Phil Jackson sends off fiery tweet about three-point shooting

Phil Jackson has always been known for honesty, and he came out with some honest stuff on Twitter over the weekend.

Whether he was right or wrong in his sentiment, Jackson certainly told his version of the truth Sunday, when he fired off the following tweets which pertained to the perceived value of the three-point shot in today’s NBA.

The Knicks have earned a reputation as one of the league’s least analytics-driven organizations. This string of tweets clearly isn’t helping.

There are a few fallacies embedded into Jackson’s statements, too. Of course, that tends to happen when you only get 140 characters to make a point that has far too much nuance to come across in a couple of sentences.

It’s the old adage: Live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot. Jump shooting teams can’t win come playoff time.

Of course, you should really be shaking your head whenever you hear someone say those basketball idioms, since they’ve proven to be untrue time and time again in recent years. Just look at the champions we’ve had over the past four seasons. 

The 2014 Spurs: Jump-shooting team.

The 2012-13 Heat: Jump-shooting team.

The 2011 Mavericks: Jump-shooting team.

The tweets are an obvious reference to the Warriors, the league’s preeminent three-point shooting team, falling down 2-1 to the Grizzlies and the Hawks, who had the second-best three-point percentage in the NBA, doing the same to the Wizards. I’m sure he didn’t forget about the Rockets, either, who are now trailing the Clippers 3-1. But the reputations are misleading to a degree, not because those teams don’t bomb from beyond the arc, but because their opponents are shooting disproportionately well during the postseason.

Washington is making 43 percent of its threes in the playoffs. 43 percent! Chicago has the second-best percentage in the playoffs at just under 40 percent. The Spurs and Clippers follow.

Teams who make threes are still winning games. And the Warriors and Hawks, who have missed shots in uncharacteristic fashions, are hardly out of their series and could easily come back to win them. 

Also, those who value three-point shooting don’t appreciate it over dribble penetration. Actually, the two go hand-in-hand. The most valuable long-range shots are set, catch-and-shoot opportunities. And what’s the best way to get those? Drive-and-kicks. Dribble penetration.

Jackson’s tweets come off more as hot takes than as anything else. But Knicks fans can rest assure than ideals like this encouraged an out-of-date offensive system to hold them hostage, even if the team mostly scrapped the vaunted triangle offense by the end of the year.