OKC Thunder: Revealing film on how to fix Patrick Patterson’s 3-point shot to gain consistency

OKC Thunder forward Patrick Patterson (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder forward Patrick Patterson (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Poring through game film I discovered why OKC Thunder big man Patrick Patterson’s 3-point shot is inconsistent. More importantly, I know how to fix it.

Nothing clever to start this article. Here’s OKC Thunder forward Patrick Patterson’s stat line from Tuesday. 2 for 9 from the field. Breaking it down further: one of four from 3-point land, five rebounds, a block, a steal, and a turnover in 19 minutes of play. What gives?

One game is nothing to fret over. Let’s remind OKC Thunder fans of that. This is not an overreaction article. This is not a spark that ignites the wildfires of worry.

This is reviewing one player’s disappointing shooting and seeing how much can be written off, and how much is a continuation of past issues.

There have been many cases stated for Patterson as a starter for the Thunder. On Tuesday, their thirst was quenched, and Patterson got the start…

…and it was weird.

Patterson had an off shooting night, and OKC Thunder folks noticed.

It wasn’t pretty.

But why?

There’s no point in looking at his stats by themselves or diving into analytics. It was bad shooting no matter how you sliced it.

All  four of his 3-pointers were wide open. I went back to look and see what’s up.

The Shots

Shots like the above one are part of why Patterson was brought to OKC. He’s a career 37% shooter from 3. This is what’s supposed to happen.

Patterson is wide open here, and no defender is aggressively closing out. Damian Jones is sort of closing out, but he knows he isn’t going to make it.

Patterson has time here. He comes in running hot, and though he usually advances forward with his shot, his forward momentum seems to push this ball a bit further than intended.

If you look in the first gif (the made 3 pointer), Patterson jumps about 5-6 inches inward on his set shot. In the gif directly above (the brick), Patterson seems to jump a bit more forward than that, and the shot is long.

This shot is rushed, and he doesn’t have a strong gather to start the shot correctly.

This time, Patterson doesn’t have his usual forward momentum on his shot. He doesn’t jump forward, and the shot is short.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s one normal forward jump that went in, one long forward jump that went long, and one short jump forward that was short. Do you see the pattern?

This is an inconsistent shot.

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Again. Patterson barely moves forward, and the shot is short. Compare this to the very first gif where Patterson hops about half a foot forward. It’s maybe a two or three inch difference. That’s all the distance you need to make those short shots go in.

I was surprised to find this. Patterson is considered a good 3-point shooter. Certainly someone who can knock down open looks. So I went to look at his previous 3 point shots to see what his normal shot looks like.

Patterson’s best volume shooting year was his last in Toronto, where he almost shot four 3 pointers a game at a 37 percent clip.

Past Shooting

Patterson nails his typical forward momentum on his shot. When his toes are just behind the line, his heels will end up just inside the line. That’s his money forward movement.


Our boy takes too large a hop this time, and he misses long. This phenomenon is as consistent as his shot is inconsistent.

His leap forward is short here, and guess what? So is the shot.

You can’t make this up.


Every player has inconsistencies in their shot, but those inconsistencies should, ideally, be minimal when shooting wide open shots.

Patterson’s inconsistencies are not minimal. Shooting can be a game of inches, those inches are sufficient enough to predict the outcome of his shot, even when he’s wide open. Patterson has problems with the forward momentum of his jump. It isn’t the same distance every time.

Next. 1 year later, Patrick Patterson is ready to claim x-factor role. dark

Patterson is known to be a slow starter, so let’s hope he finds his rhythm soon, or maybe someone can send him (or the OKC Thunder training staff) this article.