Breaking Down My 5 Favorite Modern Ball Handlers Series 2

Stephen Curry

Who is he: Stephen Curry is a ball handling master, who i covered in my previous series here.

Body type Rating 3 stars: Stephen Curry has traditional height for a point guard. He has a slight built with an average wing span. But through training and conditioning Curry has added muscle to his frame to withstand NBA contact. Due to his height he is able to keep a low center of gravity while dribbling, while his wing span benefits tight dribbling control. His slight frame does sometimes causes him problems when breaking down more physical and quick defenders, as they get inside his space and force him to be more of an east to west dribbler.

Smoothness Rating 5 stars: Best way to describe Curry’s dribbling is slick. He has every move in his bag of tricks. His otherworldly quick hands combined with his precise footwork make it look like magic when he decides to break a defender down. Unlike many guards who struggle with smaller players on him, Curry excels and uses a variety of eye popping inside outside behind the back dribbles to make it look like the other player is on skates.

Technique Rating 5 stars: The base of Curry’s dribbling is his precise footwork. Curry is usually on his tip toes when trying to break down a defender with his dribble. He uses his finger tips to activate different spins on the ball, which is used to either set up a crossover or shot. Curry gets low to the ground while using his shifty movements to throw the defender off. He will often dribble the ball to soft spots on the floor as if the ball is on a yo-yo to set up a shot or fake shot. He is also really great at using the back peddle dribble to throw the defender off. Curry is the master of the stutter step which he uses to measure the defenders footwork before attacking the defenders front foot to throw him off balance. This is where Curry’s quick hands help with his change of speed dribble. Lastly, he may have the most deadly jab step dribble in the league. He is able to use this to set up his shot both off the right and left foot.

Effectiveness 5 stars: As Curry is a score first player, he uses his dribble to set up his shot as he probes the defense. But when players try to force him off the 3 point line, he is equally adept at driving and creating mid-range looks (strength), passes to open defenders (one of the best in motion) and finishing at the basket (possibly Curry’s biggest weakness). While Curry can be trapped near the base line, he has the ability to shoot a one hand floater off of a one hand dribble (very difficult). As mentioned above Curry is a highlight real that will make the opposing defence watch in amazement rather than defend. Lastly, due to his vision and shifty movement his dribble is also used to set up his teammates for easy baskets off of his dribble without having to gather the ball.

Overall 18/20 stars: The only thing holding Curry back is his frame, that at times make it hard to finish at the basket. but Curry’s quick hands and feet are so precise that it makes him virtually unguardable once he starts to shake and bake. Add in that he is the greatest shooter off dribble ever, his style and threat to shoot makes him one of the best ball handlers in league history. His textbook footwork is very teachable yet hard to match as there is only one Curry.

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