Looney looking to elevate offensive game next season


Looney looking to elevate offensive game next season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Kevon Looney knows he has work to do this offseason if he is to remain an everyday option for the Warriors at the center position next season.

The 28-year-old big man recognizes that in today’s NBA, every position on the court needs to be a capable scorer. And after an underwhelming 2023-24 NBA season in which he started just 36 games and was supplanted by rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis, Looney is taking it upon himself to improve on the offensive end.

In speaking to reporters on Wednesday following the Warriors’ NBA Play-In Tournament loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday at Golden 1 Center, Looney was asked if he wants to improve his shooting this offseason after appearing to take more midrange shots this season.

“For sure. Yes, definitely,” Looney said. “I know I can shoot it. It’s something I haven’t been asked to do. It’s something that they never needed me to do. But they might not ask me to do that next year, but I feel like to get on the court pretty long in my career, the next step for me is to be able to evolve my game and be more offensive-minded and be able to affect the game more than just one way.

“So, something I’ve been working on. Even since toward the end of the season, I’ve been working on it more, working out with Dario [Šarić], picking his brain — he’s a guy that kind of plays that way. Trying to learn as much as I can learn from different players. Just watching the way the league is going, I know I have to add more stuff, and I’m excited for that process this summer, just to continue to work on my game, and I’ll get better.”

Looney has averaged only 5.0 points on 58.3-percent shooting from the field across nine seasons and has made only 10 of 60 (16.7 percent) career 3-pointers.

While he’s never been known as a scorer in the NBA, Looney was an offensive machine at Alexander Hamilton High School in Milwaukee, Wisc. Across his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, Looney averaged a combined 24.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. In his one 2014-15 season at UCLA, Looney averaged 11.6 points per game and even shot 41.5 percent from the 3-point line.

His offensive prowess in high school earned him the nickname “Milwaukee Loon” from his Warriors teammates years later in the NBA, a nod to the scorer who was named the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year and Associated Press Player of the Year in the state of Wisconsin.

Having played alongside Hall of Fame sharpshooters Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for so many years, Looney might be looking to take a page out of their book next season, and has a goal in mind should he begin pulling up from beyond the arc.

“Yeah, yeah. I can make a three. Yeah,” Looney said when asked if he plans to attempt for 3-pointers.

“When I look around the league, for a big, if I can shoot 35, 36 percent, I think that’s serviceable for all the other stuff I bring to the court. So, that’s probably about the goal right there.”

While the Warriors won’t rely on Looney taking a step forward offensively next season, it certainly would benefit him to adapt and improve his game any way he can.

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Source link: https://sports.yahoo.com/looney-looking-elevate-offensive-game-191535957.html

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