DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — The Mavericks have hopped out of the gate to a pretty awesome start in the 2013-2014 season. There’s been plenty of highlight reel exhibitions from Monta Ellis, and a few performances from Dirk Nowitzki that will make you believe he’ll be around for a long while.
What’s gone majorly unreported though, is the play of Shawn Marion. We all know the blueprint on Marion.
*A great, if not the best defender on the team.
*One of the greatest athletes to ever wear a Mavericks uniform.
*His nickname is the Matrix.
*He shoots funny. I mean, damn that shot is broke.
*He’s a big fan of Tom and Jerry.
For this blog post, I’d like for you to focus in on bullet proof number 4. It seems as if there’s a collective cringe every time The Matrix shoots the ball, because it truly is an awful form that you wouldn’t expect a NBA player to have. When he knocked down the game winning three pointer against the Rockets on Wednesday night, you could almost feel the AAC gasp because of the fearful nature that’s produced each time Shawn Marion shoots a basketball.
It’s one of those things that will never change. It’s a stereotype. That’s human nature, no big deal, but I wanted to dig a little deeper to show you one of the coolest things about the Mavs offense.
It’s a small sample size. The Mavs are 8-4 through 12 games as I type this. On the season Shawn Marion is 7-12 from the corners. What’s the importance of this? Hear me out….or read me out….just keep reading…
The Corner 3 is the most efficient jump shot in the NBA. It’s pretty simple, because it’s a shorter shot than above the break (wing or top of the key) 3s. There’s also a spacing element in play as well, because what we’re seeing is Shawn Marion kind of hiding out in the corner and spotting up. He’s not your typical spot up shooter, but from the corners he’s quite the force to be reckoned with. Maybe he’s just being sneaky, maybe it’s just good design from Carlisle, or maybe defenses aren’t respecting Marion’s ability to drill the corner 3 just because the form of his shot is so whack. Either way, I hope defenses continue to forget that he’s out there.
His 47% success rate from the corners isn’t likely to remain that high, but if he could somehow sustain and stay above 40%, then the Mavericks offense will be even more formidable. Last season he was 34% from the corners, and in 2011-2012 he was right around 25%. Go back to the 2010-2011 title season and you’ll find that he was only 3 of 20 from the corners.
As Shawn Marion has gotten older, has he made a conscious effort to focus in on his 3 point shooting from the corners? As he’s gotten older, has he understood that he needs to become a better player away from the rim in order to stick around the league longer? Is it a pure analytics situation where the Mavs have made a strategic effort to get more looks from the corners?
Either way, it’s paying off handsomely so far. I know it’s a small sample size, but the more Shawn Marion and the Mavericks use the corner 3 point shot as a weapon, the more dangerous they’ll be. Picturing Monta and Dirk run the pick and roll while Calderon is spotted up and Marion is spotted up in the corner really makes me basketball horny.
Kevin Turner is the Producer of the Ben and Skin show 2-6PM on 105.3 The Fan. He also co-hosts Fan Jam, heard weekends on The Fan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin wants you to know that he loves you long time.
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