Could Damian Lillard Top Stephen Curry and Ray Allen?
Until further notice, Ray Allen is the best three-point shooter in the history of the NBA. His quick stroke, his fluid form, his effortless release — no one did it any better than Jesus Shuttlesworth. And to top it all off, he holds the career record for the most three-pointers made, with 2,793. Only on the day that a player approaches this feat can the debate be open for discussion. Then and only then; end of story. However, it’s never too soon to start discussing his heir apparent.
There are a lot of differing opinions on this matter. However, if you ask around, you can be sure that most would conclude that Stephen Curry is next in line for the throne. The Golden State Warriors point guard has already made 1,092 three-balls in his five years in the NBA and currently holds a career 43.5 three-point shooting percentage. His range is limitless and he has the ability to create his own shot. Plus, after this year’s three-point shootout, it’s safe to say that Curry loves a challenge. Steph would certainly be the obvious choice. But is he the right one?
Despite what you might think, there is another point guard who needs to be put in the discussion. We’re talking about Portland’s Damian Lillard, who perhaps raised the three-point bar during the Trail Blazers’ 110-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. You probably already knew about Lillard’s affinity for clutch performances, but there’s a good chance you didn’t know how lethal he was from beyond the arc. It’s about time you found out.
During Sunday night’s contest, Lillard did more than just put up 31 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. He was also 3-5 from three-point range. Why is that important? Well, one of those three-balls happened to be the 546th of his career. This bucket from deep broke Klay Thompson’s record for the most three-pointers made through the first three years of a career. Everyone knew that Thompson could light it up from three-point range, but Lillard doesn’t necessarily get the same respect. He absolutely should.
For his career, Lillard has a 37.1 shooting percentage from three-point range. And last season, he knocked down a career-high 218 three-point shots. To continue with that trend, in this 2014-2015 season, the third-year man out of Weber State has already connected on 143 three-pointers. This total is good enough for the sixth-most in the NBA right now. Suffice it to say that Lillard knows how to knock down shots from the outside. His name might not be one that first comes to mind when you think of the best deep-ball shooters in the league, but his numbers tell a different story.
Everyone knows that Curry is the current king of the three-ball. His fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, gets his fair share of credit, as well, and so does Atlanta Hawks sniper Kyle Korver. But now there’s a new name player to add to the fold. Lillard has knocked down more three-pointers in the first three years of his NBA career than anyone in the history of the game. No matter what happens from here on out, neither Steph Curry nor Ray Allen can take that away from him.