Alex Abrines season review: Of treys, improved defense and post-game selfies

Alex Abrines OKC Thunder l (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Alex Abrines OKC Thunder l (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 15: Alex Abrines
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 15: Alex Abrines /

Shoot the rock with Confidence

When Alex Abrines shoots the ball well the OKC Thunder are a better basketball club, it is that simple. In today’s NBA shooting and defense may be the two most pivotal components of the game. The Thunder lack shooting in desperate fashion. However, when Abrines, Patterson and others give them a boost from three it unlocks the entire offense.

At the beginning of the season, Abrines would hesitate to shoot when he would catch the ball. Maybe his confidence gradually grew or perhaps Russell Westbrook’s loud “SHOOT IT!” yells are finally paying off.

During the latter stages of the season, the hesitation dissipated. Abrines was developing into a reliable catch and shoot option, which continued into the playoffs.

Abrines had an impressive **effective field goal percentage (efg).  Below is where Abrines ranked in efg percentage among his peers.

  • 47th among 139 players who attempted 210 or more threes

  • 95th among 273 players who attempted 270 or more field goals

  • First among players on the Thunder minimum 210 three point-attempts.

The OKC Thunder had three players rank in the top 100 in efg percentage, Abrines, Jerami Grant, and Steven Adams. The latter of the trio is not surprising considering Adams does not shoot threes. What is surprising the trio attempted a mere 1,459 shots.

*Minimum 270 field goal attempts ** Effective field goal percentage takes into account a three is worth more than a two

For contrast Russell Westbrook attempted 1,687 shots, Paul George attempted 1,340 shots and Carmelo Anthony attempted 1,168 shots. Star players notoriously attempt the most shots it’s expected. The Thunder must do a better job allowing the ball to leave the hands of their stars. OKC possess other players who are capable of hitting shots as well.

In Thunder wins Abrines shot 43.8 percent from the perimeter vs 28.9 percent in losses. The 15 percent decline in losses helps shed light as to why the Thunder’s offense would bog down. A point of emphasis for OKC this summer should be how to prevent such stagnant offense. If OKC is going to get the most out of their Spaniard sniper they must operate as a collective unit.