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6 NBA Teams Who Will Rely Heavily on the 3-Point Shot

Love PatelContributor IIISeptember 15, 2012

6 NBA Teams Who Will Rely Heavily on the 3-Point Shot

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    Teams have varying styles based on the talent and type of players they have, especially in terms of shooting.

    It can make or break a team, especially in cases where it's the majority of their production. We saw it with Team USA this summer.

    In years past, teams like the Orlando Magic were known for generating a lot of their offense from behind the arc. With Dwight Howard gone, things will likely change in Orlando.

    Other franchises have undergone changes that could affect the way they play as well.

    Here's a look at teams that may lean on the 3-point shot this season.

New York Knicks

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    The Knicks finished last season in the bottom third of the league in three-point percentage.

    A lot of that can be attributed to the large volume of shots players like Carmelo Anthony take on a regular basis. If the Knicks want to experience even more success, those shots need to start going in more often.

    Granted, a lot of Anthony's success hinges on getting a certain amount of shots per game, but 3-point specialist Steve Novak's ability to hit them consistently should also work in the Knicks favor.

    Another major factor in the Knicks' long-range game is J.R. Smith. Twice, Smith has made the top five of players who averaged the most three-pointers per 48 minutes in a single season.

    Though his role with the team may be slightly less significant than previously with the Nuggets, not much will change during his time on the court.

    Among those three and others on the team, seeing more threes go in would help their offense tremendously. 

Brooklyn Nets

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    The Nets have a new-look backcourt with the arrival of Joe Johnson, among others.

    Johnson has typically been a decent three-point shooter, especially early in his career with Phoenix, but he has had slumps throughout his career.

    Between Deron Williams and Johnson on the floor, there should be many opportunities.

    Brooklyn's new backup option at guard, C.J. Watson, has also shot well from behind the arc during his last two seasons in Chicago (39 percent).

    The Nets' fast pace style will certainly present many opportunities to get three-pointers in transition.

    Last season, the Nets ranked third in three-pointers attempted. Brooklyn could see its point totals go up as a result of solid shooters joining this offseason.

Atlanta Hawks

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    Atlanta struck a good balance last year ranking in the top ten for three-pointers made per game, three-pointers attempted per game and three-point percentage.

    The Hawks experienced a major makeover in the backcourt this offseason, which brought some talented long-range shooters to the roster.

    Two of them are veteran swingman Kyle Korver and rookie John Jenkins.

    Jenkins was one of the best shooters in this year's draft, and could contribute heavily in the three-point column on the stat sheet.

    Korver has always been among the best in three-point shooting throughout his career, and newcomer Devin Harris is a decent shooter as well.

    The change in players in the backcourt could bring about more three-point attempts and possibly an increase in points per game as well. 

Golden State Warriors

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    The Warriors over the last decade have taken a "glass-cannon" approach to playing basketball games.

    A lot of offense and not as much defense.

    Golden State's hiring of Mark Jackson as head coach brought about a different attitude, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    There's still no denying the fact that the Warriors have players that are extremely talented shooting the basketball.

    Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have both established themselves as cornerstones for the team, and rookie Harrison Barnes was known for his shooting ability at North Carolina.

    Barnes didn't show he was explosive and skilled in terms of driving to the basket, so much of his offense may come from outside shooting.

    The Warriors ranked third last season in three-pointers made per game and second in three-point percentage.

    This is a team that truly needs to hit these shots to win games.

San Antonio Spurs

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    The Spurs have been among the most solid contenders over the 15 years, and they find different ways to stay competitive every year.

    They were surprisingly one of the best offensive teams in the league last season, and much of that can be credited to their exceptional shooting beyond the arc.

    They ranked at the top in three-point percentage and second in three-pointers made per game. It's a trend they've been following for quite some time. The Spurs have typically ranked high statistically in three-point categories the last several seasons.

    Their long-time inside presence, Tim Duncan, showed last year that he can still be a factor; as long as he remains a low-post threat, the Spurs should be in good position to hit a lot of these shots.

    However, Duncan's impact will inevitably wane as his career comes to an end.

    As long as the Spurs continue to play solid defense and knock down shots from the outside, they'll be a force in the Western Conference.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Minnesota has struggled for years to break onto the scene in the West and count themselves among the contenders. Injuries and other factors have repeatedly set them back.

    They look poised to make that breakthrough this season.

    With the additions of perimeter players like Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger, Kevin Love can expect some much needed help.

    Ricky Rubio has shown he is good at finding his teammates in the right spots and setting them up for success.

    Last season, Minnesota attempted the sixth most three-pointers per game, but ranked in the bottom third in three-point percentage.

    If more of those shots are taken by the right guys on this year's team, the Timberwolves could see a huge boost in their effort to position themselves for the playoffs.

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