Entering the 2019-20 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls want Zach LaVine to stop shooting midrange jumpers. The game has moved away from two-pointers in recent years, as the focus has shifted towards three-point shots. The Bulls are hoping that LaVine will adjust to the ongoing trend in the NBA, but they may have some convincing to do.
The Bulls’ analytics team wants LaVine to turn down midrange jumpers in favor of attempting a three-pointer or attacking the basket. While he is willing to follow the team’s instructions, LaVine referred to midrange jumpers as a “lost art” in today’s NBA.
“I mean I grew up being a Michael Jordan fan, Kobe [Bryant] fan,” said LaVine to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Of course, Jordan and Bryant were well-known for mastering the midrange shot and putting it to full use during NBA games. Only a few players still have the move in their arsenal today since midrange jumpers are no longer considered to be efficient.
“I know that some of the greatest scorers in NBA history were mid-range, mid-post guys. It’s sad to see it be pushed to the side. I mean Carmelo [Anthony] is one of the greatest scorers ever, but he’s out of the NBA right now somewhat because the analytics don’t want mid-range twos,” added LaVine.
Anthony remains a free agent following a brief stint with the Houston Rockets, and he hasn’t generated plenty of interest despite having a Hall of Fame-caliber resume. He was also criticized for shooting a high volume of midrange jumpers at a time when the game is reliant on three-pointers. LaVine believes that analytics disregard an important skillset in basketball that could still be successfully implemented on the court.
During the 2019 NBA Playoffs, Kawhi Leonard earned high praise for using midrange jumpers, as it made him an even more difficult cover for opposing teams. That level of efficiency may not be sustainable among most NBA players, but LaVine feels that the move will always be a part of the game.
Earlier this month, Andrew Wiggins revealed that he planned to limit midrange jumpers this season, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. The analytics aren’t very fond of Wiggins’ shot selection since he tends to settle for long two’s, but he is prepared to also adjust his game. It will be an interesting year for Wiggins and LaVine, both of whom are expected to change the way they play basketball to an extent.