EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE

The Midrange Game

CJ McCollum proves smaller guards don’t have to settle for long-range jumpers all the time to be effective.

Oct 24, 2017; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) shoots a three-point shot over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) in the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in an era of basketball now where 3-pointers and layups are valued the most. Teams space the floor looking to create opportunities for slashers getting to the hoop for high-percentage shots or to kick out to shooters waiting outside the arc to tack on the extra point for a jump shot. Or, the spacing stretches the defense so much you have open looks at long-distance shots netting you 3 points instead of 2.

Most teams aren’t running offense to create mid-range jumpers. These shots don’t hold as much value because while they are made at a higher percentage than 3-pointers, that percentage isn’t enough to justify giving up the extra point.

But, when some teams zig, you need to zag. And, who says your players have to either be slashers or long-distance sharpshooters? In fact, why can’t they be both … and midrange assassins?

Today’s two shooting games are going to improve the midrange shooting of your players and allows you to drive home the point that not every shot in their arsenal has to come from deep — there still is an important place for players who create and knock down midrange jumpers.

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