Alan Anderson, the shooting clinic

Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson Brooklyn Nets
Alan Anderson (AP)
Number: 6

Position: SG/SF

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 220

Years Pro: 4

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Prior to NBA: Michigan State

Twitter: @ASqared06

Projected Wins Above Replacement: 0.0

After kicking off his career with a two-year stint in Charlotte, Anderson bounced around Europe for four seasons, only to return to his home country continent to play two more seasons with the Toronto Raptors. In Toronto, Anderson carved out a niche as a “three and D” guy; he developed a reputation as a wing defender with the Raptors and converted a solid-if-unspectacular 34.4% of his three-pointers.

Anderson’s a solid one-on-one defender, as his size helps him guard against wings trying to get into the lane or around screens. Off the ball is a bit different. He’s not particularly adept at closing out on shooters — there were moments last season when Anderson helped too far off his man, and had to scramble to try to avoid an open three-pointer. Time will tell how Anderson adjusts to Brooklyn’s gumbo schemes, but with better defenders around him than in Toronto — the Raptors ranked 21st in defensive efficiency last season, the Nets 18th, and that was before adding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — Anderson should be asked to do less off the ball.

When Anderson shoots in rhythm, it’s like watching a shooting clinic. Just look at it. He’s got a high release, jumps evenly off the ground, and uses his whole body from his feet up to get the power needed for the shot. It’s buttery. But Anderson took a fair amount of shots with a hand in his face, sending his shooting percentages into a nosedive; even with his pretty shot, Anderson only hit 33.3% of his threes last season. He used 23.6% of Toronto’s possessions when he was in — above the league average — and won’t need to do that much in Brooklyn. With other options spacing the floor, Anderson should see a bump in his three-point marksmanship.

One weird stat to keep an eye on: in the first six minutes of any quarter last season, Anderson shot a robust 40% (48-120) from three-point range last season, with an effective field goal percentage of .514. But in the final six minutes, his three-point percentage was only 28.5% (47-165) with an eFG% of .414 — a full 100 points lower. It’s not an isolated incident: Anderson had similar splits (.469 from 3, .506 eFG% in the first six minutes, .310 from 3, .430 eFG% in the last six minutes) in 2011-12, too. I’m frankly not sure what it means, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

The Nets signed Anderson to a two-year minimum deal (the second a player option) to buoy a wing rotation that’ll surely need rest and rehab time this year. No one will confuse Anderson for Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko, or Joe Johnson, but the 6’6″ swing man won’t get asked much: just take open shots and play defense. He may occasionally have to handle the ball, as he did in preseason with Deron Williams and Tyshawn Taylor battling injuries, but the Nets have so many creators he shouldn’t spend much time with the ball in his hands, or for that matter, much time on the floor.

Now all he needs to do is explain why his twitter name doesn’t have the “u” in “squared.”

To Make The Most Of This Year, Anderson has to… abandon his midrange game unless he’s absolutely wide open. On long two-pointers, Anderson shot a putrid 22.7% in 2012-13, well worse than his 33.3% from behind the three-point arc. That said, Anderson has made a few midrange shots in preseason by pump-faking at the three-point line, watching his defender fly by, and stepping in for an open 16-footer. If he’s taking an open midrange shot over a contested three, that’s a fine occasional tradeoff. If he takes smart shots and plays defense, and the Nets don’t need him to do any more, he should be just fine in his 9th-man role.

And Now, Alan Anderson Scoring 35 Points Against The Knicks Last Season:

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Full List:

| Shaun Livingston | Deron Williams | Tyshawn Taylor | Alan Anderson | Joe Johnson | Jason Terry | Andrei Kirilenko | Paul Pierce | Tornike Shengelia | Reggie Evans | Kevin Garnett | Mirza Teletovic | Andray Blatche | Brook Lopez | Mason Plumlee |