Jun

2

 I watched Game 7 of the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder NBA playoff matchup the other night and was amazed at how sloppy the game became at times. Not to be overly critical, but the fundamental ability to make a lay-up seemed to be a challenge for a few of the professionals playing.

That being said, the fantastic shooting ability of Warriors Stephen Curry and his sidekick Klay Thompson in the end lead to victory and entry into the NBA Finals. Curry's 3-pt shot is built on tremendous hand-eye coordination, strong legs/core and repeated, consistent practice. Although some say his form is not that far a departure from past great shooters there are few subtle things that appear to make a difference.

While watching Game 7 it was difficult, for instance, to understand how Curry could get off outside shots from around 25 feet over an agile 7-foot center (Adams) with a standing reach of about 9 feet 4 inches (say 112 inches) and maybe a 34-inch vertical leap. But then I started reading a few articles about Curry's 3-pt shot and found that his shot is highly accurate and rarely blocked (unless from the side) for several reasons.

From: "Outsider Artist: Understanding the Beauty of Steph Curry’s Jumper"

1) Quick release and on the rise: "Curry can gather his dribble and release his shot in about 0.4 seconds, much faster than the average player."

2) Almost unblockable shot straight on with say 2 feet of separation: "Furthermore, thanks to an unusually steep shooting trajectory, in the time it takes an average NBA player to gather and shoot the ball, Curry's ball has already made it 12 feet above the surface of the court.

It looks like a 7-footer like Adams with his highest vertical jump and perfectly timed block attempt might still swat air with finger tips 146 inches above court surface unless he has somehow managed to close to within a foot of Curry."

3) He practices being unperturbed as large forwards and centers try to block his shot. "Curry makes 44 percent of his contested 3s. Let me make this totally clear: Curry is as good with a guy in his face as the average NBA shooter is when wide open."

From an article that appeared in the WSJ a couple of years ago it appears that Curry's arc on his shot is higher than the NBA average.

I am looking forward to seeing a good NBA Finals with Curry and crew against Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers.


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