Jamal Crawford and the Four-Point Play


Dec 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) celebrates after making a three point shot against the Utah Jazz during the fourth period at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Utah Jazz 98-90. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA expanded their game by adding the three-point shot in 1979.

Once the new rule was admitted, Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics made the first three-point shot in NBA history on October 12, 1979, but if you ask the Chicago Bulls they say it was Sam Smith on the same day (the debate continues).

With the addition of the three-point line an arc radius of 23 feet, 9 inches and no less than 3 feet from each sideline came the ultimate NBA play called the four-point play which, for some odd reason, has no player to give credit for being the first to execute the play.

A four-point play is the rare situation when an offensive player shoots and makes a three-point field goal while simultaneously being hit by a defensive player, resulting in a shooting foul and one free throw being awarded. The NBA and their referees have changed their ways of officiating fouls beyond the three-point arc, the regularity of the NBA four-point play is becoming more prevalent each and every season.

The Los Angeles Clippers have the best played in NBA history on conquering the four-point-play feat, Jamal Crawford, who now has 39 in total. Reggie Miller had 23 in his illustrious career is second all-time while  Dirk Nowitzki (14), Ray Allen (12), and Kobe Bryant (9) are the only active players in the NBA on the top-10 list of most four-point plays according to Philadelphia 76ers statistician Harvey Pollack who has kept track of the statistic since the 1979–80 season, and has recorded it in his annual book Harvey Pollack’s NBA Statistical Yearbook. The limited statistical information for 4-point plays created confusion about whether Reggie Miller’s career total was 23 or 24 but is no longer important due to Crawford shattering the record.

Crawford on breaking the record while a member of the Atlanta Hawks:

“That’s huge,” Crawford, noted, “hopefully I will continue to add to it.”

“I shoot when people don’t expect it, so when I do they try to react and by that time I am already in my shooting motion.” (per NBA.com)

Crawford’s NBA game is something to watch and often times you might catch the person next to you watching the game jaw drop because of his exciting brand of basketball. When shooting a three, he has a long follow through which keeps his availability to get fouled a second longer. The key to Crawford’s success stems from the fact that the fouls almost always occur after the ball is released and he is returning to the ground.

On April 27, 2009, James Jones of the NBA’s Miami Heat completed two four-point plays in an eleven-second span during the second quarter of a playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks. He shares two NBA records with Crawford most four-point plays by one player in a single game and most four-point plays by one player in any single quarter. Crawford passed Miller while having played 744 fewer games.

According to NBA.com he has played over 26,000 less minutes and has attempted about 3300 less shots from behind the arc. He doesn’t use the “leg kick” like others in the NBA, which is illegal.

Will someone pass Jamal in the future?