Fresh off signing a five-year, $143 million extension with the Pelicans, Anthony Davis is going into this season with high expectations on both an individual and a team level. The Pelicans made the playoffs for the first time in his career, and they’re now expected to be in the mix going forward. Davis has established himself as an MVP candidate and All-NBA caliber player, even as he has so much room to grow in his game at age 22. One thing he hasn’t done much of so far is shoot threes.
In a new interview with SLAM‘s Chris Cason, Davis says he plans on shooting more threes this year:
SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward?
AD: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game.
I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.
As incredible as Davis is, three-point shooting has never been one of his strengths. He’s shot just 27 threes in his three-year career, and made just three of them. But he’s extended his shooting range out to midrange, where he shot 41.9 percent last season. He shot 35.7 percent from 20-24 feet, and if he can even get his three-point shooting around there, to where defenses have to respect it, that’s huge. With all the other ways Davis can destroy you on the offensive end, if he adds even a respectable three-point shot, that makes him that much more lethal.