Admitting your weaknesses is never easy. It is even harder if you are a world class athlete performing at the most elite level. However, it is at that level where that admission may be most vital to your success.
This year the Utah Jazz forward DeMarre Carroll has had to put his pride aside to become a better player. On Jan 11th in Atlanta, DeMarre went 1 for 4 from three point land and after the game came to the realization he was not a three point shooter.
“I really went and looked it after I went 0 for 4 (he did make 1) from three, why are all my shots short or long, so why don’t I just take 2 steps in and knock down a 2 rather than missing a lot of threes, being a consistent shooter that keeps me on the floor.”
The next night he took and missed 1 three. Over the next 10 games he has taken just 1 three point shot. Simultaneously, to putting his three point shot in its holster DeMarre has unleased awesome mid-range shooting.
“It is difficult to let it (three point shooting) go, you have to know who you are. I have been knocking down mid range shots day in and night out. I know what I worked on this summer and it was inside 2’s.
Over the last 10 games, DeMarre has hit a sizzling 34 of 53 from the field for 64%. Not only is he burying the mid-range jumper that used to be a bricked three, but he is no longer sitting outside the arch looking for a three. Instead, he is cutting and slashing and getting to the rim at a much higher rate.
DeMarre has gotten in the restricted area for 24 shots in the last 10 games, whereas in the previous 32 games he only took 44. Moreover, he has started to make the mid range jumper and it is building on itself. Doug Collins, head coach of the 76ers, said it well earlier this year, “players need to see the ball go through the rim.”
DeMarre is seeing the ball go through the rim more and more. His 14 of 29 from mid range is way above the league average of 38% and his rim efficiency is remarkable for wing player making 21 of his last 24.
The three is not gone from DeMarre’s game. He is aware of his divergent performance from three’s in the corner (6 of 12) v. three’s above the break (5 of 21). This stems back to who he is modeling his game after.
“ I try to look at guys who I can play like and see where they are shooting from and what shots they are taking and I went back with my cousins and looked at Bruce Bowen, if he wasn’t shooting a corner three it was a mid range 2.”
DeMarre now sits second in the NBA on the Jazz shooting 48.7%. The only small forwards shooting better than 48.7% are Leron James, Thaddeus Young, Kevin Durant, Andrei Kirilenko, Shawn Marion, Jimmy Butler and Rashard Lewis.
Understanding your weakness is as important as knowing your strength.