Highlight shows Hawkins’ elite skill can be gamechanger for Pelicans

Jordan Hawkins, UConn Huskies. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Jordan Hawkins, UConn Huskies. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans 2023 first-round pick Jordan Hawkins has earned a reputation as one of the best shooters in his class. As someone who shot 38.8% on 7.6 3-point attempts per game during his sophomore season with the UConn Huskies, Hawkins’ marksmanship will surely be a huge help to a team that finished 29th in 3-point attempts last season in the Pelicans.

However, from watching his college tape, you see that Hawkins can do a lot more than just hit open/relatively open 3-pointers. He’s got a versatile shooting profile – one that includes spot-ups, transition pull-ups, and treys while coming off screens at top speed.

The wide range of ways Hawkins can get into his shot enables the Pelicans to use him in a bunch of different ways. But that isn’t the secret skill we were alluding to in the heading. No, that would be the attention his shooting prowess garners from opposing defenses.

Because Hawkins is such a dangerous shooter, his opponents in college would do whatever they could to avoid conceding an open look from downtown to him. They would try so hard to stop him from getting off clean looks that sometimes they would overreact to his presence on the court and send two defenders in his direction, thereby leaving one of his teammates wide-open. Like in this clip below:

Did you keep watching the video all the way to the end? You should have because, if you did, you’d see that (in college) Hawkins discombobulated defenses in a manner similar to the way Hall of Famer Reggie Miller did back in his days with the Indiana Pacers.

What Miller and Hawkins displayed in the plays above is something all great shooters possess. That something is called “gravity.” For those who don’t know, “gravity” is basically a superpower that allows you to warp the court and create shots for your teammates without even having the ball in your hands.

Again, Hawkins was doing stuff like this in college. There is no guarantee that teams will treat him with the same sort of respect at the NBA level. But if they do and Hawkins’ gravity translates to the NBA, that would give the Pelicans’ offense a wrinkle they didn’t have last season.

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