A question for coaches
When I grew up playing basketball, all coaches taught that the goal of a 3 on 2 fast break was to finish with an easy layup or dunk finish. Essentially, using the number advantage to get a high % shot.
In recent years I have noticed that junior programs and particularly some State junior programs are running a 3 on 2 set up that results in the ball handler penetrating the key and then kicking out to two players looking to shoot the 3 ball. It seemed like an odd choice, so I thought I'd run some numbers to see if it was the right choice in terms of maximising your score.
If we say that there would be 15 of these opportunities per game and that the lay-up approach finishes with a score 80% of the time (reasonable numbers I think, but maybe could be adjusted), then
Lay up finish @ 80% = 24 points scored.
So what would the 3 point shooting finish need to be to make it the better option?
3 point shot @ 35% = 15.75 points scored on 5.25 successful shots
3 point shot @ 40% = 18 points
3 point shot @45% = 20.25 points
3 point shots @ 50% = 22.5 points
3 point shots @ 55% = 24.75 points
So assuming the 80% layup option is accurate, you would need to shoot the 3 ball at 55% to make it the better option.
Looking at last years U16 Nationals, the best 3 point shooters in the competition shot the ball at approx 46%, while most of the 3-point shooters (those whose main role was to be the 'shooter' and hence put up volumes of 3's) shot at less than 40%, meaning they lay up option is easily the best option.
Even if we drop the successful layup option to 70%, the team would need to shoot the 3 at a better % than the best shooter in the U16 Nationals to score more points.
So, is this something other coaches are pushing? Is it a Basketball Australia thing? Is it trying to be 'modern' just for the sake of it? Outside of elite level basketball, I don't see how it is the best option?? Then again maybe I'm too old school??