Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett thrived on mid-range jumpers. That was their thing so it kind of became the identity of the Celtics. The thing is, stats have taught us over the years that a long 2 pointer is inefficient. It worked for those guys because they were so adept at it. However, for the rest of the world it makes more sense to either pound the ball into the paint (for higher percentage shots) or step out and take the three pointer (lower percentage but more points per bucket for a net positive).
So it should come as no surprise that analytics minded Brad Stevens wants the Celtics to take more three pointers - provided they are open.
"One thing I heard him say to Kelly and Sullinger on the bench - he yelled at them, actually - don't ever pass up an open three," said Avery Bradley. "He wants us to take open, smart shots. I think we're going to shoot a lot of threes this year, considering that we have a lot of stretch fours on this team." Said Gerald Wallace: "We have pretty good shooting bigs, and so you want to spread out the floor with that. It takes away from the other team's inside defense, because they have to respect the shooters on the floor." It's all in the percentages, according to Stevens. "We’re not frowning on two-point shots," he said. "You prefer to get those after ball reversal. If you can choose between a 20-footer and a 3-pointer, it makes sense to shoot a 3-pointer."
Now I don't think this indicates that we'll be a team of chuckers. For one thing I don't think we have enough pure shooters to pull that off. But we've got multi-talented guys that can shoot the three pointer as part of their games. I wasn't aware that Sullinger was one of those guys but if he can hit a few of them, I'm all for it.