Power forward Trey Lyles was exceptional in his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, but is his three-point shot going to hold up in the long run?
During his 2019-20 campaign, San Antonio Spurs power forward Trey Lyles proved that he can extend his range and be a valuable floor spacer for a team that desperately needed it. The fifth-year power forward hit 38.7 percent of his 168 three-point attempts including 45.7 percent of his corner triples.
And yet, questions will arise about whether or not he can sustain his above-average three-point shooting. Lyles can hit the long-ball, but every single one of his three-point makes this season was assisted by someone else on the team. His shooting stroke is solid with a high point of release and a quick trigger, but there’s not much room for error in San Antonio.
For the first time in over 20 years, the Spurs are slated to miss the playoffs. They’re going to need all of the firepower they can get if they want to combat that when the season returns from hiatus and reconcile that next year. Lyles needed his teammates to help him level-up as a three-point shooter, which puts his status as a reliable floor-stretcher in jeopardy.
More from Air Alamo
- Andre Drummond is everything the San Antonio Spurs don’t need right now
- San Antonio Spurs: White’s return to form skyrockets Spurs potential
- San Antonio Spurs: Four trade partners to watch for as deadline nears
- Predicting Spurs’ week 9 results, featuring trap games abound
- San Antonio Spurs: Jakob Poeltl reasserting himself as a defensive force
Lyles hit 73.3 percent of his free throw attempts, which is a career-best mark for him. Growth in that department is always a huge indicator of how a player will progress from range as it attests to their confidence and shooting form. Now that he’s in San Antonio, he has some guidance from expert shooting coach Chip Engelland, who has helped generations of Spurs to find consistency in their shooting forms and revive their careers.
One of the more concerning aspects of Lyles’ season is that he only made 35.6 percent of his takes above the break, which is where the majority of his triples come from. As a power forward, the pick-and-pop is going to be his most consistent way to get three-point attempts and most of those draw him to the wing or the top of the key.
More so than anything else, working on his three-ball from those spots is going to be influential in finding his rhythm as a shooter moving forward. His teammates are going to put him in a position to succeed as a three-point shooter because that’s how head coach Gregg Popovich likes to orchestrate his offense.
One way or another, Lyles is going to be forced to further his improvement in this category for as long as he wears silver and black.