Feb 11, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guardJimmer Fredette
(32) and Indiana Pacers forwardShayne Whittington
(42) scramble for a loose ball during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pacers defeated the Pelicans 106-93.Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
To the level one basketball purist, Jimmer Fredette was the quintessential shooter coming from BYU. To the level two purists, he was a one-trick pony. Either way, Fredette was at first glance a given to succeed no matter how you saw it, given he was a lottery pick. But his sharp shooting skills has yet to carry over into the NBA, with disappointing shows for the Sacramento Kings, an eight-game stint with the Chicago Bulls and last season with the New Orleans Pelicans. With his career in transition, Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs have decided to extend an arm and a leg for Fredette, giving him the opportunity to actually play up to his expertise of spreading the floor with his shooting.
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With the Spurs, ball-movement of course, is significant and vital to their success. To compare, it’s like the spread offense in football but with clean fundamentals from all areas: players have to do their jobs, pay attention to detail and remember there is always a better pass and shot. For Fredette, this will give him an opportunity to come off the bench with less pressure than years before to deliver. This will also give him space and ability to play with a team that’s designed just like him; great shooters all over the floor besides the centers. With that said, if Patty Mills, Danny Green and Boris Diaw are clicking from all over the perimeter, Fredette has the freedom to be the Harrison Barnes of the second unit: taking advantage of the defense being exposed by the shooters already making shots on the floor. In these cases, Fredette could possibly be open a great percentage of the time. For opposing teams, the defense has to just hope Fredette is off that night.
It’s also a possibility that Fredette will be utilized in a variety of screen and rolls, the role Mills usually has, but two is always better than one. It’s also something to be noted we don’t know the amount of minutes Fredette will be assigned, could be large, or small. But one thing is for certain is that Fredette fits in well with the Spurs. How Popovich will use him, though, will be interesting to see unfold.