugget uniform, and
this was during a much slower paced era with a much less
player-friendly Nuggets coach, George Karl, who repeatedly benched JR for his shot selection,
so JR wouldn’t fulfill his high score potential until later when he was on the Knicks. Not his first full season as a Knick, in which a team coached by
Mike Woodson of all people inexplicably shattered
team three-point records and won a play-off series. No, we’re talking about the following year when the Knicks traded for
Andrea Bargnani on purpose and completely fell apart. Smith’s unrepentant
shooting wasn’t as cute on a struggling team, but
you couldn’t tell him that. In December 2013, he attempted 17 threes in a double OT game against the Bucks. He sounded downright amazed with himself and promised he’d do it
again if given the chance. By April, JR finally had that chance, his opportunity to hop on the sticks and top the charts of his
favorite one-player game. Lebron James and the
finals bound Miami Heat kicked the crap out of
the lottery-bound Knicks, but they couldn’t keep JR down. Smith attempted 22 three-pointers and this on a night when
no other Knick attempted more than 17 shots from any range. JR insisted he didn’t intend
to break Damon Stoudamire’s decade-old record, that he
just shot because he was open. But I don’t know, I look
at these four attempts in the final two minutes, and I see a man who knows it’s April, his team is bad, and he can probably get away
with a high score campaign. Well done, JR. Smith’s record wouldn’t last that long, because the three-pointer was taking over and not just in the NBA. Even though WNBA games
are only 40 minutes, Diana Taurasi had multiple nights in the mid 2000s attempting 15 threes. She reached 16 in a triple
overtime game in 2006. A decade later, Kristi Toliver
matched that high score with an even greater performance. Toliver made her name as a shooting legend early in her career, as
a freshman at Maryland, she buried the three-pointer
that sent the 2006 NCAA final to overtime,
making her the hero of the team’s first championship. 11 years later, Toliver’s
Washington Mystics played a single elimination
playoff game in New York against the superior Liberty
and Toliver let loose. She matched the high score
Taurasi set in triple OT with 16 threes in regulation, and hit a record nine
of them in the process. Thanks to Toliver’s shooting,
Washington came back from a big early deficit and
took the game by a wide margin. Setting your high score in the context of an elimination
playoff game is a far cry from the vain, nihilist,
mid-April shot fests of those early NBA record setters, and indeed, three-point
chucking doesn’t only belong to carefree players
representing broken franchises, that kid born the day of
Michael Adams’s first high score turned into a multiple-time
MVP and champion all while making unprecedented
amounts of threes. I specify making threes,
because Stephen Curry is crazy-accurate from every range and he doesn’t need a lot of tries to achieve a lot of makes. Not the case for James
Harden, who is merely good in terms of three-point
accuracy, but has un-paralleled freedom to fling them up. This is a guy who once shot one of 17 from downtown in a game,
setting the high score for most three-pointers
missed in one night. It helps to be coached by Mike D’Antoni, a man who once coached in
Denver and before that, played on a 1977 Spurs
team, coached by Doug Moe. But as we speak, Harden does
not hold the high score. On October 29th, 2018, the warriors crushed the Bulls in Chicago. It was such a blowout,
that Klay Thompson only played 27 minutes, but in that time, Klay produced 24 three-point attempts with 14 dropping through the net, nearly one three-point shot a minute looks as ridiculous in
practice as it does on paper. Klay barely dribbled the
ball to get these shots off. He mostly ran around screens
or scurried into slivers of open space to catch and shoot in instances like this one barely even facing the rim before he released. This is something totally different from having a couple dozen
threes in the final stretch of a lost season. The Warriors, like Hard3n’s Rockets, are a power-house built
on brazen shot selection. One guy going wild and
setting a high score isn’t a bug, it’s a feature
of an offensive system built to generate such looks. The computer game has been baked into the actual team basketball strategy. The game of shooting as
many threes as possible has come a long way from
the domain of ABA holdovers to the funky Nuggets of the 80s, to the boom of thee-point specialists, to depressing, carefree
April basketball to today. Thanks in some part to these people and the circumstances
that let them run wild, the game blends right into the sport. Keep these heroes in mind the
next time a confident shooter with a green light sets a new high score.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I've always wondered if Steph Curry could attempt like 20+ three's a game and still have a good percentage. Apparently a 33% three pointer is the equivalent of shooting like 50% from two.

  2. The only thing that is awful about this channel is you guys are just really not funny. You guys sound like the cringy modern "comedy" shows that have the laugh tracks play after every joke just to make sure the audience knows that a joke was told…..I love yalls story telling and yall do a fantastic job of research, I mean really these are great videos just please stop the attempts at comedy, it makes it really hard to watch cause it's so awkward and cringy

  3. You know what's funny the old school guys that could hit 3s in real life are in nba2k but good luck tryna get them to hit a 3 in the game

  4. If I was watching my team getting blown out, I'd be stoked if one of our players just started chucking 3's. Like I'm sure the Knicks fans who watched that JR game enjoyed watching him be ridiculous.

  5. This retro video game style yinz are TRYING to do so hard is soooooo terribly bad i want to kill myself over it.

  6. Ahh.. JR Smith…. The perfect organism…. I never thought in whatever reality those words will fall into the same sentence.

  7. <| LOUIE DAMPIER |>

    -794 career ABA
    -Missed his Hall
    of Fame induction
    phone call because
    he was vacuuming

    im dead lmao ?

  8. person i was watching this with asked "so does that mean stephen curry played in the ABA?" I said "yes, exactly" im dead

  9. supercool but under representing Curry and the splash brothers impact.
    I was waiting for 3pt shooting to change basketball ever since 2011. Splash brothers blew me away 🙂

  10. my cousin is a three point chucker and im a mid range shooter.
    i make more shots but he says because he has more range than me hes a better shooter.

  11. the rockets with daryl morey and sam hinkie ushered in the 3 point era, the warriors just stole the credit

  12. Top 5 3 point shooters ever

    1: Stephen Curry
    2: Ray Allen
    3: Larry Bird
    4: Reggie Miller
    5: Kyle Korver

    Comment what you think ?

  13. In 2019, the 3-point chucking is required when Lebron James is your teammate. ???
    Lebron James needs a SPOT-UP SHOOTER/3-point chucking teammate because it creates floor spacing.

  14. Analytics community is in favor of high volume 3-point shooting or CHUCKING UP 3-POINTERS. ???
    The more 3-pointers you attempt, the more chances you have at making more 3-pointers than your opponent.

  15. Lebron James wants you on his team if you are a 3-point chucker. ???
    It takes at least 1 help-defender out of the paint area = clear path to the basket for Lebron James.
    Lebron is BALL-DOMINANT so he will control how many passes you get anyway.

  16. Thats the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest Kobe needed to sboot more or that he was scared to shoot more lol. That was definitely made me chuckle

  17. Thank you for mentioning the wnba. Casuals love acting like small ball, shooting 3's, pace and space was all invented by the warriors and took basketball by storm. Pft WNBA teams been doing it for years. The best coaches don't build a system and try to force their round peg players into their square hole system.

    The best coaches look at the strengths of their best players and build a system accordingly and the WNBA is just chock-ful of highly skilled 3 point shooters and playmakers. Though short on top athletes, skill and heart has never been in question. Hopefully once they fix the money issue they'll start getting top level athletes too. In today's world if you're a female monster athlete you go to Tennis, Golf, or some Olympic games because that's your best chance of making a decent living. Women basketball in Russia actually get paid better than women's basketball in US and that's shameful as hell.

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