Is Jalen Brunson a 3 point shooter?

Is Jalen Brunson a 3 point shooter?

Is Jalen Brunson a 3-Point Shooter? A Deep Dive into His Shooting Evolution

Jalen Brunson, the electrifying guard for the New York Knicks, has carved a niche in the NBA with his shifty handles, crafty finishing, and clutch playmaking. But a question has lingered around his offensive arsenal: is Jalen Brunson a 3-point shooter?

This wasn't always a surefire answer. Drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2018, Brunson established himself as a scoring point guard with a strong mid-range game. While respectable, his early forays into the 3-point territory weren't consistent.

However, a remarkable transformation has unfolded in recent seasons. Brunson's dedication to honing his three-point shot has paid dividends, turning him into a legitimate threat from beyond the arc. This article delves into Brunson's journey as a shooter, analyzing his evolution, current prowess, and impact on his game.

From College Star to NBA Regular: Brunson's Early Shooting Profile

Jalen Brunson's collegiate career at Villanova was a masterclass in efficient scoring. He led the Wildcats to two national championships, showcasing his ability to create his shot and convert at a high clip. However, the three-point shot wasn't a focal point of his offensive arsenal.

Brunson averaged a respectable 37.9% from three in his senior year, but his volume remained relatively low. This trend continued into his early days with the Mavericks. While his mid-range game flourished, his three-point attempts remained limited, hovering around 3 attempts per game.

There were glimpses of potential. In the 2022 playoffs, Brunson went on a legendary tear, becoming the first player in NBA history to shoot 8-for-8 on threes in a single half. This showcased his shooting ability, but consistency remained a question mark.

The Turning Point: Embracing the Three-Point Revolution

The 2022 offseason marked a turning point for Jalen Brunson. Signing with the New York Knicks, he found himself in a system that heavily emphasized spacing and three-point shooting. Alongside coach Tom Thibodeau, known for his defensive principles, Brunson embraced the need to expand his offensive range.

The Knicks surrounded him with shooters like Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett, creating space for him to operate. Brunson significantly increased his three-point attempts, averaging a career-high 4.7 attempts per game. But most importantly, his efficiency soared. He shot a remarkable 38.8% from downtown, showcasing a newfound confidence and consistency.

Unveiling the New Brunson: A Statistical Deep Dive

Brunson's development as a three-point shooter is best understood through a statistical lens. Here's a breakdown of his shooting progression:

  • College (Villanova): 37.9% on 3.7 attempts per game (Senior Year)
  • Early NBA Career (Mavs): Around 34% on a limited volume (3 attempts per game)
  • 2022-23 Season (Knicks): 38.8% on a career-high 4.7 attempts per game

This steady rise in efficiency alongside an increased volume demonstrates a conscious effort to become a more well-rounded scorer. But the story goes beyond just percentages.

Shot Selection:

Brunson's shot selection has become more deliberate. He's taking more open threes off screens and dribble drives, capitalizing on the spacing created by his teammates. Additionally, he's developed a reliable pull-up three, a weapon that keeps defenders honest and creates driving lanes.

Shot Mechanics:

A closer look reveals refinements in Brunson's shooting form. His release is quicker and smoother, leading to a more consistent shot trajectory. Additionally, his footwork and balance have improved, allowing him to elevate with ease for a clean shot.


The most significant change is arguably Brunson's newfound confidence in his shot. He's no longer hesitant to take open threes, and his success from beyond the arc has boosted his overall scoring efficiency. This newfound confidence translates into clutch moments, where he's unafraid to take and make the big shot.

Remember his legendary performance in the 2022 playoffs? That wasn't a fluke. Brunson has replicated that clutch shooting with the Knicks, draining game-winning threes and silencing doubters. This newfound dimension adds another layer to his offensive repertoire, making him a true threat in any situation.

The Impact on Brunson's Game

Brunson's emergence as a three-point threat has significantly impacted his overall game:

  • Increased Scoring Potential: The ability to knock down threes unlocks new scoring avenues for Brunson. Defenders can no longer sag off him, creating driving lanes and easier mid-range looks. This versatility makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
  • Improved Playmaking: The spacing created by Brunson's shooting prowess opens up passing lanes for his teammates. Defenders have to respect his shot, allowing him to find open cutters and shooters for easy baskets. This makes him a more dangerous offensive weapon overall.
  • Elevated Knicks Offense: The Knicks, known for their defensive prowess, have added a much-needed offensive weapon in Brunson. His ability to space the floor and create his own shot makes the entire offense more dynamic and unpredictable.
The Road Ahead: Can Brunson Sustain His Shooting Success?

Jalen Brunson's transformation into a reliable three-point shooter has been nothing short of remarkable. However, some questions remain:

  • Can he maintain this level of efficiency? One season of strong shooting doesn't guarantee long-term success. Maintaining his shooting form and shot selection throughout his career will be crucial.
  • How will defenses adjust? Opposing teams will undoubtedly start scouting Brunson differently, potentially forcing him to adapt and evolve his shot selection further.
  • Will he continue to increase his volume? As Brunson becomes more comfortable with his shot, will he look to take even more threes, potentially impacting his overall scoring efficiency?

The upcoming seasons will be a test for Brunson's development.  However, one thing is clear: he's no longer just a mid-range maestro. Jalen Brunson has emerged as a legitimate three-point threat, adding a crucial weapon to his arsenal and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.

The Answer is Clear - Jalen Brunson is a 3-Point Shooter

So, to answer the initial question: Is Jalen Brunson a 3-point shooter? The answer is a resounding yes. Through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to adapt, Brunson has transformed himself into a well-rounded offensive weapon. His ability to knock down threes consistently makes him a more dangerous scorer, a better playmaker, and a valuable asset to the New York Knicks.

Brunson's story is an inspiration for young players, showcasing the power of dedication and constant improvement. As he continues to refine his craft, the NBA landscape should be on notice. Jalen Brunson is a rising star, and his ability to score from beyond the arc is a significant part of his ascension.

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