Of course, Stephen Curry broke Ray Allen’s all-time record for most three pointers made in a season. Then he broke his own record again. Then he did it a third time. So this discussion has to completely exclude Wardell Curry Jr.
Ray Allen, the former UConn great, holds the non-Curry record of 269 three-pointers. There are more three pointers taken in the NBA than ever before. In a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, newly hired analytical expert Kirk Goldsberry said that three point attempts are roughly 28 percent of total field goals.
Will anyone other than Curry surpass this figure of 269?
Shahan Kamal: There’s only one active player to come within 40 made three-pointers of Ray Allen’s mark of 269 in a season, and that was Klay Thompson (239) last year. The next closest was Kyle Korver, who hit on 226 of his attempts in the 2004-05 season. It’s unlikely that Korver will cross that number again, as the soon-to-be 35 year-old is not going to get any better.
At this point, it seems unlikely that anyone other than Klay Thompson has a shot at Allen’s record, and even then, I doubt he will get to it. In the Golden State Warriors’ 67 win season, Thompson had two games in which he made 10 or more threes, and with the team improving since then, he won’t likely need to be scoring as much.
Klay, like his counterpart Stephen Curry, is going to have a lot of chances to sit out during the fourth quarter during blowouts, which could become a common occurrence if the rumors of Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors ends up being true. It doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be in a position to surpass 269.
Elan-Paolo DeCarlo: I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Klay Thompson will be the first non-Curry player to pass Allen’s mark. We forget because they’re teammates, but Thompson is probably the second best shooter in the whole league. The fact that he and Steph get to play together is borderline unfair.
Now, down to the math. Thompson is currently averaging 3.2 made three pointers a game, right on pace to hit 269. He is more than capable of going off for five or more made threes in a game. He’s already had two career games in double figures.
God forbid that this happens, but if Curry gets injured, the scoring onus for the Warriors is shifted to Thompson. The more he shoots, the more threes he’ll make. Facts only.
Kamal: I don’t see how it is possible for him to make it to 269, and even if he does have a few games where he goes off, it’s just as likely with Klay that he has a few cold shooting games or gets into quick foul trouble and has to ride the bench. That was what happened during the NBA Finals last season, where he only managed to score 16 points per game, and was almost a non-factor in the closing game, fouling out with five points.
Another reason I don’t expect Klay to reach Ray’s mark is because of his shooting percentage. Last season, when he reached his career high of 239, he shot 44% from behind the arc. This season, that number has dropped down to 41%, which may not be a big difference, but could be just enough to hold him away from 269 if it goes down to the stretch come April.
With the Warriors’ record being as good as it is, I also expect that Steve Kerr will give Thompson (and other starters) reduced minutes so that they can rest up for the playoffs. That could also end up being the difference between the him reaching or not reaching the record.
Like you mentioned, there’s also the possibility that nobody hopes for: an injury. If Thompson gets hurt in any way, his chances at the record could vanish into thin air. I also think that if Steph gets hurt, Klay would have a worse chance at the record than he does with a healthy Steph. No Steph would mean that Klay becomes Golden State’s first scoring option, and he’ll start getting more attention from the game’s best defenders. It’s hard for me to see Klay Thompson, or anyone other than Steph Curry, surpassing Ray’s 269 threes made in a season.
DeCarlo: No matter if it happens or not, we need to take a moment and appreciate Ray Allen. He’s the all-time leader with 2,973 made three pointers, 413 more than second place Reggie Miller. Allen hit 269, a record at the time, in the 2005-2006 season. He was the only player to hit over 200 that season.
Allen was a two-time All-American at UConn who became a 10-time All Star and a two-time NBA champion.
That said, his 269 made threes in a season will be passed by someone other than Stephen Curry. My money is on Klay Thompson to do it, but truth be told, there are many possible candidates. J.J. Redick, James Harden, and Damian Lillard are threats. Coming into the league are guys like Buddy Hield who’ve grown up in the pace and space era. Players are shooting more and more threes every year. It’s inevitable.