Igor Kokoskov’s 3-point shooting dream number

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Last season the Phoenix Suns were one of the lower team’s in 3-point shooting around the league. This season new head coach Igor Kokoskov has a plan to turn that around.

Once upon a time, the Phoenix Suns were the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA.

Steve Nash. Jared Dudley. Channing Frye. Leandro Barbosa. Goran Dragic. Grant Hill. Jason Richardson.

The Suns were chucking up and draining 3’s at fantastic rates for their era, their attempts averages only recently bested by the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

Since the end of the Nash era though, the Suns have not been one of the better or prolific outside shooting teams.

In fact, they have, at times, been downright awful.

But with strategic singings and certain trades for players to replace others who have not been good from beyond the arc, the 2018-19 Phoenix Suns might finally have the right talent and be heading in the right direction, maybe someday re-acquiring their rightful spot upon the top of the NBA’s 3-point shooting hill.

However, roster construction is only one half of the equation.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

While the roster’s summer reconstruction of a number of good outside shooter’s is is set (and still growing with the new edition of Jamal Crawford), the strategic side has yet to been seen in regular season form, a side that has a head coach who has attached a number to it that will excite many throughout the Valley of the Suns:


Igor Kokoskov wants his team to shoot 30 3-pointers a game – on average.

To put that into perspective, the Phoenix Suns have never  attempted 30 3-pointers in a game (on average) in a season.

In fact, last season was actually their highest attempts per game average in franchise history (mainly due to Jay Triano’s attempt at reigniting the offense) at 27.9 per game, although their shooting percentage of 33.4% was the franchise’s fifth lowest in the last 20 years.

The Golden State Warriors have only averaged 30 30-pointers in a game twice  in their history, in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Last season they attempted 28.9.

The Houston Rockets have exceeded that goal in each of the past four consecutive seasons, with the past two each surpassing 40 a game.

Needless to say, if the Phoenix Suns can actually meet Koko’s goal and average at least 30 attempts, that would be a huge number – in a league where that number is actually quite huge.

For 30 attempts a game to make any sense whatsoever, the Suns would have to actually make   a decently high percentage of them, otherwise they’re just wasting their shots, and giving their opponents free defensive passes.

Houston has made 35.4% of their attempts in each of the last four seasons, while Golden State has drained a their outside attempts at a remarkable 39.7% clip over the past three seasons (including last season when they didn’t take 30 a game).

The Suns, however, have averaged 33.2% from outside the last season seasons, and hasn’t made more than 34.8% of their attempts in the last four years.

While 35.4% to 34.8% isn’t that huge of a leap in percentage, the number is actually quite large when considering the sheer volume of 3’s that Houston has attempted over that stretch versus the number the Suns have been attempting since the start of 2014-15.

A higher 3-point percentage though is now possible with the addition of Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson (both prolific 3-point shooters with Houston) and Crawford, as well as the loss of Marquese Chriss.

If T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson make any strides in their shooting, then the team as a whole should jump well above last year’s mark, catapulting their offense in the direction that we all hope they will after such a poor showing the past few years.

If rookies Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, and De’Anthony Melton also make their outside shots at a good rate (each were above average 3-point shooters before coming to the Suns) then they too will assist Phoenix hit a higher percentage of shots, something that Davon Reed was unable to do, outside shooting being one of his better talents coming out of Miami.

Next. Valley of the Suns Live! The Regular Season Preview Edition. dark

Igor Kokoskov’s plan of having his team attempt 30 3-pointers a game this season would place them in a position in the league that is truly rarefied air.

If they are able to pull it off, that in and of itself would be exciting.

But if they are also able to drain their attempts at a clip that is somewhere between Houston and Golden State of the past few years, their 3-point shooting alone would be a jump start to the offense that would lead to much more scoring, and hopefully a few more wins as they slowly grow and build towards the future.