Three-point shooting big men are becoming a big part of the modern NBA. Even players who you couldn’t imagine shooting from outside the bucket, let alone outside the arc.
Lopez might be the biggest surprise of the past season. Up until last year, he mostly played around the bucket and in the post, but he needed to change up his game, as that was the Bucks superstar’s domain: Giannis Antetokounmpo. That meant Lopez only had two choices: broaden his game, or sit on the bench. Lopez chose the first, and even earned a new nickname: ‘Splash Mountain’.
In his first six seasons, Lopez didn’t make a single three-pointer, and he ended the season with 436. How’s that for improvement.
Jokic keeps improving on every aspect. He’s proved that he can play point-center, is a great pick-and-roll partner, but can also be a threat from the outside. His three-point percentage went down a bit last season, but that was mostly because the Serbian shot more threes this time around. Besides all that, he is still one of the better 3-point shooters.
Embiid somewhat had the same problem as Brook Lopez this season, as the Philadelphia 76ers had not one but two players who were playing in the bucket. This meant that Embiid shot about 4 threes per game, hitting 30% of those. Both Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler rarely took a shot far away from the basket, but always tried to get to the rim. This will probably be different for Embiid in the upcoming season, as Butler is now in Miami, and we’re all sure this will be the season Ben Simmons will start to shoot threes in a game.
Porzingis sat out the entire 2018-2019 season due to an ACL injury, but he’s set to step on the court for the Mavericks during opening night. During his last 1,5 season with the Knicks, Porzingis hit more than 35% from behind the arc on about 5 three-point attempts per game. This time around, with the Mavericks, Porzingis will probably get a lot of pick-and-pop possibilities, as the Mavs legend Nowitzki used to do, giving him a lot of opportunities from three. As soon as he finds his groove on the court after sitting out more than a year, the Mavs with Porzingis can be a real threat.