The NBA's Three-Point Shootout, we should know by now, is not a showcase for the best 3-point shooters in the NBA. It's a showcase for very good players who are good shooters, one lights-out 3-point marksman you've never heard of, a pretty cool story that includes a big man that can shoot very well, a hometown guy and a defending champion.
Don't believe me? Check out the lineup of participants: James Jones, last year's champion, of the Miami Heat. Joe Johnson, habitual All-Star of the Atlanta Hawks. Kevin Love, a tough rebounding big man that can also hit buckets of treys. Ryan Anderson, knockout hometown shooter for the Orlando Magic, plus Mario Chalmers and Anthony Morrow (Heat and New Jersey Nets, respectively) who are really good at shooting.
No Brandon Rush, who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage. No Mike Miller, no Klay Thompson, and no Ray Allen even. As Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones pointed out, Chalmers is the only guy in the top 20 of 3-point percentage to make the cut, though Morrow (at "just" 42 percent right now) will likely eventually reclaim his mantle and return to his mean as one of the great 3-point shooters ever.
That said, it's a silly exhibition. It's meant to offer a litany of storylines to showcase on basic cable on a Saturday night in February. Hemming and hawing over this list -- even if it features two All-Stars in Love and Johnson who are shooting at the league average from behind the 3-point line -- is a bit much at this point. As it stands, the NBA has put together a well-rounded list of participants planned to check all the respective boxes, all with a good chance to win.
- Miami Heat
- Mario Chalmers
- Anthony Morrow
- Atlanta Hawks
- Joe Johnson