The Top 10 Best Shooters from Distance: Ray Allen Approaching a Historic Mark
If there's someone who knows a thing or two about the three-point shot, it's Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics. Allen, in his 15th season in the league, is closing in on the record for the most three-point shots made in NBA history.
His mark of 2,533 is just 27 shy of future Hall of Famer Reggie Miller's record 2,560 three-pointers. Miller played 18 seasons in the league, all of which were with the Indiana Pacers.
This season Allen is on a tear, shooting a whopping 47.8% from distance and averaging 2.2 a game.
Last night, in an important win against the Magic, Allen was three of four from the three-point line, with two coming in crunch time.
Fitting the occasion, here are 10 of the best shooters from distance in NBA history.
No. 10: Kyle Korver
In his 8th season in the league, Kyle Korver has been known for his ability to light it up from three-point range.
Despite struggling mightily from three this season, he has still managed to be a key role player for the Chicago Bulls. In his most recent outing he seemed to catch fire again, going six of ten from three-point range and putting in 22 points.
Korver is not a starter; therefore, he doesn't receive significant minutes and even still has 951 three-point shots made.
At age 29, with a good eight to ten years left in his career, one would think Korver could double this mark or even make the 2,000 mark.
A feat that only Miller and Allen have accomplished.
No. 9: Glen Rice
Winner of the NBA three-point shootout in 1995 with Miami, Glen Rice undoubtedly knew a thing or two about the three-point shot.
Rice is on this list because he was talented from three as well as accurate, pretty much as accurate as you could ask for.
Rice ranks ninth all-time with 1,559 three-points shots made and boasts a 40% career average. The 40% mark ranks third among those players who rank in the top 10 for most makes from distance.
A proven winner throughout his career, while with Michigan, Rice won an NCAA championship. In the NBA, he won a ring with the Lakers.
The majority of his career was spent in Miami and Charlotte, before eventually both LA teams, the Knicks, and the Rockets.
No. 8: Peja Stojakovic
One of the most consistent shooters from three in recent years, Peja Stojakovic comes in at number eight on the list.
The three-point shot was an element to his game that gave defense difficulties, left and right, while opening up his ability to take the ball to the basket. He was a three-point shooter, as well as a scorer for some time, putting up 24.2 points per game in the 2003-2004 season with the Sacramento Kings.
The numbers don't lie, as he has hit 1,718 three-pointers, good for fourth all-time. His 40% average is also among the best for those in the top 10 for total threes made. What makes these numbers all the more impressive is that he has been in the league 12 seasons, averaging 143 per season.
Currently, he is a member of the Toronto Raptors, although he has been out nearly the entire season due to injury.
Rumors are that Toronto will look to deal him before the trade deadline this season.
No. 7: Larry Bird
Funny thing how two of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history stand side-by-side.
Larry "Legend" Bird coached Reggie Miller while at Indiana and played in the league for 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics.
Despite only hitting 649 in his career, Larry took his chances from distance with careful selection and hit them when defenses would least expect it. He is also the only player to win the three-point competition three times in a row, winning the contest in 1986, 1987, and 1988.
In his tenure with the Celtics, Bird won three NBA titles, three NBA MVP awards, and twice was named the NBA Finals MVP.
No. 6: Mark Price
With one of the better strokes this game has ever seen, Mark Price makes this list at number six.
His accuracy from the field was unmatched by most in league history. He shot the ball just over 40% from distance and 90.4% from the free-throw line, which is tied for the best all-time percentage with current Phoenix Sun, Steve Nash.
Mark Price played the majority of his career in Cleveland, before seasons in Golden State, Washington, and Orlando. He finished his career in 1998 and recorded 978 three-point shots during his career.
He also won the three-point shooting contest in consecutive years(1993 and 1994).
No. 5: Steve Nash
This may come as a surprise to many, but I wouldn't count Steve Nash out too fast. He's overlooked to say the least in this regard.
For a player who is arguably one of the better passers this league has ever seen, Nash is not too shabby from distance.
In fact, Nash has the 13th most three-point shots made with 1,523. By the end of this season, he will likely find himself at the number nine spot. He trails Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks, who has hit 53 more.
To make these numbers all the more impressive, Nash also boasts a whopping 43% average for his career. That ranks him number one by far among those who are in the top 30 for most three-point shots made in NBA history.
A winner yet to attain a ring in Phoenix, Nash has received the league's highest individual honor of NBA MVP twice, both coming in consecutive seasons. He is also tied with former All-Star Mark Price with the highest free-throw percentage in NBA history, going 90.4% from the charity strike in his career.
With several seasons left in his NBA career, look for Nash to continue adding to these record numbers.
He's better than most realize, as the numbers speak for themselves.
No. 4: Steve Kerr
Most remembered for his clutch three-point shooting for the Chicago Bulls, Kerr was just nasty from three.
Kerr played 15 years in the league and was a five-time champion, winning four consecutive titles.
I figured it was only fitting to share arguably his most memorable shot, which took place in Game Six of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. Despite not being a three-pointer, it was a shot that gave the Chicago Bulls their second consecutive title.
Earlier that season, Kerr also won the NBA three-point contest.
Kerr, a proven winner in the league, hit 726 three-pointers in his career and shot an impressive 45.4 % from behind the arc. Despite not hitting as many threes as most of the others on the list, he has the highest percentage from three in NBA history.
Coming at no surprise, he also led the league in three-point percentage two separate seasons, which is tied with Craig Hodges for the most in NBA history.
Although Utah fans might not be too fond of the guy (not that I blame them), Kerr takes the number four spot.
No. 3: Dale Ellis
When number three was open from three, you might as well have called it quits. Dale Ellis comes in strong at number three on this list for his feared stroke from distance.
Ellis played 17 years in the league, suiting up for six different teams. Most of his years being played in Seattle. He also had tenures in Charlotte, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, and Milwaukee.
Winner of the 1989 three-point shootout, Ellis was a force to be reckoned with. He shot over 40% from deep (20th all-time) and made 1,719 total threes.
His 1,719 currently ranks fourth all-time behind Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, and Reggie Miller. During the 1996-1997 season with Denver, he hit a career-high 192 threes.
No. 2: Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller is arguably the best from three-point range and has had countless moments that have left NBA fans in awe. Whether it was his eight points in 8.9 seconds in Madison Square Garden or his career-high 57 points at Charlotte in 1992, Miller was a good as it gets.
Throughout his Hall-of-Fame career, Miller had ice in his veins when it came to the three-point shot. His 2,560 three-pointers made ranks number one all time, making him one of two players in the 2,000 club along with current Boston Celtic, Ray Allen.
His 6,486 are also the most attempted in NBA history. Miller, along with previously mentioned Larry Bird and several others, led the league twice for most three-point shots made in a season, which ties for the NBA record.
A great athlete and good sport, Miller is now an analyst for TNT. Miller played 18 years in the league, all of which were for the Indiana Pacers, retiring after the 2004-2005 season.
Before Pacers fans strangle me for not having "Killer Miller" in the number one spot, please allow the next slide to explain why.
No. 1: Ray Allen
Yes, "he's got game." Not the movie, although he starred in it alongside Denzel Washington, but on the court, of course.
With arguably the smoothest stroke the league has ever seen, the top spot shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
Ray Allen owns the number one spot on this list for his three-point shot which is arguably the best of all-time. The argument is undoubtedly between him and Miller, although Ray takes the cake in this one.
In 2001, Allen won the league's three-point contest while a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is also tied with Miller for the most seasons leading the league in three-pointers made. His eight three-pointers in one half is also tied for the most in NBA history. His 39.8% from distance is just 0.3% better than Miller's.
Currently, he is a member of the Boston Celtics, where in the 2007-2008 season, Allen won an NBA title with the help of potential Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Over his career he has been know to constantly put in the extra time to improve his jumper. Despite approaching his final seasons in the league, this season he has posted an impressive 47.8% mark from distance, which would stand as a career-high.
In his 15th season, he has hit 2,533 three-pointers made, which is just 27 shy of Reggie Miller's NBA record of 2,560. At the pace that Allen is making them this season, he should edge out Miller's mark by mid-to-late February.
In the words of Reggie Miller, in an interview with Ray Allen on TNT's Overtime, Allen is the "soon to be three-point king."