Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Tuesday afternoon that Hornets’ guard Devonte’ Graham will participate in the NBA three-point shootout at All-Star weekend in Chicago. The other participants that have been named include Duncan Robinson (MIA), Buddy Hield (SAC), Zach LaVine (CHI), Trae Young (ATL), and Luka Doncic (DAL). Two more are still to be announced.
He will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend as well on Friday, February 14th alongside his teammates, Miles Bridges, and P.J. Washington.
Graham has been lethal from beyond the arc and the stats show it.
Devonte’ Graham has been one of the better ascension stories of the 2019-20 NBA season. He is the front runner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player, and much of that is due to his ridiculous three-point shooting.
Devonte’ is fourth in the NBA in total three-pointers made (176). Additionally, Devonte’ is fourth in the NBA in pull-up three-pointers made at 102. That only trails Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and James Harden. Among the five aforementioned players who have made over 100 three-pointers off the dribble, Graham is third in percentage at 34.7 percent. Only James Harden (35.6 percent) and Damian Lillard (40.3 percent) have shot at a higher percentage. Lastly, he has made six or more three-pointers in eight games this season for Charlotte.
As you can see, Graham is lighting it up from deep this season.
While those statistics are impressive, the three-point contest is a competition where players shoot it off the catch. Graham is 42.9 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers this season which is equally impressive. He can do both at a high, efficient rate.
When Kemba Walker announced he would be leaving the Hornets for the Celtics, the Hornets coaching staff knew Graham would need to step in and take a role as a high-volume three-point shooter. For the rest of the offseason, Graham and the coaching staff got to work on his three-point shooting. He shot just 28 percent as a rookie. Every day, he would have to make 100 threes off the dribble, 100 catch-and-shoot threes, and 50 deep three-pointers.
He has put in the work and the fruits of his labors have blossomed.
James Borrego talked about Devonte’ Graham’s “elite” three-point shooting this season on Monday prior to the Hornets’ game against the Orlando Magic.
“The volume he’s shot is extreme. The number of threes he’s [Devonte’] taken and made is huge,” Borrego said Monday. “The off the dribble shooting is elite which is tough to do. We saw Kemba do that late in his career and he didn’t have that early, he developed that the last couple of years. Devonte’ has been able to do that in his second year. That is incredible along with the significant amount of minutes he’s playing as well. The end of game shooting, him being able to make big shots in the fourth quarter has also been elite. He’s the reason why we’ve won a lot of games late. You look at those three, the volume, off the dribble, and the late-game shooting, that’s a heck of a season.”
The Charlotte Hornets suffer from the harsh realities of a small market team with a lack of national media coverage. It does not help the matter that the Hornets are currently at the beginning stages of a rebuild. Therefore, Devonte’ Graham being invited to compete in the three-point contest is another grand opportunity for the Hornets and Graham himself to get some attention under the national spotlight at All-Star weekend.