My boy Rigolega happened to plop down beside me for last night's Bulls-Warriors contest. The man is only a casual NBA fan at most, but given that he is a Hicag boy, the black and red seemed to draw his attention.
Minutes later, something else did: the free throw form of one Andris Biedrins. "What is he doing? It looks like he doesn't guide the ball at all and just pushes it forward with that left hand."
No arguments here. Among all the fun subplots of last year's rise to playoff prominence for the Dubs, the Latvian's import foul-looking form from the charity stripe was a personal favorite. The lack of arc or guidance from his right hand has indeed always made his shot look rather goofy, and the fact that it even gets in the hoop upwards of 61 percent of the time (not earth-shattering, to be sure) has always been a source of amazement in its own right.
A play after Rigolega's commentary, some unsuspecting Bull made willingly passed the ball to Ben Wallace, which is always a mistake barring a strong possibility of an immediate dunk. But Wallace's offensive game isn't ugly so much for his shot but for the completeness of his ineptitude on that end of the floor, particularly this season. Sure, we'll have to schedule the Ben Wallace and Jason Collins Memorial Ugliest Overall Offensive Player Debate soon enough, but by this point in last night's game, Rigo's initial point had me pondering the most visually scarring shots in basketball.
Certainly, Biedrins makes the list. For what it's worth, we've got four others to throw into the mix. How about you?
All of Steve's daily posts can be found in the CelticsBlog: NBA blog. Check him out!
Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster, Portland: These two have laid early claim to the favorite's position for the team achievement award this season. It's hard to put a finger on what exactly the issue is with these guys, especially since neither is a particularly bad shooter. Webster shoots 37.6 percent from deep and Outlaw is over 41 percent from behind the arc. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that both of these players are wiry fellows who often appear as all knees and elbows, especially when they square up to shoot. Lots of bones flying in different directions -- and a possible hitch for Outlaw when he brings the ball above his head -- for both of these Blazers.
Troy Murphy, Indiana: Another guy whose shooting percentage from the perimeter (39.2 from three) is far, far better from what it should be given the nature of his shot. Troy Murphy shoots the basketball the way one can only wish the Dodgers hit the baseball: solid line drives without fail. The man cocks the ball back and -- for lack of a verb that really does the trick here, I'm going to make one up -- tasers the ball in the general vicinity of the hoop. His shot appears to have inordinately little arc, and seeing it go in five times in eight tries in person at Madison Square Garden earlier this season was nothing short of stunning. How this guy shoots 81.7 percent from the line, I'll never know.
Shawn Marion, Miami: The man who needs no introduction when it comes to ugly shooting. It would be a crime to put together this list with no love given to the Heat's newest player (and basket case). The two handed 'setting-a-volleyball-through-the-window' release has become renowned around the league. What makes Marion's shot particularly problematic is that it also gets in the hole with some regularity, which leads to an inordinate number of people showing up to parks and gyms making goofy-looking attempts to imitate the Matrix and instead providing an equally scarring image without getting the ball anywhere near the bucket. Frustrating stuff, folks.