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A Guide to: Different Types of Shooters

March 23, 2019 AT 12:00 AM

Making it rain


Over the past decade, the game of basketball has moved further and further beyond the perimeter, due to the analytics movement’s push for a ‘pace-and-space’ style of play. As a result, the role of three-point marksmen has also been expanded, becoming an invaluable part of any team’s offense. 


Consequently, kids today are more likely than ever to work on their outside shot, clamoring after the coveted role of a team’s designated shooter. However, even among shooters, there are also different archetypes which can help in distinguishing their level of offensive threat.


Spot-up: This is the most basic type of shooter, who relies on their teammates to set them up. In the modern era, they often camp out at the baseline as it provides optimal spacing in most offenses. The baseline three is also the shortest distance from the basket and thus a relatively simpler shot. This player is usually only able to take shots when left open, but can still help to improve spacing for their team. However, they often struggle if their feet and shoulders are not square to the basket.


Catch-and-shoot: This next iteration of the shooter is able to shoot on the move, and thus provides a greater threat to opposing defenses. Although it looks simple, it takes repetition and effort to acquire the ability to turn sharply while on the move to catch and release in one smooth motion. By doing this, the shooter eliminates the need for an extra dribble or any other motion and thus requires very little time and space for the shot. By combining this with smart off-ball cuts and screens, this player can force the defense to move and rotate more than they would like to.


Pull-up: This type of shooter is able to create a shot for himself or herself, and thus exerts the greatest pressure on the defense. By utilizing the triple-threat position or a variety of moves, the pull-up shooter is able to create space out of nowhere and is thus able to get off a shot almost at will. In doing so, the shooter is also able to draw close-outs and help defenses such that he or she can create shots for their teammates as well. In today’s offenses, players like Stephen Curry and James Harden play this role to perfection and are able to present both scoring and passing threats.


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