Downtown in basketball is a term to describe the area beyond the 3-point arc. If a score is made from beyond the 3-point arc, an announcer might use this phrase. For example, if Steph Curry hit a long 3-pointer, the announcer might yell, "Curry, from downtown!"
While downtown is used to describe all the area beyond the 3-point arc, it is usually used when a player hits a long three-pointer. This is a shot from well beyond the three-point arc.
Half Court Shot
If a player hits a shot from his own half of the court, the announcer probably will not refer to it as downtown. Rather, they will emphasize the distance and describe it as a half court or full court shot. These shots are very rare and usually only happen when the game clock is about to expire.
Shooting from deep downtown is a 3-point shot that is far away from the 3-point arc. This is a very long and difficult shot.
Why Shoot from Deep Downtown?
Remember that any shot from beyond the 3-point arc counts for 3 points, regardless of how far away the shooter is. With that said, why do some shooters choose to try shots from deep downtown?
One reason might be tight defensive coverage. If the defense doesn't allow the other team's offense to get any good looks, they may settle for a shot from deep downtown.
Another time a team might shoot from deep downtown is if the game clock or the shot clock is about to expire. A low percentage shot is better than no shot!
A player might also choose to shoot a long shot if he is trying to intimidate his opponents. There is nothing more assertive than hitting a long 3-point shot with ease.