Ben McLemore (Flight 23) has Landed


It was around this time last year when then rookie Ben McLemore received honors for being named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of November, but unfortunately it would be the only time he would win.

Throughout the rest of the season, McLemore struggled immensely. He was unable to gain any rhythm offensively and was even less productive on defense, as a result ending his rookie season with an offensive rating of 101.9 and a 107.6 on defense. The talks of McLemore being a bust and the rumors of McLemore being trade value were asked more frequently because people questioned McLemore’s true value, but fortunately McLemore was able to shut those questions up real quick.

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This season has been a dramatic upgrade for the second year man from St. Louis, as Ben McLemore continues to find his niche in the NBA. After a horrendous rookie season, it seems McLemore has finally made the necessary adjustments to become a starting two guard at the professional level. By using just the eye test, McLemore seems to look more confident on offense.

McLemore has been more consistent in hitting his jump shots and has shown to be more aggressive driving to the basket with the help of his improved ball handling. Right now, McLemore is averaging just over 12 points per game, shooting 48% from the court (40% for three), and has an offensive rating of 105.8. Last year McLemore averaged just 8.8 points per game while shooting 38% from the floor and 32% beyond the arc.

Defensively, McLemore has improved as well. McLemore has looked sharper on the defensive end and has been successful in keeping his opponents in front of him and getting through screens. A lot of the struggles McLemore had defensively could be attributed by his youth, but with one year of experience under his belt, McLemore has adjusted well so far to the speed and strength of the NBA. Right now his defensive rating is at 102.4, which isn’t at any means first-team caliber, but is a great improvement compared to the 107.6 rating from his previous season.

As great of a surprise it has been to see McLemore improving in front of our eyes, there’s still plenty to prove for the young king. With first-class athleticism, endless cardio, and most importantly the drive to improve McLemore isn’t even close to reaching his full potential, but seeing him consistently improve by the game is encouraging for fans to see.

These last dozen games haven’t been pretty for the Kings, but McLemore continues to be a bright spot throughout the young season. If McLemore continues this consistent pattern of improvement, he won’t just eliminate the talks of him being a bust but rather begin the talks of him being the steal of his draft class.