“He’s not a lights-out shooter to begin with”

“He’s not a lights-out shooter to begin with”

There are a lot of things people doubted about Steph Curry as he was entering the NBA. Steph was listed at 185 lbs – could he play at that size? If not, can he put on muscle to deal with the physicality of the NBA? Will he ever be a decent defender? Picking him at 7, did the Warriors get a cornerstone for the future or just a skinny guy that can shoot?

At least they got a shooter. If there was one thing everyone agreed on, it was that Curry is a natural born shooter. Well, almost everyone. After his first NBA game, Chris Ballard wrote this about Steph as a spot-up shooter.

To be fair to Ballard, the title of the piece was “Warriors rookie Stephen Curry shows he has all the tools.” Ballard praised Curry’s passing, off-dribble shooting and called his future by writing that “he has the opportunity to be like Steve Nash. Which, come to think of it, is the player Curry most resembles, in a best-case scenario way.”

Still, his analysis of Steph’s spot-up shooting after only one game jumped the shark. In any case, projecting someone’s game after their first NBA game is roulette. Overall, Steph shot 43.7% on 4.8 attempts from behind the arc, 47.4% for two points on 9.5 attempts. Doesn’t sound bad to me.

When it comes to his mechanics, Steph always had a slightly unconventional shooting motion. Klay was always considered to be a textbook in that regard. While Steph did change his shooting motion after his ankle injuries, it mostly revolved about generating force from his hips and not legs – the release point didn’t change that much. Steph has a single shooting motion that’s so fast; it doesn’t matter he doesn’t have the highest release point. 

All in all, Ballard was right about Steph. But this goes to show we have to give young guys, particularly point guards, at least 2 or 3 years before passing judgment on what kind of player they are. Hell, Ballard didn’t give Steph a week.