Sports Out West

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson tabbed NBA’s best shooters by Reggie Miller

KlayThompson

NBA legend and current analyst Reggie Miller knows talent when he sees it as one of the greatest shooters in league history. On Thursday, he gave two of the Golden State Warriors’ biggest stars high praise that means a great deal coming from him.

“No disrespect to Ray Allen, who, to me, is one of the greatest all-time shooters in this game,” Miller said on TNT’s telecast of Thursday night’s game between the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.  “But the best shooter in today’s game is Steph Curry, and I may take Klay Thompson second.”

Through 254 NBA games, Curry has made 621 3-pointers, a mark that trumps the next-best of Allen, who had 407 over the same period. Miller had 322.

It’s no secret that the dynamic backcourt that features young stars Curry and Thompson is the Warriors’ greatest strength as a team. As they prepare to enter the 2013 NBA playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season, they’ll need them to be at their best as they navigate the difficult Western Conference.

Curry narrowly missed an All-Star appearance this season and was widely thought of as one of the game’s biggest snubs from either conference. Paired with Thompson, they form a special tandem that gives any opponent matchup problems.

Miller didn’t reach when he made his assertion, as Curry is No. 1 in the NBA in 3-pointers made with 249 going into Thursday and shooting a stellar 44.9 percent. Thompson has 203 over the same period, ranking third behind New Orleans Hornets big man Ryan Anderson and is shooting 40.2 percent.

What separates Curry from the other outstanding shooters in the NBA is the way he scores.

Not only can he come off screens and knock down open looks from all over the floor, but as a point guard, he is especially adept at creating his own shot off the dribble. From beyond the arc, that makes for a dangerous weapon. Defenders have to close out on him and can’t sag off, which allows him to get to the rim and create for others, as evidenced by his career-best 6.9 assists per game.

He’s a special player with the gift of incredible range. Miller was correct to point out that he’s likely the best in the game today.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.