There’s a reason the Brooklyn Nets came calling LaMarcus Aldridge following his departure from the Spurs — the guy can still ball. After a 7-for-8 shooting night in Brooklyn’s 117-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Halloween, Aldridge’s overall shooting numbers just got even crazier.
Aldridge has now made 34 of his 50 attempts from the field for a 68% shooting clip, but that’s just the beginning of what’s been so impressive about his start. After Sunday, Aldridge has now made 17 of his 22 attempts from the mid-range area this season. Yup, he’s shooting 77.3% on those attempts.
Here’s what his numbers look like compared to other players with similar attempt numbers:
Nikola Vucevic: 9/21 (42.9%)
CJ McCollum: 8/22 (36.4%)
Gordon Hayward: 10/23 (43.5%)
Paul George: 15/24 (62.5%)
Aldridge’s percentage from the mid-range is by far the best among anyone in the NBA who’s attempted more than five, and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. I’ll give you one guess as to where his made shot to reach 20,000 career points was taken from.
Brooklyn Nets’ LaMarcus Aldridge has been virtually automatic from 15-19 feet
The key to getting some points from Aldridge appears to be fairly simple: get him to the 15-19 foot range. The seven-time NBA All-Star has made 12 of his 14 attempts from that zone for an 85.7% rate — once again easily the best in the league among players who’ve shot more than three.
As a result of Aldridge’s pinpoint shooting, the Nets are the top-shooting mid-range team in the NBA and are the only ones above 50% at 54.8%. This shot was critical toward success for the Nets last season as well, as they finished second in the league from that range at 46.3%. The big difference this year? Brooklyn is shooting nearly four more attempts from mid-range per game than they did last season.
As James Harden and Kevin Durant continue to spearhead the team’s offense and adapt to life without Kyrie Irving, having an offensive weapon like Aldridge’s will be important going forward. This is especially true if Blake Griffin’s early struggles continue beyond the first couple of weeks of the season.
The Brooklyn Nets are 2-3 at the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. Here's three players on the team that need to step up immediately.
Aldridge’s shot could prove to be a gamechanger for the Nets as they look to get back to their offensively dominant ways from last year.