Ray Allen vs. Reggie Miller: Which NBA Player Would Win a Three-Point Shootout?

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIIFebruary 13, 2011

Ray Allen vs. Reggie Miller: Which NBA Player Would Win a Three-Point Shootout?

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    17 Feb 2000: Reggie Miller #31 of the Indiana Pacers looks to pass the ball as he is guarded by Ray Allen #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks of the at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconson. The Pacers defeated the Bucks 92-90.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    About this time each year, the age-old question surfaced. Ray Allen or Reggie Miller?

    The argument is who would win the Three-Point Shootout on All-Star Weekend.

    Allen has one title under his belt in five attempts.

    Miller has never came out on top, but also participated five times.

    They are said to be the best pure shooters of the three-ball the game has ever seen, and the stats back that up, but who was the better shooter in their prime?

    Let's review.

Why This Year Is Different Than Year's Past

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    You will rarely see a crowd react like this to a made basket in the first quarter.

    The crowd went wild because it was the 2,561st triple of Allen's career. With this shot on Feb. 10th, Allen passed Miller on the list of most career three-pointers.

    Since Miller retired in 2005, Allen had been slowly creeping up on the record. It didn't matter what uniform he was wearing, as Allen hit long shots for the Bucks, Sonics and Celtics.

    Miller was a lifetime Pacer who seemed to hit a big shot in every game he played in.

    Miller may be more clutch and Allen may have better form, but this argument is discussing who would succeed in the contest's format.

Previous Contest Results

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    Each player has been in the infamous Three-Point Shootout on five occasions. This video shows the only victory either player had, as Allen passes Peja Stojakovic in the last rack to win in 2001.

    Surprisingly, neither player has been very successful in the contest. Having to pick the balls off the rack rather than receiving a pass gives the shot a different feel. The two most decorated shooters in NBA history have visibly struggled with this.

    Miller, a two-time finalist, losing by one in each final. However, Miller also didn't advance on two occasions.

    Allen has the win under his belt. Oddly enough, he has two other finals appearances and didn't advance twice, just like Miller.

    Miller's high round is 19 points. Allen peaked with 20 points in the first round of his winning year.

    Advantage: Allen

Shooting Percentage

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    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 10:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics breaks the all time 3-point shot record with this three pointer as Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends on February 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO US
    Elsa/Getty Images

    These two players have nearly identical stats when it comes to shooting from distance. Allen has connected on 39.8 percent of his 6,433 attempts.

    Miller cashed in on 39.5 percent of his 6,486 looks.

    With Allen leading Miller by only two shots, this one is too close to call.

    Advantage: Tie

No Defense

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    INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 13:  Reggie Miller #31 of the Indiana Pacers shoots against Ben Wallace #3 of the Detroit Pistons in Game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs at Conseco Fieldhouse on May 13, 2005 in Indianapolis, Ind
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Reggie Miller rarely took an open shot.

    This is not a measurable statistic, but after watching both players in games, Allen had it easier than Miller.

    Defenses keyed in on both players because of their effortless shooting motion and ability to score in bunches, but Miller saw more pressure.

    Miller was the best player on the Pacers for a good portion of his career and was always forced to take contested shots. The fact that he shot with the precision he did is a minor miracle.

    Allen has been paired with better players throughout his career, thus receiving better looks from three-point land.

    If Miller can see the hoop, he's deadly accurate.

    Advantage: Miller

Jump Factor

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    LOS ANGELES - MARCH 6:  Reggie Miller #31 of the Indiana Pacers takes a jump shot against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 6, 2005 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Pacers 103-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledg
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Both players shoot the ball with impeccable ease, but the three-point contest rewards players with less of a jump in their shooting form.

    In the contest, Miller barely leaves the floor whereas Allen gets up relatively high.

    With 25 shots taken within a minute, players with higher leaps can tire out by the last rack. Also, that means Allen has to be quicker between racks and to reach for the next ball.

    At each contest, commentators talk about how some players have "contest friendly" form. Dirk Nowitzki and Miller are two on the good side. Allen Iverson and Allen have a tendency to jump a little too high.

    Advantage: Miller

On Fire

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    Both of these players regularly went on streaks where it looked as if they would never miss again.

    Miller could rattle off three's in bunches, with such a quick and deliberate release.

    Allen could—and still does—score in stretches. All it takes is one three to send Allen's confidence through the roof and then there's no stopping him. In the 2010 NBA Finals, he hit a record eight triples in Game 2 to knot up the series after being ice cold in Game 1.

    Once Allen sees one of his shots tickle the twine, he's on fire—at least in his mind.

    Advantage: Allen

Shooting Motion

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics attempts a three point shot over Vince Carter #25 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71.  NO
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Ray Allen's stroke has been called the greatest of all time by many analysts and players. Allen releases the ball with such beautiful form and technique, rarely varying his shot.

    Miller can shoot the ball, but it doesn't always look pretty. Miller became so accustomed to shooting over people and through traffic, that his form isn't quite as sound.

    If both players take 25 shots in a row, Allen's would look more alike than Miller's. This is an advantage because Allen can use his stroke without thinking. Miller may make minor tweaks, leaving him more susceptible to a letdown.

    Advantage: Allen

Clutch Performer

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    Reggie Miller desired pressure. He wanted the ball in his hand at the end of games and hit more buzzer-beaters in some seasons than many NBA players do in a lifetime.

    His eight points in nine seconds is regarded as one of the most miraculous turnarounds in NBA history. Few, if any, players have been able to shoot their teams back into games as frequently as Reggie Miller.

    Allen isn't afraid to take the big shot, but he's not even in the same league as Miller when it comes to clutch shooting.

    Picture how much Miller would want to win this competition. If he shot after Allen, it'd be hard to pick against him.

    Advantage: Miller

And The Winner Is...

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    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 06:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics celebrates his three point shot in the first half against the Orlando Magic on February 6, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 91-80. NOTE TO USER: U
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Ray Allen (24-22).

    With the score tied up, this could have went either way. The slight edge goes to Allen who has two more career three-pointers and 0.3 percent better shooting percentage from behind the arc.

    Miller, in his prime, would be drooling at the opportunity to shoot against his predecessor as the game's best three-point shooter.

    Neither player thrives in the contest's format like Larry Bird, Craig Hodges or even Jason Kapono. The occasion would give each shooter a better chance to succeed, as they both love pressure.

    Allen's flawless form is too hard to pick against. This competition would bring the best out of each player, but Allen would make an extra money ball to secure the victory.

    What do you think would happen?