Denton: Afflalo Greatly Improved This Season

   

He scored 30 points twice last season, had 19 20-point outings and he incredibly raised his scoring average for a sixth straight NBA season. But Afflalo was highly upset about shooting just 43.9 percent from the floor, a dismal 30 percent from the 3-point line and getting to the free throw line just 3.5 times a game on average. Too often, he responded to defensive pressure by shooting instead of passing to the open man and he got away from taking the corner 3-pointers that made him successful early in his career. Those struggles caused him to take a hard look at his performance over the offseason.

``It was just me having a mental outlook and a perspective on what happened,’’ he said. ``You can’t be stubborn about your game and the situation and you have to be open to saying these are the areas that I need to improve on. If I can take that criticism constructively then that leaves room for growth.

``I think, from my expectations of not having a good year within that role, it created a little motivation for me to get better, Afflalo continued. ``I don’t feel that it personally worked out last year, although my numbers did improve, but I think that entire experience prepared me for this year.’’

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