Brandon Jennings is really good at feigning confidence.
"I think that’s why my shot isn't where it is right now," he said following a Detroit Pistons practice, according to the Detroit Free Press' Anthony Fenech. "I don't have any confidence in my shot right now. That's the reason I'm missing, because there's just no confidence there."
Could've fooled me.
All indications are he's powering through his confidence issues. Jennings continues to hoist up more than 16 shots a night, exceeding his career average of 15.5. If he's feeling apprehensive, he's not allowing it to curb his shot totals.
As for his conversion rate, that's another story.
Jennings was shooting just 37.4 percent from the floor heading into Detroit's game against the Brooklyn Nets, leaving him as one of only three NBA players currently averaging at least 15 points per game while shooting under 37.5 percent. Joining Derrick Rose usually puts you in good company (minus the injuries), but not in this case.
His comments came on the heels of a 4-of-16 shooting performance in a loss against the Atlanta Hawks. He's yet to shoot 50 percent from the floor for an entire game this season and has eclipsed the 45 percent plateau just once.
"I’m just out there thinking too much when I'm playing," Jennings said, per Fenech. "I feel like I'm playing to prove everybody that I can be this fast for a point guard instead of just playing basketball."
If that's true, Jennings has been thinking too much for the last half-decade. Since entering the NBA in 2009, Jennings has shot 39.4 percent from the floor and has never surpassed 41.8 percent in a season.
Plagued by recurring inefficiency, Jennings has become an enigma wrapped in a parable marinated in a $64 question. He's shown he can score and, at times, even pass. But he's also one of only two players in league history to average at least 17 points and five assists per game through the first four seasons of his career while also failing to hit more than 39.5 percent of his shots. Bob Cousy, a Hall of Famer, is the other.
Jennings is nowhere near Hall of Fame-bound, and his shooting bugaboos are of serious concern.
Approaching the five-year mark, plenty of players are set in their ways. By that time, they are who they are. If Jennings keeps this up, he'll be nothing more than an erratic point guard, disguising his internal doubt with barrages of shot attempts.
"That was my first problem in the beginning, when I came back—trying to please everybody, trying to make sure I was being a pass-first point guard instead of just playing basketball," Jennings admitted, per MLive's David Mayo. "But like tonight, I've just got to play basketball. If the shot's there, I'm going to take it. If not, then I'm going to pass it."
Basically, he's going to keep shooting. Cross your fingers in hopes that doesn't also mean he'll keep missing.
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