Milwaukee Bucks: Kyle Korver resumes normal service with his shooting

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After some uncharacteristic ups and downs of late, Milwaukee Bucks veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver has now resumed normal service from three-point range.

When Kyle Korver made his decision in free agency, there was no real ambiguity about what the Milwaukee Bucks were going to get with him joining their team.

Entering into a season where he’ll turn 39-years-old in March, Korver had enjoyed an incredibly decorated career, and arrived in Milwaukee with a career mark of 43 percent from three-point range.

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That leaves Korver as one of the few indisputable, greatest NBA shooters of all-time. That kind of status was only further cemented in the Bucks’ last outing on Monday, as Korver joined Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, and Stephen Curry as just the fourth player to have made over 1,400 triples.

Having entered the league back in 2003, Korver has very close to the full breadth of NBA experiences, and having played for some of the league’s best teams in that time, he’s been in the playoffs on 13 occasions to date too.

As Korver recently revealed in speaking to the New York Times’ Scott Cacciola, it’s what he has yet to achieve that continues to drive him, though.

"“Winning a championship is the first thing I ever wanted in the N.B.A., and now it’s the last thing. Because it’s still something that I haven’t been able to be a part of.”"

What can likely be inferred from that is that Korver chose Milwaukee in believing it offered him his best chance to finally get his hands on the Larry O’Brien trophy. For that to become a reality, though, the Bucks will also need Korver to play his part.

Through 30 games played for him so far in this campaign, Korver hasn’t necessarily provided the kind of consistency that the Bucks may have expected. In large part, that’s down to a rough November where he surprisingly struggled from deep.

In 12 games in November, Korver made just 33.3 percent from three-point range. That coincided with both his minutes and attempts from deep dipping too.

Thankfully for the Bucks, as their own overall three-point shooting enjoyed a major resurgence throughout December, it was no real coincidence that the same could be said for Korver.

Averaging just under 19 minutes per game through last month, Korver made 43.1 percent from deep on 4.1 attempts per game.

In looking at where Korver’s shot attempts have come from with the Bucks, it’s clear just how comfortable and deadly he is from the corners. Korver had made 52.9 percent from the left corner, 40 percent from the right corner, and yet only 32 of his attempts so far this season have come from there.

With opposing teams determined to prevent Korver from what are essentially layups for him — or even easier than layups in his case — the reality is his shooting is going to largely hinge on his percentage on above the break triples.

After shooting just 32.4 percent on 34 attempts from that area of the floor in November, Korver knocked down 41.9 percent in 43 attempts in December.

That’s even more important with the Bucks, as it proves to be a very popular area of the floor for players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez to let fly from deep. In part that’s because the Bucks’ willingness to let fly encourages deeper shots than many teams would dare to take. If Korver is happy to take those shots in Milwaukee, he could do an incredible amount of damage.

The hope as we start 2020 is that the difference between November and December will speak to an adjustment period that will be very apparent in the longer term.

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If Korver’s shooting can hold up at the outstanding level he’s maintained throughout his career for the few months ahead, it could help to bring an end to the wait for a championship to both him and the Bucks.