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Just because you make a lot of threes doesn't mean you're a great shooter

Fact: The #3 all-time maker of three-pointers in the NBA is Jason Frederick Kidd.

Fact: I, Eddie Maisonet, can shoot better than Jason Kidd.

Like it or not, these are just the facts of life.

Last week, the lovefest began for Jesus Shuttlesworth as the man eclipsed one of my favorite player's records for most three pointers made in a career. Reggie Miller's 2,560 three pointers made at the time was a record of all records. He was significantly ahead, and for a minute there we thought no one would come close to his record. As of four days ago, Reggie now sits #2 on the all-time list.

I'm afraid to say, in the next 5-10 years, he might not even be in the top 10.

Tom Ziller from SBNation wrote a dope piece on Jesus passing Reggie last week, and there was a bit of research that made me reflect on the evolution of the NBA game.

It took Ray 1,074 games to beat a mark Miller set in 1,389 games. That's almost four seasons worth of games. Mind you, Allen entered a league falling in love with the three-pointer. In Miller's early days, the three-pointer remained exotic and, relatively speaking, rare. In Miller's rookie season, the average NBA team took 410 three-pointers a season. Last year, teams took an average of 1,487.

In the span of just over 20 years, the amount of three-pointers tripled. Now, factor that into the specialization of three-point shooters, the fact that the big man conundrum that is the 6'10" shooting guard is still prevalent today, the evolution of today's game in 2011 is astounding.

With that in mind, I want you to take a gander at the players on this list of the Top 20 all-time 3-Pt field goals made:

Rank Player 3P
1. Ray Allen 2564
2. Reggie Miller 2560
3. Jason Kidd 1756
4. Peja Stojakovic 1723
5. Dale Ellis 1719
6. Chauncey Billups 1691
7. Rashard Lewis 1667
8. Jason Terry 1599
9. Glen Rice 1559
10. Eddie Jones 1546
11. Steve Nash 1543
12. Tim Hardaway 1542
13. Paul Pierce 1541
14. Nick Van Exel 1528
15. Michael Finley 1454
16. Mike Bibby 1442
17. Brent Barry 1395
18. Antoine Walker 1386
19. Vince Carter 1383
20. Kobe Bryant 1375

I have a couple of problems with this Top 20 list, to me this list is fraudulent. Here's the reason's why:
  • #3 - Jason Kidd: This is just absurd. A career 40% shooter, the man over time has improved drastically as a shooter. However, that doesn't mean he's a great shooter. Do we not remember that we used to call this man "Ason Kidd"? No J. Look, he's definitely now passable, and you can't leave him wide open to shoot threes. Just like you can't leave me open to shoot threes. Swish.
  • #6 - Rashard Lewis: Dude's only 31 and he's already sixth all-time? I would like someone to convince me that Rashard's a better shooter (or even a better player) than Detlef Schrempf. Don't worry, I'll wait.
  • #15 - Michael Finley: Just seems odd that he's this high.
  • #18 - Antoine Walker: Just seems odd that he's this low.
Something else to consider, the #21 (Dan Majerle), #23 (Mitch Richmond), #24 (Allan Houston), and #25 (Terry Porter) in my opinion are all better shooters than all but maybe 6-7 players on that top 20 list.

Only four of the top 20 players on the list were drafted before 1990. (Miller, Dale Ellis, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway)

Only two players finished in the top 20 in three pointers made and three point percentage. (Steve Nash and Brent Barry)

Bomani Jones made the contention that Jesus Shuttlesworth might not even be the best shooter of his own draft class (1996), when considering the fact that Steve Nash shoots almost 50% from the field, over 90% from the free throw line, and over 43% from three. (Jesus shoots 45%/89%/40%) Especially when you consider that Nash shoots more jumpers off the dribble and with players in his face versus Jesus curling off of screens and shooting open spot-up threes. Just a thought.

At the end of the day, everyone in the league thinks they can shoot the long ball. Some do it great, some do it okay, some can't at all. The thing is once you make one, you think you can make way more. To a degree, I think this was a downfall (not THE downfall) of Rasheed Wallace. Sheed fell in love with the three. Yes, it made him more versatile as a player, but was he really even a good three point shooter? Shooting 33.7% for his career would say he was decent at best.

Its not a knock on Sheed, but it just shows the evolution of the game. When we were growing up names like Chris Mullin, Vernon "Mad Max" Maxwell, Chuck "Rifleman" Person, Dana Barros, Dell Curry, Dennis "3D" Scott, Steve Smith, Nick Anderson, Jeff Hornacek, Detlef Schrempf, Walt Williams, Craig Hodges, and George McCloud's names rang out in these streets as long-range assassins. Plus, they usually had some type of all-around game to go with it. Okay, maybe not Craig Hodges, but you get my point.

Don't let all those three's folks are making nowadays fool you, some of those cats really can't shoot. Others can, they're just selective with their shot selection. That's why Ason Kidd will never be in a three-point shooting contest. All hail Ray Allen, I just hope and pray you get to keep that record...other than Reggie I'm not sure anyone else behind you deserves it.

P.S. - Happy Valentine's Day, go play a slow jam and whisper some sweet nothings into a lady's ear.


P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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