Here’s Thibodeau on the idea that he’s not comfortable with his team embracing the 3-point shooting in the same way as other modern offenders:
“When I went to Minnesota they averaged 16 3-point attempts per game. When I started, we had reached an average of almost 30. Along with that, the rest of the championship had also risen. The 3-point average attempts went from 28 to 30 to 32 during that period. The league has changed, “Thibodeau told The Michael Kay Show.” I think if I went back 10 years ago, (teams played) three out, two in (formations) – two traditional big names. Then I went to four outside, one inside (formations) … now (there are) five outside formations. Most teams now have at least one center that can shoot the three to open the pitch to set the drive and kick. “
Thibodeau believes in quality over quantity when it comes to 3 point shooting.
“If you’re getting layups and making it to the free throw line and obviously trying to create as many 3-point corner attempts as you can – that’s how you win,” Thibodeau said. “And then on the defensive, of course, you try to take those things away and get your opponent to take long two.
“So you have to understand what gives your (team) the best chance to win and try to get closer in that way…. You simply don’t want to turn three at high volumes that are not good three. When you watch Milwaukee, they take three very good. If you look at Golden State, they are similar.
“Sometimes, if you take bad threes out loud, you’ll be beaten. It will compromise your defense. I think the type of three, the type of shots, the understanding of the value of the shots, is an important part of winning. “
Both the Knicks and the Timberwolves were in the bottom third of the league in 3-point attempts per 100 possessions during Thibodeau’s time in Minnesota. But in Thibodeau’s second season with the Timberwolves, the club finished fourth overall in terms of offensive efficiency. Minnesota finished third overall in 3 points per 100 possessions this season, but ended the season cut short with a lower payout percentage than the Knicks.
Will New York shoot three more with Thibodeau?
The club didn’t have many strong perimeter shooters last season, when they finished 28th in 3-point attempts per 100 possessions. Based on what Thibodeau said, that ranking should increase if New York acquires players capable of shooting.
“I think when you study a team, you have to understand what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are; what gives you the best chance of winning every night, “he said.” You want everyone to play with their strengths and cover up their weaknesses”.