Who is the best three-point shooter in the NBA?

After the season, I like to tackle questions like these. To me, a good three-point shooter has to shoot a high percentage and make a good number of threes per game, so I put a few requirements on the eligibility of players:

1. They must have played in a minimum of 60 games during the season.
2. They must make a minimum of 38% of their 3PT attempts.
3. They must make a minimum of 1.0 threes per game.

Here are the results:

(As always, click on the graph for a larger version.)

Most impressive shooter? It has to be the rookie Stephen Curry, who quickly adjusted to the longer distance in the NBA and finished with the fourth-highest percentage of eligible players. He was also in the top 10 in makes per game.

Biggest surprise? Probably Jason Kidd. A career 35% shooter from deep, Kidd has been well over 40% since joining the Mavs. He’s hitting more of his threes because he’s able to play off of Dirk Nowitzki and can spot up instead of trying to hit threes off the dribble.

Best big man shooter? Channing Frye, who hit 2.12 threes a game at a 44% clip.

So who is the best shooter in the NBA? Well, it depends on your criteria. Accuracy and number of makes are important, but it’s even more impressive when the player in question is the first or second option on his team (like Aaron Brooks, Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce, John Salmons, Steve Nash — or Jason Richardson — and Stephen Curry), and can still make a lot of threes at a high percentage when the defense is game-planning against him.

You be the judge.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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