Since the early days of the NBA, the physical trait of height has proved to be an advantage. Players such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated the sport with their massive stature, standing above most of the players of their era.
To overcome this natural adversity, shorter players in the guard positions learned how to shoot the ball. Using their quickness to their advantage, guards added new skills that would let them be effective without the fear of getting blocked while shooting.
As the game saw drastic changes with time, the jumpshot became one of the most lethal weapons in basketball. With the likes of Reggie Miller, Ray Allen and Stephen Curry paving the way, the jumpshot has become a staple in the arsenal of any NBA player.
However, being able to shoot the ball is not a skill everyone excels at. With the intent of being effective without a jumpshot, players in the league turn to different skills and traits in order to compensate.
By making use of their athleticism, length and brute strength, NBA players can always find a way to dominate and influence in the game.
In this article, we take a look at five NBA players who dominated the league in the last 10 years despite being bad shooters.
#1 Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in NBA history. Making use of his athleticism, Westbrook attacks the rim with vicious intent whenever there is an opening in the defense.
But as a shooter, Westbrook finds himself in below-average waters. For his career, Russell Westbrook is a 30.5% shooter from downtown. While taking shooting stats by distance into consideration, Westbrook within 0-3ft of the rim shoots at 59.5% but as we move out to 3-10ft this number immediately drops to 34.1%.
With an elite first step, Russell Westbrook was able to hit defenders with a crossover and blow past them without breaking a sweat.
This athleticism helped him dominate the game for a large part of his career and is a huge reason for his success even now. But as this trait started taking a toll on his body, Westbrook adapted by adding an effective midrange bank shot from the left wing.
#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most dominant players in the NBA. With his enormous wingspan, height and freakish athleticism, Giannis is rightfully named "The Greek Freak."
Giannis consistently makes use of his inherent physical traits to his advantage on both ends of the floor. His long arms give him an effective advantage over most players on the offensive end as it allows him to finish at the rim with ease.
On the defensive end, his ability to contest and alter shots is possible because his length constantly makes him a threat for blocks.
When within 0-3ft of the basket, Giannis shoots a highly efficient 73.6%. But as we move out, even to the 3-10ft range, this percentage drops to 35% and continues to drop as we enter three-point territory. He is 28.7% for his career from beyond the arc.
Giannis' biggest advantage, however, is his athleticism. Since his rookie year, Giannis has shown great agility for his size and as he has grown in stature and put on the pounds, his strength increased drastically. Bullying defenders and getting to his spot, Giannis has learned to dominate.
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