On Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings set a new NBA record for combined made threes in a game (41). Stephen Curry contributed a game-high 10 threes to that number, while Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant each hit three.
This style of play has become custom with teams like the Warriors and Rockets leading the charge on taking the pace and space concept to explosive heights.
After the game, Durant was asked about this high-octane three-point era that we’re in and predicted its end in the near future.
Kevin Durant on the league’s 3-point explosion: “I don’t see this lasting too much longer. Just the volume of 3s, the pick-up style, it’ll seize.” pic.twitter.com/PdFVhw7GN9
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 6, 2019
Right now the Warriors aren’t even top-five in total threes attempted this season. They rank eighth at 1,285. The Rockets, Bucks, Celtics, Nets, and Raptors currently lead the league in total attempts.
Durant said he prefers to play inside the three-point line. He’s one of the rare and special cases of players who has the luxury of being able to dominate from anywhere on the floor.
The “pick-up style”, Durant says, will ultimately seize. For now, at least, that’s pretty hard to fathom. The Houston Rockets missed 27 consecutive threes in their Game 7 loss against the Warriors in last season’s Western Conference Finals. Even that didn’t warrant an altering of their identity.
No team seemingly lives and dies by the three more than Houston or Golden State. Not every team is laced with the ability or diversity of outside shooting, but even the Bucks, without a flurry of shooters, have entered the realm this season with new head coach Mike Budenholzer.
All trends eventually fade. This one might not happen until more teams start actually dying by it.