With Kyle Korver describing the set-up in Orlando as creating a ‘shooter’s gym’, that could end up both as a help and hindrance for the Milwaukee Bucks.
As the Milwaukee Bucks cruised to victory in their scrimmage against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday in Orlando, it was striking just how well they were shooting for a team playing just their second game, and first with full 12 minute quarters, since play was suspended back in March.
The Bucks knocked down 44 percent of their three-point attempts, with Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, Wesley Matthews and Sterling Brown all among those to make multiple triples.
Clearly leading the way was Kyle Korver, though. The veteran sharpshooter led all players in the game in scoring, thanks to his 22 points, which came by way of his 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc.
Speaking to the media after that performance, Korver made an interesting revelation on the set-up of the Orlando arenas, particularly from his perspective as one of the all-time great shooters:
“I think it’s a shooter’s gym. I like the dark — the gym feels good when it comes to shooting.”
If Korver’s first reaction to the arenas at Walt Disney World holds up over the remainder of the regular season, it could be a real game-changer for the Bucks. Although that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it would lead to change for the positive.
As my colleague Jordan Treske detailed on Monday, the Bucks have been the NBA’s standard bearer when it comes to three-point volume this season, but that hasn’t coincided with Milwaukee standing as one of the league’s most efficient teams from distance.
Therefore, at first glance, Korver’s comments would seem to be music to the ears of Bucks personnel and fans. If the team that holds the league’s best record and takes more triples starts to make a higher percentage of their triples, a championship season for Milwaukee should be a mere formality, right?
Well, not exactly.
The truth is that the Bucks are also proud owners of the league’s best defensive record, but that comes from a scheme that Milwaukee has built where they’re actually content to surrender three-point looks to opponents, depending on where they come on the floor and which players end up taking them.
The 38.6 three-point attempts the Bucks allow per game to opponents is the worst mark in the league, per NBA.com/stats. So it only seems fair to question whether the prospect of a “shooter’s gym” would ultimately benefit the Bucks’ high volume shooting, or punish their willingness to let opponents fire away at will too.
The answer is almost impossible to predict at this time, but it would certainly add another degree of variance to a final stretch of the season that already has no shortage of quirks and oddities to begin with.
If Kyle Korver’s perception of the set-up in Orlando proves to be true, there’s every chance that the finish to this season could end up being an unpredictable one. That will make for a double edged sword for the Bucks, and one that they’ll hope to survive on the right side of.