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Garrett Temple and the art of the jumper

It has been a grind for Garrett Temple to get to this point in his career.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Temple has had a long NBA journey to get to this point in his career. This will be his ninth NBA season, and he has played on six NBA teams before getting to Memphis. Through all this turmoil, Temple has had to fight through adversity to get his shot in the league. He only played in a few games each season during his first few seasons in the Association.

Throughout his NBA career, he always has been a shooter. However, his shooting has come a long way from his early years in the league. The improvements over time has developed into the player we see today. It has been a remarkable transformation that has come from hard work and dedication to his craft.

In any analysis of expectations for Temple, you must first look at the smaller subset of seasons in which he really had his chance at impacting a game. This jump during his stint in Washington came between the ’14-‘15 season to the ’15-’16 season. He played in 28 more games and averaged ten more minutes per game. Also, and more importantly for this article, he shot the ball three more times a game from 3.3 attempts per game to 6.3 attempts. Before an increased sample set, it was hard to take anything away from Temple’s shooting numbers.

The raw numbers are set out in this chart that include his last four seasons. Anything before is hard to quantify because it came in limited reps and included a one year getaway with him playing in Italy.

Garrett Temple Shooting Statistics

Season Games played FGA (Totals) FG% 3 Point FG% eFG%
Season Games played FGA (Totals) FG% 3 Point FG% eFG%
2014-2015 (WAS) 52 170 40% 37.50% 49.70%
2015-2016 (WAS) 80 505 39.80% 34.50% 48.60%
2016-2017 (SAC) 65 432 42.40% 37.30% 51.90%
2017-2018 (SAC) 65 476 41.80% 39.20% 51.20%

Spot Up Shooting

Let’s begin with Temple’s best attribute that will instantly impact this Memphis offense, his spot up shooting. Last season in Sacramento, Temple was in the 88th percentile on catch and shoot with a 60.6 eFG%. Those are sneaky impressive numbers for someone who has never really been in the spotlight before has a prominent shooter.

According to Temple, this all comes from the hand placement when the pass comes in. In an article back in 2014, Temple said that having your hands ready in the right position is a big thing he had worked on during that season with his old Assistant Coach David Atkins. It seemed to improve his shot drastically shooting an impressive 40.0% from the field that season even with a small sample size.

In this clip from last season, we see this in motion. The Kings here ran action with a misdirection with Fox cutting to the lane freeing up Temple coming around a screen from Cauley-Stein. Temple had his hands at the pocket ready to receive the pass before Carter even threw it. Then, Temple takes his hop to find his rhythm squaring up to the rim and buried the shot.

This is something Memphis should work on to find Temple in perfect catch and shoot situations. With the screen either coming from Gasol or JJJ, defenders will not be able to leave those two because of their ability to shoot as well. That will hopefully leave the defender in no-man’s-land resulting in a three point bucket.

Dribble Step Back

Now while this definitely isn’t his strongest ability on the court, Garrett Temple does have the skill to consistently score with an “off the dribble” step back shot. It is important to qualify that off the dribble is not what you see from Kyrie Irving or Steph Curry. This is a much, much slower dribble step back. However, with it, Temple has learned to regain his balance and shooting rhythm to bury the shots to maintain an impressive percentage.

Looking at this clip shows the extent to the step back game. This is not necessarily a knock on him. When he gathers himself and finds his composure, he can hit a step back three with some consistency. However, it is important to keep in context that he does not thrive on creating his own shot.

Then, there of course is the negative. Because of his lack of quickness to drive to the paint, defenders are able to close out on Temple without much concern of him blowing by them after a defender misstep.

Here, Temple gets the ball in the corner, and without much dribble drive skills, Tyrone Wallace is able to stay pressing up on him as the defender. This causes Temple to shoot an off balance, hand-in-the-face three which is not what any offense wants.

His lack of creation is the one prominent weakness he has on the offensive end of the floor, so it is imperative that the Grizzlies can scheme their offense where he does not have to jack up contested threes. Let him catch and shoot off a screen where his shooting percentage is at the highest level.


All in all, Garrett Temple is a quality shooter who has excelled getting more playing time in his last few years in Washington. It translated and stayed consistent with his time in Sacramento. He has worked hard to improve his shot with his hand placement on the catch and also his balance throughout the shot.

Memphis now has shooters at all five positions. This all goes into the Bickerstaff system of shooting more threes for success. With Temple, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley, the Grizzlies will be depending on a higher number of made threes than in years past.

Temple is a solid piece that helps with the pace and space formula most NBA teams have gone to. If he can keep these type of shooting numbers up, he will be a great addition for this Memphis offense.

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Stats from Basketball reference and clips from 3ball