Golden State Warriors' Backcourt May Be Sweetest-Shooting Group Ever

Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIDecember 17, 2012

December 8, 2012; Washington, DC, USA;  Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball as Washington Wizards point guard A.J. Price (12) looks on in the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have been one of the biggest overachievers this season primarily because of the play of David Lee and the backcourt’s shooting ability.  Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and even Jarrett Jack are finding opportunities and converting in key situations.

The shot style for each of these perimeter players is extremely smooth and when they convert, it looks like they are putting on a clinic.  It is a lot easier to show what I am taking about with video evidence.

The best part for the Warriors is they have multiple options when it is time for a clutch shot or a shot needed to kickstart a rally.  The depth has really been a boon for the Dubs this season.

Stephen Curry is having his best year as a Warrior, primarily because he hasn’t gotten injured and has fully assumed the role as the team’s floor general.  As you can see in the highlights, Curry’s stroke is very smooth.

With this video highlight package, it shows not only his sweet stroke, but it shows Curry in transition.

The first clip shows Curry stealing the ball from the Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker and racing toward the rim.  Instead of trying to force the ball up and get it blocked, Curry uses his body and goes in for a reverse layup. His touch is soft as he lays it in while he is travelling away from the basket.

In the next sequence, Curry accepts the ball from Lee and he is about to break out his signature pull back crossover move until the Bobcats’ Jeffery Taylor comes over.  Curry instead fakes to avoid Taylor and strokes a three-pointer with the follow through and the perfect arc for the swish. 

Finally, Curry drives against Taylor again, puts the moves on him and rolls right up to the three-point line.  He hits the smooth shot behind the arc, which results in another swish. 

Curry's style of shooting is putting the ball up right before he reaches the top of his jump.  The momentum feeds to energy needed to put up the type of arc to make the open three.

Klay Thompson is up next and he is recognized as probably one of the best catch-and-shoot players in today’s game.  Let’s look at what makes him special.

The first clip shows Thompson’s best move, the catch-and-shoot.  He comes around the corner and rolls off the screen set by Andris Biedrins to catch a pass from point guard Curry.  In the same motion of catching the ball, he sets his pivot foot and goes up for an easy bucket.

The next shot of Thompson is more of a typical play where he catches a pass behind the three-point line.  He sets his feet for a jump shot, evens himself up and launches the three for an easy score. 

The clips show more examples of how he sets himself up for the easy three pointers and how well he moves without the ball.  He shoots closer to the top of the arc of his jump and definitely has a sweet arc on the ball when it rolls off his hand.

Thompson can also drive to the basket with the ball, which is something he really tried to work on over the summer.  In this clip, he drives to the hoop, shields the ball from the defender and executes the nice layup.

The remainder of the clips just show how continuous movement without the ball gives Thompson the open looks where he can exploit defenses with his signature move.  The more often he uses the rest of his arsenal, the more complete a player he will become.

Although Harrison Barnes has had some struggles lately, he will continue to develop with a beautiful jumper. 

Harrison Barnes came back to form in Saturday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.  He showed his true abilities in scoring 19 points by going 8-14 from the field and 3-4 from behind the arc.

Not only did he have the touch, but he moved to the basket with the ball to convert his opportunities.  In the first clip, he works his way to the basket, drives and centers his body up and takes his shot at the apex of his jump shot for the score.

The other clips on his highlight night show his classic shooting form.  He levels himself as he goes up with the shot and the key portion is his follow through.  He had commented after the game that he was shooting a lot better because his coaches showed him the mistakes he was making.

When Barnes is shooting effectively, whether it is via catch-and-shoot or if he is driving to the lane, he centers his body and uses his sweet stroke to make the baskets he is expected to make.

Expect Barnes to become more consistent as the season goes on with the more shots he takes, especially when it matters.  He has the tools, now it is his time to use them effectively.

Finally, Jarrett Jack has taken a backup role on this team to Stephen Curry, but he has been utilized in both guard positions.  He was especially effective during the huge road win against the defending NBA champions Miami Heat.

Jack was everything that night for the Warriors, making clutch shot after clutch shot.  As you can see from his play, he has a more aggressive style than the other Warriors.

Jack is very creative and doesn’t use the standard form on every shot.  The first shot in the clip is a floater that combines a jump shot look with more of an underhand scoop.  His second shot is of the catch-and-shoot variety where he releases the ball at the top of his jump.  He keeps his follow through and it ends in a swish.

After he makes a standard jumper, the next highlight shows Jack in transition where he starts to go up for a normal layup, but switches midstream to his left hand for a pretty spectacular left-handed layup.

As seen from most of the highlights, Jack is an aggressor and he earns his points.  He can go all the way for a layup, but has the ability to drive, stop and make a beautiful jump shot.

Jack made an amazing move at the five minute mark of the fourth quarter, where he drove on the Heat’s Chris Bosh, stopped and floated to the right while making a one-handed shot.  The Warriors are lucky to have a player with these qualities on this team.

Whether it is Curry, Thompson, Barnes or Jack, the Warriors have one of the deadliest shooting perimeters in the league.  Each of these talents have sweet moves to go along with their picturesque shooting styles.

They have surprised everyone so far this season, but it won’t be very long until this team is a staple in the playoffs.  They should be legitimate NBA title contenders sooner rather than later.

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