The Golden State Warriors have new faces with different skill sets as they prepare to open Chase Center. D’Angelo Russell’s catch and shoot percentage will thus be an x-factor for next season.
The Golden State Warriors regularly embody the phrase “Strength in Numbers” throughout the regular season, but most importantly in the postseason as they chase the NBA Finals. With new faces joining the roster in 2019, many much younger than before, the Warriors should also embrace the phrase “adapt.”
The addition of D’Angelo Russell brings much needed offensive firepower alongside Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, as they await the eventual return of Klay Thompson. Russell’s skill set should work brilliantly with Green and new face Willie-Cauley Stein, as those pairings should maximize the pick-and-roll to perfection.
Another skill of Russell’s to monitor closely come next season is his ability to catch and shoot, and score off of assists. The Warriors, despite embracing the phrase “adapt,” will by no means shy away from their system of ball movement.
So when Russell is not executing the pick-and-roll, he’ll likely be looking to score off the ball when Stephen Curry is running the point. Russell must be ready once that ball moves and eventually finds his way into his hands, and Steve Kerr wants to make sure there is no hesitation to let it fly from beyond the arc.
Good news: D’Angelo Russell has proven to be a reliable catch and shoot threat in the past.
Last season as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, Russell converted 124 of his 234 threes by way of a teammate assist. In total, he took 264 catch-and-shoot three-pointers and converted 104 of them, a respectable 39.4 percent.
Of those converted threes, just 25 of them came by way of the corner spot, which is the shortest three-point shot on the court.
As a result, Russell generally likes to let it fly from the wing spots or at the top of the arc. Steve Kerr should utilize this knowledge and maximize it all he can, as regular-season games will matter more than it has ever been.
The Golden State Warriors are no longer the presumed favorites in the Western Conference, and in one of the craziest offseason in recent memory, it seems the entire conference has upgraded and gotten better.
Steve Kerr and company need to identify and maximize any advantage they have on the roster to stay competitive in the West.
Russell’s pick-and-roll prowess will force the Warriors to adapt, but his catch and shoot percentage should help keep their system of ball movement running smoothly.