Brandon Jennings will be entering his fourth year in the NBA when the Milwaukee Bucks tip off their 2012-’13 season at Boston on November 2nd. Jennings will be 23-years old and an established NBA veteran, and this season has “breakout“ written all over it.
Jennings has shown flashes of brilliance in his first three years in the league. He possesses an extremely quick first step, seemingly ice skates with the ball, and keeps his turnovers down. He’s shown plenty of ability to get to the cup, but he’s been inconsistent finishing around the tin and drawing fouls.
He’s a career 81.1% free-throw shooter, so if he can find more ways to draw fouls and get to the charity stripe, the better off he and the Bucks will be. Jennings needs to figure out a way to attack the basket with more vigor and discover ways to draw more contact to get to the line. As an established veteran, Jennings may also get a little more love from the refs at this stage in his career.
Jennings averaged a career high 19.1 points per game last year to go along with a reasonable 5.5 assists per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and a stellar 1.6 steals per game. Jennings also shot a career high 41.8% from the field, up nearly 4% from his rookie year and 3% from his sophomore campaign. However, his three-point shooting remained stagnant at a disappointing 33.2%, a far cry from his 37.4% clip in his rookie campaign and the year of ‘Fear the Deer.’
If the former Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year (Virginia), and McDonald’s All-American can improve his three-point stroke so it resembles that 37.4% rookie-year number and if he continues to improve his overall field-goal percentage, Jennings can undoubtedly be a 20+ point per game NBA scorer.
Jennings plays with a certain flair, charisma and exuberance that is easy to appreciate. With continued hard work and dedication to cleaning up his game, there’s reason to believe that Jennings is on the cusp of greatness.
Monta Ellis adds a unique dual scoring threat to complement Jennings in Milwaukee’s backcourt. Ellis takes some of the scoring load and ball handling duties off of Jennings, thus allowing Brandon to relax a bit and let the game come to him more, rather then forcing it as he’s been prone to do in his first three years in the league. It should be exciting to see what Jennings and Ellis can do together with a full training camp and over the course of an 82-game season.
To be real, I can talk about Brandon Jennings all night. 2,000+ words easy. I’m high on this kid. I’ve fully endorsed and embraced Jennings as the Milwaukee Bucks’ new face of the franchise and I really believe him to be on the threshold of superstardom. I hope General Manager John Hammond feels the same way and extends Jennings’ contract prior to training camp. According to various sources, Jennings is ready and willing to commit long-term and is getting frustrated with the lack of movement on the contract extension talks.
There’s no doubt that Brandon Jennings has some work to do on the defensive end of the court and with his overall offensive efficiency. However, Jennings has shown enough terrific qualities and the potential for so much more, there’s no better time than the present to lock up a franchise player who is willing to commit himself to the city of Milwaukee and the Bucks organization for the long haul. Rare breed.
Mark my words: Expect BIG things from #3 in 2012-’13 and let the rest of the NBA once again ‘Fear the Deer.’
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