Sacramento Kings' Beno Udrih and the Lost Art of the Mid-Range Jumpshot

Blake Mehigan@blakeam11Correspondent INovember 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Beno Udrih #19 of the Sacramento Kings sets up the offense against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 12, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 112-103.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Beno Udrih has begun to play very well since being moved to the starting line. Udrih replaced the oft injured Kevin Martin, who fractured his wrist. Sacramento Kings announcer Jerry Reynolds has called him the Tazmanian Slovenian, referencing a spin move Udrih uses and his native country.

Udrih had struggled mightily last year. He started at point guard to the dismay of many Kings fans. People had doubted his abilities and the contract he received in the summer of 2008.

The former Spur is having a resurgence this year. Udrih has killed the opposition from mid-range. Yes, that spot inside the three-point arc, but above the free throw line.

The mid-range jumper is Muy Bueno Beno's bread and butter. That is another nickname coined by color commentator Jerry Reynolds.

The mid-range shot is a lost art. Many teams focus on attacking the hoop, in hopes of either scoring point blank or finding a player open on the wing. The mid-range jump shot is typically something not as emphasized in a teams arsenal.

Udrih has become a much more effective player this year. He can shoot from behind the arc and attack the hoop to compliment his strong mid-range game.

His seventeen foot pull up jumper makes him tough to cover. This makes Udrih a valuable asset in pick and roll/pick and pop style plays.

If he keeps up his play, Udrih will be in a Kings uniform for many years. The question is if he will start once leading scorer Kevin Martin comes back.

The answer is probably not. But he will have minutes as long as he keeps playing this well.

Et Cetra.

Sacramento was above .500 for the first time since 2006. The Kings have lost three games straight to follow. In each game the Kings have fought relentlessly but have come up short.

Coach Paul Westphal has managed to get his players to scrap and play hard every possession. Sacramento will not likely finish with a winning record, but they will prove to be a formidable opponent.

Sacramento will likely have another lottery pick and Kenny Thomas' contract will come off the books this summer. The Kings will likely look to make a big splash this summer; through the draft or via free agency. Either way, things are certainly looking up for the Sacramento Kings.

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