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Damian Lillard One of NBA’s Best Three-Point Threats

While the NBA Finals was not what everyone had hoped for, it did offer up to even the most novice of fans the importance of making three-point shots.

Three point shots for both teams in the NBA Finals started, continued and ended runs.

The sport has been a game of runs and always will be and hitting three pointers instead of just two is what keeps some of those runs going. Hit two successive three wrapped around an opponent’s miss and you have a 6-0 run in just two possessions. If your team was down five, they are now up one and if your team was up five, they are now up by double-digits an all important psychological number.

Stats back up the importance of shooting threes and each team that wins uses runs through three-pointers to extend leads and to get back into a game.

Thankfully, the Portland Trail Blazers have a rising star in the NBA that loves the three-pointer. Damian Lillard sank 218 three-point shots this past season, just his second year in the league. He averaged 2.66 per games over the 82-game regular season good enough for third in the entire league.

What might be more impressive is he hit 39.4% of his threes.

Lillard was behind just Golden State’s Stephen Curry with 261 made and Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson with 226 made. However, when Curry was in his second season in the NBA he made just 151 threes, compared to the 218 made this season by Lillard.

Lillard’s three-point shooting this season was one of the reasons for the immense success the Trail Blazers enjoyed. By hitting almost 40 % of his shots from behind the arc, Lillard caused opponents to be a bit more honest on defense and not sag into the middle against Robin Lopez or LaMarcus Aldridge.

Lillard handles the ball more than any other of the Trail Blazers, and is the second offensive option overall behind just Aldridge.However, his talent does not stop at the three-point line. He is a rather talented point guard who also happens to be a good three-point shooter.

Lillard this year took part in more All-Star events than any other player had done prior to him, he was selected to his first All-Star Game, was on the All-NBA team and hit a number of buzzer beaters to tie or win games.

Lillard put up an amazing 554 three-point shots and hit 218 for his 39.4%.

In the recently ended NBA Finals, the eventual champions the San Antonio Spurs made 55 of their three point shots, hitting an average of 11 per game.

If that were put over an entire regular season of 82 games, it would come out to 902 three-point shots made.

The leader this past season in the NBA, the Houston Rockets, made 779.

Portland is lucky to have two sharpshooters from the outside. Wesley Matthews made 201 of his three-pointers, which was fifth best in the NBA.

Nicolas Batum also can nail down the three and with him, Portland has three of the top 25 three-point shooters in the NBA.

While Portland needs lots of work in other parts of their game especially on defense, their future as far as three-pointers are concerned is solid for the time being.

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