Okay, granted he hit half of them, but James Harden took EIGHTEEN threes last night and no one even batted an eye. No one except my man, Chuck.
— The 300s (@The300sBoston) December 28, 2018
Eighteen three pointers is absolutely insane. It was more than double the amount anyone else on either team took last night. Again, yes he hit 9 of them so he shot .500 from behind the arc and scored 45 points but holy hell what a stat line. He only made TWO shots inside the three point line all night. The reigning MVP scored 4 points inside the arc. Analytics will probably say he was taking the best available shots based on his shooting percentage, but thats still mind boggling to think about. Getting 17 foul shots and hitting 14 of them helps alleviate that a bit, but damn. It’s not like he’s JJ Reddick who can only score when he’s out deep away from lockdown defenders either.
Harden leads the league in 3 point attempts and 3 pointers made despite not even being in the Top 100 in 3 Point % among players with at least 50 3 point attempts. Daniel Theis has a better 3 point % than Harden!
But hey, 45 points is 45 points. If it’s such a crime against humanity the Celtics should have, ya know, guarded the 3 point line a little better.
I touched on this phenomenon a little bit when I blogged about how, unfortunately, Kendrick Perkins saw the game pass him by as everyone became a three point shooter. You could blame Steph Curry, but the game had been trending this way for a while.
“[From] 2010-11 the average 3 point attempts per game around the league have nearly doubled from 18 attempts per game to 31.3 per game this season. In the previous 8 seasons before that, average 3 point attempts per game had only increased about three from a low of 14.7 in 2002-03. So no one could have predicted the game completely changing the way it has.”
Somewhere Charles Barkley just shakes his head in disbelief.