Tuesday, February 15, 2011
So You Think You Can Shoot? Ray Allen's a Rare Breed
Congrats to Ray Allen passing Reggie Miller for the most 3-pointers made in NBA History. I haven't done an NBA blog in a while so I figure I'd take a look at what shooting has become in the league instead of discussing the matters of the league.
(Since you're curious, trading Bynum for Carmelo is a stupid idea. 1) You don't trade size for a guy who plays just like Kobe, 2)You don't trade size when Boston, San Antonio and Miami are big teams that can exploit that., 3) You don't trade size unless you have enough in bulk. Glad this is just a silly rumor and I wouldnt be surprised if Melo stays in Denver.)
Back to Ray-Ray, I decided to check the all-time 3-pointers made list. Growing up, I only knew that Dale Ellis was #1 for the longest time and Reggie was going to pass him at some point. But looking at this list now made me bug out.
3. Jason Kidd - the man nicknamed Ason Kidd for so many years is ahead of Dale Ellis????
4. Peja Stojakovic?? I forgot he's still in the league and he's tied with Dale for now??
6. Chauncey Billups
7. Rashard Lewis????????
8. Jason Terry???
10. Eddie Jones - wow at this.
**And right outside the Top 10? Steve Nash, Paul Pierce. Even funnier??? Antoine Walker at #18 and Vince Carter at #19 ahead of the Black Mamba.
If you notice, most of those names entered the league in 1996-1999. That's right around when most guys stopped shooting mid-range shots and starting camping around the 3-point line as well as an influx of European players who lived for that shot. Of course the league also suffered thanks to poor drafting too but that's another story.
People might respect the numbers those guys above have but I respect real shooters. To explain my take on the Jay-Z metaphor of respecting the shooter vs. the one who got shot , if you got shot, everybody knows about it. In basketball, everyone will know if you take a gang of 3's and make them. But like Jay said, I respect the shooter - guys who are respected as great shooters with great form, technique and a high percentage of makes.
I don't care what that list says. I respect great long-range shooters like Larry Bird, Glen Rice, Chuck Person, Mark Price, Dell Curry, Jerry West, and Thunder Dan Majerle. Nobody can tell me Rashard Lewis is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and not expect me to laugh with a straight face.
Here are the Top 10 leaders in 3-point shooting percentage of the Top 50 made.
1. Steve Nash (.431) - Even if he's overrated, that's still wow.
2. Wesley Person (.418) - Chuck's lil bro had game on his own
3. Dana Barros (.411) - hahaha I remember lil Dana well. 5-11 and lethal in his day.
4. Brent Barry (.405) - Rick would be proud that Bones evolved from a dunker with the Clippers.
4. Mike Miller (.405) - you wanna know why everyone wanted him this summer? That's why
6. Dale Ellis (.403)
7. Allan Houston (.402)
7. Dell Curry (.402)
9. Peja (.400)
9. Glen Rice (.400) - Still one of my favorite shooters ever. You gotta be if you outshined MJ getting a triple-double in the All-Star Game to an MVP.
Now let's add some more guys who aren't in the Top 50 who have a great percentage. Courtesy of Basketball-reference.com yet ignoring their weak criteria of being on the list if you have 250 three pointers made. Anthony Morrow #1? Boobie Gibson - #8? Yeah right.
Steve Kerr (.454) - The all-time leader in my opinion.
Hubert Davis (.441) - Never knew dude nearly shot 50% from 3-point land in a season
Jason Kapono (.439) - My favorite UCLA Bruin outside of Baron Davis growing up
Drazen Petrovic (.437) - Possibly the greatest foreign player ever besides Dirk
Tim Legler (.431) - He earned that ESPN gig because he had game.
BJ Armstrong (.425) - Ask Michael Jordan about his game.
Mark Price (.402) - Deadly despite being 6-foot nothing
Chris Mullin (.384) - There's a reason I owned his jersey as a kid
Larry Bird (.376) - The guy who's form I try to copy now. The standard of great shooting.
Chuck Person (.362) - This looks misleading. I consider anything above 34% to be great so this passes the test.
Most of the guys ranked in the Top 50 should be credited for merely hanging around long enough and just shooting enough attempts to justify making enough. But their shooting % isn't that solid (i.e. J-Kidd is at .349 while Ray Allen is at a more than respectable .398). And the fact Charlie Ward shot 3's at a better clip than Chuck Person doesn't mean the Rifleman was overrated by any stretch.
Guys are taking way more 3's so naturally their numbers are more inflated. They may end up making more at a better clip by definition of law of averages but that doesn't mean I'd fear them in a game catching fire.
So congrats to Jesus Shuttlesworth as he's indeed one of the best shooters in league history - a far cry from his days as a dunker in Milwaukee - but I don't respect a lot of cats who've taken all these 3's on the list. You may have a shot but you ain't a pure shooter.
(For another great take on NBA shooters, read this 2009 post from hip-hop/music/sports/all-around encyclopedia Dart Adams who breaks down his favorites)