Three Points—the Evolution of Basketball Strategy

The three-point gimmick was only adopted by the U.S. National Basketball Association in 1979 and in the 1979–1980 season there was an average of just 0.8 three-point scores per game. The innovation was not adopted in Olympic play until 1988. The frequency of three-point attempts has grown steadily over the years, with an average in the 2021–2022 season of 35.2 attempts and 12.4 scores per game, for an effectiveness of 35%. The “trick” is that the 50% greater score for a success makes up for the lower probability of success.