The league has changed a lot since the early days, for sure, with the most offense being way more oriented towards the perimeter rather than trying to dominate down low as they did in the good old days.
A mid-range offense is pretty much dead, as advanced stats show that it’s way more effective to try and score from within a couple of feet or just pull up from distance instead of taking a low percentage shot.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of players in the league that still play basketball the old way, and thrive the most while driving to the lane instead of pulling up from distance. Today, we’ll let you know about the top 10 guard/forwards that don’t need the 3 point shot to be dominant scorers.
10. Dennis Smith Jr - 15.2 PPG, 1.5 3PM, 31.3%
Dennis Smith Jr is about to enter his second season in the pros, but judging from what we saw throughout his rookie year, we can assume a couple of things. this guy is never going to be a good three point shooter but he’s going to be a stud. Smith Jr is quite athletic, fast and strong, and he’s a huge threat while driving due to his ability to pick and pop or finish with both hands. So far, he’s averaged 15.2 points on 31.3% from 3.
9. Jaylen Brown - 10.4 PPG, 1.1 3PM, 37.9%
Even though Jaylen Brown has shown several glimpses of improvement in his shooting stroke and he’s taking way more attempts than his rookie season, he thrives the most with his speed and athletic finishes rather than his mid-long range game. Brown has a bright future ahead of him, but throughout two full seasons in the NBA, he’s roughly connected on 37% of his 3 attempts from beyond the arc per game.
8. Andrew Wiggins - 19.7 PPG, 1.0 3PM, 33.0%
He is probably the biggest surprise on this list, but Andrew Wiggins is not a good three-point shooter and he never averaged more than 1.4 three-pointers per game.
Last season, he had 17.7 points with only 33% 3P and his biggest challenge should be how to become a better shooter and how to score more points from the downtown.
7. John Wall - 18.9 PPG, 0.9 3PM, 32.7%
John Wall is one of the fastest players and this is his biggest advantage against other point guards. He's not a good shooter, but he improves every year.
Last season, he averaged only 1.5 three-pointers per game with a solid 37%, and if he can develop his shot in the future, he can break his record and average more than 23 points per game.
6. Ben Simmons - 15.8 PPG, 0.0 3PM, 0.00%
The perennial Rookie of the Year candidate, Ben Simmons, shown throughout his first -official- campaign in the league that he’s bound to dominate every aspect of the game. Well, every aspect but one: three-point shooting. Simmons was a stud all year long and proved that he was definitely worth the wait, but despite being a point guard, he didn’t hit one single three-pointer all year. How’s that even possible? As a matter of fact, he just attempted 11 shots from downtown.
5. Jimmy Butler - 16.4 PPG, 0.9 3PM, 33.9%
Jimmy Butler has slowly surged as one of the league’s top-tier two-way players, a harsh competitor with great determination to win and a great mid-range game. Nonetheless, he’s never been much of a three-point shooter, besides a couple of hot streaks he’s had every now and then. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from posting 4 straight 20+ points per game seasons, despite his horrid 33% shooting from three.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo - 17.2 PPG, 0.4 3PM, 28.4%
Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be the league’s MVP in no time. Following LeBron James’ departure, he’s perhaps the best player in the Eastern Conference, or at least, he’s among the top 3. There’s absolutely no way of stopping him 1 on 1, and now that he’s gained a lot of muscle, he’s going to be even scarier. Nonetheless, the Greek Freak is a pathetic three-point shooter, coming off his best season with averages of 26.9 points, but just 30% shooting from three.
3. DeMar DeRozan - 19.7 PPG, 0.5 3PM, 28.8%
DeMar DeRozan has put a lot of work into his offensive game and has really come together as a pretty solid scorer following some early struggles, but even though he’s really tried to add the three-pointer to his offensive repertoire, his shot just isn’t falling. He’s perhaps the best mid-range shooter in the league, but over 9 seasons, the newest member of the San Antonio Spurs has posted a horrible 28% shooting percentage from deep.
2. Russell Westbrook - 23.0 PPG, 1.1 3PM, 31.1%
Russell Westbrook is the kind of guy that could beat pretty much every single NBA player in a 1 on 1 matchup. He’s strong, athletic, and has the kind of competitive mindset that makes him try and score over you right after you got the best of him in the defensive end of the floor. Even so, he’s a huge bricker. His release is really low, his shot has no arc whatsoever, and whenever he hits a three, is because he’s had some luck and banked it off the backboard. Over his career, he’s a 31% shooter from deep, but average 23 points per game.
1. Dwyane Wade - 22.5 PPG, 0.5 3PM, 28.7%
Dwyane Wade is a walking Hall of Famer, a top 5 shooting guard in the history of the game, a two-way stud that has impacted the game right out of the gate and the greatest and most influential player in Miami Heat history. That being said, he’s never been a good shooter from beyond the arc, nor has he had the need of the include that into his repertoire. Throughout his career, ‘The Flash’ has averaged 22.5 points on 28% shooting from three.