Mar 4, 2010, 4:37 PM EDT
Remember THAT Brandon Jennings. The one that seemed an unstoppable force at the beginning of the season. The one with a legendary 55 point game that turned heads.
We all miss that Brandon Jennings. Of late he has been stoppable. Very stoppable. And he knows it, just not why it is happening.
“I actually don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “I work on it every day; I come in here early. I’m just in a slump. But the main thing is we’re winning, so you can’t be mad at that. As a point guard, you’ve just got to lead your team and do other things.”
A slump means you can do something but just are in a little stretch where things are not working for whatever reason.
But Jennings entered the league with questions about his outside shot and over the course of the season he has proved those critics right. Jennings hits just 39.7% of his shots right at the rim (dunks and layups), 37% of his shots from the rim to 10 feet, 30.6% of his shots from 10 to 15 and 35% from 16 feet out to the free throw line. Things have been worse lately but they have never been good. (Stats via the rockin’ people at Hoopdata.)
Jennings isn’t slumping — he’s not a very good outside shoot.
The early season games — when he caught other teams off guard with his quickness and was getting so many shots seemingly uncontested at the rim — were the outlier. The bad shooting lately is more the norm.
It’s also something that can be fixed. A shooting coach and 600 jumpers a day during the off-season can do wonders for a guy. Jennings already is showing a lot of what should mean a long and productive NBA career — he has great handles, makes good decisions (nearly three assists for every turnover) and can defend. If he can get a shot, he will be that much more dangerous.
But it’s not a question of getting it out of a slump. It’s getting it, period.
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