La progresin de Jonas Valančiūnas this year is the proof, once again, of the basketball evolution. At least in the NBA. More and more one pvot is required to be able to play away from the rim. That he rebounds, of course, but that in attack he is able to move his range of action even beyond the three-point arc.
When the club of the 50-40-90, to any fan who knows what it is, players like Larry Bird, Steve Nash o Stephen Curry. For those who do not know what it is, to appear in this select club, a player must finish the season with at least 50% of his shots from two converts, 40% from triples and 90% from free throws. The requirements are to have taken at least 300 shots, 82 shots and 125 free shots.
To understand the select of the club, only nine players belong to it, and some are enormously illustrious: Steve Nash, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Malcolm Brogdon y Kyrie Irving.
Now, that group is opposed by a player who will make history because he will become the first pvot to enter. Is about Jonas Valančiūnas, which presents this statistical line, 51.0% in shooting, 59.3% in triples and 90.0% in free throws, more typical of Curry o Durant.
Last summer, many people criticized the transfer of Valanciunas by Steven Adams. Both players are of similar age, experience and size, but the Lithuanian is proving to be much more than an old-fashioned pvot.
With 14 games in the season, Valanciunas He is the leader among shooters three in percentage with 59.3%. Neither Curry nor Mills nor Durant: Valanciunas. That percentage, which is brutal, shows the enormous improvement in months of the Lithuanian. Last season in the Grizzlies, I ended up with 36.8%. And not only that, a few months ago he closed the season with 77% in free throws, compared to the current 90%. If he continues like this, the award for the player with highest progression.
Expect Jonas’s numbers to drop somewhat throughout the season as the Pelicans recover cash, especially Zion Williamson. It is likely that we will even see Valanciunas return to a more anticipated role in him, defense and rebounding, but it is already news that the Lithuanian sits at the same table as those who one day joined the 50-40 club. 90 that not even players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James o Magic Johnson they belong. Only a tall man, Dirk Nowitzki, succeeded, but no one connects the German with the inner game to which Valanciunas had accustomed us, whose evolution can give him a place in history.