Belinelli Keeps Kings Moving
Kings guard Marco Belinelli is a known threat to knock down a jumper from just about anywhere on the floor. His silky smooth shooting stroke and his effective pump fake make him a tough cover for any opponent, but one aspect of No. 3’s game that allows him to thrive is his constant movement on the hardwood.
“He does a lot of movement, a lot of great movement to get himself open and get a lot of other players open,” said Kings guard Ben McLemore to Matt Kawahara of the Sacramento Bee. “He uses the defender to get himself open, fake this way and go the other way after the defender gets moving and has to stop, little things like that that great shooters do. Marco does a great job of that.”
According to the NBA’s Player Tracking data, Belinelli has run 9,947 feet while on the court this season, which adds up to about 1.88 miles. This ranks as the seventh highest distance traveled by players who play 27 minutes or less per game. On offense specifically, Marco ranks even higher, as his 1.07 miles traveled is fourth among the same group of players.
“When I was a free agent, I wanted to play with Marco,” Kings point guard Rajon Rondo told Kawahara. “Cuz (DeMarcus Cousins) was one of the guys, obviously the cornerstone for why I wanted to be here. But playing with a guy like Belinelli has been a dream.”
Now in his ninth NBA season, the guard from Italy has fit right in with the style of play installed by Kings head coach George Karl, who also had praise for what he’s seen from Marco thus far this season.
“I think he makes us play basketball the right way,” Karl said to Kawahara. “He makes us move, he makes us pass. Too many times we have … possessions where we give it to one guy and everybody stands around and watches. And I think there are certain games like (Tuesday) night where we have some of them but not a lot of them.”
While the encouragement is high and good impressions have been made on his teammates, Belinelli still sees room for improvement, as his shooting numbers this year have not aligned with what he’s shown to be capable of.
No. 3 has averaged a 42.8 percent shooting percentage for his career and 38.9 percent from three-point range. In his 23 games this season, however, Marco is knocking down just 39.1 percent of his field goal attempts and only 33.6 percent beyond the arc.
“Not so good,” Belinelli told Kawahara. “It’s a different system than San Antonio and other teams, another role. But I’m going to try to do better. I’m going to try to help the team to not just be a shooter but create something for my teammates and try to (help us) be a better team.”
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