Every player should have a floater in their arsenal

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Derrick Rose floater
Stephen Curry
Steph Curry using a floater in 2013 (Photo: Darren Abate/Associated Press)

The floater is one shot that every player should have in their arsenal, especially at the guard position. The main purpose of a floater is to be able to get a good shot off over a bigger defender or a good shot blocker. Most players use this shot when they get into the paint. Often they’re too close to take a jump shot, so they go to the floater to get off a quicker shot over the contesting defender. We see this shot taken by some of the best guards in the league. Guys like Steph Curry, Rajon Rondo, and Derrick Rose all go to the floater when they make their way into the lane.

Check out this compilation of how Derrick Rose gets off his floaters. 

Here’s another quick clip of Steph Curry flipping up a floater in the lane for an And-One.

The floater can be executed in different ways, either off one or two feet (one-footed floaters are also know as runners). However, when performing a floater, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Like everything in basketball, balance is important. To get off the best possible shot and the most efficient shot, a player must have a strong base and contain balance.
  • The defender must be kept on the player’s hip. When driving past the opponent, the ball handler wants to either be fully ahead of the defender or have him/her on their hip so that they don’t have any possible chance of getting a hand on the ball. 
  • Arc and touch are a player’s best friend. Big guys nowadays are full of athleticism, so their jumping ability is like no other. The ball needs to have enough arch and touch on it so that the defender has no chance of blocking it and it doesn’t hit off the backboard or rim too hard. 

If mastered, the floater can help make a player become unstoppable. It’s a shot that’s unguardable and a lethal weapon to have, especially as a small guard. 

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