NBA teams practicing with 4-point line; how would Celtics use it?


Today's NBA is all about the 3-point shot.

The analytics show it's the best shot to take, for a variety of reasons. Teams are not just shooting more 3-pointers, they are launching these shots from farther out. Doing so keeps the defense off-balance, makes them pick up opponents just after halfcourt, etc. The process is even at the point where several NBA teams are practicing with some sort of 4-point line, per ESPN's Malika Andrews

The Chicago Bulls taped a white 4-point line to the floor of the Advocate Center over the summer. (Lloyd) Pierce, who was an assistant coach in Philadelphia prior to this season, brought the line south when he was hired to coach the Hawks this offseason. The Brooklyn Nets have also had one since the 2016-17 season.

This got us thinking how the Celtics would use a 4-point shot. The C's understand the value behind 3-pointers. They attempt the third-most 3-point field goals per game (36.5) and shoot the sixth-highest percentage (36.3) on these shots. Only the Golden State Warriors shot better from 3-point range than the Celtics last season.

Boston currently has four players -- Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and Daniel Theis -- shooting 39.5 percent or better on 3-pointers. The Celtics player with the most range and who could probably best utilize a 4-point line is Irving. We got visual evidence of that last week when he drained a deep 3-pointer in Boston's overtime win against the Washington Wizards. 

A 4-point line would be a very hotly debated topic if the league ever considered adding it for actual games, but it makes sense to use during practices. And watching Irving fire from this sort of long distance would be pretty exciting, too. 

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