But think about it. Knowing the percentages are close to the same for a 3-point shot and three foul shots, why not play tough and try to foul before the shot, knowing that even if you get hit with a three-shot foul, it’s virtually the same as letting the guy shoot?
I know, this all sounds counter intuitive. Sounds crazy. You don’t foul a guy on a 3-pointer. You don’t let him shoot unguarded shots to tie the game.
Except the math says you do. And this is not counter intuitive. Quincy Pondexter, coming off a screen and jacking up a 3-pointer, has little time to think. He’s all instinct. Put him on the line, with the game on the line, and all of a sudden the pressure mounts.
This kind of theory doesn’t work all the time. Depends on the player. You’d be nuts to foul Marc Gasol, an 84-percent foul shooter, behind the arc. Or Zach Randolph, who’s made two of 23 this season from 3-point range.
But Quincy Pondexter? I don’t think fouling Pondexter was Scotty Brooks’ instructions. But Reggie Jackson didn’t make a bad play.