Monday, June 7, 2010
6/07/2010 02:04:00 PM | Posted by James Bucklin | Edit Post
After watching Ray Allen break the NBA record last night (his own, by the way) for threes in an NBA Finals game, it got me thinking . . . is he the best 3-point shooter of all time? Of course, me screaming it at the top of my lungs sitting on a stool at the bar at a Buffalo Wild Wings doesn't automatically make it true, but I think anyone would agree that the debate has two sides, the Ray Allen side and the Reggie Miller side. Sure, there have been countless great shooters who could be involved in this argument (see Bird, Rice, Nash), and some who are automatically disqualified because they didn't play with a 3 point line, but if you look at the numbers for most 3's made, it's Ray and Reggie who top the list.
In the battle for 3 point supremacy, the numbers will point in Ray Allen's direction when his career is over. Reggie had 2,560 3's made during his illustrious 18 season career. Ray just wrapped up his 15th regular season and has 2,444 triples under his belt. This season Ray had 145 3's in 80 games. If he can duplicate that next season at the tender age of 35, the record is his. But really, I'm not sure he has to do it next season. With the way he keeps his body in shape there is no reason why he couldn't play for three more seasons. As we saw with Reggie, if you're a great shooter who keeps themselves in top physical condition, you can play until you're 39 like him. Basically, what I'm saying is Ray will break the record for 3's in a career.
Percentages should come into play too, but they really don't in this match up. Reggie shot the long ball at a .3947 clip over his career and Ray is currently at .3957, good enough for 40th and 37th on the all time list respectfully. Pretty damn good considering these two guys are one and two by a mile on the all time list in attempts (Jason Kidd is #3, go figure...). Percentage doesn't get you in the upper echelon of 3 point shooters though. Pat Garrity outranks both these dudes as a point of reference.
These, of course, are just regular season numbers. Playoffs need to be discussed as well. Reggie had 320 Playoff bombs in 144 games. Ray has 249 in 96 games. If you do the math it gives Ray a slight edge in a per game comparison, but I think I would have to give Reggie trophy for best 3 point shooter in the playoffs, just because he did it in such a clutch and impressive fashion (6 point in 3.2 seconds). Ray is no slouch, however. He has had the two best 3 point shooting games in NBA Finals history after all.
It's an almost impossible debate. Both guys were so damn impressive from downtown that it's tough to pick a clear cut winner. I'll do it though. I think the stats point in Ray Allen's favor, plus I hate Reggie and love Ray. Also, Ray has a ring (and a good chance at 2), and he stars in a movie. Suck it, Reg. Ray Allen is the greatest 3 point shooter of all time.