Brandon Jennings Says The Brick-Heavy Pistons “Don’t Shoot In Practice”

Only the godawful 76ers are shooting worse than the Pistons. Detroit’s second to last in true shooting percentage AND effective field goal percentage behind the Philly D-League squad, so it’s no wonder point guard Brandon Jennings is a little ticked off they can’t seem to find time in practice or shootarounds to get some shots up in an effort to alleviate all the bricks they’ve been shooting this season.

This reminds us of Coach Norman Dale in Hoosiers, when he coached a team and didn’t allow them to shoot until after three passes. We’re guessing Stan Van Gundy isn’t awkwardly smooching Barbara Hershey in the woods, but Jennings recently sounded off on the lack of shots in practice and in shootaround to MLive.com’s David Mayo:

“If you ask the question about why we’re not making shots, we don’t shoot,” Jennings said after Friday’s 99-89 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “We don’t shoot in practice. We haven’t really had a chance to work on our games or anything. When we do have shootarounds, we’re not able to get up shots like we should.”


“I just think if you’re going to have shootaround in the morning, I think it’s good that you get loose and you should work on shots that you’re going to take in the game,” he said. “Even before, after practice, we’ve got to start getting in the gym, just working on our game more.”


“Not shooting well, I think that’s just the thing,” he said. “We get a lot of shots to the basket we’re not making them. A lot of open threes, we’re not making them.”

Ironically, Jennings is shooting 43.8 percent from the floor this season, and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc; both marks are the highest of his career.

The NBA, for all the talk about analytics, weak-side rotations to keep a defensive unit on a string, rebounding, corner three-pointers and the proper sets to match the personnel, is still a make or miss league. If you’re consistently shooting a high percentage, whether it’s three-pointers, shots at the rim or those dastardly mid-range jumpers Kobe Bryant loves and bloggers detest, the rest of what constitutes winning basketball becomes less important; though the other factors are still a large part of the winning formula — they’re not as important at the end of the day as gettin’ buckets.

The Pistons can barely hit the ocean when falling out of a boat, and it’s why they’re 3-10 on the year and treading water just above the 0-12 Sixers in the East.

When Jennings was asked if it was the responsibility of the coaches — whether during practice, shootarounds, or on the court before games — or the players — in the same instances — to get those repetitions shooting the ball, Jennings was diplomatic:

“Both,” he told Mayo.

If all you’re doing in a Stan Van Gundy practice — which can run three or even four hours, we hear — is defensive rotation drills, wind sprints and intricate weave drills, then it’s your responsibility as an NBA player to shoot more after practice or in better spots during shootaround and pregame. If the coaches can institute more shooting drills during practice and hold players accountable to more realistic in-game shots during shootaround, a lot of these issues could be negated. There’s only so much time to practice in-season, but the Pistons need as many reps shooting the ball as they can get.


Who is to blame for Detroit’s horrendus shooting (just saying ‘Josh Smith’ is a cop out)

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