Next Basketball Revolution: The 3-Point Layup


I had two thoughts when I saw the following Joel Embiid play.

  1. This is why a new football league with no real marketing push can out-draw a marquee NBA game.
  2. Embiid missed a golden opportunity to do a 3-point layup.

We have seen the 3-pointer take over basketball at all levels, but there is still an advancement to be made when it comes to “outside” shooting. There is a loophole in the rules. For a shot to count as a 3-pointer, the shooter’s feet have to be behind the 3-point line when he rises to shoot. That’s it. He can land inside the 3-point line, and as long as he released the ball while he was in the air, it’s a 3.

You can see where I’m going with this. Embiid spans the length of the floor in five dribbles, bouncing it for the fifth and final time right at the top of the key, and continuing in for an uncontested dunk. But let’s say Embiid stopped at four dribbles, and launched from behind the 3-point line. With a full head of steam, Embiid is going to cover at least 15 feet in the air, meaning with his arms extended, he’s within range of doing a long finger roll before he hits the ground.

A 3-point layup.

This would most likely be done by certain kinds of players — Embiid, Giannis Antetokoumpo, Kristaps Porzingis — in rare situations like the one Embiid encountered.

But in that specific situation, there is no downside to trying it.  With nobody else even in the lane, he’s going to get his own rebound if he misses it, and then he’s dunking it home anyway.

Maybe somebody, somewhere, has done this. But I’ve never seen it attempted in a game at any level. The only thing that comes into range of a move like this is when a guy will throw himself an alley-oop off the backboard, sometimes as a way of beating a double team.

That’s a clever move if you can pull it off. but it’s only worth two points. The first player to master the 3-point finger roll will change the game forever.

Plus, it would be awesome.