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Scouting Gerald Henderson's Jumper

Hello folks! I've been planning on scouting individual players and team plays/sets for quite some time, and I've finally organized enough information to share something with you. I know there will be several of you alienated by deep information about technique and tendencies, but I'm going to try my best to keep it interesting. Today, I present you Gerald Henderson's jumpshooting.

We think Hendo's a great midrange shooter. Well, he is. Kind of.

According to Hoopdata Hendo shot 38.6% from 10-15 feet (league average is 39.4%), and 43% from 16-23 feet (league average is 39.5%). While these numbers may not be overly impressive, it's important to note that Hendo shot 11% from 10-15 and 33% from 16-23 in his rookie season. The important statistic, however, is that he's assisted on nearly 83% of his long jumpers -- usually the ones he shoots off of curls -- meaning that he doesn't create his own shot.

But that's not even the interesting part. Hendo shoots 43% when coming off of screens and only 38.2% when spotting up

After looking at these numbers, I decided to watch some video to figure out why he struggles to hit closer and stationary (easier, basically) shots. This is where I went to Synergy.

Coming off of Screens

When coming off of screens, Henderson executes a picture perfect SRR (Square, Rise, Release). He's able to stop on a dime and very quickly pivot to square himself with the basket, while also rising up for the shot. It's a very difficult thing to do, but Hendo has essentially mastered the technique. He tends to release the ball a little late, but I attribute that more to the time it takes him to assess the power needed to get the ball into the basket than to his shooting form. The only concern the Bobcats should have with his form is his tendency to fade away off of one foot on curls. 

The times that Hendo's man is able to keep up with him, he utilizes his high release to get his shot over his defender. If his shot was 2-3 inches lower, you'd see him get blocked quite a bit.

At first I applauded Henderson for his excellent screen-running, but after closer inspection I realized that Henderson is fortunate in having great, and I mean GREAT, screens set by Kwame Brown. Kwame is massive and positions his body perfectly. As usual, I believe Kwame is very underrated. He's no star, he never will be, but the guy is solid at everything he does.

In terms of selecting angles to come off of screens and his ability to lose his man, Hendo's about average. He rarely executes any sort of fake or freeze move to slow his man, but his athleticism allows him to quickly get to a spot where an open shot is available. He pretty much always curls: I'd estimate that he makes a direct cut about 15% of the time and fades off of a screen about 5% of the time. The problem with his curls is that he tends to step out too far, which often forces him to take an 18-23 footer as opposed to an easier 15-18 footer. He makes both at a decent clip, so I can't complain.


Spotting Up

Henderson is one of those players who has a smooth spot-up jumpshot. When he takes one, you can almost always tell if it's going in the second it leaves his hand. Why? Because his form is incredibly inconsistent in this situation. So when he executes his jumper perfectly, you notice. It looks great.

This problem stems from his lack of shot preparation. He rarely has two hands in his shooting pocket, rarely readies his feet, and rarely squares up before catching the ball. So, upon catching the ball he has a lot of things that he needs to do before taking the actual shot. Like most young players, he basically just says screw it and ignores his lack of preparation, launching an off-balance, shaky, random-trajectory jumper. Sometimes the compensation is his elbow's angle, sometimes a fadeaway, sometimes no follow through. The Bobcats' coaching staff needs to ensure he rectifies this problem, because it's huge. He'll never be a good 3-point threat if his preparation is off.

It's very strange to me that a player with such great ability to prepare and shoot a difficult shot off of screens struggles so much with standstill jumpshots.


I'd appreciate feedback about whether or not you guys like these kinds of posts, and if there's something specific that you'd like me to look at. I'd be glad to!