By now, you’re probably aware of the hot outside shooting of the league-leading Utah Jazz so far this season. But how hot it’s been exactly? Well, take this: Utah is the first team ever to shoot 40-plus threes a game with 40-plus percent accuracy and is currently the top-scoring squad from beyond the arc in NBA history.
Before this season, there were only five instances in which an NBA offense has averaged at least 40 attempts per game from beyond the arc. Four of the five were each of the most recent seasons from the Rockets, dating back to 2016-17.
This year, there are actually four teams averaging 40 or more attempts from long distance. But none, including any from this season, have ever been more accurate than the Jazz.
3-Point Shooting By Team. Hello, Utah. pic.twitter.com/xGzpP8CwKZ
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) January 31, 2021
Utah recently broke the record for most three-pointers made in a month (285). They are currently on pace to break the team record for most three-pointers per game, previously set by Houston in 2018-19.
It is hard to process the fact that Utah is actually averaging more three-pointers than the Golden State Warriors did when they had historically impressive sharpshooters Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant on their roster.
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder recently spoke about the primary philosophies of his offense (via NBA.com):
“That’s the strength of our team. We’ve got a lot of guys that can make those shots. It’s something we’ve been banging that drum from the first day. We want guys to take threes.”
Many might think of Joe Ingles, who recently set the record for the most career three-pointers recorded in franchise history, but the organization has much more depth and strategy for their shooting.
One of the guiding concepts for Utah is the type of looks that the team has been able to get when shooting from long distance. For obvious reasons, they try to get as many uncontested looks as possible.
More than 25 percent of their three-pointers have been taken with the nearest defender at least six feet away, which are classified as wide-open looks.
Among the six players in Western Conference who have recorded the most wide-open attempts so far this season, per NBA.com, four (Royce O’Neale, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley) are on the Jazz.
— NBA (@NBA) January 22, 2021
Utah leads the league in corner three-pointer frequency (13.0 percent) this season as well. Bogdanovic is the league’s leader in three-pointers made (29) and attempted (73) from the corner, according to PBP Stats.
This has been a team effort, though, as every single connection from the corner has come from an assist with Conley as the primary orchestrator on these opportunities.
But even when they’re not shooting from the corner, Utah actually has the highest field goal percentage (40.5 percent) on non-corner three-pointers as well.
Put it all together and you get performances like when Bogdanovic made an absurd four three-pointers in just 90 seconds during the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 5.
Utah is more known for their defense because of big man Rudy Gobert. But performances like that encapsulate this season for the Jazz, whose fondness for three-pointers have actually given them one of the most potent offenses in league history.
HoopsHype’s Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report