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Lillard’s Deep 3-Pointer Recognized Among “Most Unguardable Moves”

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When chronicling the NBA’s most effective go-to moves, ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry added Damian Lillard’s deep pull-up 3-pointer to the exclusive group.

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA defenses are continually looking to counter the rise of 3-pointers in today’s game. In response, a number of this generation’s greatest shooters have countered with a simple, audacious response: simply shooting them from even further out.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry, the deep, limitless 3-pointer has become one of the most feared, unstoppable shots in the league. ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry added it to his exclusive list of the most unguardable moves.

Before getting to Lillard, Goldsberry mentioned one of the somewhat-overlooked pioneers of the deep shot: Gilbert Arenas. The former Wizards guard shot 8-of-11 from the 30-to-40 foot range in 2006-07, and provided a Lillard-like moxie in late-game situations to boot.

The article made particular mention of Lillard’s contribution to the “deep” 3-pointer, and what it could mean for the next generation of three-point shooters. After covering Curry, Goldsberry details Lillard’s contributions.

But he’s not alone. Any conversation about deep 3s needs to include Damian Lillard, who has ended two playoff series with legendary triples from way downtown. Lillard can’t quite match Curry’s accuracy, but he’s not far behind. And nobody — not even Curry — has made more deep ones than Dame, who has sunk 140 3s from beyond 30 feet since 2013-14, per Second Spectrum data.

Curry and Lillard launched the deep-ball revolution. Trae Young, who grew up just a few miles from where Curry hit that OKC shot, seems poised to take it to another level. Young leads the league in 30-foot attempts and makes this season, while also shooting a higher percentage than both Curry and Lillard.

If the next guy in line after Curry and Lillard is already doing stuff like this, just imagine what comes after Young.”

The article goes on to list a few more of the NBA’s greatest go-to moves. You can read the full list on ESPN+ (subscription required).