Friday, December 9, 2022

The triple, a martyrdom for Unicaja in the League

Until now, Unicaja has complied with any illusion generated after the transfer market this summer. 5 wins and 3 losses in Endesa League keep the compositor team in the noble zone of the classification with a sign of identity built since the beginning of the competition: defense, solidarity with the partner and team play. Ibon Navarro confessed that the initial objective was to exploit the virtues of the players. He is doing it, but it is clear that there is still room for improvement. Especially in one aspect: the success in the triple.

And it is that the shot from the 6.75 line is being Unicaja’s weak point. Surprise in a squad with players like Tyler Kalinoski, Darío Brizuela, Tyson Carter, Nihad Djedovic or Dylan Osetkowski, all of them “specialists” in long-distance shooting. And it’s not because the pitches are bad. A large part of the shots are released thanks to good ball circulation. But they are not entering.

Despite the number of triples attempted per game (27), one cannot speak of “abuse”, as was done in other years. However, it is noteworthy that Unicaja is being the team with the worst three-point hit percentage in the entire League (29.4%) with a squad in which, With the exception of Augusto Lima, everyone can score from 6.75.

On an individual level, there are surprising data. The most striking is the Tyler Kalinoski. The American was the third best triple shooter last season (43.0%). Now it is in a poorer 32.3%. He is not a player who is shooting excessively, but when he does he has lost his aim. Precisely, there are many plays that manage to find the compositor in a liberated position, but the success is not accompanying him.

The same thing happens to Dario Brizuela. The Basque escort is averaging his worst percentage as a setter (24%) shooting fewer triples per game with less responsibility and demand in attack. The compositor leader in this facet is Tyson Carter (39.1%). Players like Kendrick Perry, Melvin Ejim, Will Thomas or Jonathan Barreiro -they have never been specialists- are all below 20%.

The positive reading is that that “problem” is not being reflected in the results, although one day it has been key to defeat. The best example is the match against Real Madrid. The people from Malaga had a 16% accuracy rate against Chus Mateo’s team and arrived with chances of winning until the last seconds.

The same thing happened in the match against Monbus Obradoiro this Saturday, although this time with a final victory. The compositors only scored 3 of 22 triples in Santiago de Compostela (13.64%). Nevertheless, the base of the annotation was built from 28 points from the free throw and 25 baskets.

This team is evident that it can live without depending on the triple. With all this, the team Los Guindos averages 81.2 points per game in the Endesa League. After an explosive start in the visit to Baskonia (89) and linking four games with a score of less than 75 goals, Unicaja has achieved several matches with good records in attack.

The best thing about this situation is that Ibon Navarro’s men win without having to be brilliant in triple. The team is built on more pillars. Of course, if those shots entered the hoop…

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