No one could have guessed that Landry Shamet would be the Philadelphia 76ers most important role player this season when he got drafted in July. The rookies’ shooting off the bench has been a much-needed entity for a team that lacks outside scoring.
The 76ers (27-15) are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference and two games out of first place in the East behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Landry Shamet is the Sixers’ leading scorer off the bench averaging 8.1 points per game and is shooting a team-best 39.6 percent from three. Shamet’s effective field goal percentage is 59.9 percent, which ranks him 98th percentile among all shooting guards according to Cleaning The Glass.
72 percent (100th percentile) of Shamet’s shots come from three and he is assisted on 97 percent of those makes. Landry’s role on the team is a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter which is perfect for a rookie acclimating to the speed of the NBA game. He knows that if he runs the floor well and gets to his spots that his teammates will find him for good looks. Having J.J. Redick as a mentor also is extremely helpful.
Tuesday night, Jan. 8, Landry Shamet had a career-high 29 points, including a 76ers rookie record eight three-pointers made. With Redick out, Shamet took over as the teams leading sharpshooter and did so well, leading the Sixers to a 132-115 win against the Washington Wizards. This allowed for Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler to get extra rest due to Shamet’s volume of scoring.
What Landry Shamet did Tuesday showed exactly why he is the 76ers’ most important rookie. On a team that has few three-point shooters, Shamet’s contributions are a much-needed entity every night. Besides Redick and Shamet, no one on the Sixers consistently makes threes so their duties are highly coveted.
We saw last year how much the addition of Marco Belinelli helped the 76ers throughout the regular season and playoffs. Redick isn’t going to be hot every night so Shamet has to be there to step up and knock down threes like he has all season. Shamet has a piece to his game that Belinelli didn’t have and that’s being able to handle the ball and (somewhat) make plays due to Shamet being a point guard at Wichita State.
J.J. Redick is also getting up there in age (34) so him missing time to allow him to get through an 82+ game season is inevitable and Shamet is the guy to step in his place.
Mike Muscala and T.J. McConnell are both important players to the 76ers but both are inconsistent offensively and their biggest contributions don’t directly affect games as does Landry Shamet’s shooting.
At 21 years old, Shamet still has many years to grow and improve his game to be able to contribute more and more to this Sixers squad. He will only continue to add to his game (scoring off the dribble and inside the three-point line) and will improve as a ball handler and playmaker, making him much more valuable to the team as he progresses.