More doesn’t always mean better.
Sure, the large volume of 3-point shot attempts the Chicago Bulls are sure to chuck up this season will keep them competitive on good shooting nights. In five preseason games, the Chicago Bulls have averaged 36 3-point field goal attempts per game which is the fourth most in the NBA.
However, their efficiency in this department hasn’t been nearly as impressive. The Bulls have shot 36.7 percent from 3-point land this preseason which is above league average but only marginally. Furthermore, the Bulls percentage during the preseason may be inflated by several outlier performances.
Denzel Valentine and Justin Holiday have combined for over 12 3-point field goal attempts per game this preseason and are shooting 46.9 percent and 48.4 percent respectively. It’d be incredible if either is able to reciprocate those shooting numbers across the entirety of the regular season.
Jerian Grant and Paul Zipser have also shot the ball from 3-point land above their career averages this preseason. Outlier or a sign of an improved shooting stroke,is up for debate right now.
Despite all the players whose best (or close to best, or any) NBA skill is shooting (Zipser, Mirotic, Valentine, Markkanen, Holiday) the Bulls still may linger around league average in 3-point field goal percentage this season. FanSided.com writer Ian Levy provided a visualization of what the Bulls 3-point shooting could look like next year in a recent article he wrote.
(snipped from a FanSided.com graphic; belongs to Ian Levy.
The chart uses the per 48 minutes numbers of players from last season. Lineups were compiled assuming that these guys would play at least 100 minutes on the court together next season.
Of course, this visual is just a projection based on averages from last season. Markkanen has the potential to be an elite shooter, maybe Mirotic can channel “March Niko” all season, and Grant was the most improved 3-point shooter last year in terms of change in 3-point percentage from 2015-2016 compared to 2016-2017.
We won’t know until the games start to matter. But if you want to look cool in front of your friends, bet that the Bulls won’t be particularly efficient from 3-point land this season even though they will shoot a high volume from this range. (sounds like a really cool friends group -yfbb)