#2: Making things happen off the bounce
Buddy Hield is probably going to be of the best catch-and-shoot players in the NBA for a long time, but he’s showing more ability off the bounce to begin this season, which is the determining factor for his ceiling in the Association. Hield moves without the ball really well, and he’s not only active without the ball, but he sets up defenders well, and his timing and execution of cutting off screens to receive passes allows him to set up a deadly mid-range stepback cutter with defenders itching to wall him back off from drives to the paint.
On shots between 16 feet and the three-point arc, Hield is shooting a sizzling 57.1 percent, per Basketball Reference. If he can knock down that shot over half of the time, he’ll be very difficult to account for in regards to defending him coming off hand-offs from Willie Cauley-Stein, Marvin Bagley or Kosta Koufos, and occasionally Nemanja Bjelica (who’s having a tremendous year in his own right as a pick-and-pop man). Hield has also finished well in the shorter areas this year as a driver.
On shots 0-3 feet from the rim, he’s shooting 71.4 (which would be a career-high). Taking it all the way to the basket after movement has helped him take advantage of his silky smooth floater. Recently against the Miami Heat, he showed the full array.
Lastly, Hield is doing more than scoring, with his rebounding, playmaking and team-defensive improvements.
Next Up: Reason #3