SHOOTAROUND FILM SESSION HELPED SPARK DUDLEY
LOS ANGELES – Jared Dudley’s shooting slump ended in the Nation’s Capital.
Obviously, Dudley, who has made 13 3-pointers in the past four games, snapped out of a six-game malaise on the court back then, making seven of his 10 shots and scoring 16 points. According to Blake Griffin, though, it was something that happened in the team’s film session at shootaround that may have served as a catalyst.
The team gathered near the edge of the court at Verizon Center to watch clips of the previous game against Brooklyn. A possession was shown of Dudley, who at the time was shooting worse than 20 percent from 3-point range, passing up an open shot. Head Coach Doc Rivers paused the film, and, in front of the entire team, said, “Jared, you’ve got to keep shooting the ball, keep shooting the ball. You’re too good of a shooter it’s going to go in.”
And they have been since.
“After that he’s just been on fire,” said Griffin, who relayed the story about the shootaround film session after the Clippers knocked off the Denver Nuggets, 112-91, Saturday. “It’s cool to see something like that your coach put his faith in somebody and he came through in a big way in the last four games.”
Dudley has gone 13-for-23 (56.5 percent) from 3-point range since the Wizards game, helping revive a Clippers offense that has scored at least 108 points in each of their last four, all wins.
“He was missing open shots,” Rivers said. “Now, he’s making open shots. We’re all human. There are few who it doesn’t faze at all, missed shots. But with most people, it does. Jared started missing shots, and I don’t know if he was thinking about it, but it went on about three games or six games. Now, he’s making them again.”
Dudley is a career 40-percent shooter from distance. So, in some ways it was merely inevitable that he would get his shot corrected eventually. It was made more difficult, however, by an ornery case of tendinitis in his right knee.
Rivers posited that Dudley’s struggles may have been partially related to his balky knee.
“I do think some of it is the health,” Rivers said. “I think he’s feeling better, and I think that helps him. But, he’s still not 100 percent. I don’t know how he can become that. We have a four-day break in January coming up so maybe that’ll help. He is getting better. Hopefully, the healthier he gets, the better he shoots.”
The way he has gone in the last week, it may be hard to shoot any better. But if the slump reemerges, perhaps all he’ll need to bust back out of it is another film-session reminder.