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If a player averages 50% from two-point territory, the outcome of his close-range effort is one point per shot. A player hitting 33% from three-point range will also produce one point per shot. Even Steven, so far. And as Wolff suggested, rebounds tip the scales in favor of treys. The offense has a better chance of grabbing an errant three-point shot than a missed two-pointer because distant shots bounce farther off the backboard and rim. The boxed-out, spread-out offense is in a better position to snag long rebounds than is the defense, which is usually bunched under the basket.
However, Wolff overlooks the fact that fouls would almost certainly tip the scales back in favor of the two-pointer. The defense commits more fouls when the ball is worked inside than when it is fired from afar.
The jury is still
out on whether the three-pointer is superior. However, when the jury returns to
the court, I think it will shoot mostly from close range.
It is pleasing to
note that a basketball purist like Wolff can recognize the entertainment value
of the three-point shot. He joins the company of another observer of the game
who once advocated that, under certain circumstances, a goal scored from afar
be worth more points than a shot made from in close. That suggestion, made 52
years ago, came from Dr. James Naismith.
MEN VS. WOMEN
As the father of three young daughters who play basketball and other sports, I can appreciate women's athletics. But please keep your COLLEGE BASKETBALL section focused on the men's game. Or, if you must cover women's basketball, run two sections.
This was more
sexist than the swimsuit issue. Or was it an attempt to get SI back into all
those libraries? If you're going to do this on a regular basis, cancel my