Thursday, March 03, 2016

Super Steph

2012 in Burlingame: Just another good NBA player with fans.
Not being a sports blogger, your humble observer has had to restrain himself from commenting too often on the wondrous works of the Golden State Warriors, who are tearing up the NBA. If past months are prologue, they are well on their way to being regarded as the greatest basketball team of all time and Stephen Curry as one of history's greatest players.

Our unambitious prediction from 2012: "the Golden State Warriors are quietly moving toward respectability."

Professional basketball analysts have been more effusive about Mr. Curry:

SF Chronicle - "Stephen Curry’s shot a thing of scientific beauty":
“I’m absolutely certain Curry releases the ball at the angle of the softest shot,” [physics professor John] Fontanella said last week. “What that means is, he has mastered the technique of when the ball gets to the rim, it travels as slowly as it possibly can.

“I’ve never seen anyone with a quicker release,” Fontanella said. “The science, quite simply, is the ball travels a shorter distance before the release. That’s part of it.[snip]

“The second part is the wrist bend and the wrist snap. The shot occurs in a single motion; on a true jump shot, you put the ball on top of your head and then you snap the wrist. … He catches the ball and it goes to the basket in one motion.”

Fontanella called him the most ambidextrous player he’s seen.

Also consider Curry’s body control. Fontanella pointed to the way Curry jumps almost straight up on every shot — maybe a little forward, but remarkably on balance amid the speed of an NBA game.

“I’ve never seen anyone with more consistent body motion,” Fontanella said.
New York Times - "It’s Stephen Curry’s Game Now":
Stephen Curry, a butterfly with a jump shot who is reshaping people’s understanding of the an outlier. He has caused a tipping point in basketball.
(WSJ Graphic)
Wall Street Journal - "Stephen Curry’s Science of Sweet Shooting; How a Nearly Perfect Shot Changes Every Golden State Warriors Game":
To watch Stephen Curry play basketball is to witness a shooter unlike any the NBA has ever seen.

His kinetic efficiency comes from Curry shooting as he’s jumping, rather than jumping and then shooting, which also lets him release the ball in as little as 0.3 second.

The result is a sharp arc that has become Curry’s shooting hallmark....Curry’s shot is mathematically optimal, said John Carter of Noah Basketball.
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Steph does not put his pants on one leg at a time but hops into them with a single bound.

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