Updated: December 16, 2011, 11:07 AM ET

Player Profiles: Brandon Jennings

By John Hollinger
ESPN.com

 Projection: 20.4 pts, 4.3 reb, 6.4 ast per 40 min; 17.04 PER | Player card

• Quick lefty guard with scoring mentality. Erratic outside shooter with high arc.
• Can get to basket but trouble finishing. Can push tempo. Weak right hand.
• Has trouble getting open on inbound plays. Lacks size but solid defender.


People who focus on Jennings' outside shooting troubles are aiming at the wrong target. His jumper isn't great, but what's really holding him back is that, when he gets in the paint, he lacks the size and explosiveness to finish consistently. Jennings shot only 51.4 percent at the basket last season, the worst percentage in the league among players with at least 150 attempts.

Jennings at least drew fouls at a decent clip, but his finishing trouble was exacerbated by a lack of court vision. He was 63rd among point guards in assist ratio, wasting much of his penetration skill. Additionally, he had some of the least valuable assists in the league (see LeBron James).

As for the jumper ... no, he's not good at that either. Jennings shot 35.6 percent on 2s beyond 10 feet and 32.3 percent on 3-pointers. Combined he took nine of those shots per game, so this was a problem. It also makes it even harder for him to finish at the rim, as defenders just lay off and wait for the drive.

The hope is that he won't have to create so many late-clock jumpers with more offensive help this season, but it wasn't an encouraging second season for Jennings. His 49.7 true shooting percentage doesn't cut it, and he was 49th in pure point rating. His best selling point is that he's 22 and could still improve, especially since nothing seems broken about his shooting form. But he has to shoot better for the Bucks to commit to him as a long-term starter.

Defensively, Jennings does a decent job in spite of his size. While he's vulnerable to post-ups by big guards, Milwaukee's team defense gives him plentiful help in those situations. Otherwise he's very solid. He gets his hands on a lot of balls, ranking in the top third of point guards in both blocks and steals per minutes, plus he makes relatively few mistakes and he moves well laterally.

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