Stephen Curry Kawhi Leonard.

How important is the three-point shot to becoming a star?

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The perception of the three-point shot seems to be ever-changing within the NBA.

'Small ball', as the style of play has been coined, focuses on spacing the floor and creating perimeter shooting opportunities. This has lead to the backcourts, and not big men in the paint, dominating the landscape of the NBA in recent years.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have cultivated this style of play en route to some astounding accomplishments. They have a litany of records from three-point range, including the record number for threes from a duo in one season.

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One could argue that this style of offence is the primary catalyst for the Golden State Warriors' period of dominance. They're rapidly becoming one of the greatest teams of their era and perhaps, any other era, should they break the Chicago Bulls' regular season record by the end of this campaign.

Has basketball naturally evolved? The three point line, and thus the shot itself, was only introduced back in 1979. Having been around for just shy of 40 years, it's logical to think that facet of the game would become better understood with time.

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To put it plainly, the three-point shot is worth more because it's further away from the basket and therefore, in theory, it's a harder shot to make.

So what happens when that shot is no longer as challenging as a two-pointer?

As part of the Warriors' ascension, Stephen Curry has received a ton of the spotlight thanks to his heroics from three-point range. And rightly so; Curry is the proud owner of the most threes made in a single season - breaking his own record this season - and has sunk threes in the most consecutive games, too.

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors

So, is Curry the greatest three-point shooter in the league today? Is there a direct correlation between his style of play and the unprecedented heights the Warriors are currently experiencing?

Kind of.

Curry is, without a doubt, a top pedigree shooter from range. Is he the best? Statistically speaking, he is not.

JJ Reddick of the Los Angeles Clippers currently leads the league for accuracy from beyond the arc, sinking 47.1 percent of his efforts from deep. San Antonio Spurs man and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard, is next in line at 45.8.

Curry then weighs in at third, before being closely followed by Jarryd Bayliss of the Milwaukee Bucks and his teammate Klay Thompson to round off the top five.

Perhaps the presence of Thompson in the top five is a more significant indicator of the Warriors' success than Curry's growing mainstream stardom. While the focus lays on Curry, his backcourt partner and one-half of the 'Splash bros', more than pulls his own weight as part of that superstar tandem.

Foot Locker Three-Point Contest 2016

It's easy to see why Curry has garnered the spotlight, the reigning MVP is ice cold in the clutch and has the handles to break steel ankles. He has a likeable personality and the records behind the name, but in truth, without Thompson, it's fair to argue the Warriors wouldn't be the success that they are and thus, Curry wouldn't necessarily be the star that he is.

Still, the likes of Redick and Leonard should be recognised for their long-range prowess.

Clippers man Redick is a nine-year veteran of the league who has only dipped below 40% from behind the arc in one of those seasons. Partnering the old-fashioned, dish-happy Chris Paul, Reddick has provided the perfect foil for the floor general.

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets

The 31-year-old will perhaps never garner the front page glamour that his teammates like Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Paul covet, but Leonard, at the age of 24, is already making a storied franchise like the Spurs his own.

He’s posting career highs in field goal attempts (15.1) and percentage (50.9 percent), 3-point makes (1.9) and attempts (four). Not only that, from the charity stripe he's exhibiting career bests in free throw attempts (4.3) and percentage (88 percent).

That leaves Leonard eleventh in the all-time Spurs true shooting list for any one season, but he's taken more shots than any the 10 ahead of him with seven games to spare.

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets

The 15th pick in the 2011 draft has long been regarded as one of, if not the best defender in the NBA. Now that he's added the most valuable commodity in today's game to his arsenal, he's bound to enter Steph Curry stratosphere sooner than you'd think.

When it comes to becoming a star, which is it: the man makes the three-point shot, or the three-point shot makes the man?

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