Barangay Ginebra’s lineup has gotten deeper, but that has not prevented Scottie Thompson from getting even better.
Many criticisms surrounding Thompson’s game revolve around his perimeter shot and his ability to create his own offense. But the former University of Perpetual Help star has actually made small improvements year after year. From making just 26.4% of his 3s during his rookie year, Thompson is up to 40.9% through the first six games of the season.
Playing for Ginebra’s equal-opportunity system, Thompson has managed to integrate his skillset and still put up good numbers.
THOMPSON’S STATS (BY SEASON)
The improvement on Thompson’s three-point shooting mainly comes from his better overall shooting mechanics.
One thing is for sure: Thompson’s jump shot is a tad bit faster than it used to be. The biggest factor in this improvement is his better footwork catching the ball. It is more controlled, and it allows him to maintain his balance.
Another thing is that the ball doesn’t dip to his hips that much anymore. This dip motion minimizes unnecessary movements, hence allowing him to pull quick trigger threes.
Thompson likes his rhythm step. A rhythm step is a 1-2 step motion wherein the non-dominant foot will be planted first, then followed by the dominant foot. He often catches the ball on rhythm and steps into his shot.
On the other hand, Thompson tends to struggle with shots without proper setup. On some occasions, he just chooses to not shoot it and tends to look for a better shot instead.
One of Thompson’s main calling cards has been his ability to create shots for his teammates. He’s actually improved even more on that end, as the way he approaches the offense this season has been better. It’s like the game has slowed down even more.
But the question, really, is how does he create shots for himself?
Thompson has always been a good north-south player. When in space, he uses his athleticism to get by defenders and finish around the rim. All throughout his career, he wasn’t really a player known for his handles and operating from east to west.
But Thompson has been showing flashes of his newly improved handle. Earlier in his career, he used to struggle maintaining his live dribble when being pressured. As seen from clips above, Thompson tends to pick up the ball when being pressured by defense or driving into traffic. Now, he approaches pick and roll scenarios with a size-up and rhythm dribble as his setup move.
Thompson likes to use rhythm dribbles as a way to probe screens. This allows him to set up his defender and give him more space to read the defense. Hence, it’s good for Ginebra to put him in downhill situations where he’s best at.
Ginebra currently sits at the middle of the standings with a 3-3 record, Thompson’s role for the Gin Kings’ success in the coming games will only prove to be more vital. He still maximizes every minute he gets by playing hard and making the right plays at the right time, and he still does a great job of being the glue guy who puts it all together for his team. Whether he can continue doing so while continuously improving his shot-making is a development that’s worth monitoring.
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