Golden State Warriors wing Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 40 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, connecting on seven three-pointers.
Oubre, 25, was a key addition to the organization during the offseason. The Warriors (12-10) are 9-2 so far this season during games in which Oubre has scored at least 14 points. But they have been much worse when he has struggled from the field, which had been a bit more common than expected.
Despite a tough transition to a new team, his new teammate Stephen Curry has appreciated the energy and effort that Oubre has brought to his time with the Warriors.
Perhaps one reason Oubre was sluggish out of the gates is that he was still recovering from a torn meniscus. Now, enough time has passed that he may be closer to healed from the lingering issue.
If you simply look at Kelly Oubre's performance from his meniscus standpoint, data from pro's after meniscectomy demonstrate return to prior level around 9 – 10 months post surgery. This is right where #Oubre is now. Expect more great performances from him. #DubNation #Warriors
— Dr. Nirav Pandya, MD (@DrNiravPandya) February 5, 2021
But there were other factors beyond just the injury. During such a wild offseason for players around the league, it may have been hard to find a rhythm with a new organization.
The 25-year-old wing acknowledged that he had to slow himself down to find his flow. But everything was flowing smoothly for him during the big victory over Dallas.
So what were the biggest takeaways for Oubre from his stellar performance on Thursday night? One of the main differences for him during the game was his shot selection.
Since joining the Warriors, per Cleaning the Glass, approximately 25 percent of his field-goal attempts have come from the midrange. While that is higher than the league average for wings, he took just one attempt from this zone vs. Dallas.
According to NBA.com, five of his buckets were at the rim and seven of his makes were from beyond the arc, including three connections in the left corner. He had just two attempts between five and twenty feet of the basket. For spacing and efficiency reasons, this is an ideal distribution for any player in the league.
Perhaps another factor that helped Oubre reach his best form was the lineup that surrounded him. Golden State was without James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall for the game, which left them incredibly thin in the frontcourt.
So with Wiseman and Looney out of the lineup, coach Steve Kerr inserted Juan Toscano-Anderson into the first unit. Because he is more of a threat from beyond the arc, the Warriors were able to spread the floor.
Golden State had been far less effective during the minutes Oubre had played with a more traditional big man. This could potentially lend some insight into how to maximize his effectiveness moving forward.