With the new NBA season off the blocks, teams have now had a few games under their belt. And with that, some early MVP contenders have already become clear. So far, the NBA has come back with the excitement it normally generates and has given fans some memorable games.
In the modern NBA, perhaps no shot is as important as the catch-and-shoot three. Over the last decade, teams have placed great importance on three-point shooting, as it allows teams to maximize their offensive output and put up a large number of points on the board.
So far, the person leading the NBA in catch-and-shoot three-pointers is Carmelo Anthony. Melo has been on fire for the Lakers, coming off the bench and being one of their highest scorers on a nightly basis. He currently has made 50% of his catch-and-shoot threes, with 20.
Right behind him is Stephen Curry with 18, which is not a surprise, given that he is the greatest shooter of all time. OG Anunoby and Joe Harris are tied with Curry with 18 but have slightly lower percentages. Following them are Buddy Hield (17), Kelly Oubre Jr. (17), Harrison Barnes (15), Tim Hardaway Jr. (15), and Grayson Allen (15).
Melo leading the league in catch-and-shoot threes is a big step for the Lakers. Last season, the Lakers were the worst team in the NBA when it came to three-point shooting. And now, with Melo, along with Malik Monk, they have a couple of shooters who can be relied upon to make their threes on a regular basis.
Curry and Joe Harris are two of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league today, and will probably continue shooting like this. The same goes for Buddy Hield. One of the surprises on the list is Kelly Oubre Jr., who performed terribly from the three-point line for the Warriors last season.
Clearly, it is still very early in the season. And perhaps players like Damian Lillard, who is going through a shooting slump right now, will find their form and perform better. Lillard himself has said he's embracing the challenge to improve. But as things stand, these are the players who lead the league in catch-and-shoot three-pointers.