Just before he starts his forward shooting stroke, he straightens out his fingers, causing the ball to come off of his fingertips and rest on the middle parts of his fingers. For that split second, he takes his fingertips off the ball. You can see daylight between the ball and his fingertips. Then right after that, as he continues the forward shooting stroke, his fingertips move forward and again come in contact with the ball, and from that point on his shooting stroke proceeds like a normal shot.
2012-13 (rookie year):
It's similar to the way you might shoot a tennis ball. Since a tennis ball is so small, you might rest it on the palm or the middle part of your fingers, not your fingertips, and then as you shot it, it would roll onto your fingertips then launch. Except Lillard is doing this with a basketball, wtf.
Normally, the ball never comes off of a shooter's fingertips in the middle of their stroke, no? Just thought that it was unusual for such a good shooter to have this particular quirk, which I've never seen before.
It's as if he's cocking back his fingertips, so that when his fingertips move forward, they re-contact the ball with a little bit more momentum, giving him more power/range on his shot (?). Kind of like he's slapping the ball mid-stroke. That's one theory anyway.
I wonder if he even realizes he does it. Is it intentional? Is that one of his secrets? Maybe resting it on the middle sections of his fingers for that split second forces him to better balance the ball in his hand before he strokes it, thereby helping his accuracy?
Or, maybe it's actually hindering his accuracy? If he got rid of that quirk, if he kept his fingertips on the ball for the entire stroke, maybe he'd be an even better shooter?
Sorry, bored + OCD + Lillard fan + way too much free time = this thread.