After A Day To Adjust, Thompson Likes International Line, Ball

LAS VEGAS – Over the last five years, there have been only two players who attempted at least 500 3-pointers in a season and made at least 40 percent of them (see table below). They both played in the Golden State Warriors’ backcourt last season.

Stephen Curry set an NBA record with 272 threes and Klay Thompson wasn’t far behind. Warriors coach Mark Jackson called them the best shooting backcourt of all time and it’s hard to argue.

Curry was a member of the 2010 World Championship team that won gold in Istanbul and is definitely in the mix for the rosters that will go to Spain for the 2014 World Cup and to Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Thompson, meanwhile, is here this week trying to make an impression on USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

He certainly made an impression on Tuesday, hitting several threes during scrimmages. And the U.S. could certainly use a guy who can do that against zone defenses that pack the paint. But that performance came after making the adjustments that every NBA shooter must make when they transition to international ball.

The first is a shorter (by 19 inches) 3-point line. The second is a different kind of basketball, made by Molten and with extra panels.

Thompson actually likes both differences.

“It’s mid-range,” he said of the international arc. “The first day, it takes some getting used to. But after the first day, it’s like going back to college. It’s so much easier.”

And the ball?

“It just takes a day to get used to,” he said. “It’s a different kind of feel, but I like the ball. It grew on me.”

He guessed he shot 20 percent on Monday and closer to 80 percent on Tuesday. But he also knows that to make the national team roster, he’ll have to do more than just knock down shots.

“If I rebound, hustle and defend,” Thompson said, “I think I’ll be good to go.”

He’ll get one more chance to do that on Thursday, when the 24 healthy NBA players in camp will take part on the USA Basketball Showcase, which will be televised on NBA TV at 9 p.m. ET.

At least 500 3-point attempts at 40 percent or better, NBA history

Player Season Team 3PM 3PA 3P%
Mitch Richmond 1995-96 SAC 225 515 43.7%
Dennis Scott 1995-96 ORL 267 628 42.5%
Reggie Miller 1996-97 IND 229 536 42.7%
Ray Allen 2001-02 MIL 229 528 43.4%
Paul Pierce 2001-02 BOS 210 520 40.4%
Peja Stojakovic 2003-04 SAC 240 554 43.3%
Damon Jones 2004-05 MIA 225 521 43.2%
Kyle Korver 2004-05 PHI 226 558 40.5%
Ray Allen 2005-06 SEA 269 653 41.2%
Peja Stojakovic 2007-08 NOH 231 524 44.1%
Rashard Lewis 2007-08 ORL 226 553 40.9%
Jason Richardson 2007-08 CHA 243 599 40.6%
Stephen Curry 2012-13 GSW 272 600 45.3%
Klay Thompson 2012-13 GSW 211 526 40.1%

5 Comments

  1. yolo says:

    Curry is the best shooter ive ever seen, its not like the threes he hits are easy shots, he hits 45% on shots that are mostley contested. and his release is so quick, amazing talent.

  2. Jeff says:

    Are they better shooters than Larry Bird?

  3. RRJS says:

    insane accuracy at 45% threes. can’t wait for next season.