2011 NBA Playoffs: 10 Underappreciated Three Point Shooters on Playoff Teams
Everyone knows the big time three point shooters around the league, guys like Ray Allen, Peja Stojakovic, Kyle Korver, Rashard Lewis and Jason Kidd.
Though these players are some of the top three point specialists in the game, there are a few unheralded shooters that don't get the credit they deserve for their team's success this season.
This list compiles some of these players that made big contributions to their teams during the regular season, helped them earn playoff berths and can make a big difference for their respective playoff teams by knocking it down from downtown.
10. Ryan Anderson, PF, Orlando Magic
The Magic big man has a sweet stroke. Anderson has had some big games shooting the three this season, namely in the final game of the regular season against Chicago, when he put up 28 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three point land.
Anderson was able to knock down 134 threes playing in only 64 games. He shot just about 40 percent on the year and averaged just over two threes made per game.
If Anderson contributes with his shooting and the Magic are firing on all cylinders, they can be very hard to stop and pose a threat to just about anyone in the Eastern Conference.
9. Jodie Meeks, G, Philadelphia 76ers
When you think of a three point shooter, Jodie Meeks probably doesn't come to mind. This guy is only in his second season, but he and a few other key pieces have been able to revive this franchise and get them back into the playoffs.
During the regular season, Meeks made 1.9 threes per game and 138 on the year while shooting an exceptional 40 percent from three.
Being as young as he is, Meeks looks to assert himself as one of the top three point shooters in the league. He ranks 14th in the league in three pointers made this season.
Although Philly will likely make an early exit from the 2011 Playoffs, they have a solid group of young guys and a great coach.
Look for the Sixers to improve upon this season next year and look for Meeks to continue to improve his shot and help guide the Sixers to another playoff appearance in 2012.
8. Gary Neal, G, San Antonio Spurs
This guy has great shooting ability and and complements the Spurs' Big Three very well.
During the regular season, Neal drained 129 threes, shooting at about 41 percent on the year and making 1.6 threes per game.
Neal has been an unsung contributor for the Spurs throughout the regular season and looks to continue to provide good production off the bench by shooting the three ball in the postseason.
7. Toney Douglas, G, New York Knicks
Even before the arrival of Carmelo Anthony, Douglas was able to provide a deep threat off the bench. His production certainly did increase since Melo was traded and a few key guys were sent off.
With the emphasis to stop Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Douglas was able to free himself up and knock down shots.
Shooting 37 percent and making 143 threes during the season, Douglas has been able to provide a spark off the bench for the Knicks, especially towards the final stretch of the regular season.
With the injury concerns with Chauncey Billups, Douglas looks to step in and help the Knicks make a run in this year's playoffs.
6. Mike Bibby, PG, Miami Heat
With the big three running the show down in South Beach, Bibby certainly isn't a top scoring option, but make no mistake about it; this guy can flat out shoot the basketball.
Bibby played for the Atlanta Hawks throughout a large portion of the regular season and contributed well for the Hawks. He will continue to be a solid knockdown shooter for Miami.
Bibby finished ninth in the regular season in three pointers made with 153, but the key stat here is that he connected on 44 percent of threes he took, which is just about the same as Ray Allen this season.
With the big three getting as much attention as they do and LeBron James and Dwayne Wade drawing double teams, this leaves Bibby open to keep hitting threes and making the Heat that much more difficult to stop.
5. Jamal Crawford, SG, Atlanta Hawks
The 2009-10 NBA Sixth Man of the Year has gained a good reputation for being a solid scorer, but an aspect of his game that is overlooked is his three point ability.
Crawford drained 119 shots from behind the arc this season while playing in 76 games for the Hawks behind Joe Johnson.
Crawford is definitely one of those guys that can get your team a victory off a game winning three, and with the Magic-Hawks series being as tight as it is, I wouldn't be surprised if he did.
4. Wesley Matthews, G, Portland Trail Blazers
Matthews has put up a solid season for the Blazers. With the injury to Brandon Roy and continued health concerns with their star, Matthews has been able to rise up and fill the shoes of Roy this season.
Another young player who has made a name for himself, Matthews made 154 shots from three point land, which was good enough for seventh in the league, and shot a respectable 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The trio of Rudy Fernandez (another fantastic shooter), Nicolas Batum and Matthews has been able to fill the void left by Roy quite nicely while splitting minutes.
If Matthews starts lighting it up from downtown, the Blazers just might be able to get back into their series with the Mavs.
3. Jason Richardson, SG, Orlando Magic
When you hear the name Jason Richardson, you think of a great dunker and a solid scorer, but Richardson finished second in the regular season in three point field goals with 189, five behind Dorell Wright, who finished first, and 13 in front of Kevin Martin in third.
J-Rich made 2.4 threes per game and shot close to 40 percent on the year from behind the arc playing for the Suns and Magic this season.
The second Orlando player on this list with Ryan Anderson, Richardson will be counted on to make his threes in the playoffs as the Magic lack depth inside, but I guess you don't need depth when you have Dwight Howard patrolling the paint.
Nevertheless, Howard can't do it all by himself, so look for Richardson to bury them from deep as the Magic look to make a return to the NBA Finals.
2. Richard Jefferson, SF, San Antonio Spurs
Along with Gary Neal, Jefferson has played an important role in the Spurs' run to having the best record in the Western Conference.
He has been able to put together a superb bounce-back season, having the best season of his career shooting the three.
Jefferson was able to knock down 135 threes during the regular season while shooting an impressive 44 percent from three point range. Both career highs.
Although he hasn't been known during his career to be a solid three point shooter, he has proven this season that he can be and has been an integral part of San Antonio's success this season.
He will look to provide good shooting for in the playoffs as the Spurs look to make another trip to the NBA Finals.
1. Jason Terry, SG, Dallas Mavericks
Terry deserves the number one spot on this list because he has always been a terrific shooter, but his contributions shooting the ball have sometimes gone unnoticed, especially because he plays alongside two other terrific shooters and players in their own right in Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.
Terry is consistently one of the top three point shooters in the NBA each season, and his three point shooting has been a big part of the Mavs success this season.
Terry put up solid three point numbers once again this season and currently ranks eighth all time in three point field goals made. He drained 127 shots from three point land this season on 36 percent shooting from deep.
With the sharp-shooting Terry and the rest of the Mavs, Dallas is a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.