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December 27, 2010
The Clipboard
Rose Not Using New Jumper

by Sebastian Pruiti

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Over the summer, Derrick Rose told everyone who would listen that he was working on his jump shot, tweaking his form in order to become a better shooter and make him even more of a threat on the offensive end. To prove that this new and improved jumper wasn't just talk, Rose showed it off to campers who attended his basketball camp over the summer, and it did look like a much improved stroke.

The result? Rose has indeed become a much improved three point shooter. Despite the fact that Rose has increased the number of three-pointers he has attempted per game from 0.8 to 4.3, Rose has seen his three-point percentage increase from 26.7 percent last year to 42.1 percent this year. Even with that dramatic increase, Rose's True Shooting Percentage (TS%) has only gone up 1.3 percentage points versus last year's number (from 53.2 percent to 54.5 percent). This is because Rose is really struggling in the midrange. His shooting from 16 to 23 feet has dropped from 44 percent last year to 41 percent last year. From 10 to 15 feet, it is even worse. Rose's shooting percentage from that area on the court has gone from 50 percent last year to 27.5 percent this year.

This drop-off goes hand in hand with the fact that Rose is taking more shots off of the dribble from both midrange distances. While we don't have exact numbers, we can look at the percent of shots made assisted from those spots, and the percentages have decreased when compared to last year. Last year, 20.7 percent of Rose's makes from 10-15 feet were assisted and 34.0 percent of his makes from 16-23 feet were assisted. This year, just 7.1 percent of Rose's makes have been assisted from 10-15 feet and just 17.3 percent of Rose's makes from 16-23 feet have been assisted.

When watching Rose's shots off of the dribble, the problem isn't his form. The real problem is Rose rarely gets set and take pull up jumpers in the midrange, opting for various floaters and runners instead. Now, Rose is very good at these floaters at the rim, but the farther away he is, the more he struggles with them:

Here, we have Rose pushing the ball out in transition, and after a few bounces he finds a crease and gets into the lane. However, instead of taking a set jumper from just inside the free throw line, Rose opts for a twisting and turning runner jumping off of one foot. It is essentially a layup from 15 feet out--not a high-percentage shot.

Here, Rose has his man one-on-one and he is attempting to break him down. He gets his defender on his hip, and gets himself to the free throw line with his dribble. Again, Rose has a pretty good jump shot opportunity off the dribble, but he chooses to shoot the one-handed floater and misses.

In my opinion, Rose tends to rely on these floaters because it is something he is comfortable with. In the above clip, Rose actually gets his feet set to take a jumper. Instead, he pump fakes and then takes another one-handed floater-type shot.

The reason why this is so important is because Derrick Rose is actually quite effective when he pulls up off of the dribble, so when uses his jump shot, there is a good chance of the shot going in:

In the above clip, Rose uses a Carlos Boozer screen, takes one dribble and calmly drills a jumper. On this shot, Rose is in rhythm, gets both feet set, rises, lets the ball go, and lands in the same spot. That's everything that you need to do to knock down a jumper.

Again, Rose slices through the lane (sort of the same way he does against the Knicks in the first clip shown). Instead of forcing a crazy shot off of one foot, he stops, gathers himself, takes, and makes a jump shot while on balance.

For more proof that Rose's shooting form will lead to success, we just have to look at his three-point shooting. From this distance, you can't take floaters or runners, so both off the catch and the dribble, Rose is using his new and improved form 100 percent of the time, and the video, as well as the numbers, show that Rose is shooting very well:

In each of these three shots, it seems to me that Rose knows that he wants to pull up for the jumper as he makes his move towards the basket. He knows exactly what he wants to do and he does that confidently. Meanwhile, when he takes floaters it seems like he wants to get to the rim, a defender gets in his way, and he is forced to go back to what he is comfortable with, and that is a floater/runner. It isn't his jump shot off the dribble that is the problem, the problem is that he still hasn't learned when to use it.

Rose needs to start pulling up for jumpers off the dribble when it isn't what he wants to do, or when it isn't his first option. When that happens, he will be taking less floaters/runners in the midrange, and you should start to see his percentages from these areas (and his TS% as a whole) increase dramatically. I have no doubt that Rose will be able to do this; the question is when will he figure it out.

Sebastian Pruiti is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact Sebastian by clicking here or click here to see Sebastian's other articles.

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