Who Has the Best Form in the NBA?

Jimmy Remland
By Jimmy Remland 8 Min Read
8 Min Read

In the fast-paced world of professional basketball, form is everything. A player’s shooting form can make or break their performance on the court. Whether it’s a silky-smooth jump shot, a flawless free throw, or a picture-perfect layup, the way a player releases the ball can determine their success. But who truly has the best form in the NBA? Let’s delve into the intricacies of shooting form and explore the players who stand out.

The Art of Shooting Form

Shooting form is a blend of mechanics, muscle memory, and finesse. It’s the culmination of countless hours spent in the gym, honing the perfect release. When we talk about shooting form, we’re not just referring to jump shots; it encompasses all aspects of shooting, including free throws, mid-range shots, and three-pointers.

1. Joel Embiid: The Towering Sniper

Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers’ dominant center, boasts a shooting form that defies his size. Standing at 7 feet tall, Embiid’s ability to smoothly knock down shots from beyond the arc is remarkable. His face-up jumper is a thing of beauty, combining power and finesse. Despite missing some games due to injury, Embiid’s scoring prowess remains unmatched. His 49.8 points per 48 minutes tie him with Wilt Chamberlain for the highest mark in NBA history. Keep an eye on Embiid as he aims to lead the 76ers deep into the playoffs.

2. Nikola Jokic: The Maestro of Passing and Scoring

Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets’ versatile big man, is a magician on the court. His shooting form is deceptively smooth, whether he’s posting up, passing, or launching threes. Jokic’s one-footed shots, off-balance releases, and no-look passes keep defenders guessing. He’s the fulcrum of the Nuggets’ offense, orchestrating plays with surgical precision. When Jokic is on the floor, the Nuggets thrive; when he rests, their offense falters. His impact extends beyond scoring, making him a true force in the league.

3. Stephen Curry: The Splash Brother

No discussion about shooting form is complete without mentioning Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors’ point guard revolutionized the game with his long-range accuracy. Curry’s quick release, high arc, and seemingly unlimited range have redefined what’s possible. His 3-point shooting percentage consistently hovers around 40%, a testament to his form and work ethic. Curry’s influence extends beyond the court; he’s inspired a new generation of shooters to embrace the art of the long ball.

4. Ray Allen: The Smooth Operator

Ray Allen, a Hall of Famer and the all-time leader in three-pointers made during the regular season, had a shot that was poetry in motion. His shooting form was textbook: balanced, fluid, and repeatable. Allen’s ability to come off screens, catch, and release in one seamless motion was unparalleled. His iconic corner three-pointer to force overtime in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals remains etched in basketball lore. Allen’s form was more than aesthetics; it was a lethal weapon that helped him secure two NBA championships.

5. Klay Thompson: The Silent Assassin

Klay Thompson, Curry’s fellow Splash Brother, is another player with impeccable shooting form. His quick-trigger release and ability to get hot in an instant make him a nightmare for opposing defenses. Thompson’s 37-point quarter against the Sacramento Kings in 2015 showcased his form at its finest. His catch-and-shoot prowess, especially in crucial moments, solidifies his place among the elite shooters in NBA history.

6. Kevin Durant: The Slim Reaper

Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets’ scoring machine, possesses a shooting form that’s as smooth as silk. Standing at 6 feet 10 inches, Durant’s release point seems unreachable for defenders. His high release, combined with his wingspan, allows him to shoot over anyone. Whether it’s a pull-up jumper or a fadeaway, Durant’s form remains consistent. His 7-foot-5 wingspan gives him an unfair advantage, making his shot nearly impossible to block. Durant’s scoring prowess has earned him four scoring titles, and he continues to be a nightmare for opponents.

7. Dirk Nowitzki: The Maverick Maestro

Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks’ legendary power forward, redefined the concept of a big man with shooting range. His signature one-legged fadeaway shot is etched in basketball history. Nowitzki’s form was unorthodox yet deadly. He released the ball at the peak of his jump, creating an arc that seemed to touch the heavens. His ability to shoot from anywhere on the court made him a matchup nightmare. Nowitzki’s 2011 NBA Finals performance, leading the Mavericks to their first championship, showcased his form under pressure. His legacy lives on as one of the greatest shooters of all time.

8. Larry Bird: The Hick from French Lick

Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics’ iconic forward, had a shooting form that oozed confidence. Bird’s mechanics were textbook: elbow tucked, wrist flicked, and follow-through extended. His release was lightning quick, catching defenders off guard. Bird’s rivalry with Magic Johnson elevated the NBA in the 1980s, and his clutch shooting was a defining factor. His 3-point contest victories and game-winning shots are etched in basketball lore. Bird’s form wasn’t just about physical execution; it was mental fortitude and killer instinct rolled into one.

9. Reggie Miller: The Knick Killer

Reggie Miller, the Indiana Pacers’ sharpshooter, specialized in demoralizing opponents with his shooting form. His quick release and ability to move without the ball made him lethal. Miller’s form was efficient and precise, whether he was spotting up or coming off screens. His eight points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks in the 1995 playoffs remain one of the most remarkable displays of clutch shooting. Miller’s form was a testament to discipline and preparation.

10. Ray Allen vs. Stephen Curry: The Battle of Eras

Ray Allen and Stephen Curry share more than just a smooth shooting stroke; they represent different eras. Allen, the consummate professional, set the standard for consistency and longevity. Curry, the modern-day maestro, revolutionized the game with his volume shooting and deep threes. Their forms differ slightly—Allen’s was more traditional, while Curry’s is unorthodox yet effective. The debate over who has the best form rages on, but both players have left an indelible mark on basketball history.

Final Words:
In conclusion, the NBA has been graced by players with impeccable shooting forms. Whether it’s the towering Embiid, the magician Jokic, or the splash brothers Curry and Thompson, each player brings their unique style to the court.

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