clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Of 3-point anomalies: Quincy Acy and Wayne Ellington

New, comments
NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Lowe gets into 3-point shooting Friday and has chosen one current Net and one former Net to show the disparate effect 3-point shooting skills can have on teams.

And the two players go up against each other tonight.

Lowe argues that Quincy Acy, the current Net, is someone who shouldn’t be hurling the ball from deep. Yes, it’s a way to open up the court, but Acy needs to hit those shots (and he did against New Orleans) to give his role some credibility.

And he notes that Wayne Ellington, the former Net, is a player for whom the green light is always on ... and without his shooting, his current team, the Heat, wouldn’t be a contender.

Here’s Lowe on Acy...

I know everyone has to shoot 3s now, but can Acy maybe chill on contested above-the-break triples early in the shot clock?

Acy is heaving more than eight 3s per 36 minutes, and he's down to 32.5 percent after a hot start. Only three players have ever shot so often and so poorly: Michael Adams almost 30 years ago, and both Nick Young and Kobe Bryant in Bryant's carnivalesque final season. Even Antoine Walker is a little ashamed. (Yes, I realize the boom in 3s is going to render a lot of these historic comparisons irrelevant. Can I just have this bit of fun, please? Also, I kinda wish we could erase Bryant's final season from the archives.)

And Ellington... of the Heat

Last season, Erik Spoelstra told me he wanted Ellington to jack 10 3s in a game. He might need to pump the limit up to 15, because Ellington already has cracked the 10-triple mark seven times this season. Ellington launches some of the most audacious, high-wire catch-and-shoot bombs in league history. He doesn't care if his defender is almost literally in his hip pocket (if NBA jerseys had pockets):

Ellington squares up in a snap, and pogo-sticks so high -- and so quickly, without a pump fake -- that his line of sight is clear even if a defender is jostling his leg. Ellington has drilled 41 percent of 3s when defenders are within four feet of him, one of the best such marks in the league, per NBA.com.

Ellington is shooting 43 percent from deep on almost 10.5 attempts per 36 minutes. Only six rotation players -- Ray Allen, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Peja Stojakovic, Damon Jones (!) and JJ Redick -- have ever cracked 42 percent on at least six attempts per game with the arc at its current distance. They have hit those benchmarks in 12 seasons combined, and the Splash Brothers account for seven of them. As much attention as the Warriors get, we still may not fully appreciate the degree to which they are an anomaly.

Hell, only four players have ever even tried 10 triples per 36 minutes: Curry (twice), plus James Harden, Eric Gordon and Troy Daniels last season...

Ellington has become the player every team that had him before -- Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland, Brooklyn, and the Lakers -- wished he would be.

The only Nets player this year who can match Ellington’s shooting is Nik Stauskas and obviously, that’s a small sample. Expect a lot of three’s Friday night ... or at least 3-point shots.