If the Phoenix Suns’ number is 30, then why not 40 3’s?

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

First year Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov says that he wants his team to average 30 3’s a game this season. But if they are going to do that (they are off to a great start), why not shoot for 40?

The Phoenix Suns are moving in a very interesting direction under Igor Kokoskov, assuming some of the offensive qualities that make the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets so interesting.

But while I have been a tremendous supporter of the 30-3’s a game approach, I have recently been thinking: Why stop there?

Unbelievably, last season the Suns set the franchise record for most 3-point attempts on the season with 27.9 a game. They did so in such a poorly run offense though that too few of their shots were taken while the shooter was open and in rhythm and the Suns ended up with the worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league, the first time in franchise history they have done so (they have led the league six times).

This season, the Suns are built to shoot 3’s. They have an offense that is predicated on ball movement and passing. They have shooters up and down the roster. They have a head coach that demands shooting a lot of 3’s.

Why not go all out, full Houston Rockets, and shoot 40 a game instead of 30?

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Think about it: Kokoskov’s offense is based on the modern NBA Jam idea that shots should be focused on layups and dunks (the highest percentage shots in the game) and the 3-point shot, a shot just as efficient as a 2-pointer taken two feet in front of the line, only 50% more valuable.

Why not pull a Mike D’Antoni and go head first and all-in on this concept and shoot 40 a game, taking a 3 whenever the inside shot isn’t available, or when Deandre Ayton is sealed off?

The Rockets are the only team in NBA history to ever average 40 3-point attempts a game, and they have done so twice in the last two years. This is an especially interesting strategy too for one particular reason: it is absolutely fun to watch – especially when they the shots are falling – akin in excitement to the Seven Seconds or Less strategy.

If the Time to Rise moniker is taken absolutely seriously this season and they want to start winning as much as possible this season (obviously I’m not presuming that this strategy would mean 50 wins by any means), their best bet won’t be through defense, but rather through outscoring their opponents, and for the first time in several years, they have the roster to pull it off.

In the starting lineup alone, Devin Booker is an above average 3-point shooter, averaging 38% from beyond the arc last season, and fans should have no reason to believe that he won’t be able to break 40% this season – or at least remain right on par.

Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza are accomplished 3-point shooters, and both come from the Houston system where they are used to taking 40 attempts a game as a team.

If Kokoskov tells them to jack up the 3’s, they’ll do so, and at a terrific clip.

Jamal Crawford is an excellent 3-point shooter, Troy Daniels as well, and if T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson have actually improved their outside shots (which was not apparent during the preseason, but through one regular season game they did look more confident with Booker playing next to them), then the team is built to shoot, and hit, a ton of 3’s, and they should focus on doing so.

In the end, it just seems to me that aiming for 30 3’s, while that might seem like a lot, is actually a fairly arbitrary number. Why say 30? Why not say 33 or 35? If you say 30, then why not say 40?

In fact, when you say “average” 30, then that precludes that there will be games when the team won’t shoot 30. Why not?

Why not put the baseline  at 30, and shoot for 40 every night? Give the players who are good at shooting 3’s a reason to shoot a ton of them? Keep the offense in constant and fluid motion and keep the defense constantly on their heels?

Overshoot and outshoot their opponents, give the fans something truly fun, unique, and revolutionary to watch, and raise what is currently expected as 30 3’s a game, and make it 40.

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The math is there. The example is out there. The reasons are solid and the number 30 is as arbitrary a baseline as there could be.

The Phoenix Suns should really up their game, and attempt 40 3-pointers a night.