NBA: Ryan Anderson and the evolution of the ‘stretch four’

When one thinks of 3-point shooters, the image that almost always comes to mind is a slick-shooting guard, someone such as Stephen Curry or Ray Allen.

So it might surprise some to learn that the guy who has shot the most 3-pointers in the NBA this season isn’t a point guard, it’s not a shooting guard or even a small forward.

No, it’s Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets, a 6-10 power forward.

Anderson leads the league in makes and attempts from outside the arc as he’s gone 112-277 from deep this season. So not only is Anderson a volume shooter from deep, averaging 3.1 makes and 7.7 attempts from the land of 3, but he’s also a good shooter from deep. His 40.4 percent mark doesn’t land him in the league’s top 20, but it is just outside that list.

The best 3-point shooter in the league this year in terms of percentage, however, is another of the so-called “stretch four” types—Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs.

Bonner, another 6-10 forward, is hitting 47.4 percent from the 3-point area (27-for-57). Bonner also led the league in 3-point accuracy in 2010-11 when he shot 45.7 percent (105-for-230).

So who are these guys and why are they taking their big selves out into the land of the little guy?

The stretch four has emerged as perhaps the most versatile position on the floor in today’s NBA. Almost everyone has traditional power forwards, the guys with the size and strength to mix it up down low.

What the stretch four does, however, is to help space the offense. Having a big with the ability to get outside of the paint and be a legitimate threat to score creates both matchup problems and space on the interior for the offense to run more smoothly.

Of course, one doesn’t have to be a mad bomber from 3-point range to be an effective stretch-four type. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers can create that sort of space with his mid-range post-up ability.

Aldridge’s bread-and-butter move is to get the ball on a wing at 15 feet or so from the basket and relentlessly back his defender down, finishing it with a turnaround jump shot from around 10 feet.

The other offensive element the stretch four opens up is the pick-and-pop game. The stretch four screens for the ballhandler and can pop out for an open shot from mid-range if the defense stays with the screener. Otherwise, the ballhandler—in Portland’s case, usually Damian Lillard—is free to continue to drive the lane.

Perhaps the best stretch four ever is Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. The 7-foot German can score from anywhere—anywhere—on the floor. He has a variety of nifty moves in the low post, has a great mid-range game and if teams choose to ignore him at the 3-point line, they do so at their own risk—he’s a career 38 percent shooter from out there and has averaged 3.2 attempts per game.

So Nowitzki is a player who has to be guarded everywhere on the offensive end. Put a traditional big on him and he steps out to the perimeter. Put a smaller, quicker defender on him and he sets up shop down on the block.

The stretch four can be an absolute matchup nightmare.

When the Mavericks won their lone NBA title in 2011, the pick-and-pop was a big part of their game, although with a variation from the way Portland runs it now.

During that 2011 title run, particularly with J.J. Barea at the point, the Mavs would use Tyson Chandler, Barea and Nowitzki on a combination pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop. Chandler would screen and roll while Nowitzki set up shot at the 3-point line. Barea could then either drive himself, hit the roll man Chandler or pop the ball out to Nowitzki for an uncontested 3-pointer, based on how the defense opted to play it.

As for Anderson, he has continued his success as a long-range bomber even without the benefit of playing with Dwight Howard, as he did with the Orlando Magic.

Anderson also led the NBA in 3-point volume in 2011-12 while with the Magic, making 166 and attempting 422 shots from deep. With the New Jersey Nets and the Magic during his first three seasons, before he established himself as a regular, Anderson earned a spot in the rotation as a stretch four coming off the bench. Now in his fifth year, Anderson is 559-for-1440 from beyond the arc and the 5.0 average attempts per game ranks him among the all-time leaders for those with more than 250 made 3-pointers in their career. The top 50 volume 3-point shooters in terms of attempts per game are listed below:

Name G 3FGA 3FGA/G Years
Chico Vaughn 164 1015 6.19 1968-70 (ABA)
Ray Allen 1181 6917 5.86 1997-2013
Gilbert Arenas 552 3077 5.57 2002-12
Peja Stojakovic 804 4392 5.46 1999-2011
Brandon Jennings 246 1270 5.16 2010-13
Jason Richardson 835 4232 5.07 2002-13
Stephen Curry 215 1079 5.02 2010-13
Tim Hardaway 867 4345 5.01 1990-2003
Baron Davis 835 4159 4.98 2000-12
Reggie Miller 1389 6486 4.97 1988-2005
Ryan Anderson 290 1440 4.97 2009-13
Jamal Crawford 846 4155 4.91 2001-13
Danilo Gallinari 251 1232 4.91 2009-13
Dennis Scott 629 3060 4.86 1991-2000
Nick Van Exel 880 4278 4.86 1994-2006
J.R. Smith 574 2786 4.85 2005-13
Eric Gordon 211 1015 4.81 2009-13
Jason Williams 788 3784 4.80 1999-2011
Antoine Walker 893 4264 4.77 1997-2008
Danny Granger 510 2422 4.75 2006-12
Rashard Lewis 951 4398 4.62 1999-2013
Rudy Fernandez 249 1147 4.61 2009-12
Jason Terry 1058 4867 4.60 2000-13
Vernon Maxwell 855 3931 4.60 1989-2001
Chauncey Billups 1005 4598 4.58 1998-2013
Marcus Thornton 224 1007 4.50 2010-13
Stephen Jackson 817 3654 4.47 2001-13
Paul Pierce 1061 4732 4.46 1999-2013
Michael Adams 653 2857 4.38 1986-96
Michael Redd 629 2751 4.37 2001-12
Eddie Jones 954 4147 4.35 1995-2008
O.J. Mayo 338 1467 4.34 2009-13
Voshon Lenard 565 2437 4.31 1996-2006
Mookie Blaylock 889 3816 4.29 1990-2002
Mike Miller 804 3412 4.24 2001-13
Joe Johnson 867 3676 4.24 2002-13
Aaron Brooks 307 1296 4.22 2008-13
Kevin Martin 510 2152 4.22 2005-13
Kyle Korver 694 2924 4.21 2004-13
Ben Gordon 624 2626 4.21 2005-13
Quentin Richardson 782 3284 4.20 2001-12
Rafer Alston 671 2815 4.20 2000-10
James Harden 256 1063 4.15 2010-13
John Starks 866 3591 4.15 1989-2002
Jason Kidd 1347 5536 4.11 1995-2013
Vince Carter 1023 4201 4.11 1999-2013
Kevin Durant 416 1699 4.08 2008-13
Manu Ginobili 702 2867 4.08 2003-13
Wesley Matthews 260 1052 4.05 2010-13
Nicolas Batum 290 1162 4.01 2009-13

With few exceptions, the players on that list are either still active or are just recently out of the league. In NBA history, Ray Allen—a shooting guard—has shot the highest volume of 3-pointers per game in his career.

But there are a few of the present-day stretch-four types that also make this list. Anderson is 11th all-time at 4.97 3-point attempts per game. Danilo Gallinari plays that role for the Denver Nuggets and is at No. 13 on the list at 4.91. Antoine Walker was one of the earlier stretch fours, playing the role for the Boston Celtics in the late 1990s and early 21st century and averaged 4.77 attempts from deep per game. Rashard Lewis checked in at No. 21 at 4.62 attempts per game.

That is in line, however, with not just the evolution of the stretch four but also the evolution of the 3-point shot as a regular weapon in teams’ offensive arsenal.

In the early days of the 3-point shot, both in the nine years the ABA was in operation from 1967-68 through 1975-76 and after the line was added in the NBA in 1979-80, the shot was seen by most coaches as more of a gimmick than a strategy.

Coaches in the ABA were forced to do something their contemporaries hadn’t considered: Rethink everything they knew about offensive and defensive strategy.

One ABA coach admitted in Terry Pluto’s book “Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association” that he never used the 3-pointer at first unless his team was losing late in the game and was desperate for points.

Hubie Brown, a longtime NBA coach and current television analyst, also coached in the ABA, leading the Kentucky Colonels to the championship in 1974-75.

“You have to tell your players to remember who the shooters are, and when those guys are 25 feet from the basket, get in their jocks and guard them,” Brown said in “Loose Balls.” “Don’t give them the 25-footer, which is something players had been conditioned to do all their lives. And as a coach, if you have a shooter with range, you have to give him the freedom to take the 25-footer, which is a philosophy that goes against what you learned as a young coach—namely, pound the ball inside.”

But as players became more accustomed to the shot and coaches got used to it, the long-range bomb emerged as an integral part of most offenses. The addition of the 3-point shot in the college and high-school games gave birth to a new generation of players who were familiar with the concept of spotting up at the 3-point line, something older players had to learn later in their careers.

So as the game and the use of the shot evolved, the next natural progression was for bigger players to begin to specialize in taking long bombs, as well.

The forerunner of the modern stretch four played more than 40 years ago.

Stew Johnson played his entire nine-year career in the ABA, spanning the entire life of the league.

Johnson was a 6-8, 220-pound power forward from Murray State, but he was atypical of most big players of his era because he could shoot from anywhere. The corner jumper was his favorite weapon.

Johnson attempted 872 3-point shots in his career, placing him 10th on the ABA’s all-time list. He made 269 of them—also 10th-best in ABA history—and his 30.8 percentage rate ranks 16th in ABA annals (bearing in mind that shooting percentages were far lower 40 years ago than they are today).

The next stretch four came into the league the same year as the 3-pointer. Rookie Larry Bird was 58-for-143 from long range while playing primarily at power forward as a rookie in 1979-80. The 58 makes were fifth-most in the league, the 143 attempts ranked sixth and his 40.6 accuracy placed him third behind Downtown Fred Brown of the Seattle SuperSonics (44.3) and teammate Chris Ford (42.7).

Those were the only three players in the NBA that first season of the 3-ball who shot better than 40 percent; only 15 players had enough makes (25) to qualify for the league percentage lead.

To understand the evolution of the stretch four, one has to also understand the evolution of 3-point usage in general. The table below lays out the lifetime of the 3-pointer from the ABA days through today. New NBA records for team and individual totals are indicated by italics.

Year/League League Average (Pct.) Team Leader 3FG Team Leader 3FGA Leader 3FG Leader3FGA
1967-68 ABA 111-390 (28.5) Pittsburgh Pipers-243 Pittsburgh Pipers-790 Lester Selvage, Anaheim-147 Lester Selvage, Anaheim-461
1968-69 ABA 138-460 (29.9) Kentucky Colonels-335 Minnesota Pipers-1006 Louie Dampier, Kentucky-199 Louie Dampier, Kentucky-552
1969-70 ABA 155-531 (29.1) Kentucky Colonels-330 Kentucky Colonels-923 Louie Dampier, Kentucky-198 Louie Dampier, Kentucky-548
1970-71 ABA 154-516 (29.9) Indiana Pacers-306 Indiana Pacers-1024 George Lehmann, Carolina-154 George Lehmann, Carolina- 382
1971-72 ABA 131-442 (29.7) Indiana Pacers-220 Indiana Pacers-750 Glen Combs, Utah-103 Warren Jabali, Floridians-285
1972-73 ABA 91-316 (28.9) Indiana Pacers-172 Indiana Pacers-551 Bill Keller, Indiana-71 Bill Keller, Indiana-222
1973-74 ABA 100-351 (28.3) San Diego Conquistadors-216 San Diego Conquistadors-736 Bo Lamar, San Diego-69 Bo Lamar. San Diego-247
1974-75 ABA 91-311 (29.3) Indiana Pacers-224 Indiana Pacers-718 Bill Keller, Indiana-80 Bill Keller, Indiana-240
1975-76 ABA 78-266 (29.5) Indiana Pacers-250 Indiana Pacers-771 Bill Keller, Indiana-123 Bill Keller, Indiana-349
1979-80 NBA 64-227 (28.0) San Diego Clippers-177 San Diego Clippers-543 Brian Taylor, San Diego-90 Brian Taylor, San Diego-239
1980-81 NBA 41-166 (24.5) San Diego Clippers-132 San Diego Clippers-407 Mike Bratz, Cleveland-57 Mike Bratz, Cleveland-169
1981-82 NBA 49-187 (26.2) Indiana Pacers-103 San Diego Clippers-338 Don Buse, Indiana-73 Joe Hassett, Golden State-214
1982-83 NBA 44-185 (23.8) San Antonio Spurs-94 San Antonio Spurs-308 Mike Dunleavy, San Antonio-67 Mike Dunleavy, San Antonio-194
1983-84 NBA 49-195 (25.0) Utah Jazz-101 Utah Jazz-317 Darrell Griffith, Utah-91 Darrell Griffith, Utah-252
1984-85 NBA 73-257 (28.2) Dallas Mavericks-152 Dallas Mavericks-443 Darrell Griffith, Utah-92 Darrell Griffith, Utah-257
1985-86 NBA 77-274 (28.2) Dallas Mavericks-141 Dallas Mavericks-446 Larry Bird, Boston-82 Larry Bird, Boston-194
1986-87 NBA 117-388 (30.1) Dallas Mavericks-231 Dallas Mavericks-653 Larry Bird, Boston-90 Dale Ellis, Seattle-240
1987-88 NBA 130-410 (31.6) Boston Celtics-271 Boston Celtics-705 Danny Ainge, Boston-148 Michael Adams, Denver-379
1988-89 NBA 173-537 (32.3) New York Knicks-386 New York Knicks-1147 Michael Adams, Denver-166 Michael Adams, Denver-466
1989-90 NBA 179-541 (33.1) Cleveland Cavaliers-346 Cleveland Cavaliers-851 Michael Adams, Denver-158 Michael Adams, Denver-432
1990-91 NBA 187-586 (32.0) Portland Trail Blazers-341 Denver Nuggets-1059 Vernon Maxwell, Houston-172 Michael Adams, Denver-564
1991-92 NBA 207-626 (33.1) Milwaukee Bucks-371 Milwaukee Bucks-1005 Vernon Maxwell, Houston-162 Vernon Maxwell, Houston-473
1992-93 NBA 247-734 (33.6) Phoenix Suns-398 Phoenix Suns-1095 Dan Majerle, Phoenix/
Reggie Miller, Indiana-167
Dan Majerle, Phoenix-438
1993-94 NBA 270-811 (33.3) Houston Rockets-429 Houston Rockets-1285 Dan Majerle, Phoenix-192 Dan Majerle, Phoenix-503
1994-95 NBA 450-1255 (35.9) Houston Rockets-646 Houston Rockets-1757 John Starks, New York-217 John Starks, New York-611
1995-96 NBA 483-1316 (36.7) Dallas Mavericks-735 Dallas Mavericks-2039 Dennis Scott, Orlando-267 George McCloud, Dallas-678
1996-97 NBA 496-1377 (36.0) Miami Heat-678 Miami Heat-1865 Reggie Miller, Indiana-229 Mookie Blaylock, Atlanta-604
1997-98 NBA 360-1042 (34.6) Seattle SuperSonics-621 Houston Rockets-1670 Wesley Person-Cleveland-192 Wesley Person, Cleveland-447
1998-99 NBA 223-658 (33.9) Houston Rockets-336 Sacramento Kings-943 Dee Brown, Toronto-135 Dee Brown, Toronto-349
1999-00 NBA 397-1125 (35.3) Indiana Pacers-583 Sacramento Kings-1656 Gary Payton, Seattle 177 Gary Payton, Seattle-520
2000-01 NBA 397-1124 (35.4) Boston Celtics-592 Boston Celtics-1633 Antoine Walker, Boston-221 Antoine Walker, Boston-603
2001-02 NBA 428-1209 (35.4) Boston Celtics-699 Boston Celtics-1946 Ray Allen, Milwaukee-229 Antoine Walker, Boston-645
2002-03 NBA 421-1204 (34.9) Boston Celtics-719 Boston Celtics-2155 Ray Allen, Milwaukee-Seattle-201 Antoine Walker, Boston-582
2003-04 NBA 425-1224 (34.7) Seattle SuperSonics-723 Seattle SuperSonics-1936 Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento-240 Baron Davis, New Orleans-582
2004-05 NBA 459-1292 (35.6) Phoenix Suns-796 Phoenix Suns-2026 Kyle Korver, Philadelphia/
Quentin Richardson, Phoenix-226
Quentin Richardson, Phoenix-631
2005-06 NBA 470-1310 (35.8) Phoenix Suns-837 Phoenix Suns-2097 Ray Allen, Seattle-269 Ray Allen, Seattle-653
2006-07 NBA 498-1389 (35.8) Phoenix Suns-785 Golden State Warriors-1967 Raja Bell, Phoenix/
Gilbert Arenas, Washington-205
Gilbert Arenas, Washington-584
2007-08 NBA 537-1485 (36.2) Orlando Magic-801 Golden State Warriors-2185 Jason Richardson, Charlotte-243 Jason Richardson, Charlotte-599
2008-09 NBA 545-1486 (36.7) New York Knicks-823 New York Knicks-2284 Rashard Lewis, Orlando-220 Rashard Lewis, Orlando-554
2009-10 NBA 527-1487 (35.5) Orlando Magic-841 Orlando Magic-2241 Aaron Brooks, Houston-209 Aaron Brooks, Houston-525
2010-11 NBA 530-1477 (35.8) Orlando Magic-770 Orlando Magic-2103 Dorell Wright, Golden State-194 Dorell Wright, Golden State-516
2011-12 NBA 423-1213 (34.9) Orlando Magic-670 Orlando Magic-1785 Ryan Anderson, Orlando-166 Ryan Anderson, Orlando-422

Finally, the number of bigs who have adapted their games to include competency from long-range increased exponentially over the years, as illustrated by the table below, which tracks the number of fours or fives who have attempted at least 100 3-pointers in a season. Players listed played primarily power forward or center during the season during which they made the list.

Year Name, Team 3-Pt Shooting
1968-69 Stew Johnson, New York-Houston (ABA) 64-183 (35.0)
1972-73 Stew Johnson, San Diego Conquistadors (ABA) 37-133 (27.8)
1973-74 Stew Johnson, San Diego Conquistadors (ABA) 59-190 (31.1)
1974-75 George McGinnis, Indiana Pacers (ABA) 62-175 (35.4)
Stew Johnson, San Diego-Memphis (ABA) 40-132 (30.3)
1979-80 Larry Bird, Boston Celtics 58-143 (40.6)
1986-87 Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics 54-145 (37.2)
Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers 21-104 (20.2)
1987-88 Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers 44-157 (28.0)
Richard Anderson, Houston-Portland 48-150 (32.0)
Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics 33-109 (30.3)
1988-89 Harold Pressley, Sacramento Kings 119-295 (40.3)
Jack Sikma, Milwaukee Bucks 82-216 (38.0)
Rod Higgins, Golden State Warriors 66-168 (39.3)
Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers 35-162 (21.6)
Richard Anderson, Portland Trail Blazers 49-141 (34.8)
Russ Schoene, Seattle SuperSonics 42-110 (38.2)
1989-90 Jack Sikma, Milwaukee Bucks 68-199 (34.2)
Rod Higgins, Golden State Warriors 67-193 (34.7)
Bill Laimbeer, Detroit Pistons 57-158 (36.1)
Brad Lohaus, Minnesota-Milwaukee 47-137 (34.3)
Richard Anderson, Charlotte Hornets 37-100 (37.0)
1990-91 Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers 44-155 (28.4)
Jack Sikma, Milwaukee Bucks 46-135 (34.1)
Bill Laimbeer, Detroit Pistons 37-125 (29.6)
Brad Lohaus, Milwaukee Bucks 33-119 (27.7)
1991-92 Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 64-166 (38.6)
Brad Lohaus, Milwaukee Bucks 57-144 (39.6)
Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers 32-137 (23.4)
Alexander Volkov, Atlanta Hawks 35-110 (31.8)
Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons 32-101 (31.7)
1992-93 Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 91-243 (37.4)
Brad Lohaus, Milwaukee Bucks 85-230 (37.0)
Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns 67-220 (30.5)
Tom Gugliotta, Washington Bullets 38-135 (28.1)
1993-94 Sam Perkins, Seattle SuperSonics 99-270 (36.7)
Tim Perry, Philadelphia 76ers 73-200 (36.5)
Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns 48-178 (27.0)
Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 50-154 (32.5)
Tom Gugliotta, Washington Bullets 40-148 (27.0)
Brad Lohaus, Milwaukee Bucks 46-134 (34.3)
Derrick Coleman, New Jersey Nets 38-121 (31.4)
1994-95 Sam Perkins, Seattle SuperSonics 136-343 (39.7)
Terry Mills, Detroit Pistons 109-285 (38.2)
Danny Ferry, Cleveland Cavaliers 94-233 (40.3)
Robert Horry, Houston Rockets 86-227 (37.9)
Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns 74-219 (33.8)
Larry Johnson, Charlotte Hornets 81-210 (38.6)
Brad Lohaus, Miami Heat 63-155 (40.6)
Rodney Rogers, Denver Nuggets 50-148 (33.8)
Chris Webber, Washington Bullets 40-145 (27.6)
Derrick Coleman, New Jersey Nets 28-120 (23.3)
1995-96 Danny Ferry. Cleveland Cavaliers 143-363 (39.4)
Sam Perkins, Seattle SuperSonics 129-363 (35.5)
Terry Mills, Detroit Pistons 82-207 (39.6)
Larry Johnson, Charlotte Hornets 67-183 (36.6)
Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns 49-175 (28.0)
Brad Lohaus, San Antonio-New York 51-122 (41.8)
Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers 39-104 (37.5)
1996-97 Terry Mills, Detroit Pistons 175-415 (42.2)
Sam Perkins, Seattle SuperSonics 122-309 (39.5)
Danny Ferry, Cleveland Cavaliers 114-284 (40.1)
LaPhonso Ellis, Denver Nuggets 95-259 (36.7)
Charles Barkley, Houston Rockets 58-205 (28.3)
Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 67-183 (36.6)
Henry James, Atlanta Hawks 76-181 (42.0)
Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 52-159 (32.7)
Chris Webber, Washington Bullets 60-151 (39.7)
Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers 49-132 (37.1)
Derrick Coleman, Philadelphia 76ers 32-119 (26.9)
1997-98 Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 91-292 (31.2)
Chuck Person, San Antonio Spurs 95-276 (34.4)
Keith Van Horn, New Jersey Nets 69-224 (30.8)
Sam Perkins, Seattle SuperSonics 87-222 (39.2)
Chris Webber, Washington Wizards 65-205 (31.7)
Pete Chilcutt, Vancouver Grizzlies 54-130 (41.5)
Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers 30-115 (26.1)
1998-99 Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 65-176 (36.9)
1999-00 Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 116-306 (37.9)
Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 73-285 (25.6)
Rodney Rogers, Phoenix Suns 115-262 (43.9)
Terry Mills, Detroit Pistons 95-242 (39.3)
Keith Van Horn, New Jersey Nets 84-228 (36.8)
Sam Perkins, Indiana Pacers 89-218 (40.8)
Raef LaFrentz, Denver Nuggets 60-183 (32.8)
Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 79-177 (44.6)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 63-174 (36.2)
Larry Johnson, New York Knicks 58-174 (33.3)
Derrick Coleman, Charlotte Hornets 51-141 (36.2)
Donyell Marshall, Golden State Warriors 49-138 (35.5)
Kenny Thomas, Houston Rockets 32-122 (26.2)
Walter McCarty, Boston Celtics 34-110 (30.9)
2000-01 Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 221-603 (36.7)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 151-390 (38.7)
Tim Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks 107-260 (41.2)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Clippers 80-253 (31.6)
Clifford Robinson, Phoenix Suns 90-249 (36.1)
Matt Bullard, Houston Rockets 86-213 (40.4)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 70-207 (33.8)
Larry Johnson, New York Knicks 51-163 (31.3)
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers 52-162 (32.1)
Robert Horry, Los Angeles Lakers 54-156 (34.6)
Raef LaFrentz, Denver Nuggets 51-139 (36.7)
Sam Perkins, Indiana Pacers 38-110 (34.5)
2001-02 Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 222-645 (34.4)
Pat Garrity, Orlando Magic 169-396 (42.7)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 139-350 (39.7)
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers 114-317 (36.0)
Clifford Robinson, Detroit Pistons 115-304 (37.8)
Eddie Griffin, Houston Rockets 90-273 (33.0)
Raef LaFrentz, Denver-Dallas 104-268 (38.8)
Robert Horry, Los Angeles Lakers 76-203 (37.4)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle SuperSonics 66-157 (42.0)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 49-145 (33.8)
Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves 37-116 (31.9)
Wang Zhizhi, Dallas Mavericks 48-116 (41.4)
Scott Padgett, Utah Jazz 49-113 (43.4)
2002-03 Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics 188-582 (32.3)
Pat Garrity, Orlando Magic 161-407 (39.6)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 148-390 (37.9)
Jumaine Jones, Cleveland Cavaliers 111-314 (35.4)
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers 110-307 (35.8)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle SuperSonics 104-293 (35.5)
Toni Kukoc, Milwaukee Bucks 95-263 (36.1)
Clifford Robinson, Detroit Pistons 87-259 (33.6)
Eddie Griffin, Houston Rockets 64-192 (33.3)
Robert Horry, Los Angeles Lakers 51-177 (28.8)
Keith Van Horn, Philadelphia 76ers 65-176 (36.9)
Scott Padgett, Utah Jazz 45-133 (33.8)
Rodney Rogers, New Jersey Nets 44-132 (33.3)
Raef LaFrentz, Dallas Mavericks 47-116 (40.5)
Mehmet Okur, Detroit Pistons 38-112 (33.9)
LaPhonso Ellis, Miami Heat 27-107 (25.2)
2003-04 Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle Supersonics 140-377 (37.1)
Walter McCarty, Boston Celtics 137-366 (37.4)
Donyell Marshall, Chicago-Toronto 131-325 (40.3)
Clifford Robinson, Golden State Warriors 112-314 (35.7)
Antoine Walker, Dallas Mavericks 82-305 (26.9)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 99-290 (34.1)
Rasheed Wallace, Portland-Atlanta-Detroit 82-248 (33.1)
Lamar Odom, Miami Heat 61-205 (29.8)
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz 68-201 (33.8)
Toni Kukoc, Milwaukee Bucks 49-168 (29.2)
Rodney Rogers, New Jersey Nets 50-152 (32.9)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 56-144 (38.9)
Brian Cardinal, Golden State Warriors 55-124 (44.4)
Chris Crawford, Atlanta Hawks 44-113 (38.9)
Robert Horry, San Antonio Spurs 41-108 (38.0)
2004-05 Donyell Marshall, Toronto Raptors 151-363 (41.6)
Shawn Marion, Phoenix Suns 114-341 (33.4)
Antoine Walker, Atlanta-Boston 110-341 (32.3)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle SuperSonics 128-329 (38.9)
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons 75-236 (31.8)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 91-228 (39.9)
Rael LaFrentz, Boston Celtics 82-225 (36.4)
Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards 71-208 (34.1)
Eddie Griffin, Minnesota Timberwolves 67-204 (32.8)
Brian Cook, Los Angeles Lakers 78-199 (39.2)
Bostjan Nachbar, Houston-New Orleans 75-196 (38.3)
Clifford Robinson, Golden State-New Jersey 67-193 (34.7)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 45-174 (25.9)
Walter McCarty, Boston-Phoenix 55-155 (35.5)
Troy Murphy, Golden State Warriors 59-148 (39.9)
Pat Garrity, Orlando Magic 49-147 (33.3)
Robert Horry, San Antonio Spurs 51-138 (37.0)
Scott Padgett, Houston Rockets 50-126 (39.7)
Brian Cardinal, Memphis Grizzlies 44-125 (35.2)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 36-117 (30.8)
2005-06 Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons 155-434 (35.7)
Donyell Marshall, Cleveland Cavaliers 128-395 (32.4)
Antoine Walker, Miami Heat 137-383 (35.8)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle-LA Clippers 138-354 (39.0)
Jumaine Jones, Charlotte Bobcats 115-335 (34.3)
Shawn Marion, Phoenix Suns 96-290 (33.1)
Raef LaFrentz, Boston Celtics 112-286 (39.2)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 110-271 (40.6)
Matt Bonner, Toronto Raptors 102-243 (42.0)
Andres Nocioni, Chicago Bulls 93-238 (39.1)
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz 80-234 (34.2)
Charlie Villanueva, Toronto Raptors 70-214 (32.7)
Al Harrington, Atlanta Hawks 66-191 (34.6)
Troy Murphy, Golden State Warriors 58-181 (32.0)
Clifford Robinson, New Jersey Nets 60-175 (34.3)
Toni Kukoc, Milwaukee Bucks 45-147 (30.6)
Robert Horry, San Antonio Spurs 53-144 (36.8)
Austin Croshere, Indiana Pacers 54-140 (38.6)
Pat Garrity, Orlando Magic 50-129 (38.8)
Scott Padgett, New Jersey Nets 42-121 (34.7)
Tim Thomas, Chicago-Phoenix 46-111 (41.4)
2006-07 Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards 138-379 (36.4)
Tim Thomas, Los Angeles Clippers 136-356 (38.2)
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz 129-336 (38.4)
Antoine Walker, Miami Heat 84-305 (27.5)
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons 104-296 (35.1)
Al Harrington, Indiana-Golden State 127-293 (43.3)
Matt Barnes, Golden State Warriors 106-290 (36.6)
Donyell Marshall, Cleveland Cavaliers 95-271 (35.1)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 100-268 (37.3)
Adam Morrison, Charlotte Bobcats 87-258 (33.7)
Linas Kleiza, Denver Nuggets 83-221 (37.6)
Andres Nocioni, Chicago Bulls 80-209 (38.3)
Jorge Garnajosa, Toronto Raptors 66-193 (34.2)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 54-182 (29.7)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 72-173 (41.6)
Robert Horry, San Antonio Spurs 50-149 (33.6)
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks 54-148 (36.5)
Troy Murphy, Golden State-Indiana 58-147 (39.5)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Los Angeles Lakers 40-118 (33.9)
Brian Cook, Los Angeles Lakers 46-115 (40.0)
Walter Herrmann, Charlotte Bobcats 53-115 (46.1)
Brian Scalabrine, Boston Celtics 44-110 (40.0)
2007-08 Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic 226-553 (40.9)
Al Harrington, Golden State Warriors 153-408 (37.5)
Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards 120-354 (33.9)
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons 112-315 (35.6)
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz 114-294 (38.8)
James Posey, Boston Celtics 106-279 (38.0)
Tim Thomas, Los Angeles Clippers 83-271 (30.6)
Bostjan Nachbar, New Jersey Nets 94-262 (35.9)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 90-261 (34.5)
Troy Murphy, Indiana Pacers 94-236 (39.8)
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats 71-221 (32.1)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 79-220 (35.9)
Shawn Marion, Phoenix-Miami 66-198 (33.3)
Antoine Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves 61-188 (32.4)
Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee Bucks 55-185 (29.7)
Matt Barnes, Golden State Warriors 53-181 (29.3)
Ryan Gomes, Minnesota Timberwolves 59-179 (33.0)
Ime Udoka, San Antonio Spurs 61-165 (37.0)
Eduardo Najera, Denver Nuggets 53-147 (36.1)
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs 46-137 (33.6)
Al Thornton, Los Angeles Clippers 43-130 (33.1)
Brian Cook, LA Lakers-Orlando 43-115 (37.4)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 31-113 (27.4)
Travis Outlaw, Portland Trail Blazers 40-101 (39.6)
2008-09 Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic 220-554 (39.7)
Al Harrington, Golden State-New York 171-470 (36.4)
Troy Murphy, Indiana Pacers 161-358 (45.0)
Matt Barnes, Phoenix Suns 117-341 (34.3)
Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards 112-319 (35.1)
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons 113-319 (35.4)
Andres Nocioni, Chicago-Sacramento 124-311 (39.9)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 119-291 (40.9)
Steve Novak, Los Angeles Clippers 119-286 (41.6)
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs 118-268 (44.0)
Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee Bucks 89-258 (34.5)
Jeff Green, Oklahoma City Thunder 96-247 (38.9)
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz 90-202 (44.6)
Ryan Anderson, New Jersey Nets 69-189 (36.5)
Tim Thomas, LA Clippers-New York-Chicago 78-189 (41.3)
Boris Diaw, Phoenix-Charlotte 75-181 (41.4)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 61-170 (35.9)
Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers 56-164 (34.1)
Yi Jianlian, New Jersey Nets 48-140 (34.3)
Spencer Hawes, Sacramento Kings 40-115 (34.8)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 33-103 (32.0)
2009-10 Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic 168-423 (39.7)
Al Harrington, New York Knicks 140-409 (34.2)
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns 172-392 (43.9)
Troy Murphy, Indiana Pacers 128-333 (38.4)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 121-325 (37.2)
Jeff Green, Oklahoma City Thunder 104-312 (33.3)
Rasheed Wallace, Boston Celtics 82-290 (28.3)
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons 99-282 (35.1)
Antawn Jamison, Washington-Cleveland 85-247 (34.4)
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks 81-241 (33.6)
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs 90-231 (39.0)
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz 82-213 (38.5)
Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic 78-211 (37.0)
Boris Diaw, Charlotte Bobcats 66-206 (32.0)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 58-182 (31.9)
Anthony Tolliver, Portland-Golden State 50-152 (32.9)
Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers 48-138 (34.8)
Brad Miller, Chicago Bulls 37-132 (28.0)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 51-121 (42.1)
Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons 36-115 (31.3)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Charlotte-Golden State 30-108 (27.8)
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves 35-106 (33.0)
Michael Beasley, Miami Heat 28-102 (27.5)
2010-11 Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns 171-439 (39.0)
Ryan Anderson, Orlando Mafic 134-341 (39.3)
Al Harrington, Denver Nuggets 117-328 (35.7)
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons 125-323 (38.7)
Danilo Gallinari, New York-Denver 103-293 (35.2)
Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers 91-263 (34.6)
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs 105-230 (45.7)
Boris Diaw, Charlotte Bobcats 78-226 (34.5)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 77-223 (34.5)
Shawne Williams, New York Knicks 85-212 (40.1)
Jeff Green, Oklahoma City-Boston 64-211 (30.3)
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves 88-211 (41.7)
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers 68-178 (38.2)
Vladimir Radmanovic, Golden State Warriors 70-173 (40.5)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 66-168 (39.3)
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks 51-154 (33.1)
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks 36-121 (29.8)
Brad Miller, Houston Rockets 40-107 (37.4)
2011-12 Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic 166-422 (39.3)
Al Harrington, Denver Nuggets 101-303 (33.3)
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves 105-282 (37.2)
Steve Novak, New York Knicks 133-282 (47.2)
Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers 91-267 (34.1)
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns 91-263 (34.6)
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs 105-250 (42.0)
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 78-212 (36.8)
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves 37-138 (26.8)
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns 43-124 (34.7)
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 34-115 (29.6)
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks 51-112 (45.5)
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks 28-109 (25.7)
Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons 32-106 (30.2)
Donte Greene, Sacramento Kings 25-105 (23.8)

Once thought of as a gimmick for the little guy, the 3-point shot is now much more of an equal-opportunity weapon, with shooters small and large alike making their living off being able to put those long balls in the hole.

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Tags: Danilo Gallinari Dirk Nowitzki Lamarcus Aldridge Larry Bird NBA Ryan Anderson Stew Johnson Stretch 4 Stretch Four

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