5. Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway was one of the most electrifying ball handlers of his generation. He pioneered the “killer crossover” and that move could get him anywhere he wanted to go on the court. His elite handles aided him in creating good shots for himself. A lot of his shooting value stems from his self-creation ability.
Hardaway averaged three mid-range makes per game in 1997. His accuracy keeps him at five on this list. But mid-range jump shots are hard in general. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to get into the mid-range with your handle and finish the possession with a sweet stroke.
Hardaway had special emergency brakes that allowed him to take stop-and-pop jumpers at any time. He would rock opponents to sleep and pull up in their faces while they least expected it. The New York Knicks learned this the harder way as Hardaway dropped 38 points along with six 3s in the Heat’s second-round game seven victory in 1997.
As the Knicks found out, Hardaway wasn’t a slouch from behind the arc either. At his 3-point shooting peak in 2001, he shot 37% on 6.7 3PA. In 1997 he made 207 3s, good enough for sixth-most in Heat history.
His mid-range game and 3-point stroke merged as he glided on the court as a movement shooter at times. Seamlessly coming off screens to curl into his mid-range jumper was easy money for Hardaway. When defenses would attempt to jump his curl, he could counter by popping out for a wide-open catch-and-shoot 3-point attempt.
With these good to elite shooting traits, Hardaway was more than a serviceable shooter but the next player up has a case strong case as the second-greatest shooter ever.