This is an offseason series of articles we’ll be doing this summer at Blue Man Hoop. In these Offseason Homework pieces, we’ll be breaking down one Warrior to figure out which area of his game needs the most improvement before the 2012-2013 Warriors season kicks off in Phoenix on October 31.
Charles Jenkins’ Assignment: Add a Three-Point Shot
Charles Jenkins is an unusual case. With him, the eye test gives impressions that don’t seem to match up with his statistics. For example, during Summer League play, Jenkins struggled mightily as the Warriors’ primary ball handler. He had difficulty getting the ball up the court against pressure, threw a few passes away and was just plain awful in pick-and-roll situations. But based on the numbers from last year, Jenkins was actually supremely efficient as a pick-and-roll ball handler. In those situations, he averaged .93 points per play, according to Synergy Sports, which put him in the top 10 percent of the league.
How do we reconcile this apparent incongruity?
For starters, we have to note that there’s no explaining away Jenkins’ generally poor ball handling. But the pick and roll is different. He struggled to run them during Summer League because he was looking to distribute the ball instead of keeping it himself. That’s where the problem was. Jenkins is a very good penetrator because of his short, bulky frame. He’s not a good decision-maker. Last year, most of his points came by way of keeping the ball and using the pick to get a seam into the lane, where he was a solid finisher.
I mention all this to emphasize the reality that Jenkins is simply not a point guard; he’s a scoring guard. And if that’s what Jenkins is going to be, he’s got to increase his offensive repertoire by adding a three-point shot.
Now that the Warriors have a legitimate interior offensive presence with Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry, floor spacing is going to be more important than ever. That means Jenkins can’t take his spot-up shots from two steps inside the three-point line, which is pretty much the extent of his range. He’s got to space out farther to give the bigs room to operate and cutters more lanes to dive to the hoop.
If Jenkins can improve his three-point accuracy, he’ll find himself on the floor more often. He’ll also do more to improve the Warriors’ offensive efficiency.
The long two-point shot is obviously one of the most inefficient shots in basketball. Coaches have yelled at their players at every level for a long time over that very thing. There’s a reason the San Antonio Spurs shoot tons of corner threes and very few long twos: you get a more efficient return if you maximize the ratio of shot distance to expected point value.
While Jenkins has been unusually efficient on long two-pointers, it can’t go on forever. And with more Warrior bigs in the paint than ever before, Jenkins’ preferred driving lanes are going to take him right into larger defenders.
To hang onto his spot as (probably) the last man on the bench, Jenkins is going to have to add a three-point shot.
Check out previous Offseason Homework Assignments here: