Countless times last season, Charles Barkley would clear the phlegm from his throat on Inside the NBA, and talk some junk about teams who rely on jump shots to produce a major tonnage of their points. He just didn’t think a team at the mercy of a hit-or-miss outside game could actually capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
This is all part of Chuck’s anachronistic allure; he also doesn’t tweet or “[Instsa]Gram” or generally spend any time listening to the “knuckleheads” on the Internet. He’s the old man asking kids to get off his digital lawn. We’re incredibly jealous of his stance, but this is our job, so we’re one of those knuckleheads.
Where were we? Oh, right, jump-shooting NBA teams. When franchises actually started listening to their bespectacled analytics departments (picture Jonah Hill’s character in Moneyball adjusting his glasses as he intensely studies a Bill James tome), they realized that long two-pointers were a lot less efficient than a simple three-point shot just a few feet further back. So, teams started devising sets specifically tailored to spring a player for an open three-point shot from the corner. That’s one of the most efficient shots in basketball, because it’s a three-pointer that’s closer to the basket. Yeah, the math is super complicated. Those analytics guys are such dweebs!
Three-pointers have gotten really important to the modern game. The teams who adjust are now among the best teams in the NBA.
Anyhoo, the Golden State Warriors, with their splash brother backcourt of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, attempted the fourth-most three-pointers last season. The three teams above them in three-point attempts per game — the Rockets, Cavaliers and Blazers — all made the playoffs; three of those four teams made it to the Conference Finals. As we know, two of the top four in three-point attempts made the NBA Finals — the Cavs and Warriors.
One of them won a title, something Charles Barkley never did in his career. So, you can understand why Klay would have such a devilish grin on his face when he was holding up this t-shirt to the camera.
Sick burn, bruh.
Chuck’s a class act. He rocked the same shirt last night, too.