Analyzing the 13-yard 2-point Arc
Lacrosse hasn’t had its two-point revolution. Yet.
Two major factors drove the NBA’s three-point revolution: (1) Steph Curry started splashing threes off the dribble, forcing defenses to redefine their rules and (2) power forwards stretched their games to the corners – where threes are more viable and more valuable.
The lacrosse equivalents of those two factors are tougher to replicate.
Curry’s release is quick. It’s smooth. Through practice, he’s developed a shot that – as long as he can get it off – is as consistent off the dribble as you’d expect from a catch-and-shoot specialist. He uses his handle to create separation; after that, it’s just him and the net.
For Curry, it’s all about creating his shot. In lacrosse, it’s as much about what happens after that separation is created. There’s a goalie to beat. Will your momentum allow you to overpower the goalie? From there?
Corner threes – closer than above-the-break looks – in basketball are a staple in modern spacing. Lacrosse players camped in the “corner” aren’t threatening. Angles matter. A corner two in lacrosse holds distance equal and decreases angle. It’s not an option.
But both factors can change this February.
13 yards vs. 15 yards
The 2023 Championship Series will be played with a 13-yard arc. The pool of players with 13-yard range and the real estate available from beyond the arc will increase drastically.
Shooting percentage from the traditional 15-yard arc hovers around 14.7%. From 13-yards and out?
The value of a two-point attempt (0.295 expected points) has always been slightly less than a bid from inside the arc (0.302).
With a 13-yard arc, the math is tilted. All else equal, a two-point shot (0.378 expected points) is now worth more than its one-point counterpart (0.324).
Attackmen will see the biggest spike in two-point attempts. During the summer, they spend most of their time in the aforementioned, nonexistent corner. Paint the arc two yards closer, and Justin Guterding (32.5% from 13+), Will Manny (26.0%), Jake Carraway (18.4%), and Marcus Holman (16.7%) become the lacrosse equivalent of Ray Allen.
When power forwards in the NBA stretched their range to the corners, it opened up the paint for ball-dominant guards. Defenses were stretched thin, trying to corral dynamic pick-and-rolls without readily available help. Heavy-footed big men couldn’t hang. What will lacrosse look like when defenses are forced to respect more of the arc?
Atlas LC off the dribble
The new line might be too close for Atlas LC.
Since 2019, only two players (Mike Chanenchuk and Tom Schreiber) have buried more 13-yard shots than Romar Dennis (19-for-107, 17.8%) and Bryan Costabile (19-for-94, 20.2%).
Carraway can sling it from low angles. Chris Gray flashed that range in small samples (4-for-12, 33.3%) as a rookie. Dox Aitken (2-for-12, 16.7%) dodges through defenses all summer; what happens when he’s incentivized to pull up instead of putting his shoulder down?
Interim head coach Steven Brooks told Sarah Griffin about the impact of the short arc. Expect his team to use it more than anyone – especially off the dodge.