Over at Hoopspeak, they have an excellent piece up on the early-season success Kevin Love is finding in Rick Adelman’s corner offense.
Start with location; that is, where Love’s getting his looks. A full 75 percent of his shots in this young season have come from the beyond the arc or right at the rim, and he’s second in the league in free throw attempts. This is no surprise given where he handles the ball. On most possessions, Adelman’s offense, which is characterized by clever screen-the-screener action and plenty of hard curls that start at the wing and rip around a screen near the elbow, places Love about one long step inside the 3-point line.
This is such a sneaky and subtle way to get Love open beyond the arc. If Love stood right at the 3-point line, like most spot up shooters, defenses would know exactly how far to roam when helping off him. Instead, Love’s defender often thinks he is close enough to close out after lending help, only to discover that Love has taken one giant step backwards and is now wide open with his toes on the 3-point line.
While 7 attempts a game from beyond the 3-point line maybe isn’t a realistic number going forward, it’s interesting Beckley Mason also points out Love’s percentage is 7 points lower than his career average. So while those attempts might go down, the accuracy could improve.
That’s part of what makes Minnesota’s early success look sustainable — the numbers aren’t particularly gaudy, nobody is shooting lights-out from the perimeter, 25 points a night are coming on parades to the free throw line. Efficiency can only get better.