The best skill coaches in the country will tell you that shot fakes are a great tool for players looking to add space-creating elements to their offensive games. They are downright deadly addition to those whose games boast (as Jay Bilas puts it) “shot credibility.” Seth Curry, the 6’2” junior from Duke, is one of those players. Any defender closing out on him must make contesting Curry’s shot attempt their number one priority or risk having their face moisturized by his wet J. With that type of urgency to closeout, a shot fake will send a defender hurtling past Seth in frenzied attempt to stop the shot.
In the following video, Curry shows off one of the more advanced shot fake attack games in all of college basketball. Curry’s shot fake technique itself isn’t perfect, but his movements and reads out of it are very sound. From the standard one and two dribble mid range pull-ups to the more advanced lateral side-step, you’d be hard pressed to find more than a handful of college players with the same level of nuance on a shot fake.
The technical flaw (shown in the second clip) is something Seth must iron out if he wants to maximize his potential for the next level. In that clip, you will see the fake actually takes the ball across the midline of his body. This type of flaw can work in college because the combination of his shooting prowess and college defenders not being particularly disciplined or savvy allow him to get away with it.
But getting away with something at the college level doesn’t do much for a young kid, who, like most, aspires to play at the highest level of basketball. That side to side may seem subtle, but it doesn’t allow for Seth to counter effectively after it, something he will need when longer defenders at higher levels close out under control and generally do a better job of staying on the ground during any challenge.
In particular, swinging the ball from side to side in a shot fake doesn’t allow him to formulate a quick, efficient shot fake-shot attack. That progression is best used when a smart defender (adjusting after already being beaten a shot fake attack from Seth), closes out quickly enough to force Seth into using a shot fake.
After being unable to lift or move the defender to drive around him, Seth’s read versus a defender playing the drive (presumably with his hands down) is now “shot”– but only if his shot fake is compact and quick from chest to release point on his right side (because Seth is right handed). That split second of swinging the ball across his body will cost him the ability to get a shot fake-shot attack off at the next level, something that in combination with his other minor flaws, could limit his potential in the eyes of executives around the globe.
Article by Brett Koremenos – follow Brett on Twitter @BKoremenos
Article posted on HoopSpeak Coaches Forum - http://hoopspeak.com/