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Since the outset of last season, Curry has cut down on his circus shots, in part to ingratiate Durant. But the Warriors and their fans feed off those 30-foot moonbeams, low percentage for anybody but Steph. (source)

It seems to me "moonbeams" refers to Steph Curry's "circus shots" (which I guess are shots made in precarious positions). But I am not entirely sure and am having a hard time understanding this metaphor. Circus shots don't necessarily have to be straight shots. Also I am not sure what the second half of the sentence refers to: "low percentage for anybody but Steph." The percentage of scoring circus shots?

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    Honestly, it's not any clearer to me as a native English speaker. I read the article and was just as confused as you are now from that sentence!
    – 米凯乐
    Apr 18, 2019 at 12:06

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I can't find any other references to "moonbeams" in basketball terminology so I would assume that the writer has coined this metaphor. However, the fact he calls them 30-foot moonbeams makes it fairly clear he is describing a three-point field goal - that is a goal scored from beyond the three-point line which is a minimum of 23 feet away. Such a shot would have to be a very straight, accurate shot and it does not seem out of place to use a beam of light as a metaphor.

I agree with you that this is not the same as a "circus shot" which is a difficult or "low percentage" shot taken from any distance. I don't think the quoted text is insinuating that they are the same thing - it seems to be saying that the player has cut down on circus shots but is still scoring goals from 30 feet.

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  • Oh I see. Now it all makes sense that the Warriors feed off Curry's low percentage 3-pointers.
    – Eddie Kal
    Apr 18, 2019 at 12:38

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