Blogtable: Is it time to move the 3-point line back farther?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Time to move back 3-point line? | More remarkable: Spurs’ run or Curry’s shooting? | Who needs win more in Warriors vs. Thunder?



VIDEOThe Starters weigh in on moving the 3-point line back

> Mavs owner Mark Cuban says the 3-point arc is “getting too close” and believes the NBA should think about moving it farther back. Agree, disagree, or need more time to contemplate?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comExcuse me?! I’ve been advocating for a deeper distant 3-point line for the past year. And I take it a step further by suggesting that the court be widened to accommodate a true arc at the deeper distance — no more shorties from the corners that even your Uncle Bill could hit. That extra point should be a real bonus, rewarding risk and legit shooting proficiency. More space inside the arc would welcome back the mid-range game, where so much of the game’s artistry (think Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, George Gervin, etc.) takes place. Fewer 3-pointers would wring some of the sameness out of the league and restore a premium on talented big men. And don’t worry about “losing pricey front-row seats” by widening the court — there’s always going to be a front row, a second row and so on, until you run out of room at the top of the arena and lose the last few rows.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com I’m going to side with Mark Cuban here. Not just because the sharpshooters of the league have become too competent at the current distant and turned it into shooting for kewpie dolls on the carnival midway. But also because of Cuban’s other goal — to hopefully put more emphasis back on the mid-range game, a lost art.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comMore time. I could see it happening one day, as the game continues to change, but don’t see the need for that kind of adjustment now. While the three-pointer has become a greater weapon and teams are making more from behind the arc, it is because they are shooting more. Not because they are shooting better. There is no reason to counter now.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Let me say that I agree with Cuban 95 percent of the time, but this is not one of them. Why punish players for getting better at shooting? It was just 15 or so years ago when folks complained that the international players were far too skilled at shooting than their American counterparts. And now that we’ve improved, it’s time to make changes? I think players need to get better at defending the 3.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comIt’s fine the way it is right now. Layups (1.20 points per attempt) are still more valuable than corner threes (1.12) and a trip to the free throw line (1.51) is still the most efficient way to score. So getting into the paint and working inside out is still an important aspect to NBA offense. Stephen Curry certainly changes the math and the Warriors make defending the whole floor a near-impossible task. But the MVP is a unique player, the champs shouldn’t be penalized for putting together an almost-perfect machine, and we don’t need to change the distance until the overall math shows tells us that getting to the basket isn’t critical.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I disagree with Cuban on this one. And what’s with everybody trying to come up with rules changes to mess with a beautiful game? Guys can jump out of the gym these days, but I don’t see anyone lobbying for the rim to be raised another foot. I enjoy watching the current crop of sharpshooters knock down shots from all over the floor. Not everyone is shooting it like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But this is one of those times that I think we should all just sit back and enjoy the show instead of trying to manipulate things.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: I like things the way they are. One decade ago there was a lot of talk about the death of shooting in American basketball and how too many NBA players were lacking in skill. Let us enjoy the ongoing display of the Warriors and other explosive teams under the current system of rules, because this celebration of offense has been a long time in coming.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog I disagree with moving the line — we didn’t raise the basket when more people started dunking. Although if the general feeling is that there are too many 3-pointers being hoisted, I have two alternate suggestions that might be worthwhile. (Or might be terrible ideas.) First of all, how about leaving the 3-point line and instead adding a 4-point line at, say, 30 feet? That would open the floor up even more. Or, we make a unilateral decree that every team is allowed to shoot just 10 threes per game? It would then be up to the team to decide how and when they want to budget them, and once they take 10, every shot counts as 2 points, even if it was taken from half court.

48 Comments

  1. Tired of people with money trying to weld their power onto everything. I am a huge sports fan and finally it has gotten to the point that all players can compete because they don’t all have to be 7 feet tall thus the 3 point shooting more. It is refreshing to have a more diverse game with all type of shots. Leave it alone, it takes a lot of commitment and time to perfect this type of shot and as we see…Curry…can be done well at any range.

  2. Dennis says:

    I disagree on extending the 3 point arc. This is a desperate attempt by teams who lack the long ball skills to stay competitve. If they had Curry or Thompson on their team, I don’t think this would even be an issue. NBA is evolving and becoming more popular than ever.

  3. sports fan says:

    Keep the 3-point line the way it is except widen the court so the corners are the same distance as the rest of the 3-point arc.
    Also, raise the rim by half a foot.
    Add a 4-point line, half court is 5 points, 3/4 court is 6 points, & full court is 7 points.

  4. Paul says:

    If you are going to move something, start with widening the sides first for a true arc rather than moving it back. That alone would space the court.

  5. hackdetector says:

    if you’re going to make 3pt line further just because players can now shoot better, why not make the rim higher ?

  6. sanjay says:

    with sissy 3 point defending and low budget iq with flat footed big guys and small guys( 6 ft 3 is called small only in nba circles) it is near impossible to guard curry! the basketball becoming big has become its own curse now. with the rules loosened all of a sudden a light guy like curry is wreaking a havoc. you cant foul him because he is near 100% from free throw line and you cant really knock on his hands without getting fragrant beyond the arc, the flat footed big guys just cant move quickly and he is able to lob under hand with ease. mattew delavadova gave the recipe last year to stop him. you need guys to choke him down and make him earn his point. right now barring that blazer guy no body is capable of hustling curry on defensive end. Unless the opposite point guard can wreak havoc ala curry it is not gonna change. In time other shooters will also catch up. It is not that they are not trying but it will take time.

  7. sanjay says:

    also raise the height of the hoop by at least a foot! the 3 point line on the edges is closer and hence has to be adjusted. widening the court by a foot is not a bad idea. But needs to incorporate something to make the midfield game count!
    may be it is time to play 6 guys( if field is widened). some thing has to be done otherwise the day is not so far when 500, 3 pointers per seasons will become all too common.

  8. c4 says:

    I actually love to see Whitaker’s suggestion of a 4pt line to happen. Just like how the Skills comp this year featured bigs vs smalls, this might help refresh things.

  9. Sddk31 says:

    Time to play better defense!

  10. Jason says:

    It’s just temporary. When the three point line was established it wasnt easy for most players, because they didnt grow up having a three point line. Today, players learn how to shoot threes right from the time they learn how to shoot the ball. If this new 3point line or even 4point line is ever made, we will have the same discussion after 10 years or even earlier. By the way, about 10-15 years ago, I dont remember Mr. Cuban suggesting to move the 3point line when his team is shooting the lights out from beyond the arc, for obvious reasons i guess. Teams then followed the trend paving the way for stretch 4. So if there’s anyone, or team/s, who could be blamed for players/teams playing like they have been now, I have Dallas and Sacramento of early to mid 2000s in mind. Yes I also like the mid-range game and watching how MJ used to dominate it. Now Dirk uses his unblockable fade away. Oh, yeah he plays for Dallas. But if everyone, including the last man on the bench, is so good in shooting the threeball then by all means do something about it.

  11. Culture, please says:

    Don’t think David Stern putted the rim at 4.5mt after Oakland slam dunk all star game. Why don’t you start to call constantly for travel ? Travelling is not part of basketball. “To shoot better” it’s just part of human evolution.

  12. glendale73 says:

    If they’re moving the 3-point line then might as well move the free throw line for the same reason! I mean, the top 10 free throw shooters average around 90%. For these guys it’s just like scooping in a lay-up shooting from the bonus! Yet, I don’t see them moving the free throw line anytime soon.

    What needs to happen is for the teams to adjust to defending the shooters better. There are teams out there who are doing this and there are those who does a terrible job at it making shooters look better by giving them plenty of open looks.

    Curry will always attempt around 10 to 15 a night and that’s at least 15 to 21 points (based on his average). So for a team not to defend better outside the arc, shooters like Curry will automatically get his 15 to 21 points shooting threes on a nightly basis.

  13. drago says:

    The only change i would implement is the elemination of conferences and going for strait up seeding from 1 to 16 and make it so that everybody plays each other 2 times in one season and then strait to the playoffs.

  14. Pete says:

    Moving the 3 point line back a bit wouldn’t make much difference. Most players shooting threes do so from just behind the line but this is not the limit of their range (Steph being a prime example). The only way it would make a difference is if the half way line was the three point line (this is a joke by the way). I wouldn’t be against making the court a little wider as players are so much much bigger than in the early days of the game but the court is the same size, and let players play tougher defense like they used to, getting rid of the hand check rule is a good start.

  15. ALES says:

    THAT IS REALY Mark Cuban TO SAY WHILE HE IS SITING AND EATING AND DRINKING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM ON COURT AND SHUTING THE BALL FROM 3 POINT WHEN THE BEST ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IS IN FRONT OF HIM,THAT IS YUST STUPID A FEW OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD CAN DO THAT AND NOW IT IS TO CLOSE WHEN THEY CAN DO IT.

  16. Ryan Medida says:

    I disagree with Mark Cuban… His motivation is for personal gain. During the time when Dallas won 67 games in the regular season before losing to the no. 8 seeded Warriors… Dallas was in the top 5 of 3 points basket made. Fast forward few years later Dallas won it all. Dirk Nowitzki was dominating the league in shooting behind the arc, but NO such suggestion from Marc Cuban then. If Mark Cuban is the owner of the Golden State Warriors, you’ll never hear him open his mouth to suggest of moving the three point line back.

  17. Thay says:

    The day they move the 3 point line is the day I stop watching the NBA. How stupid can that be? Is the hate on Stephen curry THAT big. Unreal! Grow up and stop acting like highschool kids. Enjoy his skill for crying out loud. It’s beautiful when he can make shots even in action. We see how much even Klay can struggle with it. His kind of shot takes SKILL much more than a dunk. I don’t recall the rim being raised higher for very tall players. Just STOP that hating. So ANNOYING.

  18. bogart says:

    What the! Cuban! To make the league more entertaining. why don’t they bring the hard nose defense that has been allowed during Jordan Era. Then let us see who are the real players….

  19. chris says:

    Why not make the ring smaller so that it is hard to make the 3’s. Steph change the game. Team should extend their defense behind the arc and not moving the arc.

  20. NicoR says:

    You can’t just extend the 3-point line. It will not solve the issue perhaps magnify it. If not you will be just giving a favour to the selected few sharpshooters, especially to the splash brothers. The paint will be more open and they will be pushed outside the line. It will start to look like 4v4 . Just let the coaches figure out how to play them with their defence or maybe it’s time for the players upgrade their defensive skills. Just appreciate these selected few players. They come by once in a blue moon. #IMO

  21. Martin says:

    I reccomend to consider adding new line for 4 ! points . It will create new possibility to change the score in the end of the game .

  22. Karl says:

    Moving back the 3-point line won’t change the game as drastically as people like Mark would like to think. The players of the NBA would just keep on practicing at the new range instead. The thing going on here with Steph Curry and all is that the players are realizing how much publicity and fame he’s getting by knocking down so many three’s. They won’t be intimidated by a longer arc, it’ll just improve their shot instead. That’s my theory at least.

  23. Marc says:

    No way! What’s the point in moving the 3 point line in the first place? Be honest. It’s not to help anyone in the rest of the league, it’s true intentions are to slow down and suppress Stephen Curry. And news flash, it’s not gonna work. This is a guy that can literally pull up from about 50 feet and with a high percentage make that shot. How is moving the line back gonna stunt him? It won’t. And there’s no prevalent reason to, it’s not like the rest of the league is shooting phenomenal from 3. You may have 6-8 pretty good to excellent 3 point shooters in the league. Is it worth changing just to challenge them?? That’s like saying the rim should be 12 feet instead of 10 because of the handful of 7+ foot players cause it’s too easy for them to reach the rim and they shoot for too high of a percentage. It’s non sense. What about when Yao Ming played? He was what, like 7’6″? Why did no one petition for the rim to be lifted then?? Now just cause Stephen Curry has excelled much further than 90% of the rest of the league he should be technically punished? It literally doesn’t make any sense.

  24. grahaml says:

    Actually, the half joking suggestion of raising the rim might end up being the best suggestion of the lot. Put it up 6 inches maybe, make reaching it something of an achievement again. People will always get more and more athletic and that will never stop being an advantage, but we should always try to make sure sport is skewed in favour of the most skilled, not the most athletic.

  25. Nolan says:

    To move the three-point line back is to make the court bigger to cope up with its proportions.

  26. creco says:

    Others have said it, but they should raise the rim height before moving the 3-point line. It’s too easy for NBA players now to dunk.

  27. The Voice of Reason says:

    This is probably the ONLY time I will ever agree with Mr Sekou Smith – with freak athletes like Wiggins, Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Lavine etc. you don’t see anyone asking for the rim to be push up.
    Teams need to get better at defending the 3. It’s frustrating how much emphasis is put on limiting the offence in this instance. People want to see high scoring – no shift worker on a tight budget fronts up a wad of hard earned cash to watch people miss for 2 hours. Teams need to learn how to defend the 3 ball rather than make the shot itself harder and harder.

  28. Mikke says:

    Bring back the hand check then you could slow the 3 point down a bit

  29. alflex519 says:

    Nope, step ya D up fellas!

  30. Surfbolt says:

    We might as well make the rim smaller because Steph is too dam good!!!!!

  31. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA man says:

    I got the answer with a question. Why? It is like saying let’s stop the dunking and go with the touch of the rim. Or how about lets just erase the 3 three point line and call it two points only. So stupid to have a dumb idea. Just because you can’t rain three’s does not mean to just move the line. How about get better in defense, there is no all dominate defender like the 90’s NBA is all offense. And great plays.

  32. No. No. No. says:

    Why dont you raise the ring, push back the free throw line and make the ring smaller as well…yeah that will make the game better to watch.

  33. Michael says:

    How about delete the 3-point line?

  34. dave says:

    Hey, the only strategy left to beat the Warriors is change the rules. Guess you can’t blame him for trying lol.

  35. RA says:

    This is a ridiculous idea. Besides curry and maybe durant, no one else in the NBA can consistently hit 3’s. That is because it is far enough. Quit trying to ruin basketball because of a couple of elite superstars finding things too easy

  36. Splash. Only Curry would make consistent 4 pointers. We would be making the rule for him. Don’t do it!

  37. IJustCallit HowISeeIt says:

    I can’t provide a reasonable agreement or disagreement with Mr. Cuban’s statement until I know why he said the 3 point arc is “getting too close.”

    Mark Jackson made a clever statement about how Mr. Curry is “hurting the game.” The splash brothers are so good at shooting behind the arc that players try to emulate what they’re doing without actually putting in all of the work that is needed in order to be able shoot and score the way those two do. When Mr. Jackson spoke about “high school players shooting 3’s,” I didn’t think he was specifically talking about “high school players.” I think he was talking about the so-called professional players who spent 4 years in high school and 1 year in college and think they can come in the league and shoot something like 2 of 10 from behind the arc and expect to get the same attention that the splash brothers get. Mr. Jackson knew that he couldn’t just call professional basketball players “high school players.”

    Based off of what I SEE, I think players like Damian Lillard or James harden are hurting their teams because they take too many shots from behind the arc just to be able to be in the “best shooters” conversation. Those type of players play the game for attention, that’s why their team’s record is a reflection of their style of play, which is, a “ball like I’m Kobe” during the season and when the playoffs come, then worry about winning. Players envy the splash bros, so, their pride gets in the way of them winning the game as a team. Maybe that’s why Mr. Cuban said what he said, the players who are trying to experience the glory that the splash brothers experience are the reason the line should be extended. They are “reach’n” and it’s destroying the game. They should stick to crossovers and dunks and leave the professional style of play to the splash bros.

  38. bullsfan4lyfe says:

    MOVE IT BACK!

  39. rbwjazz says:

    I disagree that the three point line needs to be moved. Several of the starts pointed outbgreat reasons why the current three point line should stay the same. The midrange game is different now and the three is in style. You have not raised the rim because more people are dunking so don’t move the three!!!

  40. entertainmentfactor says:

    the flaw of the NBA going all the way back to the very beginning with the Celtics dynasty: that one team (or two and in this era it’s typically the Spurs but now the Warriors too) could put together a perfect team the rest of the league can’t stop leaving us to mourn the tragic fates of worthy “normal great” contenders like the Clippers, Thunder and Cavaliers… Spurs got their 4, Warriors have had Curry, Klay, Green and Iggy etc. — more to do with good management than too threeasy..

  41. skywalkerrr1 says:

    One of the biggest problems with the current line is the effects its having on the style of play and development of players. The game is being too homogenized by the clear favoritism (for logical reasons) of the most valuable shots. Which is where i think Schuhmann is missing the problem. Layups should be most valuable since your next to the basket and freethrows come from a foul, but then there is arbitrary line drawn where this shot adds an extra point which skyrockets its value per shot because its at a perceived distance where low shooting percentage negates the extra point. But its still a trainable skill and possibly the easiest area to create an open look against todays elite defenses. So we have 30 NBA teams all trying to get the same three shots over and over and an influx of players that have a primary focus of just defending and spotting up all game. so if you can even sniff 35 % the team would still rather you be taking that shot than a 45% shot from somewhere in the yard. But i think if you can keep an average player to 25-30% it would dramatically help balance the game. Then is the most powerful argument in my opinion, but least rational, that is the beauty and aesthetic of the game that would come from a wider court where more action can take place throughout the half court.

  42. walter says:

    There’s no question the 3 point line needs to be moved back to it’s original distance of 23’9. The problem with the shot today are there are too many 3 pointers shot during a regular game. Nothing is more frustrating than watching two teams go down court time after time, and miss 3 point shots. You will even see teams turn down a guaranteed lay-up for an attempt at a 3. That’s not the way the game was ever intended to be played. The 3 is a way to get back into the game or a way to use for spacing, so the lane is not so congested. Move the line back!

  43. ajax says:

    I don’t think anyone advocating the line be moved has really thought it through, ESPECIALLY Mr ‘lets extend the width of the court too’.
    Whats the best kind of 3, besides in the corner? Open. How much easier will it be to get an open 3 with even more spacing? Plenty.

    The reason Steph Curry is exception, besides having even longer range, is that he’ll take and make contested 3’s. Half the players in the league could hit the majority of the shots he takes, if not contested. So yeah, lets make that easier to do…

    • Issa says:

      Ajax, that’s the first thing that popped in my head. More spacing= more open 3s= more 3s for teams like warriors and hawks and others

  44. Lovins says:

    Lol at 4-point line suggestion by Whitaker. That would never even be used unless you were down 4 with less than 10 seconds left. Unless you are Stephen Curry.

    Anyway, there is flawed thinking here in the idea of moving it back in an attempt to slow teams like the Warriors. If anything, it would only separate them even more from the rest of the league, since Curry and Thompson already shoot from 25 feet regularly. Their % drops a little, but the rest of the league drops even more. Teams who shoot a lot of 3s but at a low % now (like Houston) would be the teams suffering. They’d pretty much be forced to change their game entirely. Or else watch Harden shoot 2-10 from 3 every game lol