Summer League standout Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is growing into the NBA preseason.
Not really known for his 3-point shooting at Villanova, Robinson-Earl is working to become a stretch big for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he took another step toward that goal on Sunday night in Milwaukee.
Robinson-Earl stepped out and took eight 3’s against Milwaukee, and thought he only made two, he said he’s building more and more confidence in his 3-point shot.
“It’s something I’ve been working on a lot during the summer and even in the practices and skill work,” Robinson-Earl said after the game. “But it’s just definitely just gaining that confidence and being more efficient on which shots are there, which shots aren’t there.
“But when you have teammates and coaches telling you to just keep shooting those when you’re open and just making the right decision it just keeps giving me confidence out there.”
More than just having the confidence to take shots, Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said he was impressed with Robinson-Earl’s ability to discern when he shouldn’t take certain shots, putting the ball on the floor and trying to get to the basket.
“I thought he took really good ones tonight but I also thought he made good reads,” Daigneault said after the game. “Good driving reads as well. He didn’t just fire every time he caught it. I thought he had a really good balance there.”
If he continues to make the right read, Daigneault said he’s not too worried that only 25 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc went in on Sunday night.
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“I thought he had some really good looks that went in and out but that he put a good stroke on,” Daigneault said. “…Offensively I thought he helped us. He created space and he made good decisions.”
Robinson-Earl said he’s going to continue to try and find that balance to truly be an offensive weapon for the Thunder and not just be a spot-up shooter from one spot on the floor.
“Just keep being able to mix it up from taking those shots to driving, finding somebody or getting to the goal,” he said. “But yeah just feeling confident with that shot, especially just seeing my first one go in, and just kind of gaining that confidence.”
The Thunder will have to figure out how to survive on defense with their undersized lineup, but if they continue to develop players like Robinson-Earl, they should be fine on the offensive end of the floor.
“He’s a good drive and kick player, he can pop, he can shoot,” Daigneault said. “He’s got toughness. He’s got to learn fundamentally what he needs to do to really compete at that position against bigger guys.”
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