Philadelphia 76ers big man Mike Muscala may fill a surprising role with his new team, as he may be asked to knock down three-point shots.
Muscala was traded to the Sixers this offseason and the 27-year-old might be expected to space the floor and become an outside shooter, just as big man Ersan Ilyasova did for Philadelphia after joining the squad midway through last season. Zach Lowe recently talked about why Philadelphia desperately needs to improve in this area next season (via ESPN):
“[They ranked] 29th in corner threes attempted last year. That surprised me, considering how many threes [head coach] Brett Brown wants to take… They just couldn’t generate corner threes. I think that’s the kind of number they have in mind when they paint the corners in the practice facility red and say ‘please stand there, run there’ and have a dynamic, slashing ball-handler in the starting lineup.”
Muscala ranked in the 81st percentile on corner threes last year, making him one of the most accurate shooters at his position from this spot last season, per Cleaning the Class. These shots accounted for18 percent of his field goal attempts, which was among the most of any big in the NBA.
He was 16-for-34 (47.1 percent) from the left corner and shot 11-for-22 (50.0 percent) from the right corner. This was far and away his best shooting from downtown; in fact, these numbers were better than all but one big man with at least 40 attempts (Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns).
As a spot-up shooter, which was his most-used play type, Muscala averaged 1.13 points per possession. This ranked No. 5 overall among bigs (minimum: 100 possessions) last year, per Synergy Sports.
He averaged 1.11 PPP on all jumps shots, which ranked No. 6 among bigs with at least 100 possessions as well.
When used in the pick-and-roll, he finished more than half of his possessions with a no-dribble jumper — twice the rate that he rolled to the basket. This is how he will fit most with Philadelphia’s offense off the bench, providing floor spacing next to limited shooters like Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz.