Pelicans: You won’t believe who leads the NBA in 3-point shooting

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans got a nice comeback win over the Clippers last night behind some red-hot shooting from the guy leading the NBA in 3-point percentage.

If you had to guess which Pelican might lead the league in 3-point shooting you’d probably say Brandon Ingram or maybe Devonte’ Graham.

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But after knocking down 5-of-9 from long range last night, center Jonas Valanciunas is currently leading the NBA in 3-point percentage among players who have taken the requisite number of shots.

Valanciunas is hitting 55.3 percent from 3-point range after last night, which is pretty unexpected from a guy who hadn’t shot many up until this point in his career.

I wondered in the offseason if Valanciunas would morph into Brook Lopez, a big center who takes most of his shots from beyond the arc.

Valanciunas is not quite there yet when it comes to attempts, but he is hitting the ones he takes, which is going to be huge for the New Orleans Pelicans once Zion Williamson returns.

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There hasn’t been much to get excited about in a season where the Pelicans started 3-14, but there are some numbers that should have fans hopeful.

Valanciunas is showing that he can be the floor-spacing big man the Pelicans have been looking to put next to Zion Williamson. JV has been everything the Pelicans could have asked for and more, and I can’t wait to see these two wreck other NBA front courts.

Josh Hart is also hitting his shots, knocking down more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers for the season, another good sign for Zion’s return, as Hart is going to get a ton of open looks and the Pelicans a different team when he is making them.

I don’t think Valanciunas is going to end up ahead of Stephen Curry in 3-point percentage this season, but the fact that he can hit them is going to be a huge boost to the Pelicans’ offense when they are finally at full strength.

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