J.R. Smith really likes shooting three point shots. The day before his Cavalier debut back in January of 2015, Smith was asked how he would fit in with the Cleveland squad, his response.
“Worse come to worse … my motto is, ‘When in doubt, shoot the ball.’ So when in doubt, I’m going to shoot it and hopefully that don’t catch nobody off guard.”
That philosophy has seemed to work, as now J.R. Smith is one of the premier three point shooters in the NBA, and has made a home for himself in Cleveland as their three point specialist. After last Friday’s rout of the Detroit Pistons, Smith can add another notch to his belt, the 15th overall three point maker in NBA history.
With 1,706 lifetime three point makes, Smith passes the Dallas Mavericks’ German legend Dirk Nowitzki in the standings. Smith only needs another 13 makes to pass Dale Ellis for 14th place, and an additional 41 to sweep past the former European sharpshooter Pjea Stojakovic. Smith should be looking at even higher in the rankings based on his past two years performance. Used by Tyronn Lue as a sharpshooter first and foremost, Smith has averaged at least 2.9 three point makes a game during his time as a Cavalier. A strong season by Smith could see him breaking into the top ten, as he only needs an additional 125 to cap off that run.
There are some challenges to this position that Smith may face during his climb up the ladder this season. Nowitzki, whom he just passed, is still an active NBA Player, and will be heavily relied upon by Dallas once he returns. Similarly, the first unanimous MVP of the NBA who also happened to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA finals, Steph Curry currently ranks below Smith.
As of now, Smith is tied for 27th overall in three point makes this season, however due to his early season injury his numbers were deflated. Last season Smith made 204 three point shots, landing him 7th overall in the league.
Smith apparently didn’t even know he was in contention for the spot on Friday. When asked by Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon after the game, Smith replied to the information that “It’s good to know now though.” Smith made it clear he’s still hungry though, continuing that “I guess I got to check to see who is up next.”
Where do you think J.R is going to end up on the all-time Three Point List? Let us know in the comments.