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Jennings, this isn't a "slump"

Mar 4, 2010, 4:37 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for NBA_jennings.jpgRemember 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.

  1. Wisco_josh - Mar 4, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    The simple answer to what happened to this guy in less than a full season…
    He plays for the bucks and they’re awful. They’re poorly coached. The kid doesn’t stand a chance of developing to his potential on this team. They’re perennial losers and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

  2. Steve - Mar 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Way to support the team “wisco”_josh. Skiles is a great coach and the team is on the rise.
    “The simple answer to what happened to Wisco_josh in less than a full lifetime…
    He’s awful. He’s poorly parented. He doesn’t stand a chance of developing to his potential (which was low to begin with). He is a perennial loser and that’s not going to change anytime soon.”

  3. Howard - Mar 5, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    This hoops data page seems to be broken. Why can’t I search out there? I’d like to see the same data on Tyreke Evans.

  4. bucks_fan_Tom - Mar 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Everyone seems to forget the bucks #1 scorer was out at the beginnng of the season and Bogut was a question mark coming off the back and ankle injuries.
    Jennings wanted to prove at his size he wasn’t afraid to go at veteran players and challenege them. That first month and a half he was the team and they were losing games even though Jennings put up big numbers.
    Then Skiles had the talk with him and warned him if he kept it up he would lose the team (anyone remember Mo’ Williams when he was in Milwaukee?). Jennings took the advice and the Bucks began playing team ball and started winning games, Bogut began to shine as the force a lottery pick is expected in the front court.
    Now Redd comes back and what happens? He needs touches to get his rythm back and those touches cut in to everyone elses touches. nobody was concerned with Jennings at that point until Redd went down again and people thought the Bucks were done. On the other hand they have been playing the best ball the team has seen since their days of the big three before Cassel’s head got big here and Ray Allen was ready to leave.
    I can tell Jennings is a fearless competitor and almost is itching to lead this team but he understands his role as a rookie PG and is letting the veteran front court do their thing to establish itself. Watch the team dynamic change should they make the playoffs which I believe they will considering the have 10 home games through this month and next. Jennings will be considered a mediocre PG but he as rookie needs to keep something in the tank for the long deep season. Now with Salmons on the team we have consistant scoring on the starting lineup again that can be spread to atleast 4 of the 5 players.

  5. KingsKong - Mar 5, 2010 at 3:05 PM

  6. bucks_fan_Tom - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Ok Evans scores 5 more pts a game. Evans is a better at the rim finisher but Jennings appears to be a better outside shooter. Slight edge on passing goes to Jennings, with defense to Evans.
    Evans is clearly the best option on Sacramento, Jennings is probably the #3 or #2 option depending on match-ups. If he improves his on the ball defense and generates more man-to-man TOs he will be solid with 15pts and 6ast.
    In 2 years Evans will be playing the 2 spot fulltime and Jennings will still be at the 1 barring injuries.
    Now how do they compare to last years rookie of the year? I don’t think either of them would have beat out Derrick Rose had they all been in the same draft class which feasably could have happened had Rose stayed in school 1 more year. Keep in mind Jennings got very few minutes in Europe last year I think that was a humbling experience for him where he almost certainly would have started had he played in NCAA.

  7. Brooklyn Bucks Fan - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Wisco_josh’s post is so ridiculous it’s not even worth responding to. The Bucks are on target to nail down the #5 playoff spot in the East despite having two guys that don’t play sucking up a third of their payroll. Jennings is fine. I’d rather have him and a playoff run than Curry or Evans and the lottery.

  8. Evan Zambarano - Mar 6, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Aviation may be a passion of mine for numerous years, thanks to the post.

  9. David - Mar 10, 2010 at 6:23 AM

    Brooklyn Bucks Fan
    You’d rather have Jennings and a playoff run than Curry or Evans and the lottery..
    What?! I’m glad you’re not managing my home team. Do you really think the Bucks are a contender? With the team they have now, they’re probably going to get swept by any team they face in the first round. In that position, I’d rather be a lottery team, at least I can get more talent that way. I don’t see any big time free agents headed in the Bucks’ direction any time soon.
    That wasn’t even the issue here. The issue was whether or not Jennings is actually slumping. No he’s not. His shot just frankly isn’t there. It can’t be a slump if the “slump” lasts longer than the “normal” games. Tyreke Evans shoots 46%, with 16 FGA per game. He averages 20 points, while Jennings averages 15 points with 15 FGA per game on 37%. A previous post attributed Evans’ success to him being a “first option”…but that implies that Evans is shooting more or something. They’re shooting nearly the same amount of shots per game, Jennings just misses a lot.

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