New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy III needs to let it fly from long range

Trey Murphy III #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Trey Murphy III #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Trey Murphy III of the New Orleans Pelicans was named to the All Summer League first team after having some great games in lopsided wins for the Pels.

Willie Green is excited about the way his team played, especially their effort on the defensive end, which is good news for the Pelicans. But he was also impressed with the shooting of Trey Murphy III, saying this after the All Summer League teams were announced:

"“We know he has the ability to shoot the ball at a high, high clip. Any time he’s open, with any space, we want him letting that thing fly without thinking.”"

There have been questions about whether the Pelicans have improved their shooting, and Willie Green is hoping that Trey Murphy III can be one of the answers. He has to be, as the Pelicans have lost a lot of 3-point shooting this offseason.

New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy III has to replace a lot of shots

The New Orleans Pelicans were just 25th in 3-point attempts last season and 27th in 3-pointers made per game, so we know they need to get better from behind the arc in both volume and accuracy.

Shooting and making more 3-point shots will open up the floor, which just makes it easier for Zion Williamson to operate, which should be a focus this season, as he took a beating in the paint last year when defenses were unafraid to collapse the lane and make him go through four guys.

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Other teams dared the New Orleans Pelicans to shoot from range and the Pels didn’t make them pay, as they simply didn’t shoot enough of them.

Lonzo Ball led the team with 8.3 attempts per game. Brandon Ingram was second with 6.1 attempts, followed by Eric Bledsoe (5), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (4.8), J.J. Redick (4.5) and Josh Hart with 4.1 attempts per game.

Ball, Bledsoe and Redick are no longer with the team, which takes 17 attempts per game out of the Pelicans’ rotation.

We can expect both Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to shoot more this year with expanded roles. Kira Lewis Jr. should take more than he did last season, and Naji Marshall and even Jonas Valanciunas will chip in a couple each.

But the bulk of these attempts are going to have to come from Devonte’ Graham and Trey Murphy III, who might be the team’s best shooter already. Graham will replace Lonzo’s attempts and may shoot even more this season playing off the ball with Zion. If Murphy III can get close to those numbers as well, the Pelicans should be able to increase their attempts and hopefully their accuracy.

3-point shooting is something we are going to be talking about all season, as it is an important element with a dominant post player like Zion.

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