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JJ Redick’s suggestion to increase scoring for today’s players

The well-traveled shooting guard looks to past and current scorers for insight into increasing scoring

NBA: New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks
JJ Redick has made a seamless transition into broadcasting, and has some age-old wisdom about getting more points in a conventional way
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a recent snippet of former shooting guard JJ Redick making its rounds in NBA circles that chronicles former and current greats that, in his terms, ‘take advantage of the (referees’) whistle AND also is an indictment of Joel Embiid’s and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s offensive tactics in piling up so many points while stopping the very exciting and asthetically pleasing pace of play.

This was the sampling of luminary players listed by Redick in the above blurb:

  • Michael Jordan - “7 to 12 free throws a game except for his Washington years”
  • Kobe Bryant - “6-10 free throws a game”
  • (Charles) Barkley - “7 to 12 free throws a game”
  • David Robinson - “who won a scoring title; 8 to 12 free throws a game except for late in his career, when he was, you know, the fourth or fifth option.”
  • Shaq - “9 to 13 free throws a game”

Redick concludes emphatically: “The best players have always shot a lot of free throws.”

This got me tinking - what could this mean for our own Victor Wembanyama? A quick perusal of his NBA.com page reveals that he’s shot a total of 4.3 free throw attempts a game (connecting on 3.4 of them for a 78+% clip). If he were able to double those attempts at a similar rate of conversion, it’s conceivable that he could bump up that 19.0 ppg to something averaging over 22. (Someone please check my math - it’s why I went into psychology!)

Some of the obvious fixes proposed in the young season have included, but are not limited to:

  • Pairing him more with Tre Jones
  • Pairing him more with another threat as a pick-and-roll partner (Devin Vassell)
  • Having any of the players with him on the floor intentionally try to look for him upcourt and/or in the deep post
  • Just <expletive> get him the <expletive> ball <expletive>!

Pounders - what are ways that you would try to get the ball into his hands for more field goal and potentially more free throw opportunities? Please put your feedback in the comments below!