If you’re training to be a basketball player then you must know that 9 times out of 10, your coach is going to give you an earful or maybe take you out of the game if you start taking contested shots, especially early in the shot-clock. That’s just basketball 101.
A step-back three-pointer is not a good shot. It just isn’t. It’s contested, out of balance, and most of the time you’ll have an open teammate waiting to get the ball. However, when you’re an NBA superstar, there’s no such thing as a bad shot.
That’s why a handful of players have excelled in the fine art of the step-back three-pointer. Well mastered, this shot is almost unblockable, while also being a fine treat for the eyes of the fans. Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 players with the most step-back three-pointers this season:
5. Zach Lavine – 40
Zach LaVine is a walking bucket. His basketball IQ isn’t exactly the highest in the league and sometimes he tends to force things in the offensive end a bit but let’s also be fair for a second: he’s never been in a position to win and has to do everything for his team.
LaVine has done a great job of working on his step-back three-pointer. He’s also put a lot of work on his handles and overall offensive repertoire, as he doesn’t want people thinking of him just as a dunker. Hopefully, he’ll join a contending team to showcase his arsenal.
4. Jayson Tatum – 51
Jayson Tatum is the real deal, ladies and gentlemen. He’s got the whole package and can literally do it all on both ends of the court. He’s got a high basketball IQ, great handles, and the ability to create separation in little-to-no time at all.
Tatum’s shot is automatic. One of the biggest traits of his game is the fact that he’s an efficient volume scorer from all three levels, including step-back three-pointers. He’s done it over and over with the shot-clock running down. He’ll lead the Celtics to a ring eventually.
3. Damian Lillard – 52
Damian Lillard has always had a nice shooting stroke from beyond the arc but he’s put a lot of work recently to expand his range even further. ‘Logo Lillard’ is now a thing, as you can tell for the huge step-back three he took over Paul George in last year’s playoffs.
The step-back three from 30+ feet is now one of Lillard’s signature move and, contrary to what most people would believe, he’s actually quite effective with that shot. Lillard just keeps getting better and adding more moves to his already impressive repertoire.
2. Luka Doncic – 87
Luka Doncic is a special kind of talent and he’s already proven it despite not being in the league for that long. Offensive-wise, he can literally do almost all at an elite level, even if he doesn’t impress with his speed, strength, or athleticism.
Doncic, however, still needs to work on being a more efficient three-point shooter, perhaps the lone flaw in his offensive game. Surprisingly, he’s way more effective on step-back three-pointers than taking wide-open shots from beyond the arc.
1. James Harden – 195
This one may not be a surprise to anybody but James Harden leads the league in step-back three-pointers and it’s not even close. I mean, he has over 100 more makes than Doncic in that regard despite how difficult it is to knock down this shot.
James Harden continues to innovate and add more and more moves and shots to his never-ending bag of tricks. He’s just driving defenders and opposing coaches crazy. He can create separation and draw contact every time he has the rock on his hands and there’s just no stopping him.