It might be overkill to look at the Utah Jazz’s struggles when I wrote about Toronto’s shooting yesterday. That, and Zach Lowe touched on the cramped spacing for Utah at the end of his latest column. But I’ll also look at a few more things about the corner three, including which team was once so good from that special area that it was silly.
But to start, as you can see in the Jazz’s shot chart, there are a lot of areas where the Jazz are struggling to convert offense from. None of it is worse than the corner three though, where they’ve shot a whopping 9.1 percent (3 for 33). It’s obviously a small sample size and a few other teams have been brutal from the area that usually produces the most efficient shot outside of a layup, but it’s difficult imagining the Jazz not being one of the five worst shooting teams from that area by season’s end. Who’s going to make those shots? Can Richard Jefferson catch fire for like one game? Where’s Brandon Rush? It might be up to Gordon Hayward, who was at least 45 percent from the right corner last year.
Again, it’s only been eight games, but hopefully they don’t break the record for worst shooting ever from the corners. That record belongs to Grant Hill, Jerry Stackhouse and the 1998 Detroit Pistons who shot a record-worst 25.2 percent, according to NBA.com. To stay above that mark, Utah, if they keep taking the same amount of shots from the corner as they previously have, will have to make at least 28 percent from here on out.
Hopefully that’s manageable, and it should be. No team has made less than 30 percent of their corner threes since the Jazz of 2007. If it’s not, then starting 0-8 may only be the beginning of a long, frustrating season in Salt Lake City. (At least there’s college basketball to look forward to.)
It’s weird though. Utah used to traditionally be at or near the bottom in corner threes attempted but were very good at making them. And since they were good at making them (they shot 50.7 percent in 1999, which is nowhere near the best and soon you’ll see who is) then why didn’t they shoot more? Why didn’t every team shoot more from the corner? No team neglected corner threes as much as Portland did in 1997 though, according to NBA.com, setting the record for the least corner threes attempted in a season with 86. Last year, 12 teams surpassed that many attempts before December.
But in 1997, another record involving corner threes was set–and this one is way better! The Charlotte Hornets, featuring Dell Curry and Glen Rice in his career year, set the record for the most accurate shooting from the corners by making 108 of their 175 attempts for a blistering 61.7 percent. Most teams today don’t even shoot that well around the rim. (Edit: Glen Rice was 45 for 68 from the corner three — 66.2 percent)
There are a ton of good shooters from the corner today but picturing a team breaking that mark, combined with the total number of shots taken there? That would surely be a team for the ages. Hopefully the Utah Jazz don’t end up on the opposite end of that discussion.