The Many Ridiculous Shots in Steph Curry's Arsenal
After the first 10 playoff games of his career, Stephen Curry is up to 39 three-pointers, shooting an impressive 43 percent on his 91 attempts.
It's gotten to the point where he's almost shooting better from outside the three-point line than he is inside of it.
One of the pleasant developments of this season wasn't the fact that Curry was healthy enough to play 78 games (although that was definitely a bonus), it's that he has turned into a player who could possibly end up being the greatest shooter of all-time.
Curry beat out Ray Allen's best three-point shooting season (at least as far as total three-pointers made is concerned) by knocking down 272 triples throughout the year, giving him the most in a single season.
He's a slight, 25-year-old point guard who is enjoying one of the best shooting years of any player in the history of the NBA, let alone one of the best of any point guard.
His shooting has become such a delightful part of the NBA that I found myself watching a three-minute clip of Curry's shooting form in super-slow-motion.
From there it branched out to Curry making ridiculous shots in general, and before I knew it I had spent the better part of an hour just watching Stephen Curry shoot.
This is my life, people.
In the process of re-evaluating how I spend my Sunday evenings, I decided to compile the arsenal of shots that you might see Curry draw from on a game-to-game basis.
Three-Pointer, Spot-Up and Otherwise
Of course we've got to start out with Curry's three-pointer. It's the foundation that makes him such an amazing player, and it's the reason the Warriors have been able to make it this deep into the playoffs.
There were a few instances of spot-up three-pointers throughout that game, but for the most part he's creating space on his own and taking his shots off the dribble.
That's what makes Curry such a unique player. Not only does he make a ton of three-pointers, but he does a lot of it in a one-on-one situation.
The only three-pointer you didn't see from Curry in his slaughter of the Knicks (which was actually in a loss) was this three-point runner that he pulled off against the San Antonio Spurs a few days back.
I don't know another player in the NBA who would attempt a shot like this, let alone make it with a defender so close to him.
You see, conventional wisdom is that when you're that far away from the basket the best thing to do before a shot is--well, stand still and square up. Curry does the opposite of that here.
Now he's got but three shots from range that I'm waiting to see.
First I want a fade-away, then he can whip out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sky hook from the corner and a straight-away, underhand shot like Rick Barry shooting free throws.
Lose Defender, Mid-Range Jumper
Every once in a while, like two or three times a game, Curry will actually step inside the three-point line to take a shot.
Okay, so he takes the majority of his attempts from inside the arc, but it sure does seem like he's living behind that thin black line.
In this case, Curry uses the most dangerous offensive weapon he has in order to create space. Gary Neal gets shaken loose once, and when he sees Curry behind the three-point line he overreacts, he goes full-speed at him in fear that he's going to get burned by a three.
Curry steps past him, takes a dribble or two inside the three-point line and drops in an uncontested jumper.
He's going to make those nearly every time.
When Curry gets even closer to the hoop (again, I know it seems like he's always shooting, but he does take two attempts a game at point blank range), one of his favorite moves is going up-and-under for the layup.
Sometimes it's out of necessity, like trying to avoid Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and other times it just looks really cool.
Curry's shot up and over his head seems to be just as effective as a regular old layup for him, so who are we to tell him to just go straight up more often?
When a layup is on his mind but one of those pesky, enormous dudes protecting the rim get in the way, Curry gets creative.
One of the usual shots you'll see him whip out is a runner, sending a teardrop up and just out of the reach of the defender. Whether it goes straight in or banks, odds are it's going to look pretty.
There was a bit of a concern about Curry when he entered the NBA that he was too small to go into the lane and bang into bigger players on a regular basis. The floater that he has perfected over the past four years has been a definite response to that criticism.
The Scoop, Either Way
Guarding a shooter on the run is hard enough as it is. Taking on a left-handed shooter is even harder, as it's a bit of a more unconventional approach.
However, when you've got a guy that's got the ability to knock in a scoop shot with either hand, it's like playing NBA 2k13 with the sliders for the AI all the way up.
Curry's scoop shot has been one of his biggest improvements this season, and now that he's shown that he can knock it down with either hand he's that much more of a threat.
From the Hallway
There's a reason there are boundaries on the court. Sometimes you've just got to rein in the league's more ridiculous players.
Stephen Curry can make a shot from anywhere in the arena, and he's done his best to prove that this season.
At this point the only thing limiting him is--well I suppose it would be the rules.
But I say stop giving these defenders a break, David Stern. Make the hallway shot a legal one to take in the NBA. Enough of this 22-foot range from the corner, let's go ahead and extend it to about 40 and let Curry take these shots during a game.
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