After his first season in a Detroit Pistons uniform, Brandon Jennings realizes he needs to improve his game.
“I’m going to be honest. It was my worst year,” Jennings said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. “It was just the worst season ever, a roller coaster.”
Jennings averaged a career-low 15.5 points per game last season and had a career-high 2.7 turnovers per game. However, he did average 7.6 assists per game, which was also a career best.
Jennings has always been known as a “chucker,” and last season was no exception. The fifth-year point guard from Compton, Calif. attempted 14 field goals per game last year and almost six three-pointers a game. Although he loved to shoot, Jennings was not efficient with his shots, shooting 37 percent from inside of the arc and 33 percent from outside.
So how can Jennings become more successful and turn into an asset for Detroit? For starters, he needs to improve his three-point shooting percentage.
In the 29 games last season that Detroit recorded a victory, Jennings shot 42 percent from three. This was not just a one year trend. In games that Jennings’ team has won, Jennings shoots 42 percent from three, while only shooting 29 percent in games that his team has lost.
Jennings is also more effective when he attacks the rims and draws fouls. Last season, Jennings averaged an extra free-throw attempt in every game Detroit won, and his free-throw percentage was 10 points higher in those games.
During the 2008-09 season, Stan Van Gundy led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals. A huge part of his team’s success was due to point guard Jameer Nelson. That season, Nelson averaged 16.7 points per game, only two turnovers per game, shot 45 percent from three-point range and over 50 percent from inside the arc.
Van Gundy’s system relies heavily on the three-point shot, and Jennings will need to convert a higher percentage of his threes if he does not want a repeat of last season.
Detroit signed veteran guard D.J. Augustin to fill in for Jennings off the bench. Jennings needs to step his game up to a level he is capable of, or Augustin could quickly take over his starting spot.
Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.