The NBA regular season gets underway tonight with a pair of games on TNT. In the early matchup we get to see Steph Curry and the Golden St Warriors visit the new look Brooklyn Nets. I think most of us would agree that it was Steph Curry who changed the game, because of how prodigious his shooting range is, the game is so different today, because he changed it – his shooting truly revolutionized the game. He’s that big of an impact, the whole NBA needed to revamp their teams to make sure they could compete with the Warriors. There has never just never been anyone like him to play the game. Curry is such a deadly shooter, that he changed the NBA to what it is today, teams needing to bomb away 35+ deep balls a game to be able to stay with, and try to match the Warriors and Curry’s lethality from behind the arc, as it has been proven to be mathematically more efficient.
There were undeniably a bunch of great shooters, many from different eras, some of the best shooters from the past eras were Reggie Miller, Larry Bird and Ray Allen. These guys played in much different times, with mostly a drive to the bucket offense, also playing in a much more defensive time, where teams bumped bodies and hand checked. Very different from the wide open game of today.
One must remember, chucking up 7-8 three point attempts is really a style of this generation of players, the three aforementioned barely shot from behind the arc back when they were playing, putting up about 9 /game between them. Bird put up just 1.9 /game, Allen shot 2.3 /game, Miller shot 4.7 /game. I do feel without hesitation, that if any of these guys played in today’s NBA, their numbers would be so much higher.
So when did the 3point shot become ever so important?
The other guys from the old era were great shooters, but their shooting wasn’t NBA changing great. Miller was dangerous, and Bird was clutch, but teams weren’t coming out to 35 feet to defend either one of them, but just imagine how much more lethal any of these guys could have been if they grew up in today’s era of spacing and shooting. If any of them played in today’s era with the trey being such a game necessity, they would have done even more amazing things in today’s game. Like really amazing.
You tell me Allen or Miller wouldn’t have been sticking threes from 35 feet, and I’ll say you’re 100% wrong. Players are now allowed to launch 8-10 threes up in a game, if players back in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s were allowed to shoot as many as Curry puts up – their numbers would look much different.
There is no questioning that Steph Curry is a great shooter, his massive deep ball totals and deadly shooting percentage are remarkable.
The only debate against him, is the defense rules of now vs then.
Makes one question if Curry would’ve been as efficient getting hand checked on the outside, hand checking was a really big deal and it pushed shooters off when we’re able to be bumped around all game, the bumping would have made his shooting opportunities tougher.
I also think it’s obvious – as well – that Steph shoots the most difficult 3s in the game. While still having an all time great shooting deep ball percentage at 43% – to me, there is just no doubt he is the greatest 3 point shooter, I have watched play. Curry creates a lot of his own shots, and has absurdly ridiculous range, there is far too much evidence on Steph to not admit he’s the greatest shooter ever. He buried an astonishing 402 from behind the arc in the same season he posted the legendary 50/40/90. When it comes to finding a sliver of an opening to nail a shot, no one in this era is as good as Steph, his ball handling is great and his release is devastating, Curry is also amazing off catch and shoot, as well as off the dribble.
Ray Allen had one of the purest jumpers. Larry Bird was the most fearless in the sense that he loved the big moment, there was no way anyone could come close to shaking his confidence. Reggie Miller was cold as ice, and I would bet the house on him late in games on the court. If you ask me who I want taking the last shot and we need a 3 to win, give me Reggie Miller or Larry Bird, based entirely on their mentality, toughness, and killer instinct.
But, based on a pure shooter, Steph is probably the best and I’m sure you will get to see him showcase his talents tonight.