Is Kyle Korver the Best Three-Point Shooter in NBA History?
Going into a nationally-televised game where much of the focus was on the combination of Kevin Love's injury and absence, LeBron James' rising minutes and ESPN's "crossover" broadcast duo of Bill Walton and Dick Vitale, none other than sharpshooter Kyle Korver went ahead and stole the show.
This is the same Kyle Korver who's averaging just 25.4 minutes since coming to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade last month. The same guy who had just 6 points in 27 minutes in a game the night before.
Yet, Korver's the exact same 35-year-old sniper who has proceeded to knock down at least one three-point bucket in 17 of 19 games since the change of scenery. In fact, he's had 2 or more three-balls in 15 of his 19 appearances with the Cavs thus far. And, as a whole, Korver's connecting on 2.7 threes per night on 51.5% from beyond the arc since heading north.
What he accomplished Wednesday night, however, had -- quite literally -- very little to do with the Cavs.
With his second three of the game, Korver became the seventh NBA player all-time to register at least 2,000 threes in a career. He joins Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter and Jamal Crawford as the only players to accomplish the impressive shooting feat.
Of the 2,000 club, though, Korver is the only player either not retired or in the very late stages of their career. In his 14th year, Korver has participated in three fewer seasons than Crawford, the next-closest player and a 17-year veteran. To say he has a lot of time to add to his current total of 2,004 threes would be an understatement.
But, either way, does it matter?
In terms of volume, sure. While Carter (2,011 threes) and Crawford (2,011) are already in Korver's sights, Pierce (2,138), Terry (2,211), Miller (2,560) and Allen (2,973) are off in the distance. Depending on how long he plays, we could reasonably expect Korver to push Pierce, Terry and maybe even Miller. Allen, on the other hand, is in a class all his own.
If we account for efficiency, though, Korver has been better than all of them.
|Player||Three-Point Attempt Rate||Three-Point Percentage||Made Threes Per Game|
Korver's three-point attempt rate tells us that he's taken 59% of his career field goal attempts from long range. That's nearly 20% higher than Allen, who didn't become a three-point specialist until his last several years in the league.
Clearly, Korver is beyond what you would call a three-point specialist. He's a marksman at its finest. While maintaining an average of 2.0 three-point makes a game, Korver's three-point percentage dwarfs that of every other member of the 2K club.
While I'm not making any statements, the argument is there to be made that Korver is the best, most-efficient member of the exclusive club, and that he's quite possibly the best shooter we've ever seen.