That’s what Baron Davis shot during the Clippers’ four-game road trip. Baron hit only four of 24 attempts from beyond the arc, and when you take away the technical free throws, Baron turned only eight additional possessions into trips to the line.
28.6% from the field, a true-shooting percentage of 39.9% — however you slice the numbers, they amount to very bad news for the Los Angeles Clippers.
It’s fair to assume that, with the possible exception of Mike Dunleavy, nobody wants Baron Davis to emerge from his slump more than Baron Davis. So rather than dwell on the unconscionable leaners, off-balanced prayers, and generally ill-advised bombs that comprised his 51 missed FGAs over the past week, let’s be more constructive. In trying to claw his way out of this funk, what can Baron Davis draw upon? When the shots have fallen, how have they materialized?
Let’s take a look, game-by-game, at where Baron is successful from the floor:
Oklahoma City [7-21]: Despite the fact that he needed 21 shots, this was arguably Baron’s most productive game of the trip. He hits a couple of dribble-jumpers, though both inside of 18 feet with sufficient separation from his defender. The other five makes are as follows:
- Two layups on Clipper fast breaks.
- Two pretty spot-up jumpers with his feet set, one a 3PM. How does he get the open space along the perimeter? With some smart, off-the-ball movement.
- One step-back 3PM, the only attempt of the seven that could be fairly categorized as an unequivocally “bad shot.”
Chicago [6-23]: Baron has an awful shooting night from the floor, missing 17 attempts. The majority of the other six attempts are heady, smart shots:
- Davis’ first make comes after a S/R, when the Chicago defense fails to recover. Baron is left alone on the wing. There’s nothing but open space underneath — so Baron makes a hard cut and Marcus Camby hits him there for an easy layup.
- Two dribble-drive layups — the first courtesy of a high Paul Davis screen, the second when Derrick Rose defends him to drive right and Baron goes left.
- A layup in transition.
- Two 3PMs. The first three comes after he spots up on the wing, with his feet perfectly set, off a Mike Taylor kick-out. The second is a step-back job after Nocioni practically dares him to shoot it.
Indiana [5-18]: Of the five shots Baron hits from the field, only one of them is a PUJ. The other four?
- A nice set in which Baron comes off a little curl on a screen from Zach Randolph.
- A transition layup.
- A layup on a hard cut after the Indiana defense gets distracted by a deflected ball.
- A strong baseline dribble-drive all the way to the hole when he gets a step on Jarrett Jack.
Milwaukee [2-9]: The less said about this performance, the better. Baron works himself two good baskets:
- A high S/R with Camby at the top of the circle. Baron steps inside the screen and hits an uncontested jumper from the foul line.
- Baron easily beats Luke Ridnour on a left-handed baseline dribble-drive. He pulls up at 17 and drains the jumper.
Over the course of the week, how many 3PMs does Baron Davis convert off the dribble? Exactly two. To the extent Baron is a threat from the perimeter, it’s as a spot-up shooter with his feet set, coming off a curl or finding some open space in a drive-and-kick set when the ball isn’t in his hands. When Baron has control of the ball, he’s clearly better served by taking his man off the dribble all the way to the rack.
The Baron Davis 3-Step Program to Recovery: Transition, set shots, and dribble-drives to the hole.