Warriors' Steph Curry ranked best shooter of decade; Klay Thompson No. 4

Brian Witt
NBC Sports BayArea

Steph Curry is arguably the greatest shooter in the history of basketball. I only say "arguably" because -- well, you know -- contrarians.

What is not arguable, however, is that Curry is the greatest shooter of this decade. But just in case you don't believe what your eyes have seen over the last nine-plus years, ESPN's Kirk Goldsberry most recent article should set you straight.

In an assessment of the best shooters of the 2010s, Goldsberry's data revealed Curry to be far superior to everyone else.

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"In a decade that we'll remember for its 3-point awakening, Curry was the alarm clock," Goldsberry begins.

In quantifying Curry's superiority as a shooter, Goldsberry compared his total 3-point production to his closest competitor in that statistic, Houston's James Harden.

"By sinking 2,025 3s in the 2010s, James Harden ranked second in the NBA in made triples," Goldsberry revealed. "Steph was No. 1 by a country mile, hitting 458 more 3s than Harden." 

But it wasn't just the quantity of 3-pointers that established Curry's comparative shooting superiority; it was the quality, as well.

"Curry's 3s were tough," Goldsberry continued. "No one has attempted more triples since 2013-14 -- the first year we have full player-tracking data via Second Spectrum -- and only four players took more difficult attempts when accounting for shot quality and defender distance. 

"The gap between Curry's expected eFG (49.6%) and actual eFG (64.0%) on 3s is greater than any other player's."

In other words, Curry did a better job of making 3-point shots he wasn't supposed to make than any other player in the league. Additionally, Curry's shooting performances are more self-produced than any of his competitors.

"To this day, more than 80% of NBA 3s are assisted, but for Curry that number is just 62%."

As the point guard, Curry is responsible for facilitating the offense, not just driving it. Golden State's offenses have ranked among the league's best ever since his ascendancy to the league's undisputed top shooter, but he's not the only one showing off supreme marksmanship. His longtime backcourt-mate also ranks among the top-five shooters of this decade.

That's right, Klay Thompson came in as the No. 4 ranked shooter of the 2010s, someone Goldsberry considers as having "a case as the most terrifying heat-check shooter we've ever seen."

Outside of Curry and Harden, nobody converted more 3-pointers this decade than Thompson. And while, yes, his treys are predominantly more of the catch-and-shoot variety, it's worth noting he's achieved that lofty status despite being the second, or even third option on his own team throughout that span.

[RELATED: Klay rips Trump administration for treatment of Bahamians]

In case you were wondering, Kevin Durant came in at No. 2.

Warriors' Steph Curry ranked best shooter of decade; Klay Thompson No. 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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