Thursday , Nov , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

The sweetest strokes: The NBA’s best shooters

Forget the lack of passing, rebounding and even the lack of defense most of the guys on this list display on a nightly basis. This list simply centers on the best pure shooters in the NBA – guys who can shoot it from distance with their eyes closed and fill the bucket in their sleep.

The sweetest strokes: The NBA's best shooters

   Yes, it’s true that, in last decade or so, the glaring lack of quality shooters has been well-documented y writers all across the country. But over the past few years it seems, that aspect of the NBA game has improved immensely.

   Having said that, here are my top 10 shooters in the NBA.

Ray Allen

   Simply put, I encourage every young basketball player to watch footage of Allen’s textbook stroke, which is an absolute thing of beauty. I’ve been watching pro basketball for nearly four decades now and I can honestly say that I have only seen a couple of players in my lifetime with a stroke as smooth as his.

Michael Redd

   I don’t know how else to say it, but Redd is a left-handed version of Allen. His stroke is also a thing of beauty and every young lefty should watch his stroke over and over again.

Ben Gordon

   Gordon was born to shoot the ball. No, he doesn’t do much else it seems, but when the Bulls need a big basket, their “little” man is the biggest player on the court – and one of the league’s most fearless closers in the fourth quarter. Gordon is another guy I encourage young players to emulate.

Dirk Nowitzki

   You know, the more I think about it, Nowitzki is a modern day Larry Bird (although he doesn’t have half as much ferocity). Nowitzki is a freak of nature at seven-feet with a jump shot that is as good as any smaller shooter on the planet.

Steve Nash

   Nash probably doesn’t get enough credit for being the wonderful shooter that he is because of his incredible passing skills, but he is unequivocally one of the best shooters in the league. If you don’t believe me, just watch what happens every time the guy guarding him backs off of him in an attempt to stop him from driving to the basket. That’s right – it’s generally a swish from outside.

Adam Morrison

   I don’t care about the fact that he’s a rookie who has only played in a handful of NBA games at the moment – Morrison has an absolutely beautiful stroke and is a born shooter – and scorer. Why else do you think he was the third pick in this year’s draft? This kid is going to be one of the top scorers in the league before long.

Mike Miller

   Miller is another guy that made it to the NBA because of his amazing ability to put the ball in the hole. Miller, who was basically a stand-still shooter coming out of college can now put the ball on the floor before launching his beautiful jump shot right in the face of some opponent’s outstretched hands.

Wally Szczerbiak

   I was always amazed to hear Szczerbiak’s name mentioned so frequently in trade rumors when he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves because all he does is shoot 50 percent every year while showing that he is one of the best outside shooters in the NBA.

Brent Barry

   Barry is undoubtedly a chip off the old block. His dad Rick could shoot the lights out and so can his son. Barry’s stroke is so smooth it almost looks like he just flinging it up there – until it swishes through the hoop that is.

J.J. Redick

   Redick is another guy that was born to shoot a basketball. As with Morrison, I don’t care that he hasn’t played a lot in the NBA, I’ve already seen how good of a shooter he is – which is one of the best on the entire planet.

   Eric Williams is a sports columnist for the Philadelphia Sunday Sun and nationally syndicated freelance writer who can be heard every Wednesday at 3:15 eastern on Contact Eric at [email protected]