The NBA’s 3-point dependence is stronger than ever.
For the ninth consecutive season, the league record for 3-pointers made per game has been broken. Even if zero 3s are made in the final four days of a regular season that ends Sunday, the league’s average in 2020-21 will be higher than any other season.
The 3s-per-game record was clinched when Washington’s Davis Bertans made the NBA’s 26,375th 3-pointer of the season Wednesday night. Bertans connected with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ game against Atlanta.
Teams entered Wednesday averaging about 12.7 made 3s per game this season. The previous mark was 12.2 per game, set last season.
There’s no shortage of other 3-point marks that were broken in 2020-21.
The Utah Jazz are already assured of breaking the previous NBA mark for most 3-pointers per game by a team over a full season; they entered Wednesday at 16.8 per game, certain to pass the mark of 16.1 per game set by the Houston Rockets in 2018-19.
And the record for most 3s made per game by a player in a season is on the brink of falling, with Golden State’s Stephen Curry currently averaging 5.3 — 0.2 per game more than the previous mark, set by Curry himself two seasons ago.
If Curry makes one more 3-pointer this season in either of Golden State’s final two games, he will reset the record. There have also been 13 instances of players making at least 10 3s in a game this season, another record — seven of them from Curry.
The 3-point craze has no signs of slowing down, either.
Entering this season, there had been only nine instances in NBA history in which a team averaged 13.5 3s per game for a full season. There are 11 teams on pace to average that many this season alone.
The rate of 3s made per game has basically doubled in the past 10 seasons, from 6.4 per game in the 2011-12 campaign to where it is now. And the rate of 3s attempted per game, as might be expected, is also on a record-setting run.
Teams are averaging 34.6 3-point tries per game, well ahead of the previous record mark of 34.1 per game set last season. This will be the 10th consecutive season in which the record for 3s attempted per game falls.