Early on this season I don’t think there’s been a bigger (and welcomed) surprise than the improved play of Shannon Brown. The man who’s been best known for his high flying exploits has returned this season with a more well rounded game that’s been a major factor in the Lakers’ improved bench play this year. This isn’t to say that he’s abandoned his above the rim play, because he’s still making plenty of plays using his extraordinary athleticism. But he’s shown a much more balanced game where he’s more controlled in the open court and making more plays for his teammates than in season’s past.
But the biggest improvement has come in his shooting. This season his shooting percentage is up to 49.3% after only knocking down 42.7% of his shots last year. And much of that improvement is due to his shooting from distance where he’s hitting 45.2% of his threes through the first 9 games after only shooting 32.8% last season. I remember thinking during the preseason that I’d need to wait to see if Shannon’s shot continued to fall during the regular season to really believe that he’s improved. Well, it has and I am now a believer. He may not stay at 45% from long range for the year, but if he keeps taking shots in rhythm and with his feet set, I do expect him to continue to bury the long ball with better consistency.
So, after saying all that, enjoy the video below of opening night where Shannon went off in the 4th quarter and helped the Lakers pull out the win over the Rockets on ring night. Because it was when watching these shots go down that I really started to understand the hard work that Shannon had put in and how much confidence he now has in his jumper.