Teammates are encouraging Darius Bazley to shoot 3s. He's making them.
A day after scoring a career-high 23 points, Darius Bazley posted 22 in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 128-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Bazley, who averaged less than five points per game during the normal regular season, has now scored in double-digits in four of the six bubble games.
He’s being encouraged by teammates to keep going.
“It’s really valuable and it really helps. When I know that my teammates are encouraging me to continue to keep shooting, even coaches, they’ll say ‘Don’t hesitate,’ or ‘Take that shot.'” Bazley said.
Before entering the bubble, Bazley only made multiple 3-pointers in five games. In 16 games, he didn’t even attempt a 3.
Over the six bubble games, Bazley has made at least two 3-pointers in four games.
“Early in the season, we used to get on Baze a lot for passing up shots,” point guard Chris Paul said. “Now he’s hitting step-backs, doing crossovers.”
He dropped five 3-pointers on Sunday and had two Monday, and his foot on the line for a long 2-pointer that was very nearly a third.
It’s clear he worked on his shot quite a bit over the four-month break, but head coach Billy Donovan also pointed out that he’s making better decisions.
“He’s taking better shots … He’s been able to be a lot more efficient, and I think he’s understanding when to drive and when to shoot a lot more now,” Donovan said.
Having the green light from teammates ...
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