The number one team in the NBA in 3-point shooing percentage is the Toronto Raptors. Surprise? You shouldn't be, considering how many European players they have on their roster. I made a post earlier about the differences between European and American basketball, and while Terry Stotts makes his arguments for more passing and such, I think the primary difference lies in the European players' ability to shoot the ball. I haven't done the math, but I would venture to guess that the Raptors have the most foreign, and specifically European, players on their roster. Hence, their ability to shoot the 3.

Take a look at this highlight package of the Raptors rout over the Wizards tonight, in which the Raptors shot a sizzling 72% going 13-for-18 from beyond the arc,

Getting your Feet Set:

The key to being a good perimeter shooting player, and indeed a good perimeter shooting team is in how you set your feet. It's all about the feet, here are some screencaps from the video showing both the feet position and hand position of a good shooter.

I've highlighted the feet with a black line. Notice how Kapono, Parker, Bargnani and Calderon all have their feet set pointing to the basket, in position behind the arc, with hands out in front ready to catch and shoot. You want to reduce any extra unnecessary movements that allow the defense to recover.


The Raptors are so good at shooting the 3, that at 41.6%, they are a full 2 percentage points higher than second place Portland. Carlos Delfino is probably their most prolific 3-point shooter averaging 40.8% on 4 attempts per game. Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon are all above close to or about 40%.

I ofter hear coaches say, "why can't my team shoot?" or "why can't we make shots?". My question back to them would be, how much time do your players spend practicing shooting? Shooting is probably the most under-developed skill I see. Most coaches don't see the value of spending hours everyday practicing shooting, but that is precisely what it takes to become a good shooter. Shooters aren't born with the ability to shoot, they practice constantly. Pete Maravich used to practice shooting until he missed 3 in a row (which would take hours). By developing shooters, especially at a young age, you won't need to rely so much on athleticism. It truly is the great talent equalizer.

A newer shooting video you might want to consider is Steve Smith's DVD on team shooting. Coach Smith is the head coach of Oak Hill Academy, the prep school powerhouse featuring famous alum such as Jerry Stackhouse and Carmelo Anthony. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.