Landry Shamet’s coaches and teammates aren’t letting him coast through his rookie season.
He’s even been targeted a few times by Brett Brown for subpar defense, both publicly and privately, as player and coach have previously admitted.
Unlike most rookies, though, Shamet catches some flack for not shooting the ball enough.
“Every time he passes a shot down, I let him know to shoot the ball,” Ben Simmons said. “He knows he’s capable. Everybody believes in him and trusts in him to shoot the ball at a higher rate. I think it’s just a mental thing; he’s just got to shoot the ball.”
Shamet got up 15 shots in the Sixers’ 132-115 win Tuesday over the Wizards (see observations), and he made eight from three-point range. He caught fire during a 15-point third quarter on his way to a Sixers rookie record for three-pointers made during a game.
After shooting 34.2 percent from the floor and 20 percent from three-point range over his last seven games, Shamet exploded for a career-high 29 points vs. the Wizards.
Shamet, who Brown has called “a mini JJ,” replaced the 13-year veteran’s long-range shooting Tuesday night. Redick was out with lower-back tightness.
Though Redick didn't play, his influence on Shamet was a popular topic after Tuesday night’s game.
Brown doesn’t think Redick’s impact on the rookie should be underestimated.
He rattled through all the ways Shamet can learn from Redick beyond the post-practice workouts the two have done since Day 1 of training camp, including watching the many steps of Redick’s “maniacal” preparation.
“It’s not just shooting with JJ, it’s everything else that goes along with JJ as a human being and as a pro that is just a wonderful example for a young player,” Brown said.
Brown has been asked countless times about Shamet, the No. 26 pick in this year’s draft, and whether he’s surprised by his contributions.
While he’s said in the past that he thought Shamet would start the season in the G League, Brown has also highlighted signs that made the Sixers optimistic about Shamet thriving in the NBA.
Following Shamet’s performance Tuesday, he pointed to the rookie’s quick release, something he says assistant coach Jim O’Brien immediately noticed when the Sixers worked out Shamet.
“The wiggle room in our league is so small, the ability to do that really ends up being an incredible advantage as you move forward in your career,” Brown said, “being able to get shots off against elite NBA athletes, and tonight he did.”
Shamet has always held himself to a high standard. He might not have expected 29-point nights as a rookie, but he doesn't find his success shocking.
Back on Oct. 14, he was asked if he thought he surprised people with his impressive preseason.
“If I have, I have,” Shamet said. “If not, then so be it. To me personally, the only thing I was worried about was just trying to get better. I didn’t surprise myself, that’s the way I look at it. I know what I’m capable of, and I have more in me. That wasn’t the best version of Landry Shamet even.”
Shamet’s teammates and coaches have grown to believe in him too, and while that may sometimes manifest as harsh criticism, he credits them for elevating his game.
“As a rookie, they’re hard on me,” he said. “From the coaches to my teammates, everybody expects something of me. I love kind of having that sense of responsibility to be better, be my best every night. I landed in a great situation. I couldn’t have been in a better spot.”
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