Author : Sai Krishnan
Swish! That sound is probably the best you will ever hear in a basketball game. If the ball’s shot from behind the arc, it’s a visual treat as well. There’s something magical about a player rising up and popping the ball right into the net from 23 feet out. Even those critics who say that this shot is a liability would have to agree with that.
Apart from the dunk, the 3-point shot is one of the deadliest and most damaging shots in the game. But quite contrary to the impact it causes, the shot is filled with grace and poise on the part of the shooter. There are many players in the league who shoot 3′s on a regular basis. However, there are few players who cause the entire opposition and it’s fans to groan in desperation when they gather their shot from behind the arc. This list comprises of the top 5 deadliest 3 point shooters in the league right now.
5. Steve Nash
Steve Nash. The name triggers just one thing in the minds of every basketball fan – passing. Delicious dimes. However, this guy is a vastly underrated 3 point shooter, mainly because he excels at dropping assists. Nash has shot a career average of 43% from beyond the arc. This shows that he is as consistent a 3 point shooter in the game as anyone.
He has scored over 5000 points from beyond the arc over a 16-year career. In fact, 30% of his points have come from there. His APG has come down drastically from previous seasons, while his 3 point shooting still continues to be strong. In fact, he’s the main reasons the Los Angeles Lakers’s 3 point shooting didn’t completely stink. The main reason for Nash being on this list is his consistency and his ability to knock down 3′s like they are pieces of cake, even at the ripe old age of 39.
This 2-time MVP is now 39-years-old. His impending (I have thinking that for years now) retirement will have a tremendous impact on the game, not just as an exceptional point guard, but as a brilliant 3 point shooter.
4. Mike Miller
When he isn’t sitting on the bench suffering from one ailment after another, Mike Miller is one of the best 3 point shooters in the league today. He has suffered from ankle, back and hernia problems this season, which has limited his presence to just 59 games.
Miller’s best examples of 3 point shooting this season came in the playoffs. In Game 2, Spoelstra switched Miller for Battier and Miller drained 3/3 three pointers, which provided the edge needed. Miller played a major role in helping the Heat secure the championship. His injuries have prevented him from achieving his full potential.
He has a career average of 41% from behind the arc. He scored more than 60% in one season and over 40% seven times. He has secured 42% of his total points from 3 pointers. Spoelstra and Heat would be hoping that after the off-season, Miller would be back to his full potential and help them in their title defence.
3. Kyle Korver
There are not many things Kyle Korver is good at. He’s a small forward and at 6’7″ is ideal for it. However, this guy can shoot. And he’s very good at it.
Korver is no scorer. He’s a shooter. As simple as that. Korver is one of the few guys who would drain a shot for sure if left open. He has taken part in a lot of 3 point shooting contests too.
He ranked second in the league in 3p% and 4th in the number of 3 pointers made. He made 189 3-pointers at .457 efficiency. The former Chicago Bulls small forward now plays for Atlanta Hawks. His mere shooting ability has landed him the number three spot on this list.
2. Ray Allen
He’s the best 3 point sniper of this generation. The deadliest shooter in the league is also one of the oldest players in the league. Ray Allen’s legendary status as a 3 pointer shooter is no secret. He holds the all time record for most number of 3 pointers made. Allen didn’t have the best year of his career when it comes to 3 point shooting. He ranked number 11 in 3p% (.419). However, he made the most important 3 point shot of the year.
It was Game 6 of the NBA finals. The Heat were trailing by 3 points with less than 10 seconds on the clock. LeBron James took a 3, missed it and Chris Bosh collected the rebound. And who was open at exactly the right spot at the right time? Allen. Bosh passed it to Allen who coolly dropped the shot as if it was a practice game. No pressure, guys. That shot sent them in to overtime which made sure that Heat got another game, another shot at the title.
Ray Allen is 38 years old and he will retire soon. However, until his last game, we know that Allen will do what he does best: Provide clutch 3s calmly, and then celebrate like a maniac after they fall. His retirement will be a great loss to the game.
1. Stephen Curry
One of the best budding players of the NBA, Stephen Curry fits the traditional 3 point shooting, offensive, guard like a glove. He’s 6’3″, slight, light on his feet, quick and has one of the most graceful shooting forms in the league.
Curry’s reputation of shooting 3 pointers at an incredible rate preceded his entry into the league. Irrespective of the level of play, he has made the region behind the arc his home territory. Curry has steadily improved his 3 point shooting from .437 in his rookie year to .455 last season. He ranked number 1 in 3 pointers made and number 3 in 3p%. Curry is also the key player of the Golden State Warriors. They would be hoping that his form will continue into the next season.
Being just 25, Curry has a lot of time and potential left in him. He could probably attain the heights of Reggie Miller or Steve Kerr or Ray Allen when it comes to 3 point shooting, provided his ankles and back remain injury free. His fans would certainly hope so.