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Meyers Leonard on His Evolution as a Shooter

Leonard talked to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype about the work put in to improve his shooting.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is coming off of an impressive NBA Playoffs, playing an especially important role against the Golden State Warriors. Leonard showcased his 3-point shooting, making defenders regret leaving him open and leading to harder closeouts. The center then took advantage of those closeouts to find open teammates.

Leonard talked to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype about the progression he’s made as a shooter:

“I’ve always had the shooting touch,” Leonard told HoopsHype. “But I went from shooting longer midrange shots to, one summer, deciding I might as well extend to three. It’s just been a progression from there, learning how to get feet right for a pick and pop. It’s different for a guard and a big. When you have a lot of height, it’s hard to set a screen, pick and pop and be ready to get it off quick.”

The big man also highlighted how his shots differ from that of Damian Lillard:

“Shots that I have to shoot versus what Dame [Lillard] has to shoot are completely different stories,” he told HoopsHype. “He’s shooting off the dribble, he’s shooting with one or more defenders on him. It’s a big difference. I’m more of a finisher. But I cause problems because I space the floor.”

You can read more from Kalbrosky’s piece here.