Since the three-point line was added, long-range shooting is a vital part of a championship offense—and the San Antonio Spurs are no exception.
The long ball has grown in its importance to each successive Spurs title. This playoffs, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili have already made trés history with their treys.
The court spacing created by the triple gives the offense an edge; in addition, three-pointers offer the most reward for their risk, and therefore are often the most efficient weapons in an offensive arsenal.
We're not here to evaluate the merits of the three-ball, however. We're here to determine, of the many three-point artists who've graced the Spurs' four title rosters, who had the best shot?
I'm going to rank them from least effective to most effective...but bear in mind several things:
- EVERY shooter on this list is effective, because I am only including those shooters who averaged 33 percent or higher in the regular season of a championship year. This would rule out, for example, Stephen Jackson and Steve Smith in 2002-03. And yes, it would also rule out Sean Elliott in 1998-99 (even though he shot the lights out in the playoffs, and gave us the legendary Memorial Day Miracle).
- One exception to the above rule: if a player was on the Spurs for multiple championships, and was over 33 percent one year, but under it in another, they would be included.
- I'm only considering these guys for their performances during their tenure with the Spurs. Thus, for example, Steve Kerr's seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls where he (amazingly) hit over 50 percent of his treys do not affect his consideration in these rankings.
- I'm also only considering guys who hit 35 or more three-point attempts in the regular season. This would rule out, for example, Danny Ferry in 2002-03, who hit just 21, even though he shot 35 percent.
OK, let's spot up and fire away!