Remember the time when some three point shooters were playing the role of a specialist?
These specialists are players that coaches normally put in their backpocket and be pulled out when their teams need a bunch of points in a hurry. Rhoel Gomez used to play this role with the Alaska dynasty squad in the 1990s.
This is not true anymore today. Team are looking more and more for three point shooters who can do their trade consistently.
With the advent of the use of the three point shot as a vital component of basketball plays today around the world, the Philippines seems to be still looking for the next Allan Caidic, one who, makes a living from rainbow country without doubts. One who an opponent cannot afford to leave open as the consequences of doing could led to a lost game.
Some PBA superstars today got the necessary skill sets to make them stars but lacked this element to be elevated to another level of superstar tier.
Here are among those who could use a stable, consistent three point shot to enhance the status of their playing career:
Let’s get this obvious one out first.
If Sotto wants to penetrate the NBA ranks as he says so, the proper template to do it is Dirk Nowitzki.
Come to think of it, they have the same body type, height and probably play same position.
Sotto’s father Ervin got it right when he said Kai is not going to be like expected super rookie Zion Williamson. He isn’t built like him and don’t have the athleticism that Williamson has. He went to point out he isn’t going to be Kobe Paras either. He’s also just about right on that.
Kai’s path should be the prototype, typical European Big Man who spaces the floor and has the ability to sink shots from the distance.
The only way Kai can participate in a competitive league that is the NBA is to bulk up and dominate the paint and/or it to develop a consistent three point shot and make it a staple in his arsenal of weapons.
It would be the perfect scenario if he attains both but developing a consistent three pointer is the more realistic route.
Kai may not eventually turn out to be a Nowitzki but if he follows his play style, it would be far to imagine him as the first Philippine born NBA star.
Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson
These two Ginebra Kings may have fallen prey to Tim Cone’s system where treys are given priorities to only a few people.
It would be a waste if these two are barred from even trying to attempt them because that’s the only way they could develop it.
One do not need to look far to imagine what they would become if both have a consistent trey. A glance at Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee would show the image.
The lack of a three point shot and his defense was what probably prevented Aguilar from making it to the Santa Cruz Warriors final line-up, Golden State Warriors’ G League affiliate, a few years back.
With his agility and athleticism plus the enhanced defense he developed under Cone, a consistent three point shot should make him a poor man’s version of Brownlee, obviously because of the less muscle.
Thompson almost resembles Russell Westbrook in the PBA, just without the attitude.
Thompson has already shown what he can do on the boards and his ability to distribute the ball. It amazes me that he missed some triples doubles on the scoring end.
The lack of a three point shot, more of a perimeter shot, is probably the culprit why he often had these dilemmas. It is a salivating scenario to imagine if Thompson has a consistent jump shot.
Thompson would be an exact, albeit smaller, replica of Brownlee if he develops that consistent outside shot.
Ginebra fans could still remember three point shots made by these two under the most duress situations that led to victories of their squad in the recent past.
These two have been attempting some treys in the later stages of this Philippine Cup. Problem is they come in trickles.
Based on previous instances, there should no reasons why both could be constantly converting at least two shots if they are allowed to take six attempts every game.
Lee is already an accomplished three point shooter in the PBA. He was even the designated hitter to close out one of the games of Gilas’ from rainbow territory during its last Asiad stint.
The thing is, he missed that shot.
Lee is the PBA cager that resembles Stephen Curry the closest. He plays same position, same style and takes shots on spots that only Curry could get away with.
Their main difference is Curry is far more consistent in making long shots than Lee does, making him a more valuable asset to the Warriors than Lee is to the Hotshots.
Lee has been erratic in his three point shooting percentage throughout his PBA playing career, attaining career high 42.6% during this rookie season and career low of 30% in the on-going 2019 Philippine Cup. (Stats from basketball.realgm.com as of April 17, 2019)
If Lee could elevate the consistency of his efficiency on these long shots, sky is the limit on the possible effects to his team, be it the Magnolia Hotshots or the Philippine National Team.
By: ARMANDO BOLISLIS