After last night's late game letdown, I thought I was onto something. Detroit's three point shooting was terrible, and so I wondered if the inability to deliver from downtown wasn't the silver bullet during this 6-15 lull.
I had no idea...
For starters, my instincts were correct. Over the last 21 games, we are shooting 32% from three point range. That includes back-to-back games (our last two victories, natch) in which we shot a combined 18-32. Take those away, and we're at 29%.
Those are dreadful numbers under any circumstances, and would be good for second to last in the league. They are even worse when you consider that teams are simply packing in the lane to prevent dribble penetration. For the most part, these aren't contested shots.
But wait, there's more.
The clatter of rim coming from our end of the court apparently isn't distracting our opponents, who are shooting 39% on a virtually identical number of attempts. That discrepancy alone has cost us 2.7 points per game over the last 21 games. Considering that six of our last fifteen losses came by five points or fewer, the difference has been devastating.
All of this compels a few questions:
1) Isn't there anyone on this team who can be relied upon to hit an open three pointer?
2) Why does a terrible outside shooting team play at the second slowest pace in the league? Portland and New Orleans round out the bottom three for pace factor, and both are excellent three-point shooting squads.
3) What exactly is the deal with leaving a guy who has made two three point shots open for a third? How many times does this have to happen?
Well, at least we know the answer to number two...