When it comes to the highlight videos we all know and love, they always feature a huge amount of dunks, and why wouldn’t they? A dunk is a very impressive athletic feat considering it requires you to be able to get your hand more than 10 feet into the air.
NBA players are some of the best athletes on Earth and it’s no surprise that when they do dunk it’s an incredible thing to watch. A player’s vertical leap is mainly due to their physicality; how naturally talented they are. Yeah, it’s amazing to watch, but most players are born with the genes that mean they are regular contributors to the NBA’s Top Ten plays.
Shooting, on the other hand, is completely different. Nobody is born with genetic makeup to automatically develop a killer jump shot. Of course, people have natural instincts for shooting, that’s why we have amazing shooters in the NBA but they didn’t get there without a huge amount of work to perfect everything from their motion to the power to their mentality.
A perfect jump shot is poetry in motion and is easily as beautiful if not more so than a dunk, especially to those who really appreciate the game of basketball. The NBA has always had some amazing shooters, guys that have it on automatic and that are always a constant threat to knock down a trey.
Here are my top seven pure shooters who will give defense nightmares next NBA season.
7. Channing Frye - Cleveland Cavaliers
The epitome of a stretch-4 Frye has been a huge addition to the Cavaliers with his ability to give LeBron James and Kyrie Irving the floor space they need to do a hell of a lot of damage inside. He’s 6 foot 11 and hit nearly 41% of his threes last year.
He is excellent in the pick and pop which is so good at getting him in positions to receive an easy pass and for him to make it splash from deep. He isn’t good at much else though, but he doesn’t need to be with a stroke like that.
6. J.J. Redick - Philadelphia 76ers
The 2015/16 three point shooting percentage leader, Redick is easily one of the premier snipers in the NBA. In his time with the Clippers, he knocked down an astounding 44% of his triples and was hitting over 2 a game during that span.
He not only is a master of the catch and shoots but he’s really proficient at getting screens just beyond the arc, planting his feet and hitting really tough jumpers all the while moving sideways. Now that he’s in Philly he will be a valuable piece to stretch the floor for Embiid and Simmons to go to work, the 76ers are a real dark horse to make the playoffs this year.
5. Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards
Last season was a true breakout year for the Wizard’s 5th year 2 guard who put up a career high of 23.1 points a game and was nearly hitting 3 triples a night. Him and John Wall have formed a fierce backcourt duo that rivals any in the league and they will be tearing things up for many years to come.
Beal is a career 40% shooter from beyond the arc even though NBA defenses will be heavily focused on stopping him out there. He gets a lot of elevation on his jump shot and his motion is pure as silk. I expect him to make the East’s All-Star team this year as Washington looks to take advantage of the disruptions in Cleveland and seriously contend for the East.
4. Ryan Anderson - Houston Rockets
Another extremely good stretch 4 that makes our list is the Houston Rockets big man Ryan Anderson. He was brought in by Mike D’Antoni last year to give more floor spacing for James Harden to work his magic and boy was it effective.
Houston surprised everyone last year and earned the 3rd seed in the West, mainly due to their ability to hit from the outside and Anderson was a huge part of this. He averaged nearly 3 made 3 pointers a night and connected on a tasty 40.3% of them. Him and James Harden ran miracles in the pick and pop and I expect nothing less this season, especially since Houston added Chris Paul into the mix.
3. Kyle Korver - Cleveland Cavaliers
If I were to say to you that someone hit 53.6% from the field you’d be very impressed. This is a very high number, usually only achieved by big men and the very best of scorers in the league. If I were to then say that this was Kyle Korver’s 3 point percentage in 2009/10 then you’d think I was mad,
Hitting 40% of your threes is very impressive, above 50% is just out of this world. Even at 36 Kyle is still one of the best pure shooters the NBA has to offer. He’s lead the league in 3 point percentage 4 times over his career including last season and he’s a pretty good bet to right at the top next year.
2. Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
I think you can guess where this is going now, we’ve entered the realm of the Splash Brothers. These next two guys are easily the best two in history and the fact that they are on the same team is a huge reason why they have won 2 out of the last 3 NBA championships and are easily the favorites to win it again this year.
Klay Thompson’s jump shot should be immortalized in the Hall of Fame when he retires, every basketball coach for the rest of time should sit their players down and show them again and again the motion that this deadeye sniper has, because it’s as close to perfection as you can get.
Klay hit 3.4 threes a game last season on 41.4% from beyond the arc and even with the next guy on the list’s prowess, Klay could seriously challenge his title as the best shooter in the NBA right now.
1. Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
Do I really need to explain this to you guys? Ok, then *sigh*...I will.
Blah blah blah hit 4.1 threes a game last year blah blah blah has 4 of the top 5 seasons in terms of the total made three pointers blah blah blah hit more than 400 the year before last blah blah blah.
You get the picture.
Curry is the world’s deadliest sniper and he will be even after he retires. Only if we remove both his arms, gouge out his eyes and remove his brain will NBA teams be safe from a Curry 35 footer. Ray Allen’s record of 2,973 made threes will soon be broken, then left in the rear view mirror for Curry.
Forget 3,000 made threes, if curry can keep healthy we could be looking at someone who could make over 4,000 before he’s all wrapped up.
That truly would be hitting the bullseye.