When the NBA instituted the three point goal thirty plus years ago the feeling was that teams would only attempt the three when they absolutely needed to try a low percentage shot because time was short and the deficit was high.
If you played, but it has been a while since you have been on a court, take a basketball to your local park and try to hit a three point shot. You will see that it is a heave.
The effects of the three point shot have been dramatic. Before the three point goal, a team could be dominant, and only would be dominant, if they had a big man. For years the Knicks, my team as a kid growing up in NY, could not compete because they did not have a center. If a basket from twenty feet counts as much as a basket from two feet away, then a big guy who could muscle in close and take an easy lay-up was a tremendous asset. However, now if you have a team with two or three, long range shooters, then they become more valuable than a big center who will only score two points as opposed to the three. You see players now with open lay ups passing it back to a teammate who will try a three.
There are few dominant centers now in the Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Walter Dukes mold. It is not because there are fewer physical types. It is because they are--relative to their value in the 50s and 60s--insignificant. Russell would always have been an asset because he was a winner and a terrific rebounder. However, without three point shooting threats who knows how many championships the Celtics would have won.
This is even more evident in college basketball. A big guy in college was your ticket to championships. UCLA had Jabbar (then Alcindor) and Walton. And it went beyond the centers. A player like Adrian Dantley was an outstanding college player because he was adept at getting the ball in low and taking/making short shots. Dantley would not be a stud in the three point era whereas JJ Redick who could shoot the three was a featured player.
The three has changed the game for the better as it has precluded one big player from dominating a game.