“I don’t get too excited about shots I make because I’m supposed make them. I’m more perplexed when I don’t make it.” - Jesus Shuttlesworth.
Once an afterthought in basketball, the art of shooting has become one of the games most interesting subjects to study. From Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Larry Bird and Stephen Curry all have different shooting mechanics in a sense but they all have been extremely effective from beyond the arc.
One thing about the art of shooting is clear though: there is a method to the madness. For those shooting savants, TheDribbleDrop has started a new feature series called “Respect The Shooter.” Each article will discuss the ins and outs of shooting.
Next up is The Family wing Mark "Rocket" Watts. The sensational shooter averaged 26.8 points, six assists, 5.5 rebounds and three steals per game. Watts also plays AAU basketball for a Nike EYBL team named The Family. Watts is one of the top 50 players in the class of 2019.
By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
TheDribbleDrop: In your opinion, who are the top three shooters all time?
Mark “Rocket” Watts: Steph Curry, Ray Allen and one of my favorite shooters right now in the league is Damian Lillard.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me two or three drills you do to improve your shooting?
Rocket Watts: I do a lot of “Body in motion” shooting drills. At this point it’s important for me to be able to create and hit shots off the move. I do a lot of one dribble pull ups, shooting off combo moves, etc.
TheDribbleDrop: How many shots a day do you get up? Do you feel it's best to have a skill day just for shooting, then another for handling, or do you think it's best to mesh both in a day everyday?
Rocket Watts: I mesh both everyday. Right now I’m getting up 600 shots a day. Again, I can work on my shot and build my skills by doing “body in motion” type of drills.
TheDribbleDrop: Best piece of advice you got from someone teaching you how to shoot or from a fellow shooter?
Rocket Watts: One thing I was taught early was hand placement. It’s very important to space your fingers properly on the ball.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s more important: a quick release, foot placement or arm form?
Rocket Watts: Arm form. You have to have your hands in the right place and have proper rotation on your shot if you want to get the right results every time.
TheDribbleDrop: Would you say shooting more about your arms or legs when extending your range?
Rocket Watts: Both when you get further away. One isn’t more important than the other. You have to maintain your frame and upper body. You also have to use your legs to generate power and lift.
TheDribbleDrop: Which rock are you guys shooting with: Wave ball or Evolution?
Rocket Watts: Evolution.
TheDribbleDrop: If I were new to shooting a basketball, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give me?
Rocket Watts: I would tell a little kid to hone his craft. Get up as many shots a day as possible. I would also tell him to play and shoot with confidence.