Golden State Warriors: Evaluating the Next Step for Jordan Bell as a Player

Fresh off a rookie campaign where he saw his minutes decrease and injuries capture his fleeting athleticism, Jordan Bell still came out on top. The Oregon product helped the Warriors finish off the Houston Rockets in seven games with his defensive versatility and his smart basketball instincts. He was a catalyst on both ends for the Warriors in their sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in capturing the franchise’s third NBA title in four years.

Bell, a defensive savant, preys on an offensive player’s shot like how an eagle waits to prey on its victim. The skill-set Bell brings to the table on the defensive end is much like teammate Draymond Green and his approach to defense. He brings the intensity and the versatility to switch out onto point guards and centers alike.

One quality Bell possesses that Green does not have as much is his unique athleticism. The lateral quickness and incredible leaping ability allow him to make up for any size mismatch that an opposing player has on Bell. Bell’s unique blend of athleticism, smarts, and intensity will allow him to get even better on the defensive end of the floor next season and beyond.

As evidenced in the video above, Bell has a level of speed that would make the Flash smile and the timing and anticipation of a block like this are why he has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the league soon.

Bell was elite on the defensive end during the regular season as he posted a 103.0 defensive rating in the 57 games he appeared in. But what about his offensive game?

That is essentially the next step for Bell going into his sophomore season.

He is slowly but surely making strides on the offensive end. Reluctant to shoot at times, Bell has an unselfish nature about him and wanting to get the ball to his teammates. Evidenced in the video below, Bell gets an open three for Stephen Curry in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets.

As self-conscientious as that is, Bell needs to develop a post-game or a floater, to be a viable threat when he gets the basketball and not look so much as to pass to one of his teammates. He can already dunk with regularity.

Bell might have already found a possible offensive weapon playing with the Warriors in Summer League this year: his jump shot. Just what the whole league wanted to hear.

The video above shows Bell showcasing his defensive and passing ability, but his sudden shooting prowess should be highlighted as well. He makes a total of three jumpers in the video, with the last one being the most impressive. With the shot clock dwindling down, Bell takes a dribble and hoists a long two point shot, which hits nothing but nylon and his right hand shaped perfectly into a goose neck.

From the field last season, Bell shot 62.7 percent, a high percentage, but most of his shot attempts came from less than five feet from the basket, which often result in dunks. He shot 94-of-139 from less than five feet from the hoop, which comes out to be a percentage of 67.6. He only shot 2-of-7 from 15-19 feet, which is 28.6 percent, an area that could be classified as midrange.

Although he only shot 2-of-7 from midrange, from a shorter midrange shot of 10-14 feet away from the basket, Bell shot 12-of-19, or 62.4 percent. If Bell is able to improve his midrange and keep the shorter midrange percentage around the same area code as this past season, he will be a reliable and viable offensive threat come next season.

Adding an offensive element to his game next season will make Jordan Bell a viable offensive threat to a team that already has an endless supply of ammunition with five all stars and perhaps, groom a future star in the process.

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