Ausar Thompson’s weakness, dominance and Rookie of the Year

Detroit Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (9) Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (9) Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (9) dunks Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Ausar Thompson has exceeded expectations six games into his NBA career with the Detroit Pistons. There are things he needs to improve, but also things to be very excited about as he makes his case for Rookie of the Year.

Area Ausar Thompson needs to improve

Ausar Thompson’s field goal percentage is a paltry 36.8 percent, and his 6.2 percent accuracy from 3-point range will cause one to do a double take. 6.2 percent?! Unheard of. And then again, we knew the kid was going to struggle to incorporate this into his game, so the 1/16 shooting is neither a cause for alarm nor an indicator of how effective he’ll be when jacking it up from deep as his career progresses.

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Thompson is going to improve as a shooter eventually and there is plenty of precedent for bad shooters getting better.

Shooting is the skill young players usually improve

Lonzo Ball’s shooting form was unceasingly derided when he first joined the NBA, but he did manage to improve considerably. The #2 overall pick barely shot 30 percent from deep as a 20-year-old rookie but improved his shot every season, ultimately knocking the long ball down at a rate of 42.3 percent in year number five.

Ball’s mechanics were also considerably worse than Thompson’s coming into the league and yet he had turned the 3-ball into a weapon before injuries sadly derailed him. Furthermore, Ball’s overall field goal percentage was just 36 percent his rookie year but had inflated to a respectable 42.3 percent by the time his bum foot forced him to the sidelines.

Thompson’s ability to attack the basket and his confidence shooting from anywhere on the court portend a player who is going to improve considerably. Some of the numbers are ugly, but we knew Ausar was going to be a work in progress as a scorer.