By Josh Cohen
July 27, 2017
ORLANDO — Marreese Speights is a pick-and-pop specialist. Recently, he extended his range and became a threat from 3-point distance.
In his first seven seasons combined, Speights made just 22 shots from beyond the arc. In his last year in Golden State (2015-16), he connected on 24 from downtown and last season in L.A. with the Clippers he drilled 103 from the outside.
Speights is a very good screener and he moves well without the ball. He times his picks well, which helps free himself up for catch-and-shoot jumpers.
Speights shot 39-of-72 (54 percent) from 3-point range during the regular season and postseason combined last year in pick-and-pop situations. Only 26 of his pick-and-pop shot attempts came within the 3-point line.
The Clippers would often run plays in which Speights and a frontline teammate (usually Blake Griffin) would set a double-sided ball screen for a guard (usually Chris Paul). The other frontline player would roll inside while Speights would pop back. The ball handler would then have multiple passing options.
Speights is very capable of rolling to the basket as well. While he’s not that athletic or agile, the 6’10 Florida native does a good job identifying an open lane when defenders fail to properly switch. He shot 25-of-50 (50 percent) in pick-and-roll situations last year (regular season and playoffs combined).
While it’s not his forte, Speights can post up. He has some nifty footwork down low and a soft touch. He can spin away from a defender and use a nice up-and-under move to score from either side. He shot 28-of-57 (49 percent) last season when he posted up.
Speights sets good off-ball screens, too. It’s hard for defenders to evade him in pindown and backscreen scenarios.
Here’s a look at a few plays that illustrate what Speights can contribute to the Magic:
CP3 REJECTS BALL SCREEN, SPEIGHTS POPS BACK & BURIES 3
CP3 ACCEPTS BALL SCREEN, SPEIGHTS POPS BACK & DRILLS 3
CLIPPERS TWO-SIDED BALL SCREEN LEADS TO OPEN SPEIGHTS 3
SPEIGHTS ESTABLISHES PAINT POSITION
SPEIGHTS PINDOWN SCREEN LEADS TO OPEN JJ REDICK JUMPER