Korver Scraps New Shooting Motion In Effort To Find Old Form
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
The Hawks have a bit been up and down lately, but anyone who has watched the Hawks of the past season and a half knows that the team has an identity. One key part of that identity is the shooting of Kyle Korver.
Korver has been more accurate of late. In his past 10 games, he has made 23 of his 48 three-point attempts (47.9 percent). He has begun to look like the Kyle Korver of past seasons, both in form and in results.
"I feel like it's getting there," Korver said after going making all four of his three-point attempts against the Clippers Wednesday. "I've just been trying to put the effort into it to getting back on track."
Head Coach Mike Budenholzer knows Korver’s improved shooting is a valuable piece of the team’s offense.
“Some of the ones he hit in transition (against the Clippers), he was flying down the court,” Budenholzer said. “It’s great. It’s a big part of us. He starts making those shots and things will start happening for us offensively too.”
Korver's shooting credentials verge on the ridiculously good. He has finished first in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage in three different seasons, including the most recent two. He ranks 9th all-time in three-point shots made (1816).
Of the 151 NBA players to attempt 2000 threes in their careers, only Stephen Curry (44.3 percent) has shot more accurately than Korver (43.0 percent).
With a resume that packed, it was surprising to see Korver slip below his usual accuracy numbers this season. The low point was a pair of games to end calendar year 2015 when he shot 0-for-8 and 0-for-10 from three.
Korver says part of the issue is that he was trying to change his shot mechanic.
"My challenge was is that I was trying to – and I don't want to over-talk about it – I was trying to develop a different shot, kind of," Korver said after the Hawks' Jan. 9 win over Chicago.
"It went the wrong way on me," Korver added with an exasperated laugh. "I can't even explain the frustration and everything. So I have scratched that and I'm going back to what I've done the last few years."
For the season, Korver has made 87 of 228 attempts (38.2 percent).
Again, given Korver's track record, it's natural to wonder why he would change his shot in the first place. Offseason surgery on his shooting elbow left the joint stronger and freer than it had been in a while. In theory, the revamped shot motion was designed to take advantage of that strength while also helping him release the shot more quickly, allowing him to shoot it more often.
While it's a challenge to revert to his old motion in the middle of a season, Korver took advantage of the Hawks' sparse schedule earlier in the month.
"More than anything is that it's been good that we've had a bunch of off days when I could come in here and just get a ton of shots," he said.
The other bit of good news for Hawks fans is that Korver isn't hindered by fatigue or lingering effects of his two offseason surgeries on his elbow and leg.
"Physically, I've felt pretty good the whole season," he said. "It's just been that mentally I've been trying to figure this thing out. I'm probably trying to overthink, and I've become too mechanical and so I'm hoping that the new year is a new year and I want to go forward in a positive way."
Based on his play thus far, Korver has turned things around in 2016.
Story by KL Chouinard