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View Full Version : Kawhi Leonard: The Greatest '3D' Player of All Time?



Redrum187
05-05-2017, 04:41 PM
If we were to consider every current/retired NBA player's ability to shoot the 3 and defend at an elite level, where would you rank Kawhi Leonard?

Extra Credit: Who are your top 10 (or 5 if you're lazy) greatest 3D players of all time? Consider the volume in which they scored as well.

[I meant to include a poll. Could a mod do that for me please? :(]

kdspurman
05-05-2017, 04:51 PM
Did you just want a Yes/No/Other poll?

Redrum187
05-05-2017, 04:54 PM
Did you just want a Yes/No/Other poll?
Yes. And a ban for anyone who votes no... jk kinda :P

WaDe03
05-05-2017, 04:55 PM
Every human being is 3D unless you get flattened by a Wade poster dunk.

Hawkeye15
05-05-2017, 04:59 PM
Leonard
Pippen
LeBron
Havlicek
Debusschere

those come to mind

kdspurman
05-05-2017, 05:00 PM
Yes. And a ban for anyone who votes no... jk kinda :P

Haha .. all done. :hi5:

kdspurman
05-05-2017, 05:01 PM
Leonard
Pippen
LeBron
Havlicek
Debusschere

those come to mind

Lebron as a 3 point shooter? Always seemed more streaky than a legit 3 point threat.

Hawkeye15
05-05-2017, 05:02 PM
Lebron as a 3 point shooter? Always seemed more streaky than a legit 3 point threat.

yea I read it all wrong.

There are really only 2 answers. Leonard and Durant. Bird I guess? What other SF's were great in both?

kdspurman
05-05-2017, 05:19 PM
yea I read it all wrong.

There are really only 2 answers. Leonard and Durant. Bird I guess? What other SF's were great in both?

2 that played for us come to mind in Bowen/Danny Green (i think his defense gets slept on a lot)

Bird is good imo .. Pip/MJ/Glove had good 3 point shooting seasons but probably not consistent enough?

valade16
05-05-2017, 05:20 PM
So real quick I looked up all players who are top 250 in career 3PT% but have also made an All-Defensive 1st team.

Bruce Bowen - 39% | 5 All-D 1st
Chris Paul - 37% | 6 All-D 1st
Joe Dumars - 38% | 4 All-D 1st
Paul George - 37% | 1 All-D 1st
Serge Ibaka - 36% | 3 All-D 1st
Kawhi Leonard - 38% | 2 All-D 1st
Raja Bell - 40% | 1 All-D 1st
Avery Bradley - 36% | 1 All-D 1st

Honorable mention to Jerry West who made 4 All-D 1st teams and was undoubtedly among the best shooters ever. The following players also made an All-D 2nd team and were in the top 250 3PT% shooters all-time:

John Stockton
Larry Bird
Tayshaun Prince
Eddie Jones
Shane Battier
Chauncey Billups
Dan Majerle
Clifford Robinson
Patrick Beverly


Also, Michael Cooper had a close 3PT% (34%) and made several All-D 1st teams.

Quinnsanity
05-05-2017, 05:49 PM
I'm assuming we're just ignoring every other attribute a player offers and rating them solely on defense and three-point shooting, right? Because at this point, Kawhi is obviously so much more than that, but I get what you're saying.

I went back and looked at the top 50 players by three-pointers made. Here are the ones who also made at least one All Defensive Team:

Shane Battier
Mookie Blaylock
Dan Majerle
LeBron James
Eddie Jones
Kobe Bryant
Jason Kidd

However, this skews really heavily towards modern players who took more three-pointers. I'm drawing the line at a career percentage of 35.8% because that is currently league average. Therefore, LeBron, Blaylock, Kidd and Bryant are left off, leaving us with:

Battier
Majerle
Jones

I then went in the other direction and looked at the career three-point percentages of the 48 players who made at least 4 All Defensive teams. The following made at least 35.8% of their three-pointers on an average of at least one per game (80's), or two per game (90's-00's):

Joe Dumars
Bruce Bown
Chris Paul

Finally, I went through every 40% or higher three-point shooter in NBA history. Any that made at least one All Defensive Team is listed here:

Raja Bell

And as I was researching, a few people came up short on just one category:

Kawhi Leonard (All Defense, needs only one more to reach four, will likely get it this season)
Kevin Durant (All Defense, likely to be selected at some point)
Danny Green (All Defense, likely to be selected at some point)
Klay Thompson (All Defense, unlikely to be selected, but I wouldn't rule it out)
Doug Christie (Percentage was just below the line at 35.4%, but was above if you look only at his Toronto/Sacramento years which was when he played his most minutes anyway)
Michael Cooper (Percentage was a bit lower at 34%, but that was better relative to the rest of the league at the time, and if you ignore the early years when he didn't really do it his average is basically 35%)
Tayshaun Prince (Attempts, only 1.5 per game)

So if we just lump all of these guys together onto one list, I think you get a pretty good idea of who the best 3-and-D guys in history are:

Battier
Majerle
Jones
Dumars
Bowen
CP3
Bell
Leonard
Durant
Green
Thompson
Christie
Cooper
Prince

Quinnsanity
05-05-2017, 05:50 PM
So real quick I looked up all players who are top 250 in career 3PT% but have also made an All-Defensive 1st team.

Bruce Bowen - 39% | 5 All-D 1st
Chris Paul - 37% | 6 All-D 1st
Joe Dumars - 38% | 4 All-D 1st
Paul George - 37% | 1 All-D 1st
Serge Ibaka - 36% | 3 All-D 1st
Kawhi Leonard - 38% | 2 All-D 1st
Raja Bell - 40% | 1 All-D 1st
Avery Bradley - 36% | 1 All-D 1st

Honorable mention to Jerry West who made 4 All-D 1st teams and was undoubtedly among the best shooters ever. The following players also made an All-D 2nd team and were in the top 250 3PT% shooters all-time:

John Stockton
Larry Bird
Tayshaun Prince
Eddie Jones
Shane Battier
Chauncey Billups
Dan Majerle
Clifford Robinson
Patrick Beverly


Also, Michael Cooper had a close 3PT% (34%) and made several All-D 1st teams.

Goddamn it you posted literally right after I looked in the thread and started typing. Oh well. Our methods were different enough. Combine our two lists and we're probably done.

valade16
05-05-2017, 05:55 PM
Goddamn it you posted literally right after I looked in the thread and started typing. Oh well. Our methods were different enough. Combine our two lists and we're probably done.

Haha yep I was just reading your list. Agreed.

GoferKing_
05-06-2017, 03:13 AM
Kawhi is more than a 3&D. Poll does not make sense.

b-ballistic
05-06-2017, 04:34 AM
Actually, if we're talking about shooting 3's and defense only, Michael Cooper belongs in this discussion.

Scoots
05-06-2017, 08:32 AM
Does volume count? If so Klay Thompson moves WAY up the list.

Thankfully there are more things to evaluate a player that their ability to hit a 3 and play defense. Here we have a question directly comparing Bruce Bowen and CP3.

Kawhi is one of the best 3 and D players of all time ... if you limit your evaluation to just those 2 aspects.

PowerHouse
05-06-2017, 08:33 AM
Its arguable that Leonard may not even be the best 3 & D player in this current era.

CP3 is damn good at both as well.

Quinnsanity
05-06-2017, 02:23 PM
Its arguable that Leonard may not even be the best 3 & D player in this current era.

CP3 is damn good at both as well.

I think it's safe to say Kawhi is better at both. Kawhi is a 38.8% shooter on 3.4 attempts per game, CP3 is a 37% shooter on 3.2 attempts per game, and Kawhi is a two-time DPOY. Paul definitely is awesome at both, but Kawhi is better at those two specific parts of the game.

Ebbs
05-08-2017, 11:42 AM
Calling Leonard a 3&d player is a gross misuse of the concept.

Kyben36
05-08-2017, 11:58 AM
No, and its obvious that some dont realize what a 3 and d guy is. a 3 and d guy is somebody who is just that, plays d, shoots open 3s, Kawhi leonard is a super star. it would be like calling Steph curry a good 3pt shooter and thats it. your ignoring his other qualities for two that he is very good at.

3 and d guys are 4th or 5th option players who are there to play D and hit open shots. to pretend that thats Kawhi leonard is laughable.

ManRam
05-08-2017, 12:14 PM
Like everyone has said, "3D/3 and D" is a term we use for guys who are not at Kawhi's level. They're great role players who basically are just there for spacing on offense and guarding the other team's stud perimeter offensive player...but aren't the focal point of the offense or the star player. Kawhi is much more than that. The term was not created to describe players like him...super stars.

If the question was "what stars have shown Kawhi's mix of three point shooting and shutdown defense" we'd probably be to the point already. And he's in elite company there. Very few players have ever existed that do those two things as well as he does while not being a "role player". Probably fewer than 5.

Kyben36
05-08-2017, 12:52 PM
like everyone has said, "3d/3 and d" is a term we use for guys who are not at kawhi's level. They're great role players who basically are just there for spacing on offense and guarding the other team's stud perimeter offensive player...but aren't the focal point of the offense or the star player. Kawhi is much more than that. The term was not created to describe players like him...super stars.

If the question was "what stars have shown kawhi's mix of three point shooting and shutdown defense" we'd probably be to the point already. And he's in elite company there. Very few players have ever existed that do those two things as well as he does while not being a "role player". Probably fewer than 5.

i almost agree with this, however, i disagree that they are necessarily guarding other teams best players, it would be ideal, but to me, a 3 and d guy means more that he is a capable defender while spacing the floor.

Example, courtney lee would be a 3 and d guy, while kyle korver would be a 3 point specialist solely, lee does not nessisarily have to be guarding lebron or the best player, but he can provide good defense when called upon.

mightybosstone
05-09-2017, 09:01 AM
Quinn and valade's lists are verry good, but I would eliminate the superstars from the conversation to make it guys whose primary focus was playing defense and spot shooting from the perimeter.

While their lists covered most of the guys I would have mentioned, one guy stands out who I haven't seen listed: Robert Horry. Not an elite defender, but very good, and the guy was legitimately dangerous beyond the arc in the playoffs.

I was going to make a case for Artest, but he was a borderline star early in his career and he was extremely streaky beyond the arc.

mavwar53
05-09-2017, 09:22 AM
This is just stupid, a 3 and D player is a guy that is a great defender but offensively can only catch and shoot pretty much. Raja Bell, Battier, Bowen and Beverly. Aminu not the greates defender but versatile and shot pretty well last year. Calling Leonard 3 and D is just stupid and lazy with a lack of basketball knowledge.

IndyRealist
05-09-2017, 09:40 AM
I think people are missing the point. The OP isn't calling him "just a 3 and D player" he's saying Kawhi is the greatest player with those skillsets.

And Raja Bell is criminally underrated. Nice to see him get some burn.

Redrum187
05-09-2017, 03:54 PM
I think people are missing the point. The OP isn't calling him "just a 3 and D player" he's saying Kawhi is the greatest player with those skillsets.

And Raja Bell is criminally underrated. Nice to see him get some burn.

I'm glad you're someone who understands this.

It's like saying we can't call Chris Paul and John Stockton "great facilitators" because they "simply do so much more than just facilitate". No kidding?! lol It doesn't change the fact they were also great facilitators...

I'm sorry if people refuse to accept that players can have the whole package in terms of basketball skillsets but still be able to discuss 2 skills in particular (shooting 3's and defense). Of all the players who could shoot 3's and play defense (3D), is Kawhi the greatest?