Indiana Pacers: 15 greatest shooters of all time

Reggie Miller (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Reggie Miller (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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PG/SG. (1969-76). Bill Keller. 12. player. 100.

Bill Keller makes this list primarily due to his cumulative 3-point totals. As of Oct. 3, 2018, Keller ranks fourth on the Pacers all-time list for 3-pointers made, but he only made them at a 33.8 percent clip.

If you look at Keller’s numbers through today’s eyes, you would see a sub-par shooter that deserves the Rajon Rondo treatment when guarding him. However, he was a relatively efficient 3-point shooter considering the era in which he played. During Keller’s seven-year career, the average ABA 3-point percentage fluctuated between 28 and 29 percent.

As the 3-pointer was still in its infancy, players simply weren’t used to shooting from that distance often, so they weren’t nearly as consistent in making them as their modern-day counterparts.

During the final six seasons of the ABA’s existence, Keller ranked in the top-10 in 3-point field goal percentage in five of them. Heck, his 38.1 percent shooting mark in 1973-74 — good for second in the league that year — would have made him one of the better long-range shooters in today’s NBA.

It can be hard to judge past players based on today’s standards (which is why it’s silly to compare players from different eras). Keller played during a time where the 3-pointer was a fresh, wacky concept that fans wrote off as a gimmick.

Despite the lack of emphasis on that sort of shot, Keller drained enough of them to end up on the team’s all-time leaderboard. With that in mind, the former Purdue Boilermaker deserves credit for taking advantage of a rule that has shaped modern basketball into what it is today.