Shep Garner – 2018-19 G-League Player Profile
June 20th, 2019
PG/SG – 6’2, 196lbs – Born 6th December 1996
Grand Rapids Drive
Garner made the Drive’s roster via the local tryout route, and survived for the entire season. He joined them in his first professional campaign after a senior year in which he was almost completely divested of any on-the-ball, inside-the-arc responsibilities, and was instead empowered to gun up the shots. And that, he did.
As a senior, Garner shot 7.1 three-point attempts per game, compared to only 1.3 two-pointers a night. He very much figured out what he does best; that year, Garner ranked in the 95th percentile in spot-up possessions, in the 91st percentile in transition plays, in the 83rd percentile for pick-and-roll ball handlers and in the 91st percentile when coming off of a screen. Considering those four play types totalled 84% of his total possessions used, it would be fair to say that Garner caters to his strengths.
With a quick, compact release, Garner is shot-happy, and has managed to get slightly more judicious over time to the point that he is not just chucking them. Aggressive offensively outside the arc, Garner very rarely ventures into it any longer, which, considering his struggles to finish at the rim, is probably best. He could nonetheless stand to use his shooting threat more as a decoy and as a passer when coming off of screens, even if he is not going to drive to the basket on curls.
Defensively, Garner plays with effort, which is half the battle. He never used to, yet he has improved on that end over time, and he applies good ball pressure to other small guards other than he. It takes an intricate roster balance to fit Garner in the rotation, given his lack of size and playmaking. Those things need covering for elsewhere in whoever flanks him. But shooters can generally find their way onto the court, and Garner has done so.
– 20th June, 2019
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