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The NBA Finals with the most trebles in history sanctifies the development of the game

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The Golden State Warriors add their seventh NBA ring with most triples in history after the Finals. Between San Francisco and the Boston Celtics, they’ve started 462 triples, of which they’ve hit 178 in the six games these Finals lasted, 29.6 per game, an all-time record in the series for the ring. Golden State’s outside threat will go down in history as the attack that changed everything in the NBA, but in these Finals, the Celtics came very close to giving up Sorpass to the triple kings. Deciding to fight fire with fire, Udoka unleashed his boys to punish them from a great distance. In two of the series’ games, they managed to beat the Warriors with sets of three, and in two more they were tied.

The number of 3-pointers attempted in finals has been increasing for decades. In the first NBA Finals with triples in 1980, Julius Erving scored the only goal of the series. At the turn of the century, the Lakers vs. Sixers finals averaged 10 goals per game. In the last one, Boston and Golden State hit nearly 30 3-pointers in each game.

In their last final, the Warriors attempted 35 three-pointers per game, this year they’ve increased that to 41.8 shots and 15.3, their all-time record. Most outstanding, however, is the performance of the Celtics, who did not shy away from the challenge, averaging 35.1 shots from three and scoring 14.3. These are the best 3-point shot scores in a Finals in NBA history.

The greatest expression of this evolution in the game is the change Boston has made since their last finals 12 years ago. In the 2009-10 season, the Celtics hit 15.2 triples, including 4.7, nearly a third of what they achieved that year. In that series against the Lakers, there was one game where the Celtics managed just one treble, and this year they’ve reached 21 in the first game, including 9 in the fourth quarter, surpassing the previous record set by the Warriors themselves at Cav in the year 2018

Not even Lebron James and Kyrie Irving’s Cleveland Cavaliers were as adamant about mimicking the Warriors attack as the Celtics. The Cavs suffered under the power of the Curry-Thompson-Durant et al treble through four finals and, paradoxically, triumphed in what was their farthest stretch from their rival in that stretch (2016). This situation of a winning team with fewer triples than its rival has only happened six times in the 21st century, and only the Cavs have done it in the past decade as the tide has taken hold.

This season, 14 of the 30 teams in the league surpassed 1,000 3-pointers when six years ago it seemed like an insane number, only within reach of a team with the Warriors’ pitching. But today all three players are shooting, even the pivots.

Golden State was the first team to show they were capable of winning from wide, fueled by the shots of the splash brothers, Curry and Thompson, the biggest triples in NBA Finals history. In the 2015-16 season, they became the first team to reach 1,000 regular-season three-pointers, including 402 by Stephen Curry, the NBA record for MVP of the last, highest three-pointer in history (3,697).

And it so happens that the Ohio player changed the way basketball is played. Prior to the 2012–13 season, only two players had surpassed 250 threes in a regular season: George McCloud (257) in 1996 and Ray Allen (267) in 2006. That year, Curry hit 272 threes 261 and two in the following season Years later, he increased his own record to 286 converted shots.

But it wasn’t enough for the Golden State shooter. In the 2015-16 season, he increased his own record to 402 triples – almost five per game. He was the pioneer who encouraged others. As can be seen in the chart below, the empty space that existed between the 272 of his first record and the 402 of his last has been filled with the scores of other great three-pointers, such as James Harden, who scored 378 points in the 2018 season /19, Paul George (292), Buddy Hield (282) or his partner Klay Thompson, who added 276 triples in 2016.

The weight of the treble in games has increased year after year, but this season it has definitely decreased in the finals. Almost half of the points scored in the six games in the series have come from 3-pointers. At Golden State, triples accounted for 43.8% of their points and at Boston, 42.6%. Ten years ago, in the finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the importance of the 3-pointer for the two teams was less than 10%. Golden State changed the game and the NBA can no longer be understood without the constant threat from the periphery. Teams like Boston understood this and were able to take advantage of the new trend in basketball to touch the ring.

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Source elpais.com

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