The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the favorites to win the NBA title this coming season. While the franchise will be leveraging the combined star power of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, a championship team also needs quality role players to complement the superstars. There are reasons to believe second-year guard Landry Shamet will be a key component in the Clippers’ title hopes this season.
Shamet had a promising rookie campaign, getting significant minutes off the bench for the Philadelphia 76ers to start the season. However, he didn’t stay long with the team that drafted him, as he was an important part of the Tobias Harris trade. His minutes increased after his move, and his production got a boost in the process. He was also an integral part of the incredible six-game playoff run that saw the Clippers challenge the Golden State Warriors.
Now that the Clippers have terrific two-way superstars, Shamet is primed to improve upon his performance from his rookie campaign and become an important piece for the team regardless if he starts or not.
One reason why he’ll be an important component to the Clippers this season is his 3-point shooting. He finished his rookie season with a 3-point percentage of 42.2%, and he was at a whopping 45.0% with LA. With much of the defensive attention going to either Leonard and George, Shamet will find that he has more open looks to sink 3-pointers. Even if he’s on the second unit, plenty of attention would go to the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams.
Shamet’s 3-point mechanics are smooth and quick, and he has deep range. He will stretch the floor and give the Clippers plenty of room to penetrate the rim.
Another reason why Shamet will be an important asset is the flexibility he offers on the second unit. He’s a shooting guard first and foremost, but his 2.3 assist average during his time in Doc Rivers’ system points to his playmaking abilities as well. While they’re not eye-catching numbers, it’s good enough for the Clippers’ offense to work with.
This is especially true given he will most likely be spending a lot of time with Williams on the second unit. Having such a prolific scorer means scoring duties will alternate between him and Sweet Lou.
However, with George out to start the season, Shamet very well could begin the season as the starter. He has been starting in the preseason, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if that carries over to the regular season and continues until George comes back. That will make Shamet even more important for LA.
This is the season for the Clippers, and this is the time for Shamet to establish himself as a superb wing player for a championship-caliber team.