A 3-and-D is a basketball term that is used to describe any player who specializes in both three-point shooting and defense. The term is commonly used in the NBA.
The Need for 3-and-D Players
In the world of the NBA, teams usually look for players who cannot only step pit on the wing but also defend and shoot 3-pointers at a very high percentage. These players are the 3-and-D specialists. They are typically long arms, comes with excellent defensive skills and strategies and shoots automatic baskets beyond the arc. These players are perfect partners for famous ones like James Harden and Lebron James who can pass the ball out to the corner.
Over the years, the growth of 3-and-D players has become more popular especially in NBA. Majority of the teams no longer relies on players down the post as well as bulky centers and those who can do mid-range jumps. It is basically all about 3-point shooting.
Due to their excellent defensive skills, the 3-and-D players are also essential guards against the best players of the opposing team. Their 3-point shooting prowess on the other hand helps their team win important games especially during playoffs wherein supporting casts like them are required to step up. In summary, their skills are considered the most crucial in the success of their teams.
Top 3-and-D Players in the NBA
There are good number of players who possess the skillset of a 3-and-D, but there are only a few who can be considered as the best of the best.
One of these players is Michael Cooper. He played from 1979 to 1990 and was considered as the creator of the 3-and-D in the NBA. Many basketball experts acknowledge him as one of the toughest defenders in the league and throughout his 12-season career. During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers and with the A-list players, James Worthy and Magic Johnson, his 3-point shooting skill reached its height.
Another player that is on the list is Robert Horry. He played from 1993 until 2008 and was nicknamed, “Big Shot Bob” because of his crazy 3-and-D skills. He was better known for his defensive skills than his 3-point shooting.
Last but not the least is Raja Bell. He played from 2000-2012 and boasts of a 9.9-point career stats. He was best known for his 3-point jumps and high-end defense. Due to his skills, he was a favorite commodity in many of the NBA teams.