For decades the transition three attempt by a member of the Utah Jazz was a huge taboo . This season the Jazz have joined in with the rest of the league in launching the transition three.
However, after years of being trained that the transition three is a poor shot you can still hear the groans in Energy Solutions Arena and on our broadcasts whenever we miss the transition three.
It would take brighter minds like Kevin Pelton and the crew to dissect the value of the transition three and if it is in fact a poor shot.
In a more rudimentary manner I thought I would look to see how it has worked for the Jazz.
This season the Jazz have taken 159 transition three’s and made 71 for 44.7%. Last season in 66 games the Jazz took just 86 transition three’s, in 2010-11 the Jazz took 139 transition three’s.
In contrast to the Jazz conversion rate of 44.7% on transition three’s the Jazz have hit on just e 35.7% on all non-transition three’s.
Overall the Jazz have had 1258 plays in transition and used only 159 for three point shots. My guess is 12.6% of transition possessions as a three is still on the low end of the league.
The Jazz average points per possession in transition is 1.12 and when they shot at three at 44.7% the average point per possession is 1.31. The transition three is actually converting at a higher rate than a regular transition opportunity .
For the Jazz best three point shooters a transition three may be a really good idea. The 4 best three point shooters on the Jazz roster this year are 65 of 135 for 48.1%.
This year Randy Foye is 35 of 70 on transition three attempts (50%). Mo Williams is 11 of 20 on transition three attempts (55%). Slightly, less effective is Gordon Hayward at 12 of 30 or 40% and Marvin Williams is 7 of 15 from 3 in transition (47%).
The other Jazz players are just 6 of 24 in transition with Alec Burks at 1 for 10. Many of Burks shots are at the end of a quarter.
Bottom line, the Jazz four best three point shooters are hitting 48% of their three point shots in transition. To equal that inside the arch the Jazz would need to shot 72%. Maybe the pull up three should bring a cheer not a groan.