Whether it is a clutch shot at the end of a Playoff game or the first shot of a preseason game, the jump shot in basketball is one of the purest things in sports. In today's game of high-flying, acrobatic dunks, big blocks, and flashy passes, it's time to recognize the best shooters in the league.
Every team needs to have a guy that can make a big shot when it's needed most. They design plays specifically to get that guy open and let him do this thing. It's a little scary to see how many great shooters some teams have.
In what used to be Joe Johnson's spot, sits a rookie from Vanderbilt that knows how to shoot. They do have Kyle Korver on the team but Jenkins is a better shooter in traffic and inside the arc.
This guy has a lot of game winning shots in his future.
This spot was owned by Ray Allen. From one veteran shooting guard to another, Jason Terry steps in to fill the void for Boston.
Not only is his shot beautiful, but it's deadly accurate. The Jet has already had his fair share of big shots, but he isn't done just yet.
How can you not select Joe Johnson here? It's easy when you consider his teammate Deron Williams actually has a better career shooting percentage than he does.
Both are elite shooters, and Marshon Brooks can stroke it too. The guard play in Brooklyn should have no problem producing buckets this season.
The Bobcats have a couple good guards from UConn to choose from here. In the end, you have to go with the one who has proven he can hit big shots. Gordon is especially better inside the arc.
An underrated shooter on this team is rookie Jeffery Taylor, who could give opposing teams trouble this year.
There aren't many options here outside of Kyrie. He shot 47 percent from the floor last year, including 40 percent from downtown, and over 87 percent from the free throw line.
Like I said, it pretty much starts and ends with him.
No way someone outperforms Dirk for this spot, especially with Jason Terry out the door. It doesn't matter where he's shooting from, you know it's going in.
Delonte West and O.J. Mayo can shoot, but they're a long way from getting to Dirk's level.
The Nuggets don't have a superstar on their team, but they have a lot of great players. Their roster doesn't have an elite sharpshooter, but they do have some good options.
It could be Brewer, Chandler, Hamilton, or Lawson, but I'm giving it to Danilo Gallinari because of his percentage and his ability to hit difficult shots.
There aren't many great shooters on this Pistons team, especially after losing Gordon. The best shooter based on shooting percentage is Rodney Stuckey, but there is hope.
The Pistons will have the services of Kyle Singler this year, and shooting is his specialty.
It's hard to go with someone other than Steph Curry here, but I do believe Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in the game. He displayed that in the summer league this year, multiple times.
Either way you slice it, the Warriors will have one of the best shooting backcourts in the league this season.
They have some good shooters as well. Carlos Delfino, Jeremy Lamb, and Chandler Parsons are all nice options, but in the end we all know Kevin Martin (despite the awkward form) is their best shooter.
I so badly wanted to put David West in this spot, because he is one of the best mid-range jump shooters in the league.
When you factor in free throws and three point shooting though, it still has to be Granger. While he isn't as consistent as he once was, he is still the top shooter for Indiana.
When you compare the numbers of Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe, you can see just how even these two are. Nearly every shooting statistic is neck and neck, which is why it was so hard to pick one.
In a close game, Paul will have the ball in his hands, but if Bledsoe is open, you can bet they will get him the ball.
Obviously this one comes down to Nash and Kobe. While the percentage numbers favor Nash, just remember how many shots Kobe puts up.
We know Nash is one of the best shooting point guards in the league and an elite free throw shooter, but when it comes to difficult and clutch shots, Kobe always seems to make them look relatively simple.
Both Conley and Rudy Gay shot the same percentage from the floor last season, and are good free throw shooters.
The thing that separates them is the three point line. Gay shot just 21 percent from there last year, while Conley was right at 50 percent.
I think this is the obvious choice that everyone can agree on. It's not really debatable either. Their biggest weakness last year was having a guy that could knock down the open jumper.
Problem solved with the acquisition of Mr. Shuttlesworth.
Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings are quality shooters, but Milwaukee's best shooter has to be Monta Ellis.
While he didn't have a great season last year with the Bucks, he demonstrated his shooting abilities during his time in Golden State.
If Brandon Roy could return to his old self, he would be the pick here. Andrei Kirilenko makes his return to the league this year with the Wolves as well.
There may be another option or two outside of Kevin Love, but he is the obvious choice. Last year he incorporated the three point shot into his game, which makes him even scarier for opposing defenses.
Ryan Anderson can hit an open jump shot, and Austin Rivers may eventually become an elite shooter, but for now it's clearly Eric Gordon in New Orleans.
With the ability to finish at the rim, hit free throws, and knock down the long ball, he really is a fantastic all around player.
I wanted to avoid putting Carmelo here, because it's not a star factor thing. When you look at it though, he is one of the best mid-range shooters in the game, and we know he can knock down shots from behind the arc.
His performance for Team USA this summer was unreal. He scored 37 points in just 14 minutes. That being said, honorable mentions go to Steve Novak and J.R. Smith.
The three stars are all in on this one. Both Westbrook and Harden shot 43.5 percent from the floor last year, while Durant was at 52 percent.
Harden was the best three point shooter by percentage, but Durant was the best at the free throw line. Also toss in the fact that he has led the league in scoring the last three years, and you have your winner.
Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson are gone, Hedo Turkoglu is pretty much finished, and Arron Afflalo doesn't shoot enough.
Jameer Nelson could be their best shooter, but for now it's going to Redick. He has a surprisingly low shooting percentage from downtown, but his free throws are a different story, as he is one of the best in the league.
The Sixers have some good options on their roster. Jrue Holiday, Nick Young, and Jason Richardson are all capable of taking this one. In the end though, I'll go with the numbers and give it to Holiday.
He shot over 41 percent from the floor last year, including 41 percent from beyond the three, and 86 percent at the free throw line.
The choice wasn't obvious, but Channing Frye is statistically Phoenix's best shooter. He shot 42 percent overall last year, and nearly 90 percent from the free throw line.
Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley are just behind him.
LaMarcus Aldridge is a great mid-range shooter, and Wesley Matthews can knock down open shots, but Batum edges both of them out.
Batum is obviously a better three point shooter than Aldridge, and a much better free throw shooter than Matthews. No wonder Minnesota wanted him so bad.
Isaiah Thomas was a rather easy pick here. He shot 45 percent from the floor last season, and is a much better three point shooter than Tyreke Evans.
In addition to being the best free throw shooter on the team, he can create his own shot.
This was one of the more difficult decisions. There are so many names to consider, and all of them have good reasons for being the guy. Manu Ginobili is the best free throw shooter by percentage, and the third best three point shooter on the roster.
Just looking through the statistics, there may not be a better team of jump shooters in the league.
While he may not be on this team halfway through the season, Jose Calderon is the guy for Toronto. Last season he shot 46 percent from the floor, and 38 percent from three point range.
Calderon was also near the top of the league in free throw shooting, making 88 percent of his attempts last year.
The addition of Mo Williams gives Gordon Hayward some competition, but the slight edge still goes to Gordon. He was the team's best free throw shooter last season, and was second in three point shooting.
The Jazz don't have a lot of guys that are great pure shooters, but perhaps that's what makes Gordon stand out so much.
Trevor Ariza and Jordan Crawford are good candidates, but this one goes to the rookie. Beal has great form, and showed this summer that he is going to be in this league for a long time.
While at Florida, he shot 45 percent from the floor, and we should expect near the same this year in Washington.