Last season the Warriors became the first team to make over 1,000 3-pointers in a season, but their record lasted for less than a full year thanks to the Rockets’ high-volume assault.
Entering Thursday’s game the Rockets were also on pace to smash the NBA records for most 3-pointers made and attempted per game. They’re shattering the record of 32.7 attempts (which Houston set in 2014-15) with a whopping 40.2 attempts per game this season. Last season’s Warriors also own the record for the most made 3-pointers per game with 13.1, and the Rockets are currently averaging 14.5.
So the Rockets are going to break all sorts of 3-point records. The question is, how long will they last?
Teams like the Warriors and Rockets have shed light on an obvious but undeniably true basketball statistic -- three points are better than two. NBA teams have always known this, but with the advent of advanced stats and the overall decline of traditional back-to-the-basket big men, the value placed on 3-pointers is higher than ever.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has already spoken at length about the amount of 3-pointers the Rockets take, and has even said that if they meet the Warriors in the playoffs this season, he thinks they can win with a “barrage of 3-pointers.” So it’s conceivable the Rockets could put up 70 3-pointers in a game (it may sound crazy, but they attempted 61 against the Pelicans in December). And what if it works?
Even if the Rockets don’t win, a competitive series against a much more talented Warriors team could serve as a proof of concept: You can beat teams that are better than you by shooting, and making, lots and lots of threes.
The Rockets have clearly believed in this ideology for a while, but this year, thanks to the arrival of Mike D’Antoni, the brilliance of Harden and the addition of key shooters, they’ve proven that it can translate into wins.
The Warriors buried the idea that “jump-shooting teams” can’t win championships two years ago. If the Rockets can add playoff success to this year’s phenomenal regular season, 1,000 3-pointer seasons might become the NBA norm rather than the exception in the coming years.