Best 3-point shooters of all time. Steve Nash.
When you think of great long distance shooters Steve Nash probably isn’t the first who comes to your mind and it’s because Nash is more about the assists and playmaking. But don’t let that fool you and take a look at the stats.
3-pt field goals made: 1390 (16th all time)
3-pt %: 0.432 (5th all time)
The percentage is what stands out. 43 % is outstanding.
1996 NBA draft is definitely one of the best in history and Steve Nash was one of its members. He was selected with the 15th pick. NBA teams weren’t sure if they want to use their pick to draft a seemingly unathletic and short white guy. And he wasn’t really the star of the show during his first season. He averaged just 3.3 points in 10.5 minutes and made only 23 three-pointers during the season. It took a few more years for him to break out and it happened in 2000. He averaged 15.6 points and 1.3 threes during the 2000-2001 season and helped Mavs to make the playoffs for the first time since 1990. Next year he was even better averaging 1.9 three-pointers per game and he made his first all star game and All-NBA 3rd team. He shot lights out from downtown and ranked 5th in 3-pt percentage (0.455). His Mavericks looked good early in the playoffs as they swept the Timberwolves and Kevin Garnett. Dallas advanced to the 2nd round where they were beaten by the powerful Sacramento Kings and so their postseason was over. Nash with Nowitzki and Finley, who were both also very good shooters, formed the Mavericks “big three”.
It was the 2003 playoffs when Dallas really showed what they are capable off advancing to the conference finals. Nash missed the majority of the regular season but returned for the playoffs and played an important role for the Mavs. He was deadly from the 3-point land – he made 37 out of 76. Nash and the Mavericks won 52 games the following year but lost to Sacramento in the first round and after the season Nash became a free agent.
Nash was already 30 years old at the time and Mark Cuban decided to build the team around younger Nowitzki and his former team Phoenix Suns offered him a better contract so he returned to Arizona.
Phoenix was a young team which apparently lacked one key element and Nash was the real deal. He completely turned around the Suns franchise and they went from 29–53 record to 62–20 league-best record in 2004-05 season. Steve had turned from a borderline all-star player to an elite player and his Suns were on a mission to win the NBA title. The Suns were hot during the first two rounds of the playoffs and beat Steve’s old team in the second round but they couldn’t handle the Spurs in the conference finals so their season was over. However it was a great playoff run for the Suns and Nash was brilliant. He averaged career-high 23.9 points per game in the playoffs. During these playoffs he was more of a scorer than shooter as only 63 of his 358 points came from 3-pointers.
Next year Amare Stoudemire suffered a very serious injury. However the Suns remained strong and Nash remained great. He joined Magic Johnson as the only two point guards in league history to win the MVP trophy 2 times in a row. This was also the first year when he was a starter at the all-star game. Suns again reached the conference finals where they again lost, this time to Nash’s former team, Dallas.
In 2006-07 Nash took more threes and also improved his percentage. He hit 2.1 three-pointers per game and his 3p% was 0.455. Steve was once again in the MVP discussion but he didn’t win it this time but Suns were unable to go further than 2nd round in the playoffs. In the playoffs Nash was a very efficient long distance shooter as he made 19 of 39 three-point shots. Including some clutch threes.
Next regular season was the best for Nash in terms of shooting, he shot 47% from downtown and made 179 threes which are both career-highs for him. Suns had a successful regular season by winning 55 games but for the third time in four years San Antonio eliminated them from the playoffs.
In 2008-09 Suns missed the playoffs for the first time since Steve returned to Phoenix but Nash was still a sharp shooter shooting 44% from 3-point territory and this year Nash has proved that he is still an elite player who is capable of taking his team to a whole another level. Phoenix is not counted as a serious championship contender this year because Suns are overshadowed by the likes of LA, Boston, Orlando and Cleveland but it is up to Nash to prove haters wrong. His long distance shooting ability remains as one of Steve’s main weapons. Nash for threeeeeeee!!!