Golden State Warriors rookie big man Jordan Bell has shown his potential on both sides of the ball during his first professional season.
Last night against the New Orleans Pelicans, for example, the former Oregon star had a highlight-reel putback dunk for the Warriors. The first-year player continues to make a case for why he should be in the upcoming dunk contest.
Among those who have had as many field goal attempts in the paint as Bell, no one in the NBA has been more efficient. His accuracy (80.5 percent) beats LeBron James (78.6 percent), Giannis Antetokounmpo (77.4) and Anthony Davis (75 percent).
His shot chart shows how much success he has had. As you can see, his impressive shooting percentage from within five feet of the basket also ranks Top 5 in the league among players with as many attempts near the rim.
Stephen Curry spoke about how the rookie plays in the paint (via Mercury News):
“He was using his athleticism to be in the right spot at the right time with catching lobs, getting offensive rebounds and finishing around the rim. It seemed like he was extremely comfortable out there playing. That’s what you expect when you get more minutes and consistent minutes that he continues to make a huge impact.”
While it’s hard to imagine how Golden State will find much room to give him ample playing time, it’s easy to argue that he’s made a case for a role in their regular rotation.
Bell is currently averaging 14.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes. He will only continue to develop and grow, but he is already a star in the paint.