It was understandable for Ben McLemore to suffer growing pains in his first two seasons in the NBA. At the time, he was drafted when he was only 20 years of age and played one season of collegiate basketball, which meant he was a project in the making.
However it has been two plus seasons since the former Jayhawk was welcomed to Sacramento’s kingdom, and the errors he is now repeatedly making are now starting to become intolerable.
The major issue with McLemore is that he is too passive of a player. Many experts and fans rave about his ability to score the ball, but still he remains to be unaggressive.
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This season McLemore is averaging 5.9 shots per game, which is ranked 8th among his teammates. He is also averaging 2.3 three-point field goals a game, which is ranked 6th among his team as well. As a result of this, he is only averaging 7.6 points per game.
McLemore’s percentages, however, have been solid so far this season. Right now he shooting 45.9% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc. Both efficient shootings numbers. He has the ability to put the ball in the bucket but remains to be unconfident.
Although McLemore has shown to be hesitant in his game, it may not be all entirely on his shooting. One flaw that McLemore continues to show throughout his professional career is his inability to dribble the ball.
One major blemish to McLemore’s game that people were concerned with when drafted was his ball handling. Although McLemore’s ball control skills have gotten better compared to his rookie season, it still remains to be subpar.
He continues to have trouble driving to the basket and creating his shots on his own because after a certain number of dribbles he loses control and has to panically dish it out to a teammate, sometimes a defender.
Once McLemore learns to handle the ball at an adequate level is when we can see the confidence rise in the young King. This skill will give him the ability to use his filthy athleticism to drive to the basket and cause fouls, making him more dimensional on the offensive end.
It will also give McLemore the ability to create baskets on his own, as of now he is dependent on his teammates to set him up to score.
Overall, Ben McLemore has the potential to be an offensive threat in the NBA. The major flaw, however, that is holding him back from reaching it is his inability to handle the ball. McLemore should make it a mission this season, and going forward into his career, to make bigger steps of improvement towards his dribbling skills. Once he starts to dribble the ball better, his game and confidence will start to rise.
McLemore is a player with a lot of talent, but even better, a player that understands he needs to improve his game and is willing to put in the work to achieve it. Hopefully, ball handling is on that list.