connecting on 20 percent of his three-point attempts


Senior Member
Korean - South Korea
Two-time NBA MVP and avid golfer. Steph Curry has been struggling with his shot as of late, connecting on just 20.5 percent of his three-point attempts in his previous four games (link)

Does "connecting 12 for 53 from 3s in his previous four games" work in place of the original part? Why does the author use the preposition "on"?
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    Senior Member
    American English
    No, it doesn't work at all. Ball games generally use percentages, so I would stick with the original; and change "three-point attempts" to "3s" doesn't make any sense; and changing the prepositions simply confuses the matter more.

    We use "connecting on" in this case because "on" is the preposition we use. What can I say? You often have to memorize prepositions, which will change with context.

    He connected on 20.5 percent of his shots.
    He connected with a friend he hadn't seen in 20 years.
    He connected for three points.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Here "connected on" is not a phrasal verb or idiom. Instead, "on" starts a prepositional phrase "on 20% of his 3-point attempts". We could change the sentence order (with no change to meaning) and say "On 20% of his 3-point attempts, he scored".

    Here the verb "connect" (meaning "score") is intransitive (it has no verb-object). "He shot. He connected." Your suggested alternative sentence uses it transitively: "connecting 12 (shots)". I am not sure whether that transitive use is correct, but making a verb transitive often changes the meaning.

    I see you got "from 3s" from the news article, which says that in the current game "Curry drained 6-of-15 shots from threes", meaning he attempted 15 shots from 3-point range during the game, and sank 6 of them (40%). This is understandable in the context of the article, whose main topic is Curry's record in hitting shots from three-point range. But "from 3s" is not understandable in a standalone sentence, because it is not a standard phrase with a well-known meaning.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    But "from 3s" is not understandable in a standalone sentence, because it is not a standard phrase with a well-known meaning.
    I agree. While I know the basics of basketball and I understand there is a line outside of which you score 3 points instead of 2, I would not immediately realize that's what you meant if you said "from 3s". In particular in this example the reference to his golfing shifted the context to the extent that I initially wondered what was being said about his golf score."
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