According to hoopdata.com, DeRozan’s mid-range shooting from 16-to-23 feet improved from a 38 percent success rate in his rookie season to a 40 percent rate this season — with a league average of 39.5 percent from that range, we see that he’s solid from mid-range, but not great. But why the huge dropoff from mid-range to long-range? To answer that question, I emailed a couple of people I consider to be among the leading basketball experts in shooting form and basketball analysis: shooting instructor Dave Hopla and ubiquitous NBA blogger Sebastian Pruiti.
You might remember Hopla from his previous stint as a Raptors assistant coach during the 2006-07 season and you can now find him at davehopla.com where he promotes his camps, videos, his “Shooter’s Club” and an upcoming shooting app. Here is Hopla’s take on DeRozan’s three-point shooting form:
First of all DD doesn’t shoot a lot of 3’s, it is an area that he definitely needs to improve upon. From what I’ve seen, DD is inconsistent with his footwork from the three-point line. His feet are never the same, sometimes his feet are too close, other times they are too wide. Also at times, he is not aligned with his target. Then on his finish, sometimes he drops his hands, sometimes just his balance hand drops and then when he does freeze his follow-through he has a tendency to finish low with his elbow finishing below the eyebrow. His finish should be upwards and the elbow should be fully extended above the eyebrow, when a shooter does this, he gets good arc on his shot and is not a line drive shooter.
Because I feel like my job is to simplify this stuff as much as possible, let me put it this way: DeMar’s three-point shooting mechanics are all messed up. Pruiti, who writes for his own invaluable NBAPlaybook.com blog while also contributing to The Basketball Jones, Basketball Prospectus, SB Nation and probably a bunch of other places, saw similar mechanical issues with DeRozan’s form but seems to be optimistic that he can improve:
I think he can improve his shooting at least to the level of his long two-point shooting. The reason why I think that is he basically has the same form up with his upper body (whether that needs improving or not, it is hard to tell. He does have success with it from two), with him taking the ball way over his head and letting it go.
The problem I have seen with DeRozan is with his lower body, specifically his tendency to float forwards on his shot. What I mean by that is instead of jumping straight up and down, DeRozan jumps out. The other problem with this is that he does it very inconsistently, he’ll jump like five feet forward on one shot and a foot forward the next. It is really hard to adjust things like how much arc, spin, and strength you are putting into a shot when you are inconsistent with your motion (that is why Ray Allen’s borderline OCD helps him so much during shooting). If DeRozan hits the front rim on one shot, he doesn’t know how to adjust.