San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker's Path to Win 6MOTY Award
Walker Needs to Shoot More
Last year was the first season Walker shot from deep at a high volume, and he made 35% of them. Walker is one of the better shooters on the team and needs either the confidence or approval to pull the trigger all game.
He is also incredibly athletic and can jump and drive his way to the hoop. He can be the primary ball-handler who wrestles his way to the basket for a layup or dunk, or he can be a catch and shoot option from deep. No matter how he gets shots off, he needs to be more willing to take the most shots on the team.
With that in mind, though, 11 points per game are not enough to win an NBA Award. The matter isn't whether or not he can make shots, he just doesn’t take enough of them. In 25 or more minutes a night, he should be shooting the ball nearly 20 times (depending on who’s sharing the floor with him), but he only took about half of that this past season.
Compared to his sophomore season, his free throw percentage increased by nearly 10% on more attempts this past year. Similarly, he took nearly four more shots per game on similar efficiency. This could be the confidence boost needed to take the ball to the rack. He seemed to miss his shots most often when he drew contact near the bucket, but he can easily knock down two shots from the charity stripe.
Walker averaged 11 points last season, Jordan Clarkson averaged 18 and Lou Williams usually gets between 15-18 a game. Walker should and could easily match these numbers if not surpass them.
From deep, Walker is already a better shooter than Williams and Clarkson, and he's also much more athletic than either one of them. He could quickly become one of the best bench scorers in the league, and he should be ready to take the next step and join the conversation.