Celtics' franchise record for 3-pointers is wild in historical context


The NBA's 3-point revolution is upon us, and the Boston Celtics are among the most eager adopters.

Marcus Morris knocked down the Celtics' 986th 3-pointer of the season Monday night, setting a franchise record for the most threes made in a single season.

The Celtics are up to 989 made 3-pointers through 78 games, for an average of 12.7 deep balls per game. With four games still to play, they're a virtual lock to top 1,000 made 3-pointers, becoming just the ninth team in NBA history to reach that milestone.

How crazy is 3-pointers in a single season? Let's just say Larry Bird's head would explode if you told him his 1980s Celtics would even sniff that number.

Consider this: From the 1979-80 season to 1988-89 season -- the span of a full decade -- Boston made a total of 1,174 3-pointers as a team, just 185 more than the Celtics have through 78 games this season.

The '80s Celtics were no slouches from behind the arc, either: They typically ranked among the NBA's leaders in 3-pointers made, thanks in large part to Bird's sharpshooting.

But if you want to know just how much the game has changed in 30 years, here's another doozy:

Bird never hit more than 90 3-pointers in a single season. The 2018-19 Celtics have five players with more than 100 made threes already this season: Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier.

Again, all of these crazy numbers are simply a sign of the times: Those eight other teams to reach 1,000 3-pointers all did so in the past four seasons, and five were either James Harden's Houston Rockets or Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors, who kicked off the NBA's love affair with 3-pointers earlier this decade.

The long ball has been especially essential to the Celtics under head coach Brad Stevens, though, as Boston is on pace to finish in the NBA's top seven in 3-pointers made for the third consecutive season.

Whether all of those threes will help the C's "flip the switch" in the postseason is another story.

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