The Brooklyn Nets have the best mid-range shooter in the league. LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting a league-high 56.5% from mid-range. However, what most people don’t know is that Brooklyn has three other players in the top five.
After signing with Brooklyn last season, Aldridge briefly retired because of a heart issue. Last September, he came out of retirement and signed a one-year deal with the Nets.
He’s averaging 13.8 points per game and is shooting 55.9% from the field. When he pulls up from mid-range, he’s nearly automatic. That’s why he’s been dubbed as ‘LaMidrange.’
But Kevin Durant, Seth Curry, and Cam Thomas all deserve a special nickname too for their mid-range capabilities. The playoffs begin in two months and former NBA player Jamal Crawford knows how vital it is to possess that threat down the stretch.
Including LaMarcus Aldridge, the Brooklyn Nets have four mid-range threats.
Brooklyn no longer has the top-4 mid-range shooters in the league. Atlanta’s Trae Young crept into the No. 4 spot to push Thomas to No. 5.
Durant, who hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 15, is behind Aldridge at 55.1%. One of the newest members of the Nets, Curry, is behind KD at 54.5%. Young is 52.2% from the mid-range and Thomas is on his heels at 52.1%.
That’s pretty impressive.
Last June, Crawford emphasized the importance of the mid-range shot on the ‘Ball Don’t Stop’ podcast. He said:
"The mid-range shot is like a jab in boxing. It keeps you honest. Just like everyone knows they need threes and layups, the defense knows that too. When you see a Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, CP, or all of those great great players, are killing teams with that. It’s a jab, and it keeps you honest. Once you get that mid-range shot going, it’s a layup; it’s a fifteen-footer. Let’s play to our strengths; let’s not play to our weaknesses.”"
Because of that, it’s huge that Brooklyn received Curry in the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade on Feb. 10. Outside of the fact that the Nets have been without 3-point specialist Joe Harris, Curry can do more than shoot from beyond the arc.
Brooklyn’s been hit with injuries and has therefore had issues with scoring but if everyone’s healthy when the playoffs begin, the Nets will be at an advantage. And like Anthony Puccio pointed out, the individual mid-range standings don’t include Kyrie Irving and that’s because of his part-time status.
If he’s able to play in home games by mid-April, it’ll be hard to combat the offensive threat that Brooklyn will possess.
The 31-28 Nets are in eighth place in the East and will hopefully be able to debut their new-look roster sometime soon after the All-Star break.
Brooklyn will have to focus on forming chemistry and climbing up the standings before the playoffs start but having several players that can knock down mid-range shots will play in the Nets’ favor.