What Makes Steph Curry's Jumpshot Unique?
Universally regarded as the best shooter in NBA history, Steph Curry’s jump shot has been compared to a work of art. With two league MVPs and four NBA Championships, Curry is in elite company with the greatest players in the sport of basketball. Lightly recruited out of high school, Curry relied on his unique jump shot and shooting ability to separate himself from others on the court. Unlike many other players, Curry’s jump shot has not changed throughout his career. He prides himself on his consistent mechanics and footwork.
Steph Curry is known for having some of the most consistent mechanics in the NBA. His mechanics, although very simple, are unique. He perfectly aligns his right shoulder, right elbow, and right hip as if they are working as a single entity. He uses this alignment almost as an aiming mechanism toward the rim.
Curry’s hand placement on the ball is also unique to most other players and shooting coaches in the NBA. Curry puts his shooting hand, or his right hand, on the side of the ball rather than directly behind the ball like most players do. This is particularly interesting because most young players are taught to keep their hand behind the ball, contrary to Curry’s technique. Curry’s hand on the side of the ball is relaxed, but his fingers are spread wide. He makes a “V” with his index finger and thumb as he is loading the ball up to shoot it.
Before Curry leaves the ground for his jump shot, he is already aligned, with the ball resting just above his eyebrow. This is known as the set point, or the point right before the ball is propelled toward the hoop.
Another unique part of Steph Curry’s jump shot mechanics are his feet. When he is catching and shooting or shooting from a still position, his feet are angled left. This allows him to better align his shoulder, elbow, and hip. Curry also uses a wide stance with his feet spread apart and his knees bent. On the contrary, when Curry is moving and his feet are not set, he does not turn his feet, instead opting to keep them straight toward the basket. This diversity in footwork is something most players cannot succeed with at a high level.
Steph Curry’s release is also a bit different from most players. Curry has a relatively quick release on his jumpshot compared to most players, which makes him able to get shots off before defenders reach him. As Curry brings the ball up toward his head to shoot, the ball rests on his palm. From there, he transfers the weight from his palm to his fingers as the ball is released. Curry’s release uses four fingers, keeping his hand relaxed as his wrist snaps forward during the shot; his middle finger is the last to contact the ball. This gives the ball proper rotation in flight. Once the ball is released, Curry’s followthrough is consistent. He leaves his arm extended completely straight, with his wrist bent and his elbow just above his eyes.
What makes Steph Curry such an unstoppable shooter?
Steph Curry is such an unstoppable shooter largely because of his consistent practice of his mechanics. Curry is one of the best players in the NBA at replicating the same mechanics every single time he shoots. He lines up his shoulder, elbow, and hip perfectly toward the rim, almost as an aiming mechanism. He also practices shooting from all over the court, both stationary and while moving, which has allowed him to become skilled at shooting from almost anywhere.