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Adding 3-Point Shot Would Make Anthony Davis' Game Impossible to Stop

this is a discussion within the Pelicans Community Forum; Lockouts, mascot uprisings, Dennis Rodman usurping commissioner Adam Silver's throne—these far-fetched catastrophes make up the entire list of items that should scare the NBA more than the prospect of Anthony Davis striping triples. Davis is already a transcendent talent primed ...

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Old 06-30-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Adding 3-Point Shot Would Make Anthony Davis' Game Impossible to Stop

Lockouts, mascot uprisings, Dennis Rodman usurping commissioner Adam Silver's throne—these far-fetched catastrophes make up the entire list of items that should scare the NBA more than the prospect of Anthony Davis striping triples.

Davis is already a transcendent talent primed for perennial MVP contention, and the addition of a reliable three-point shot to his game would lead to a league-wide, panic-ridden fear riot.

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry seems keen on starting the freak-out process, per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com:



For thoughts on the threat level we're looking at, we turn to comments from Stephen Curry, a long-range specialist of the highest order. He knows a thing or two about perimeter excellence, having set the single-season mark for made treys last year.

Curry told NBC Sports' Dan Patrick in March (h/t Yahoo Sports):

"Just watching [Davis] shoot, you can tell he was a guard at one point growing up because he has those mechanics that you can't really teach. I predict he will probably be a 40 percent three-point shooter by the time his career is over. If you add that to his game, I don't know what you do."

Well, if you're a defensive assistant tasked with solving this new version of Davis, you bury an out-of-service school bus in your backyard, stock it with nonperishables and live in it until the Anthony Davis Basketball Armageddon ends.

Considering his expertise, we should probably just take Curry at his word. But further study reveals the 2014-15 MVP knows what he's talking about.



Is This Real Life?

Davis' stroke from mid-range is smooth. He has excellent touch. His release is quick and fluid, and he shoots with confidence.



From the looks of it, there's no reason Davis can't add range with a few reps. As a matter of fact, AD may have been working on his three-point shot for a while.

Andy Vasquez of the Record spotted something a week before Curry spoke with Patrick:



Rumblings have been around longer than that, though, as this cautionary note from NBA analyst Myles Brown proves:



It's hard to put anything beyond the realm of possibility when it comes to Davis, a player who last year, at age 21, posted the highest player efficiency rating of anyone in history not named Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan or LeBron James.

And he did this last year, showing that even if the volume hasn't been there just yet, the timeliness of his three-point shooting is sufficiently advanced:



If we step away from hyperbole and discussions of an impending basketball apocalypse, can we really be confident in AD becoming a deadly marksman? After all, he's attempted a grand total of 27 triples in his career, making just three.

Davis wouldn't be the first big guy to add a three-point dimension early in his career, though.



Those That Came Before



Consider Troy Murphy, a retired 6'11" forward who spent a dozen years in the league from 2001-02 until 2012-13. After shooting a combined 11-of-40 from deep in his first three seasons, Murphy chucked 148 triples in year No. 4, knocking them down at a 39.9 percent clip.

He'd go on to nail 38.8 percent of his career 1,578 three-point attempts.

More recently, Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard made the long-distance leap. After shooting just 13 total threes in his first two seasons, Leonard bombed away 112 times in 2014-15, making a whopping 42 percent of those tries.



There are clear precedents for Davis to follow here, and Gentry, his new coach, was the mastermind behind the best of them all.

Channing Frye's principal NBA skill is long-distance shooting, but that wasn't always the case.

During his first four seasons in the league, Frye never attempted more than 33 treys in a year, and he never knocked down more than 33 percent.

And then, boom, the 2009-10 campaign happened. Frye shot an incredible 392 triples, hitting 43.9 percent of them.

A tenfold increase in volume with a correspondingly massive spike in accuracy is basically unheard of, but Frye did it. And guess who his coach was.

Gentry.



Don't Fight It



It may be misguided to believe Davis will develop a deadly three-point shot overnight like Frye did, but the truth is that AD doesn't have to get that good to leverage the power of his long-distance dimension. Spacing is king in the NBA, and all Davis has to do is be a credible threat from deep to completely change the way opponents guard him...and his team.

Look at what Draymond Green did for the Golden State Warriors this past season. Slotting him at center opened up the floor to an extreme degree, and he only shot 33.7 percent from beyond the arc. Opponents honored him out there, and you'd have to think they'd do the same to Davis.



I covered the ramifications of Davis as a perimeter-oriented center in depth here, but suffice it to say that New Orleans could field a fearsome offensive quintet that would give up nothing on defense if Davis acclimates to life farther away from the basket.

This is happening, people.

Davis has shattered every expectation in his short career, and guys like Murphy, Leonard and Frye have shown that players with considerably less talent can add new dimensions in a short amount of time.

There's a blueprint. Curry believes it can happen, and Gentry was there the last time it did.

There's nothing anyone can do to stop what's coming. And if you're a fan (and not one of the other 29 teams who'll have to contend with it), why would you ever want to?



Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.

Grant Hughes covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @gt_hughes.

Read more New Orleans Pelicans news on BleacherReport.com



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Old 06-30-2015, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Adding 3-Point Shot Would Make Anthony Davis' Game Impossible to Stop

I had to stop reading after reading where Curry said "he has those mechanics that you can't really teach". If you can't teach mechanics then what can you teach, oh wise one? What a dumb thing to say. Every time I turn around someone is saying "boy you can't teach this and you can't teach that". Yes, you can.

How players utilize the information given to them and repeat their mechanics is all on how hard they are willing to work.
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