Utah Jazz guard Emmanuel Mudiay doesn’t exactly follow the current NBA shooting trend, but playing to his strengths has suited him well.
The Utah Jazz’s beatdown of the New York Knicks last Wednesday featured Emmanuel Mudiay’s season-high in points, as he scored 20 points against his former team. Out of his twelve field goal attempts, only four were threes.
Mudiay averages the lowest amount of three-point attempts out of any perimeter Jazz player who has played meaningful minutes this season, shooting just 3.2 per 36 minutes. In contrast, he attempts 10.3 two-pointers per 36 minutes, third-most on the team.
76 percent of Mudiay’s shots from the floor are two-pointers, the fourth-highest percentage on the team, behind only big men Rudy Gobert, Tony Bradley and Ed Davis. In a league that loves the long-range jumper, the guard’s scoring comes the old-fashioned way–layups and mid-range.
The good news for the Jazz and Mudiay is that he’s very efficient at his highest-frequency spot on the floor. He shoots a lot of twos and makes a lot of twos.
He boasts the third-highest shooting percentage on the team from two, hitting 53 percent of his two-point attempts. And they don’t need him to shoot threes—the Jazz currently lead the NBA in three-point percentage, with four players shooting over 40 percent.
After starting for 42 games for the Knicks last season, Mudiay now comes off the bench, typically relieving Donovan Mitchell or Mike Conley from lead-guard duties. Even though his role has changed, Mudiay is still scoring at an impressive rate. He’s averaging 16.6 points per 36 minutes, just three less than last year while shooting a career-best 48 percent from the floor.
Not only is Mudiay seeing his most efficient numbers, but he’s winning more than ever. During his introductory press conference in July, Mudiay said, “I’m so happy that I am going to be on a team that is a winning team, a playoff team. I’ve never been on a playoff team. The thing is just trying to learn as much as possible. … I’m just out here being a sponge, trying to soak everything in.”
Mudiay’s stats suggest he’s soaking in everything Coach Snyder and the Jazz were hoping the 23-year-old would when he signed with the team.