As the NBA has continued to shoot more three-pointers and defenses have adapted to trying to run shooters off the line and into the range, Michael Pina writes at The Ringer that there has been a significant rise in one-dribble three-point attempts.
The Golden State Warriors led the NBA in 14-15 in this category at 2.7 percent of their shot distribution, but it would now rank No. 29.
Zach LaVine and Jayson Tatum lead the NBA in one-dribble shots this season.
“Now it’s just 3s, but my first couple years I shot a whole bunch of one-dribble pull-ups along the baseline and stuff like that,” LaVine told Pina. “It’s just something that I had to add. Instead of me getting catch-and-shoots—they’ve been taking those away—the one-dribble pull-up has helped me create space.”
“Once you put the ball down, you’ve gotta reset the ball in a position that you like,” Washington Wizards guard Shabazz Napier said. “That’s where the field goal percentages drop. It’s not like players want to dribble.”
Duncan Robinson described his version of the one-dribble 3 as more of a “throw-out dribble”—one dribble in stride to evade a defender hot on his tail. “So I’ll come off a pin-down, throw it out, one dribble,” he said. “It’s just a little bit different than what you’re typically going to see.”
Trainer Drew Hanlen has worked with LaVine and Tatum on improving the one-dribble three-pointer.
“You’ll see a lot of guys’ shots break down off the dribble,” Hanlen said. To get them comfortable from one season to the next, “most of them are making 250 to 500 3s a day, every single day throughout the summer. That’s how they actually see those increases in range, increases in percentage, and increase in frequency of them taking those shots.”
“I’m not one of these guys who’s gonna get the ball and try to facilitate and put it on the deck,” Joe Harris said. “But I’m always trying to find windows, find space. A lot of those catch-and-shoot opportunities are few and far between right now.”
Harris sees the one-dribble three-pointer as his best alternative.
“If I don’t have space initially, off of some sort of screening action,” he said, “then I utilize one dribble.”