|3's were wild in NBA this season|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 18 June 2013 15:44|
Entering Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, there had already been more 3-pointers made (1,171) and taken (3,414) than in any postseason in league history, and both were well ahead of the numbers posted last season.
A year ago, NBA teams made only 994 shots from 3-point range in the playoffs, trying 2,983.
What's been happening in the playoffs is a continuation from the regular season, which was also record-setting on the 3-point front.
NBA players smashed the previous record for 3-pointers made this season, connecting 17,603 times - well ahead of the previous mark of 16,352 set during the 2008-09 season. Players took 49,067 attempts from 3-point range this season, another record by a considerable margin. The previous record for attempts was 44,622, in the 2009-10 campaign.
Just because players are taking more 3's doesn't mean the shooting percentages are rising.
Players connected on 35.9 percent of their 3-pointers in the regular season, the fifth-best pace in league history. And in the playoffs, the league success rate entering Tuesday night was 34.3 percent, only 15th-best since the NBA added the 3-pointer.
ROAD SPURS: Something about going on the road for close-out games seems not to bother the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs won't finish a series at home this season, after clinching all three of their Western Conference playoff series on the road, first against the Los Angeles Lakers, then the Golden State Warriors and finally the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference finals.
And with the NBA Finals ending in Miami, it means Spurs fans won't see a series-clincher until at least next year.
Then again, that's nothing new for Spurs fans.
All three of San Antonio's playoff series in 2012 (wins against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, then a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder) ended on the road. Same goes for San Antonio's lone series in 2011, a first-round loss to Memphis.
The last time the Spurs wrapped up a series at home was when they topped the Dallas Mavericks in six games to open the 2010 playoffs. They were ousted one round later by the Phoenix Suns, that sweep also ending in San Antonio.
For the Heat, ending series at home is becoming commonplace.
Their only road series-finale in these playoffs was when they capped a first-round sweep at Milwaukee. And this is the third straight year that the NBA Finals are ending in Miami as well.
GENTLEMANLY FINALS: After physicality, and too much of it, dominated the story lines during much of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the Miami Heat, these NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs have been downright friendly.
And the Heat aren't upset about that.
Entering Tuesday, there had been no technical fouls against any player or coach in the series, and no flagrant fouls committed by either team.
``It's a different challenge each series,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``This is more about execution, precision, effort, focus, those kinds of things. It's still physical, but it's clearly not anything going over the top.''
COMPLIMENT, SORT OF: Tony Parker and Boris Diaw are teammates in San Antonio, teammates as well on the French national team, and clearly have a close relationship.
It doesn't mean there can't be some teasing under the guise of compliments.
``Boris is a pretty good defender,'' Parker said of Diaw. ``He looks awkward, but he gets the job done.''
Diaw doesn't always look the part of a good defender, but he's earned the Spurs' respect. They've even used him at times in these NBA Finals matched up against both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
That's a far cry from the sort of player Parker said Diaw typically guards in Europe, that being power forwards ``who can't really move,'' Parker said.
STAN AND SPO: Even years after Stan Van Gundy left the Miami organization, it's not uncommon to hear Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reference his former colleague and longtime friend.
When Van Gundy coached the Heat, he often raved about Spoelstra's potential, and the two have kept their bond.
Earlier in the NBA Finals, ABC-ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy was asked if he still sees the effect that his brother had on Spoelstra's development from video-room staffer (how he started with the Heat) all the way to the team's sideline boss.
``Well, Spo doesn't eat the same food Stan does, so that's good,'' Jeff Van Gundy said. ``He doesn't eat Oreos by the package. He still seems like he's relatively together. No, I don't know how that has manifested itself, but I know that Stan really appreciates Erik's friendship. And always, even when Erik was in the video room way back, he used to rave to me about the greatness that this guy had in him.
``Watching from afar, Stan was absolutely correct. (Heat President) Pat Riley, when he could have gone out and hired other coaches, I think he knew what he had in Erik Spoelstra and it has proven to be another great decision by Pat Riley.''
NOTES: 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell was among those in attendance for Game 6. ... Ray Allen had two four-point plays in Game 4 of the Finals, but that wasn't the first time a Miami guard had a pair of the rare plays in the same postseason game. James Jones did it twice - in an 11-second span, no less - for the Heat in a playoff game against Atlanta in 2009. ... Game 6 of the NBA Finals was the 210th playoff game where Spurs forward Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich were together, 30 more than any other player-coach combo in league history (Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, 180).