In the fast-paced world of professional basketball, fans and analysts often focus on the league’s top scorers, the flashy handles, and the electrifying dunks. But what about the players who consistently knock down shot after shot from beyond the arc? The NBA’s most valuable shooter may not always be the player with the highest points per game average, but their ability to stretch the defense and open up the floor for their team is unmatched.
Stephen Curry is widely regarded as the finest shooter in NBA history, and for good reason. With a sweet shooting stroke, unlimited shooting range, and a quick release, Curry has revolutionized the game. He has the most three-pointers made in a single season with an astonishing 402 in 2015-2016, a record that still stands. Curry’s ability to shoot from anywhere on the court effectively forces defenses to shadow him closely, drawing them out of position and creating opportunities for his teammates. His shooting prowess has also led to unique offensive schemes designed specifically to neutralize his deadly shooting.
Another player who deserves recognition as an invaluable shooter is Klay Thompson. Part of the legendary Golden State Warriors’ dynasty alongside Curry, Thompson has become known for his unique ability to heat up in an instant. With his picturesque jumper and lightning-quick release, Thompson holds the record for most points in a single quarter with 37. Often overshadowed by his backcourt mate, Thompson’s shooting ability forces opponents to pick their poison, as leaving him open is a recipe for disaster.
But it’s not just the sharpshooters on the Warriors who deserve recognition. Other players like Damian Lillard, known for his audacious range, or JJ Redick, who has made a career out of running tirelessly through screens and spotting up from deep, have consistently terrorized opposing defenses. These players show the value of a player who can consistently knock down outside shots and how their skillsets can dramatically alter the course of a game.
The ability to shoot long-range jumpers at a high percentage has become an essential skill in today’s NBA, with teams increasingly emphasizing spacing and shooting. The three-point shot has reshaped the way teams construct their rosters and run their offenses. The rise of “small ball” and an increased reliance on three-point shooting has completely changed the face of the game.
Beyond the sheer numbers, the impact of a great shooter goes beyond the box score. The threat of a shooter can create spacing and force defenders to commit earlier and more aggressively, leaving lanes open for teammates to exploit. This results in more open shots, driving lanes, and opportunities to create offense.
So while the high-flying dunks and thunderous blocks may steal the headlines, let’s not forget the value of the NBA’s most lethal shooters. Their ability to consistently knock down shots from beyond the arc stretches defenses, creates opportunities, and ultimately alters the game plan of their opponents. When it’s all said and done, a reliable shooter can be the difference between a good team and a great team, making their impact immeasurable.