The Oklahoma City Thunder have been a fun basketball team to watch in the early stages of the season. Oddly enough, they aren’t losing as much as expected. One of the more unexpected things to happen this season is that Lu Dort has taken a massive step in his career.
If you don’t want to say it, I will say it. Lu Dort has the potential to become a star in this league.
This “overreaction” all begins with his offense, which has taken a huge leap. His points per game have been more than doubled going from 6.8 ppg in 19-20 to 12.7 ppg in the current season. The jump in PPG alone shows that he can improve his offensive game.
Not only is Dort scoring more, but he is doing so with an improved efficiency. One of the most valuable skills to have in today’s league is shooting the 3-pointer efficiently. A horrendous night shooting the ball against Brooklyn (1-9 3PT) has knocked his 3-point shooting down to 38.1% on the season- a major improvement from his 29.7% a year ago. We’re 17 games into the season, a decent sample-size. Even with a couple bad shooting nights this season, Dort is now having to be respected from beyond the arc.
His increased ability to shoot more efficiently opened up his offensive game so much more. His overall FG% jumped from 39.5% to 44.1%. Aside from the efficiency, I don’t get nearly as scared watching Dort drive to the basket. Not only has it benefitted the team’s offense, but also my stress levels are much better with the ball in Lu Dort’s hands now.
There are obvious holes in Lu Dort’s game. He needs to find ways to improve his ball-handling, for example. But we aren’t here to talk about Lu Dorts (few) flaws. We’re here to overreact. Everybody knows what Lu Dort can do on the defensive side of the ball. But his offense? The jump in production and ever-improving skillset has been enough to make me a believer: Lu Dort is a star.
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