Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson was historically bad from beyond the arc this year
Lance Stephenson has just become the answer to a very unfavorable trivia question.
When the question is “Who has the worst three-point shooting season of all time?” the answer is now Lance Stephenson in 2015.
I think it’s safe to say that’s not what the Hornets had in mind when they signed him.
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Stephenson took 105 three-pointers in 61 games this season, but somehow made only eighteen of them.
This sub-Josh-Smithian level of outside shooting is new for Stephenson; his career average prior to this year’s disaster was 34 percent (double this year’s average). He was never a three-point specialist, but he was respectable from deep, which is certainly a long way from this year’s laughable percentage.
It’s been a very disappointing season for Stephenson, who has seen his numbers drop across the board after leaving the Pacers for the Hornets. His overall shooting dropped from 49 percent to 38 percent, and the Hornets’ prized free agent acquisition averaged just 8 points per game, and made more trade rumor articles than three pointers.
With the Pacers last year, Lance Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game, and led the league with four triple-doubles. It was considered a breakout season, but it now looks more like an abberation; his Hornets numbers look very similar to his pre-2014 Pacers numbers (minus the terrible three-point shooting). The Hornets will have to hope this isn’t a trend that continues.
Stephenson’s horrendous year certainly didn’t help Charlotte as they tried to build on last year’s playoff season; even in a historically weak conference, the Hornets couldn’t manage a playoff spot, falling behind the likes of the Celtics (who traded their two best players during the season) and the Pacers (who lost their best player for the majority of the season).
The Hornets dangled Stephenson in midseason trade talks according to some reports; small wonder they couldn’t find a suitable return for him, with numbers like this. Now their best course of action is probably to hold on to him and hope he regains his value. They may also want to advise him to take fewer threes.
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