Blogtable: What makes Curry such a great shooter?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Are Cavs a lock in loaded East? | What makes Curry a great shooter?Quarter-point Coach of the Year?



VIDEOStephen Curry drops 29 points against the Pacers

> Stephen Curry is on track to shatter his own NBA record for made 3-pointers in a single season. What makes Curry such a great shooter, and have we seen him at his best yet?

David Aldridge, NBA.com: The ball goes in a lot when Steph shoots it. There is that cogent analysis you’ve come to expect from me. Why does that happen? Genes and a lot of hard work, I reckon. Like all great shooters, Curry has great hand-eye coordination and a lightning quick release. But lots of people have that. Steph’s on a different level.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comNo NBA star makes me think of Malcolm Gladwell‘s “Outliers” theory more than Curry. I’m not all-in on all of Gladwell’s books or musings, but Curry truly looks like a guy who has grooved his game with the 10,000 hours suggested by Gladwell as so vital to success. When he barely catches and shoots, when he puts up a heave from 30 feet seeing only a fraction of the rim at an awkward angle, you just know we’re seeing the results of thousands of sessions in mostly empty gyms, his skills honed for prime time. Factor in a little nature — Dell Curry‘s genetics — with all that nurture and we’ve got a guy who, as long as he’s breathing and on the bright side of 30 years old, can keep getting better.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Like getting to Carnegie Hall — practice, practice, practice. And I mean that. But it’s also Curry’s ability to create space between himself and a defender from virtually any spot on the court that makes any shot — even seeming impossible ones — fathomable. And don’t forget a healthy dose of cocksure confidence. If the Warriors and Curry ever get to the point where he has to play entire fourth quarters, his numbers could go off the charts.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: This had better be Curry at his best because I’m out of adjectives. But something tells me it’s not. The greatness of Curry is in his intelligence, in the way he sees the game and the court. He doesn’t have the speed to beat defenders to a spot, he doesn’t out-muscle opponents to create separation, yet look how often he gets free on the perimeter and how much he gets into the lane. Basketball IQ, with his work ethic, is the difference between a very good shooter and unstoppable.

Shaun Powell, NBA.comCurry was tutored since birth by one of the best pure shooters ever, so for starters, having Dell Curry as your dad was a nice advantage. He also practices like a maniac. And finally, he’s able to use his tricky dribble to shake his man and create space. Combine mechanics, work ethic and dribble, and this is what you get. My hunch says Curry may not get drastically better, but who cares? If he stays this way for 7-8 years, he’ll put 3-point records into the Wilt-isphere.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: He’s got the genes, but you don’t get this good without a ton of work. And it’s not just the work he’s put in on his shot, but also the ball-handling work that allows him to create the space he needs to shoot, as well as the work he’s put in to become of the league’s best finishers at the basket. If you look at his shooting numbers, his 3-point percentage hasn’t increased that much over the years. But his field goal percentage in the restricted area has gone from 54 percent to 60 percent to 67 percent to 69 percent over the last four seasons. That 69 percent is on par with Blake Griffin or LeBron James this season.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Stephen Curry has a marvelous mix of shooter’s genes and a relentless work ethic that I believe has led him to the point where he has totally reshaped the conversation about the best shooter in the history of the game. There have obviously been other all-time great shooters that have dazzled us over the years. But I cannot remember seeing anyone do it the way Curry has and is right now. And I think he is in the midst of his physical prime, which means we could see more and more of this over the next few seasons. So no, I don’t think we’ve seen him at his absolute best just yet, which is a frightening proposition for the rest of the league.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comEverything fits together — the switching, attacking defense that creates opportunities in transition, the shotmaking of his teammates to space the floor around him and their unselfishness in moving the ball quickly, and the fearless confidence that he has earned by way of his own success. And then there is the skill to release his shots instantly from any distance. There has never been anyone like him, and he is now worthy of these historical comparisons because these skills have been converted into a championship.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogI was watching a Warriors game a week or so ago, and I saw Steph Curry dribble up the right side of the floor, turn to his left and sprint into the lane, and halfway across the paint he stopped suddenly, and then he jumped off his left foot and sank a right-handed jumper. At the time I thought it was such a brilliant improvisational shot, until a day later when I stumbled across a video of Curry and Steve Nash working out, and saw that Curry had been practicing that exact shot. My point is, I think Curry is one of the most well-prepared shooters that has ever lived. He’s been shooting jumpers with basically the same form since he was a child. He attempts shots that nobody else attempts, sure, but these are clearly shots he’s practiced in the past.

18 Comments

  1. Dan S says:

    Curry is not only having an MVP season – he is also having an MIP (most improved player) season. It is amazing that last year’s MVP is so much better this year – but he is. As others have pointed out, “His increases in effective field-goal percentage and player efficiency rating are also competitive with the biggest MIP spikes of the past half-decade. . .” Meanwhile his minutes per game have barely budged and his turnovers have declined – a lot. See http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2594756-making-the-case-for-stephen-curry-as-nbas-most-improved-player

  2. Atreyu Raizo says:

    Curry for MVP 2 years in a row. Enough said. I model my game after him. I’ve only been playing for 2 years, ever since I grew from 5’7″ to 6’3″. I’ve been compared to Curry many times.

  3. jdub455 says:

    accuracy from different angles and off balance shots… but what makes him harder to guard is the teammates that he has and his uncanny ability to find the open man too… too many good shooters for that team,,, damn

  4. Joe Gallagher says:

    I hate to rain on the parade but Curry palms the ball terribly when he dribbles – and it his dribbling that sets up his shots. Yes he is a stunning player and awesome shooter, but his palming is moving the sport in the wrong direction.

  5. Chase says:

    “He’s been shooting jumpers with basically the same form since he was a child.”

    This is wrong. He used to have a horrible form and it was habit. He had to go through countless hours breaking that form and remaking his form into what it is today. That’s what’s impressive. He broke his bad habits to get to where he is now.

  6. Adrian McNeil says:

    Why is there even mention of Lebron James on this blog? Clearly the blog is speaking about Curry’s shooting ability and not is all-around game. With that being said, since Reggie Miller this guy is a beast and if he keeps true with his form, he will be unstoppable for years to come. I mean who dribbles a basketball and throw up random shots and they go in ? It’s INSANE.

  7. Andre says:

    I am traveling from Albuquerque to see Steph put 40 on Bron Bron Xmas Day. Yahoooo!!!

  8. SPLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. bong says:

    the topic is shooting norbert

    everybody have same points on stephs shooting

    my only problem is to pick among the writer’s who stated it best
    🙂

  10. Pat says:

    Ron Artest said it best, Curry has a lot of family support. His genes are helpful, his practice is his foundation, but the supportive family he has including his parents & his wife is why he is who he is. The amount of support he’s gotten since he was a child until now allows him to be mentally sharp & super confident

  11. Nagy Norbert says:

    Nah. Steph’s offense is unbelievable, but his defense is light and weak, he has some pick pocket steals from big guys but he is a weak defender. If you just compare his defense to LeBrons, D-Roses or to R.Westbrooks defense you can see how weak is him. The Warriors defense is good but not because of Stephen Curry, there is Andre Iguodala, Festus Ezeli, Klay Thompson and of course Draymond Green. It’s just a great mix for a good team but if you put Steph to a team that have weak defense, probably his team won’t be that effective. LeBron is an all around player who has defense and offense too and the team that have LeBron is a championship contender. The only time that the people saw that Warriors key to the succes is not in Steph was in the finals last season when Iggys defense what stopped LeBron at one time was the key to the W and he became the finals MVP. The Warriors are good as are them because they have the best mix of players, sincerely Steph is only on of them. Steph has the best offense in the league, that’s true but we have to see his weaknesses too.

    • Andrew says:

      You clearly don’t watch them play. HIs defense is above average and there are only maybe 5 other point guards in the league play better defense. How you project he gets over 2 pick pocket steals to rank second in the league is a joke. Please do not comment on things you know nothing about. It makes you look really stupid.

    • Andrew says:

      You sound really dumb. Watch a Warriors game before you start spouting off stuff you know nothing about. Top ten defensive point guard in this league and I would argue top 5, but that’s because I watch them play and actually see him play good defense.

    • js__ says:

      Steph’s defense is “light and weak”??? When was last time you actually saw him play? At least two seasons ago, I’d say.

    • Jason says:

      Among point guards, curry has one of the top defensive win shares. He is by no means a lockdown defender, but to say he is a bad defender just shows ignorance

    • ZikTi says:

      U gotta be kidding.. Steph is playing defense at a high level .. He’s 4th in steals and there’s no way the Warriors would be where they at right now if Steph defense was light and weak like u said.. Lol

  12. Sheldrake says:

    Its morphic resonancefrom his father

  13. Michael McCartney says:

    Basketball intuition, knowing where to be and where everyone his team is and the opposition is enables him to strike successfully in any situation. He problem solves in an instant and he has the creativity in that instant to frame his shot.;