The best shooter in the NBA: stats and facts
There are many skills that a top NBA player needs to master, but being a consistent, reliable shooter is one aspect that can guarantee them a spot in the starting line-up of any NBA side. Shooters now rule the game. Where it was once the big men in the paint who grabbed the headlines, now shooting is the most in-demand skill in the league.
Traditionally, shooting has meant three-point attempts, though the wider definition of shooting can encompass any kind of shot from a reasonable distance. Still, three-point shots are still the gold standard when it comes to weighing up a shooter’s merit, and the number of three-pointers has increased steadily in recent years. San Antonio, Cleveland, and Golden State have all built their success on dead-eyed shooting from distance.
Many of the upcoming games between the big names of the NBA, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors, have become spectacles for the shooting purists. NBA fans wanting to bet on this game and the other big clashes throughout the season will be studying the shooting stats closely before they head to the sports betting markets.
In the era of the shooter, who are the best of the bunch? Which players have made a name for themselves with their deadly jump shots?
Kyle Korver makes fewer attempts than most of the players renowned for their shooting, but what he lacks in volume, he makes up for in accuracy and consistency. Korver has hit over 42 percent of his three-point shots during his career, and has twice nailed 200 or more. This season, he’s as good as ever, averaging 43 percent success with his three-pointers. He’s also continued to climb the all-time shooting rankings, passing Paul Pierce to go fourth in the career list when he hit four three-pointers in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Golden State have been the dominant NBA side of the last few seasons and much of that is down to their shooting. Klay Thompson often gets overlooked in the shooting stakes, not least because he’s in the same team as Stephen Curry, but his stats are pretty impressive. He’s managed 6.7 three-pointers per game during his career to date, which puts him third on the all-time NBA list. With a career success rate of over 41.8 percent and five consecutive seasons of at least 200 three-pointers, he shows no sign of slowing down, averaging over 45 percent with his three-point shots so far this season.
The final piece of the Golden State puzzle, Kevin Durant developed his shooting game gradually, but by the time that the Seattle Sonics had become Oklahoma City, he had fine-tuned his technique. He’s thrown down over 100 three-pointers in six of his last eight seasons and is closing in on that target again this time around. In fact, his percentage of 42 in the current campaign is his best since 2008. With Durant, Thompson, and Curry all firing, Golden State has no rival in the shooting stakes and once again lead the NBA in three-pointers.
When he first entered the NBA, J.J. Redick didn’t seem to have much going for him besides his shooting. However, focusing on that skill has proved to be a good move as he has gone on to become one of the NBA’s greatest shooters. His career success is an impressive 41.4 percent, and he has hit 100 or more threes six times. Now with the 76ers, he has played a major role in lifting Philadelphia from 14th to seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Quite simply, the master shooter. Not only is Stephen Curry’s career three-point attempt frequency better than any player who has ever played in the NBA, but he’s also hitting the target more often. Curry makes an average of 7.4 three-point shots per game, and knocks them down with a success rate of 43.8 percent. Back in 2015-16, he fired off a scarcely believable 11.2 attempts per game, hitting 45.4 percent of them and smashing the season three-point record. If he keeps up this rate, he is on course to pass Ray Allen and become the NBA’s greatest shooter.
The rise of the shooters has transformed the NBA, leading to a more open game, and has produced some of the greatest players in this category ever to grace the sport. NBA fans can look forward to many more seasons of spectacular shooting as the master of the art Stephen Curry continues to set new standards, and his peers attempt to match him.