More than a decade ago when Ariza was a second-year player, his coach with the New York Knicks, Hall of Famer Larry Brown, thought Ariza shouldn’t shoot from the perimeter. Like ever.
“He told me not to even look at the basket or shoot the ball,” said Ariza, 32. “I was definitely afraid to shoot. I just wouldn’t. I would not shoot.”
More than 4,000 three-point attempts later, Ariza’s long-distance shooting is one of the reasons Houston finished the season with the NBA’s best record and the Rockets are in position to take a 2-1 series lead Sunday at Oracle Arena.