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Mavericks Still Live and Die By the Three

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The three point field goal is an important shot in Rick Carlisle's system. The Dallas Mavericks rank 6th in the league in attempted three point field goals. So it seems that they are pretty dependent on their three point shot but in fact it says nothing about the importance unless you know how many points are generated from the three point shot proportional to the overall points.

Scoring Percentages NBA 10/11

The percentages are shown on a per 100 possession basis. Dallas ranks 4th among Playoff Teams in Points off Three-Point Shots and last in Points off Points-in-the-Paint. This confirms the dependence.

Team po2fg% po3fg% poft% popitp% poitp/po3fg po2fg/po3fg
ATL 63.38% 19.34% 17.28% 38.87% 2.01 3.28
BOS 66.09% 15.47% 18.44% 42.97% 2.78 4.27
CHI 62.61% 18.94% 18.45% 42.44% 2.24 3.31
DAL 58.98% 23.55% 17.48% 37.06% 1.57 2.50
DEN 56.36% 22.55% 21.10% 41.29% 1.83 2.50
IND 59.10% 21.43% 19.46% 38.54% 1.80 2.76
LAL 62.58% 18.89% 18.52% 43.89% 2.32 3.31
MEM 70.55% 11.32% 18.13% 51.42% 4.54 6.23
MIA 59.37% 19.60% 21.03% 37.21% 1.90 3.03
NOH 64.22% 17.12% 18.66% 39.59% 2.31 3.75
NYK 54.38% 26.27% 19.34% 38.36% 1.46 2.07
OKC 60.01% 16.99% 23.00% 40.74% 2.40 3.53
ORL 53.74% 28.41% 17.86% 37.54% 1.32 1.89
PHI 66.07% 16.37% 17.56% 41.75% 2.55 4.04
POR 61.62% 19.68% 18.69% 42.15% 2.14 3.13
SAS 57.95% 24.16% 17.89% 40.86% 1.69 2.40


These are the sortable percentages and I've added Points-in-the-Paint per Points off Three-Pointers (poitp/po3fg) and Points off Two-Pointers per Points off Three-Pointers (po2fg/po3fg). If you order it by the last column you'll notice that Dallas is 12th in that category. They score 2.5 points off Two-Pointers per point off Three-Pointers. Furthermore 6 of 8 teams in the bottom half are already eliminated from the playoffs. And all have something in common. For the most part they couldn't hold onto their 3FG% from the regular season: ORL -10.41%, NYK -2.00%, SAS -10.30%, DEN -1.87%, IND +2.27%, POR -4.46%, MIA -8.11%, DAL +1.54%.
That's not unusual for the playoffs. Three pointers are hard to come by with the defenses tightening up things but the teams who were more reliant on their shots from beyond the arc were eliminated at a notable rate. And with the Magic and the Spurs also higher seeds. Dallas and the Miami Heat prevailed for now.

Team po2fg% po3pfg% pooft% popitp% poitp/po3pfg poo2fg/po3fg
ATL 60.65% 21.31% 18.04% 35.32% 1.66 3.69
BOS 64.51% 21.15% 14.36% 34.26% 1.62 3.73
CHI 53.28% 22.74% 23.98% 35.25% 1.55 3.40
DAL 55.35% 24.64% 20.00% 34.64% 1.41 3.06
DEN 52.98% 20.94% 26.08% 34.91% 1.67 3.78
IND 59.87% 19.31% 20.84% 37.69% 1.95 4.18
LAL 60.10% 17.11% 22.80% 44.21% 2.58 4.84
MEM 69.40% 11.28% 19.32% 46.50% 4.12 7.87
MIA 57.45% 17.86% 24.68% 34.04% 1.91 4.60
NOH 63.45% 15.10% 21.45% 42.54% 2.82 5.62
NYK 52.34% 27.28% 20.39% 35.81% 1.31 2.67
OKC 50.89% 22.31% 26.81% 29.75% 1.33 3.48
ORL 56.01% 20.87% 23.12% 42.86% 2.05 3.79
PHI 63.29% 22.16% 14.55% 41.57% 1.88 3.51
POR 63.88% 17.02% 19.09% 45.37% 2.67 4.88
SAS 60.06% 16.97% 22.96% 42.05% 2.48 4.89


These are the values from the playoffs. Dallas ranks 15th in Points off Two-Pointers per Points of Three-Pointers. So that didn't change. Interesting thing is that the Bulls, Thunder, and the Celtics got a lot more Points off Three-Pointers compared to the regular season while Dallas nearly matched their regular season average. So you could say that they are still dependent on that but didn't change their style as much as these mentioned teams. That's a plus. And as long as they are hitting those they have all rights to rely on their long distance shots. I am still a bit concerned because there will be a time when the shots aren't falling and then it will be interesting if the team is able to adjust. In the last two games of the previous series though, Dallas was only 10-32 from beyond the arc. Made, Attempted 3FG and 3FG% were clearly under their season average and they still were able to win quite convincingly. I'll take that as a good sign.