In an era dominated by the three-point shot, more players than ever before are being encouraged to hoist them up, dramatically shifting the value of an offensive possession and giving defenses more to think about with respect to spacing, rotations, and which shots are better to give up than others. The first day of the playoffs was defined by that last point in particular, as we saw multiple teams essentially give up on defending the three-point line against specific players or in specific moments, opting to pack the paint or focus on their more threatening teammates.
In no place was this more obvious than Golden State, where the L.A. Clippers had absolutely no interest in sticking to Draymond Green or DeMarcus Cousins on the perimeter. As far as Doc Rivers was concerned, those guys had the freedom to shoot as much as they liked and his team would live with the results. Against a team that rolls out Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant in addition to those two, it’s perhaps the best strategy there is, though there doesn’t seem to be a strategy that works much at all against these Warriors. Despite their best efforts, they still ceded 12 threes to Curry as he ripped their hearts outs in his typical Clipper-killing fashion.
The danger with doing this against Golden State is that they’re too smart to let you get away with it for very long, if you get away with it at all. Andre Iguodala falls firmly in the same category of shooter as Green and Cousins, but he’s happy to catch on the perimeter and immediately flow into a dribble handoff (DHO) with Curry to get his all-world point guard an open shot: