Spurs guard Danny Green has shot an incredible 25-38 (66%) on three-point field goals through 5-games of the NBA Finals. Furthermore, for the entire 2013 postseason Green has shot 51% (53-103) from behind the arc.
How does Green’s accuracy compare to the best 3pt-shooters in Jazz playoff history? Bobby Hansen holds the franchise career-mark with a 50% 3pt-FG percentage during his Jazz tenure which included 40 playoff games in 7 appearances although he took far fewer per game as he played in an era where the 3pt-shot was rarely utilized.
Here’s a look at the highest 3pt-FG percentages posted by a Jazz player during a playoff run. Due to the inconsistency in games played over yearly playoff runs – in order to qualify a player had to average a minimum of 1.25 3pt field goal makes per postseason game.
|Highest 3pt FG Percentages in Playoffs|
*Minimum 1.25 made per game
-Jeff Hornacek had an unbelievable 1996 postseason as the Utah Jazz advanced to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. With John Stockton hobbled with elbow, hamstring and groin injuries, Hornacek became Utah’s clear #2 option on offense behind Karl Malone and performed brilliantly, with two 30-point games, five games scoring at least 25-points and an overall shooting percentage of 50.2%.
|Jeff Hornacek 3pt-Shooting By Round – 1996|
A few other notes:
-Bobby Hansen’s 1988 postseason – in an era where far fewer 3pt-shots were taken – was also impressive. Hansen shot a blistering 9-11 (81.2%) from behind the arc in Utah’s 3-1 first-round series victory over Portland.
-Bryon Russell became a fixture in the Utah Jazz rotation with his strong 1996 playoff performance. Russell was especially hot during the Jazz’s 4-2 series victory over the higher-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals – shooting 13-20 (65%) from 3pt-range.
-Deron Williams’ 2008 postseason marks the third and final time a Jazz player has shot 50% or better from behind the 3pt-line in the postseason. Deron shot 13-22 (59%) in Utah’s 6-game opening round series over Houston and followed that up with a very respectable 15-34 (44%) 3pt-shooting clip in the ensuing 6-game series against Los Angeles Lakers.
A few familiar names don’t appear on the list, most notably John Stockton. While there may not be another player in Jazz history who fans would prefer more than Stock to take a three with the game on the line, John’s 3pt-shooting percentages were substantially lower than those posted in the regular season. Although he never attempted a large amount of threes, many of his postseason attempts were of the lower percentage variety with the shot or game clock winding down. Stockton’s most prolific 3pt-shooting performance came in Utah’s first-round victory over Seattle in 2000 – in which he shot 6-7 (86%) on threes in the 5-game series.
Additionally Mehmet Okur is another decorated Jazz shooter who did not make the list. Although Okur hit some clutch threes (i.e. 2007 Game 7 at Houston), for his Jazz career he shot 34.3% in the playoffs. While he had two playoff series in 2007 (Rockets – 27% and Spurs – 31%) which dragged down his overall average – he did shoot an above-average 38% (10-26) against the Warriors in 2007 and an impressive 44% (15-34) in 2008 against the Lakers. Unfortunately, injuries (hamstring in 2009 and achilles in 2010) severely limited his availability during his last two postseasons with the Jazz.
In Utah’s last playoff appearance – a 2012 4-game first-round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs – Utah’s leading 3pt-shooter was Devin Harris who made just 4-15 (27%) while the Jazz as a team made just 9-45 (20%) in the entire series.
The volume of threes is not essential to success in Jazzbasketball – but accuracy is paramount to ensure Utah maintains their valued floor-spacing to run their offense efficiently.
In just 3 seasons, Gordon Hayward is already ranked #11 for most 3pt field goals in franchise history – and has done so posting yearly marks of 47.3%, 34.6%, and 41.5%, respectively. Whatever the Jazz choose to do as far as assembling a point guard and fellow wing around Hayward – at least one of those pieces must be another respectable three-point shot to keep defenses honest.