Analyzing Landry Shamet’s Surprising Start to the Season

This is J.J Redick’s 13th year in the NBA and he’s arguably in his prime at age 34. His game has aged extremely well because of his prolific shooting ability and basketball smarts. Redick never had much athleticism in his prime anyway, so his play has gotten better and better the longer he’s been in the league. He doesn’t need to blow by defenders using agility or quickness but rather outsmarts them.

Redick also happens to be one of the leaders in the Sixers locker room and gladly helping the younger guys out. Pointing out on his podcast that he respects rookies who ask him questions and look to learn. On the floor, Redick is always barking commands and yelling at players to be in their spots, kind of like a second coach. So who would be more qualified to mentor the Sixers 26th overall pick Landry Shamet than J.J Redick?

While Shamet came out of Wichita State as a combo guard known for his shooting and playmaking, averaging 5.2 assists per game last year, his real NBA skill is his 3 point shooting. Shooting 44% in Shamets senior year from deep, the Sixers clearly drafted Shamet for his off-ball shooting and ability to shoot off pin-downs and screens.

The parallels between Redick and Shamet are obvious. Their games and habitual nature make them seem like near identical players. Also, Shamet is built similarly to Redick; the former being 6’5” and the later 6’4” while both weighing in around 190 lbs. So Brett Brown made the decision to use Shamet in the same role as Redick, saying “I feel like in the capacity that we’re using him as a mini JJ.” The two are used in the same role and often replace each other in the games so one of the two marksmen is always on the court at the same time.

Off-ball movement has become synonymous with Redick as his shooting threat is amplified by his constant motion, one thing he is clearly trying to instill into Landry. You can see that in these two plays where they both run around a screen and drill a three:

Shamet has also done a very good job of running in transition. He often runs to the corners to be found by Ben Simmons or T.J McConnell knowing that these two are always looking to pass first:

On the defensive end, no one expected much from Shamet but he hasn’t been a complete disaster. He at least gives it his all and tries hard enough to make up for his weak frame. Like Redick, if his basketball IQ and motor are there, he won’t be much of a liability on that side of the floor.

Overall, Landry has been doing very well with the Sixers providing a solid 8.2 points in a spark plug of the bench role. Considering his draft position, it looks like Brett Brown and the Sixers made a great choice in the late first round. Still, I think he can add more to the Sixers. I would like to see Shamet take over at point guard at times when Simmons is on the bench and other ball handlers are on the floor. He hasn’t been given the opportunity to run the show and considering his playmaking skills in college he may be more than just a shooter.

Header Image Credit: (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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