What has Josh Richardson proved he can do for the Dallas Mavericks?
Josh Richardson’s advanced defensive metrics do not tell the whole story. He or Dorian Finney-Smith is tasked with defending the opposing teams’ best player. Guarding Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and every elite scorer is no easy task. Richardsons’ defensive matchup will almost always put up a massive number of points, given the Mavericks’ pick and roll defense.
Teams are hunting out KP and forcing him to switch onto Richardson or Finney-Smith’s man. Although his defensive box-plus minus is a negative 1.6, Richardson has proven that he can be a solid individual defender. Guarding the perimeter without a rim protector is not easy, and Mavericks fans should trust that Josh Richardson is still a solid defender.
Richardson’s free throw percentage is also encouraging. Usually, NBA scouts report that a player’s free throw percentage is a good indicator of their 3-point shooting ability. At 93.3 percent, Richardson is one of the best free-throw shooters in the league.
Additionally, his mid-range jump shot off the dribble and coming off curls has looked solid.
Shooting 55 percent on two-point field goals, and 93.3 percent on free throws reveals that the shooting mechanics are there for JRich. He moved to a new city, was implemented into a new offense, and missed some time. Richardson still needs to prove he can get back to a 35.9 percent 3-point shooter, but he can be an effective off-ball scorer inside the arc.
Many say that the mid-range shot is dead, but to help Richardson get in a rhythm, develop confidence, and give the Mavs more offensive options, perhaps the team should consider running plays for him to get mid-range looks.
Lastly, Josh Richardson seemingly has one to two shots per game that roll around the rim and then fall out. While there are no stats to prove or back up this odd occurrence, some luck should fall in his favor going forward.
Next: What does he need to prove?