NBA Greatest 3-Point Shooter

By Malcolm Darnley | December 9, 2021 1:37 PM

Ray Allen is the current all-time NBA leader for 3PT shots made in a career.

Currently, Steph Curry trails Allen by just nine 3-pointers and is about to make history by overtaking Allen as the NBA’s most prolific long-range shooter of all time.

Games Played7741300
3PM – Total2,9642,973
3PA – Total6,8607,429
3PM – Game3.82.3
3PA – Game8.75.7

The table above is a great comparison between two great players. When you look at the games played for each of our two sharpshooters, it appears that Curry is far ahead of what Ray Allen ever accomplished.

It took Allen 1300 career games to reach his historic total of 2.973 total 3-pointers. It is not going to take Curry anywhere near that long to surpass that total.

However, the NBA game is constantly evolving and when Allen was bombing 3’s across the league, teams just didn’t take nearly as many 3-point attempts then as they do today.

This isn’t to say that Curry doesn’t have the overall advantage. When Curry does break Allen’s record, it will be with somewhere close to 550 fewer 3-point attempts.

You can see that from a shooting percentage standpoint, Curry is currently making over 43% of his attempts, while Allen retired with a career 40% average from downtown.

CurryAllenGSWCurry & GSWGSW w/o Curry
3PM – Game9.25.810.9534.7%7.2
3PA – Game25.716.428.630.4%19.6

This table is interesting because it highlights the difference between Allen’s era and the game Curry is playing today.

During Allen’s career, a single team averaged just over 16 (16.4) 3-point attempts per game.

During Curry’s NBA era, teams have averaged over 25 attempts per game.

This final graph helps illustrate just how much the game has evolved not just from when Ray Allen joined the league, but even during Curry’s 12 years in Golden State.

In the 1996 season, each team averaged just over 15 attempts from 3-point range per game. (30 combined attempts per game)

If you look at this year, the average NBA team has over 35 attempts from beyond the arc per game.(Over 70 combined attempts per game)

Meanwhile, the percentage of shots made per game has always hovered right around 35%.