The DEADLIEST 3pt Shooting Teams In NBA History
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Did you know that in 1994-95, the NBA shortened the distance of the 3 point line from 23 feet 9 inches to a 22 ft (6.71 metres) in an attempt to incentivise players to shoot more often from downtown.
And as the popularity of the long range shot grew, even though the league brought back the line to the original distance in the 1997 season we now see the 3 point line being an integral part of the game.
So in this video let’s take a look at the deadliest 3 point shooting teams in the history of the NBA. And I bet that number 1 is not the team you all think it is.
What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Just to clarify this list is based on 3 point %. At number 10 we have Mike D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns. The Seven Seconds or Less group were way ahead of their time and they would perfectly fit today’s game. Yet, even the most analytical minds had to have been amazed in the 06-07 season, when the team shot 39.9% from deep for the season. Their best 3-point shooters were of course Steve Nash (45.5% on 4.5 attempts), Leandro Barbosa (43.4% on 5.5 attempts), and Raja Bell (41.3% on as many as 6.4 attempts).
It’s also worth noting that this edition of the Suns was tied with the ‘We Believe’ Golden State Warriors for first in three pointers attempted, with 24 per contest.
You’ll probably be somewhat surprised to hear that this team finished fourth in threes attempted per contest that season, with 18.3 tries every game. You’ll also be surprised to hear that their most accurate three-point shooter in 2003-04 was none other than Anthony Peeler, in his penultimate season. However, though the former Laker was a crazy 48.2% from deep, it should be pointed out that he did so on just 1.9 attempts per game. Not surprisingly, the second and third on the list are Predgrag 'Peja' Stojakovic in arguably his finest season of his career (43.3% on as many as 6.8 attempts) and Mike Bibby (39.2% on 4.6 tries). Kings fan favourite Bobby Jackson, too, should be given some love, for his 37% on 4.4 attempts.
If you want to remind yourself just how great their 3 point potency was on full display, look no further than the match against their California rivals, the Lakers, when Peja and Bibby combined to hit 12-21 from deep.
As in the case with the Suns, this group would also blend in today’s game perfectly.
2012 - the year when the nickname “Splash Brothers” was born. But to only talk about Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would be a disservice to Jarrett Jack, who, believe it or not, was more efficient than Klay from deep (though, you guessed it, on far fewer attempts).
In hindsight, it’s a little shocking that a team with the Splash Brothers finished 13th in attempted threes, but that’s exactly what happened. At a team level from an accuracy standpoint, the leader was sure enough Steph, with 45.3% on 7.7 attempts, Jack, 40.4% on 2.6 attempts, and Thompson, 40.1% on 6.4 attempts.
The first entry on the list from a shortened-line season. The Bulls didn’t take many threes in their memorable 1995-1996 run to the championship, ranking 15th in attempts with 1,349. But when they did, they were scorching hot.
Leading the way was, you guessed it, the Splash Brothers’ current coach, Steve Kerr, with 51.5% on 2.9 attempts. However, three other players, too shot over 40%: Jud Buechler (44.4% on 1.2 attempts), Michael Jordan (42.7% on 3.2 attempts, and Toni Kukoc (40.3% on 2.7 attempts).
A nice reminder that even champs from previous decades relied on three-point accuracy.
The same season, 1995-1996, also saw the Detroit Pistons follow a pattern similar to that of the Bulls, meaning though they ranked 14th in attempts, their accuracy from deep was off the charts: 40.4%
Allan Houston (42.7% on 5.5 attempts), Joe Dumars (40.6% on 4.4 attempts), and Lindsey Hunter (40.5% on 3.6 attempts) provided both quantity and quality from beyond the arc.
Michael Curry, too, deserves a mention, for becoming a member of the 40% club as well, connecting on exactly 40.0% of his 1.2 three-point attempts per game.
And as a Knicks fan, I just wanna take a moment and talk about Allan Houston’s picture shooting stroke. Just look at this.
Moving on, at number 5 we have yet another case of mid-table in terms of attempts, but leaders in terms of accuracy. However, when you have Danny Ferry, Steve Kerr, Terry Porter, and Sean Elliott, being one of the most accurate teams in history when it comes to shots from beyond the arc doesn’t come as that big of a shock.
Ferry led the way with 44.9%, Kerr (42.9%), Elliott (42.6%), and Porter (42.4%). Antonio Daniels, too, broke the 40% mark, connecting on 40.4%, while Derek Anderson and Jaren Jackson with 39.9% and 38.9% respectively, did their work as well.