The NBA’s best, and worst, three point shooters

January 17, 2012

By Jack Maidment

It’s been said to succeed in the NBA you have to have at least one elite skill. If you are a great defender, say Shane Battier, chances are you’ll stick somewhere. Precognitive rebounder, like Dennis Rodman, you have a great chance of staying in the league.

Similarly, if you can shoot the lights out of any gym you play in a team somewhere is going to want you – putting the ball in the hole is never going to get old, hitting the open jump shot will never go out of fashion.

With that in mind here is a break down of the best, and absolute worst, three point shooters in the NBA this season.

To qualify each player had to have taken at least 30 shots from behind the arc (about three attempts a game, give or take).

Without looking I had three of these guys on the list in my head. The rest were almost total surprises.

The Best:

  1. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics. No surprises here. The man with the most three pointers made in NBA history is officially the best shooter from beyond the arc in the league and it’s not even close. Who knew. Jesus has shot 31-54 from three, good for a suitably majestic .574 from behind the arc.
  2. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns. The rookie big man has made 16 of 31. He is shooting .516 from three. Anyone who says they had Morris on this list is a liar.
  3. Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs. 36-71. .507
  4. Brandon Rush, Golden State Warriors. Right player in the perfect offense. 17-35. .486
  5. James Jones, Miami Heat. The second of my three. Junior is a given. 15-31. .484
  6. Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic. Confusure. I thought Turkoglu stopped playing in 2010? 30-62. .484
  7. Nicolas Batum, Portland Trailblazers. 21-44. .477
  8. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs. 14-30. .467
  9. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics. Pretty good when two of the top 10 three point shooters in the NBA are on the same team. Even if said team is awful. 18-39. .462
  10. Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers. He was my third. He will take Eddie House’s moniker soon enough. 22-48. .458

The next list is ugly. I checked the stats on the number one guy at least four times because I couldn’t believe you could miss so many threes without the coach fitting you with an electric shock collar. I picked one right.

The Worst:

  1. Raymond Felton, Portland Trailblazers. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. 6-43. .140
  2. John Salmons, Sacramento Kings. I picked him. 8-44. .182
  3. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves. 8-41. .195
  4. Shawne Williams, New Jersey Nets. 7-33. .212
  5. Lamar Odom, Dallas Mavericks 9-42. .214



NBA Playoffs 2009 Eastern Conference Semi Finals Game 5: Welcome Back Stephon Marbury

May 13, 2009


by Jack Maidment

It is game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals and the Celtics are down big. Paul Pierce is the only player that Boston has been able to count on for points.

Ray Allen is suffering. Nothing is falling for Mr Shuttlesworth, every miss taking the crowd further and further out of the game.

Big Baby Davis is doing his best, but 3rd option on a Championship he is not.

Kevin Garnett is quiet on the sideline, looking at the ground rather than talking smack.

The Celtic’s struggles offensively are underlined by their crumbling defense that previously would have kept them in the game during a scoring drought.

The 4th quarter begins and Doc Rivers is flat out of answers for the Orlando Magic’s charge. And so, he gambles.

Welcome back Starbury. The one time Knick and All Star heads onto the floor surely appreciating the magnitude of a game that must have seemed a distant dream at the start of this season as he sat and rotted in street clothes on the New York Bench.

The crowd is quiet, knowing that Stephon Marbury has hardly been stellar coming of the bench since he signed. But I guess beggars can not be choosers and so he goes to work.

The inevitable rust of a player who is over 30 and played little is clear. He misses a couple of jumpers. And then, the man with the tattoo on his head, starts to play. As he once did.

He hits a 3. And a jumper. He starts to demand the ball and is visibly annoyed when the Celts differ to Big Baby for a Kobe-esque fadeaway. Which, surprise, misses.

The next time down the floor Marbury gets the ball, drives, resets, asks for a screen at the three point line, drives right, finds space. 3. Nothing but net.

One. Man. Offense.

A once double digit lead begins to dwindle and the Magic are stuck stiff. The free flowing, gunning offense, has died and they settle for tough 3s with hands in their face.

The dreaded ‘choke’ is descending on the Magic and it is all because of Marbury. He scores 11 points in a row and nails a free throw to take it to 12. In 5 minutes.

Pierce hits a pull up J and the Cs are up 1. Time out Orlando and the lid is getting blown off the building. Starbury returns to the bench, bumps and slaps are dished and Magic stew at the other end.

With no hyperbole, Stephon Marbury has just saved the Celtics. They are energised, especially Ray Allen, who proceeds to forget that he couldn’t hit a barn door in the first 3 quarters with huge three pointers. And Garnett is shouting.

He has got his war face on.

The game closes with the teams exchanging free throws. But the result is never in doubt as the Cs take the win and go into game 6 at Disney Land with a firm grip on the series and crucially, the momentum.

Stephon Marbury is back.

NBA Playoffs Conference Semi Finals, Boston meet Orlando: 7 Games Never Looked So Good

May 3, 2009


7 games never felt so good. Boston may have closed out the Chicago Bulls last night, but the only real winners were the audience.

Chicago are off home for exit interviews and the Boston Celtics have no time at all to prepare for what should be an even sterner test against an Orlando Magic team whose All-Star center has discovered a nasty streak.

The absence of Kevin Garnett effectively guaranteed that this first rounder would be much closer  than each franchise’s seeding would have suggested.

The Bulls team, with John Salmons and Brad Miller in the squad, would have been good for the 5th seed out East if they had played the whole season as they had since their trade with Sacramento.

In contrast, if Boston had missed Garnett the whole season they would have been closer to the 4th seed rather than the 2nd spot.

The seedings lied and what followed could well have been the finest first round playoff series in the history of the NBA.

Regardless of the exit, the Bulls know that in Derrick Rose they have a truly mercurial talent that should develop (more) into one of the finest in the game. Depending on Ben Gordon’s contract situation, the Bulls will return, a year wiser and more experienced.

Along with Gordon, Rose was the Bulls leader. Dude is a Rookie.

Perspective is a fine thing.

Boston have little time to be relieved as the Magic come calling in just a few days, fresh off of a confidence boosting win in Philadelphia, something they achieved without their suspended big man.

Can Orlando dethrone the Champions? They have to fancy their chances. Without Garnett the Celtics look lost defensively and will struggle almightily to contain Dwight Howard. Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Mikki Moore will have their hands full.   

The possibility of 20/20 games for Howard is very real given the calibre of player he will be up against, none of who are the greatest of athletes, at least when compared to Howard.

The Cs will be even more reliant on their new Big 3: Rondo, Pierce and Allen. All of whom will have to be at their best to see off a surging Magic.

It is certainly worth considering the extent to which fatigue might play a part in this series with Allen especially having played many, many minutes in the numerous overtimes with Chicago.

The Celtic big men just have to try and contain Howard as best they can and make the magic hit their shots from deep. If Howard dominates (likely) Boston will be going fishing. If they keep his numbers respectable, then the likes of Allen and Pierce will have a chance to play clutch and sink the upstarts from Florida.

Such is the importance of Garnett and the presence of Howard that the Magic will progress in 6. Although if their first rounder has taught us anything it is that there will be countless twists and turns before we know who will advance to the Conference Finals.