There are many exciting aspects of an NBA game, from the dazzling mid-air dunks to the six dollar beers. The most exciting part for me is seeing a player knock down a clutch three-pointer with the game on the line.
No other play can bring a crowd to a deafening roar faster, or to a dead silence, depending on which team made the play.
The history of the NBA is filled with these moments. In Game Six of the NBA Finals, John Paxton hit a dagger three-pointer with four seconds remaining to defeat Sir Charles and the Suns and give the Bulls their third straight NBA Championship.
Recently, in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, Ray Allen knocked down a clutch three-point shot that gave the Celtics a 118-115 Game Two victory over the Bulls and tied the series.
So many great shooters have played in the NBA, so in honor of these legendary snipers, I have put together a short list of the five most memorable three-point shooters in NBA history.
I based my picks not only on stats, but also play making ability and the impact these players had on their teams and basketball in general.
So let’s take a look at the list.
A two-time MVP and six-time All-Star, Steve Nash is one of the greatest point guards to play the game.
He’s an amazing passer, free-throw shooter, and of course, three-point shooter.
Nash has a career three-point shooting average of 43.2 percent (fifth best all time) and has made 1,360 three-point FG in his career.
Retiring in 2003, Steve Kerr was an incredible shooter throughout his career. In fact, he was the most accurate three point shooter in NBA history statistically speaking.
His mark of 45.4 percent is still the record for the all time greatest three-point shooting average, hitting 726 out of 1,599 shots.
Coming off the bench for most of his career, Kerr was an integral part of the three Bulls title runs through 1996-98 and the Spurs championship in 1999.
How could I not put Larry Bird on this list? When considering the best pure shooters, Larry Bird has to come to mind.
No, he doesn’t have the greatest percentage of all time (although he still has a very good 37.6 percent) and he’s nowhere near the top of the most career three point FG made list (649 out of 1,727), but he’s LARRY BIRD.
Put the ball anywhere on the court, the man will knock it down.
Since entering the NBA in 1996 and playing for the Bucks, Sonics, and Celtics, Ray Allen has established himself as one of the most dangerous outside threats in NBA history.
Allen has compiled a list of three-point records to go along with his 2008 championship, including most three-point FG made in a season (269) in 2005-2006, most three-point FG attempted (653) in 2006, and is second in all-time career three-point FG made (2,298).
He also possesses a remarkable career average of 39.8 percent.
The famous “Knick Killer” proved for years exactly why he should never be left unguarded outside the arc.
Throughout his 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers, Miller shot a career three point average of 39.5 percent.
He also is the current record holder for most career three-point FG made (2,560) and most three-point FG made during the playoffs (320).
Although others had higher shooting averages, Miller was the epitome of the clutch shooter.
When the game was on the line, Miller usually had the ball in his hands and many times came out on top. Ask Spike Lee.