Bucks stockpile more long-range shooters

JERRY TAPP

Based on the moves the Milwaukee Bucks have made this off-season, it appears that not reaching the NBA Finals last season won’t stop them from staying the course with their style of play. Anyone thinking that missing out on an NBA title would force the team to adjust their offensive strategy can forget that thought.

Although the team lost a couple of three-point weapons in Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, the signing of Wes Matthews Jr. and Kyle Korver shows the team is committed to having three-point shooters in the starting line-up and coming off the bench.

Last season the Bucks set a team record with five different players making 75 or more three-pointers during the season (Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brodgon and Tony Snell). That broke the record of four players with 75-plus made three-pointers in a season (it happened four seasons, 2016-17, 2012-13, 2010-11 and 2002-03).

In addition, the team last year had eight players who attempted 150 or more shots from beyond the arc, again a team record. The eight: Lopez, Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, Snell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova. Seven players attempted 150 or more three-pointers in 2016-17, the previous mark: Giannis, Brodgon, Snell, Matthew Delavedova, Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic and Jason terry.

Replacing Brogdon and Snell will be the aforementioned Matthews and Korver. Here is what they bring to the team from three-point range:

  • Matthews was 150-for-403 (37.2%) from beyond the arc last season. In his 10-year NBA career, Matthews has made 75 or more threes in nine of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in all 10 of his seasons. He has played 60 or more games in each of his 10 campaigns and he is a career .382 three-point shooter.
  • Korver is recognized as one of the league’s top long-distance shooters. He was 113-for-294 (38.4%) on threes last season. In his 16-year NBA career he has made 75 or more threes in 15 of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in 15 of his 16 campaigns. A durable competitor, Korver has played 65 or more games in all but one of his 16 NBA campaigns. He is a career .429 three-point shooter. An added benefit is that Korver played under current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta; not only that, but in four NBA seasons Korver led the league with the highest three-point shooting percentage… three of those four seasons  were in Atlanta playing for Budenholzer.

One downside of the Matthews and Korver signings is that both players are in their 30s; Korver will be 38 next season and Matthews will be 33. Brogdon is still relatively young in NBA years and will be 26 when the next season begins.

Here’s another interesting stat about Matthews and Korver: Of all NBA players who have attempted 1,000 or more threes in a career, Korver ranks sixth all-time with his three-point career shooting percentage of .429. The five players ahead of Korver are Steve Kerr, Hubert Davis, Stephen Curry, Jason Kapono and Steve Novak. Matthews is in the Top 100 in this list tied for 88th. The only current Bucks player on the list is Khris Middleton who’s .388 career three-point shooting percentage is tied for 62nd on the list.

Bottom line… the Bucks have filled their roster with more three-point shooters for next season. Now imagine what will happen if Brook Lopez can teach his brother, Robin, a new Bucks signee, to step back and launch some threes.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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