The short midrange is currently considered a very important area in the NBA.
The 3-meter space from 4 feet (about 1.2 meters) to 14 feet (about 4.3 meters) from the rim is called the short midrange because it is close to the rim even in the midrange area and the distance is short.
In modern basketball, where the defense near the rim and the 3-point line has become extremely strong, the short mid-range is a space that ace-level players actively use to bombard runs.
Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Kevin Durant, as well as Bam Adebayo, who has made impressive progress on offense this season, are also effectively targeting the short midrange with a turnaround jumper and hook shot.
And the FA guard, who moved to New York amidst the ‘bubble controversy’ ahead of this season, is also emerging as a new prince in the short midrange area. It’s Jaylen Brunson.
Brunson signed a contract with New York for four years and $104 million after becoming a free agent last summer, and chose to transfer. It was his first transfer, made four years after his debut.
It is true that at the time of his transfer there was a lot of talk about the salary Brunson was receiving. He made ‘storm growth’ for two seasons and established himself as Dallas’ second option to support Don Chichi, but it was evaluated by the public that he was not a player worthy of a contract worth more than $100 million.
However, now that the regular season is halfway through, the view of Brunson is completely different. New York, which gave Brunson a $100 million contract, is rather being evaluated as ‘caught’.
In 38 games this season, Brunson is averaging 21.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. He even holds efficiency with a field goal rate of 46.1% and a 3-point success rate of 38.1%. He also improved his ability to earn free throws compared to last season. He earned 5.1 free throws per game, making 4.3 of them, and is also demonstrating the free throw-based scoring ability that ace-level players often show. 안전놀이터
Brunson is also a player who has had two ‘games of a life’ in the past week. He set a new career-high record by scoring 38 points against San Antonio on the 5th, and immediately broke the career-high record by bombing 44 points just five days later against Milwaukee on the 10th. Considering that the opponent Milwaukee is a team with many tough and outstanding defenders, such as Zhuru Halladay, Jebbon Carter, and Grayson Allen, the performance was all the more surprising.
The secret to Brunson’s performance lies in the aforementioned short midrange strategy.
This season, Brunson has hit a total of 127 from the short midrange, a 4-14 foot zone from the rim. This is fifth in the league behind Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, Bam Adebayo and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Short midrange (4-14 feet) cumulative field goal success ranking
1. Kevin Durant: 153 shots
2. Luka Doncic: 150 shots
3. Bam Adebayo: 132 shots
4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 128 shots
5. First Run Brunson: 127
If converted based on 100 possessions, not the cumulative number, the ranking goes up to 4th place in the league with 4.94. In terms of the number of successes per 100 possessions, the players who have more short midrange jumpers than Brunson are Luca Doncic (5.51), the “monster”, Kevin Durant (5.34), the king of the midrange, and Adebayo, the snake with a steep growth in attack. (5.08 pieces) only. 1. Luka Doncic: 5.51
shots 2. Kevin Durant: 5.34 shots 3. Bam Adebayo: 5.08 shots 4. Jaylen Brunson: 4.94 shots 5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 4.69
Brunson’s short midrange jumper is produced through a very diverse process.
In the 2-on-2 process, use the screen to enter the mid-range area, then use the snake dribble to secure space with the back and hips, burst the short mid-range jumper, and switch to post-up in the process of breaking through the dribble. He also pops a turnaround jumper after the Barkley move.
Basically, Brunson is a style that uses a classic pull-up jumper and turnaround jumper to attack the short midrange of the floater, but depending on the situation, he also uses the floater leisurely. In the game against Milwaukee on the 10th, Milwaukee, who saw Brunson’s style like this, tried a bold double team defense against Brunson, who entered the short midrange, but this was also an appropriate extra pass that allowed for kickout passes and cut-ins. While breaking down, he played with the Milwaukee defense to his heart’s content.
▲ Brunson also uses a pull-up jumper following the snake dribble, which is the most typical midrange strategy for guards in modern basketball. As the handler continued dribbling in the process of entering the midrange, the movement of dribbling in the shape of an eight was like the movement of a snake, so it was called snake dribble or snake move. In the above scene, it is impressive to see Brunson finish the score with an elbow jumper even though Brook Lopez’s dropback defensive position is quite high.
▲ Another of Brunson’s strengths is his spin in the midrange. Shaking the opponent’s defense with cross-over dribbling, and using a low center of gravity and strong lower body strength, he uses a spin mood very naturally in the left and right directions. A closer look at the above scene reveals the biggest feature of Brunson’s spin move. When catching the ball, take a long step with your right foot to push the defender close to the rim, then turn your left foot with the pivot foot to throw the jumper.
▲ In the above scene, the center of gravity of the league’s best perimeter defender, Jeru Halladay, is broken by the left turn motion during the on dribble process, and then the turn-around jumper is thrown while turning right again. Even at this time, the unique habit of turning the left foot with the pivot foot after driving the defender by stepping on the right foot for a long time while catching the ball is revealed.
▲ Brunson is also one of the best players in the league to use the Barkley movement used by Luka Doncic and Devin Booker. Called Barkley because NBA legend Charles Barkley put it to good use during his playing days, this move is characterized by turning his back while trying to break through the dribble and switching to a post-up attack.
This method of attack has the disadvantage that the handler’s holding time is too long and the movement of other players is reduced because a large space is required for one specific player. However, if used well, it is also an attack method that can target the short midrange very effectively, as shown in the scene above. New York is giving Jaylen Brunson and Julius Randle both the green light to launch this type of offense. Brunson has already been nicknamed ‘Mini Doncic’ for using this type of offense with Doncic since his Dallas days.
▲ Brunson’s excellent mid-range game is an important target for the opponent’s defense. In the scene above, Brunson’s momentary entry into the midrange and pump fake completely fools PJ Tucker and Joel Embiid, giving Mitchell Robinson a full-open chance at the dunker spot. Brunson is also good at using his ability to attack midrange as bait. All season Brunson is averaging 6.5 assists, his most since his debut.
Although the streak of five consecutive victories has recently come to a halt, New York is sprinting for 7th in the East thanks to the performance of Brunson, who has emerged as the new prince of the short midrange zone.
The ride with 6th place Indiana is only 1 game, and the ride with 5th place Philadelphia is also 3 games. If New York and Brunson continue this atmosphere, Brunson is expected to be selected as an Eastern All-Star guard.
In fact, in the first round of All-Star fan voting, which was released on the 7th, Brunson won a total of 1,032,522 votes, ranking fourth in the Eastern Guard Division after Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, and James Harden. This shows how much Brunson’s position has grown.