The Doug McDermott and Kyle Korver comparisons need to end. Both are from Creighton, both are white, and both are good shooters. When you watch how they play basketball, though, they are very different players. McDermott is a FAR more versatile offensive player than Kyle Korver ever was or will be.
The most noticeable difference between the two is where they get their shots off. McDermott is quickly becoming a threat from all over the floor, while Korver is the definition of a 3 point specialist:
Almost 85% of Korver’s shots are either 3’s or long 2’s. Korver is a great jump shooter, but that’s pretty much all he does – he almost never gets shots at the rim. On the other hand, McDermott gets a huge chunk of his shots at the rim (26%) and only takes 55% of his shots from distance.
McDermott’s ability to get those shots at the rim is essential for his game. He still doesn’t shoot a great percentage on those rim looks, but he’s able to use the threat of shooting in conjunction with his driving skills to make life hard on defenders. He’s also developed a reliable floater to finish over NBA bigs that he didn’t have in his rookie year:
McDermott has become such a crafty driver that the Bulls are running plays for him to do just that. McDermott is a decisive decision-maker – the Bulls often have him peel off staggered screens so that he can get a head of steam going into his shots. That’s something you would NEVER see Korver do.
McDermott has also developed a surprisingly good post game. The Bulls run plays for him to get him the ball on the block. He has very good footwork down there and has even worked on a little hook shot:
In addition to those post moves, he has developed a Dirk-like fadeaway that at 6′ 8″, he can use when smaller players match up on him.
McDermott has also improved tremendously in a very short time defensively. Earlier on in the season, he was making highlight-worthy poor defensive plays on a game-by-game basis. His defense is still below average, but he’s getting much better at stuff like getting over screens and recovering to his man:
ESPN’s Zach Lowe has taken notice to McDermott’s defensive improvements. From his column:
A great shooter brings no value from the bench. Ask Steve Novak. McDermott doesn’t need to be a stopper on defense to help Chicago. He just needs to be playable, and he appears to have put in the work to get there.
Watch McBuckets’ footwork the next time you catch Chicago: the way he sinks into the paint to help, closes back out on a shooter, and holds his ground when that guy tries to blow by him. He has made massive progress.
McDermott has really broken out offensively with increased playing time this year. He’s shooting 43% from 3 and scoring 9 points per game after a very disappointing rookie season that was hampered by knee problems that may still be plaguing him.
The Bulls are using McDermott in a variety of ways to score – off elevator screens, dribble handoffs with Joakim Noah, and backcuts just to name a few. As he becomes more recognized in the NBA, people need to realize that Doug is a pretty unique NBA player, and his game is much more varied than his fellow Creighton alum Kyle Korver.