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How the ‘4-point line’ and other court markings are changing the NBA

No, the Atlanta Hawks rookie guard celebrated by pointing to the court, encouraging Lonzo Ball and the Staples Center crowd to gawk at his shooting range.

If he had been in Atlanta’s practice facility, he would’ve been pointing at something more tangible: the Hawks’ “4-point line.” Over the past few years, the NBA has experienced an offensive explosion.

“We game-ify the gym.” He knows that isn’t a word, but Philadelphia’s practice court has been “Game-ified,” morphology be damned.

Save for the addition of the 3-point line, the official dimensions and lines of an NBA court have hardly changed since 1951.

Like other coaches, has added extra markings, carved out special zones and divvied up the playing surface of the Sixers’ practice court – in some cases down to the inch – in hopes of teaching his players the best practices for spacing the floor and scoring.

“We’re constantly trying to educate players quicker and more directly,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce says.

Much of the “Game-ification” process has centered on the 3-point line, which has been a central driver in the NBA’s offensive revolution.

With the rise of analytics over the past decade, teams have scrutinized their shot location and encouraged players to take 3-pointers and layups while de-emphasizing contested midrange jump shots.

With the NBA’s ongoing emphasis to make players think efficiency and spacing, Brown installed one extra line on the Sixers’ practice court in February 2017: a phantom gray 4-point line.

The Chicago Bulls taped a white 4-point line to the floor of the Advocate Center over the summer.

Pierce, who was an assistant coach in Philadelphia prior to this season, brought the line south when he was hired to coach the Hawks this offseason.



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