It's been a while since the Thunder possessed a legitimate three point threat.
Thabo Sefolosha's shooting has deteriorated since the Thunder were last in the NBA Finals, and Caron Butler screamed 'inconsistent' since the day he donned the blue and white. Then for a discounted price of just a bit over $3 million a year, Sam Presti landed Anthony Morrow this summer.
Morrow, previously with the New Orleans Pelicans, has been a shooter by nature. Some say to stay afloat in the NBA, a lower tier player needs to master one specific skill and be able to perform it flawlessly. Three-point shooting has been Morrow's trademark for the past six seasons. The guy has been all over the country as of late and has built an impressive track record in the three-point percentage column.
In his rookie season with the New Jersey Nets, Morrow shot a 46.7 percent three-point percentage. While his numbers have dropped since his rookie days, his percentage has never dipped below 37% (ignore his 20.0% with the Mavericks, since he was a part of the team for just 17 games and attempted five threes total).
Through two exhibition games, the marksman has averaged 45.2 percent from behind the arc, and he just completed a game versus the Mavericks in which he shot 57 percent. The road to Oklahoma City has not been so pleasant for Morrow, though. He moved around a handful of teams before landing a deal with the Pelicans. He feels that his experience in New Orleans has changed his skill.
"Honestly, a lot of what helped me was playing for Monty Williams last year. Just the way he's building the organization, in terms of working hard from start to finish, that mentality of trying to build it up to a San Antonio, Oklahoma City caliber team. And I think me buying into that and preparing for that has really helped me, put me in a good position with a team like Oklahoma City." - Morrow
via Sporting News
But to completely understand Morrow's eliteness from the three-point line, you have to watch him. He scored 21 points against Dallas, 12 of which came off three-pointers.
Here is a video mix of his days in New Jersey:
How valuable will Morrow be to the Thunder's pursuit of a championship?
Lacking a reliable three-point shooter is a major deficiency in today's NBA. Now that Morrow is there to space the floor and draw out a defender, not only will Durant and Westbrook have more room to work with, but Morrow's presence creates an entirely new dimension for the opposing defense. Look at the San Antonio Spurs and Danny Green. Look at the Miami Heat and Ray Allen. Look at the Clippers and J.J. Redick. Now that Oklahoma City has a three-point threat, it opens up the team to new plays, schemes and win opportunities.
In fact, every three had me on my feet, mesmerized. I don't know about you, but I can get used to this.