With the three ball being so popular and analytics telling you the mid-range jumper is a bad shot, the mid-range game is nearly extinct so the Basketball Society will be bringing you “Mid-Range Mondays” where we highlight players who perfected operating in the mid-range area. Check out last week’s edition that featured Carmelo Anthony!
In this week’s edition of Mid-Range Mondays, we take a look at the game of Richard “Rip” Hamilton, an underrated scorer that defenders dreaded going up against. If you ask kids today about Rip Hamilton their response would probably be, ‘who!?‘ but guys born in the 90’s know all about Rip. A NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons, Hamilton made his bread and butter in the mid-range area. He was cut from the same cloth as one of the greatest shooters of all time in Ray Allen, who showed him the ropes back at the University of Connecticut. One of the masters at moving without the ball, he got his space and made defenders pay heavily as he got buckets. Check out this video as Rip Hamilton goes in depth on shooting off the dribble as well as moving without the ball.
Hamilton averaged 17.1 points per game shooting .449 from the field over the span of his 14 year career. Those may not be eye popping numbers to some but don’t get it twisted, Hamilton was a well respected scorer in the league during his time. The way he constantly moved off the ball created great opportunities for him to get his shots off and if he was given any amount of space, he was knocking it down. Rip had the ability to knock down threes but he chose to operate within the three point arc.
Hamilton studied who defended him and how they were defending and made his moves based off of that. When you watch him shoot he was always square with the basket, well balanced, and got great elevation off of the floor. His endurance allowed him to be able to run his defenders tiresome and still have enough energy to get off an efficient shot that he didn’t shoot short. In contrast to some of the greats who dominated the mid-range game with back-downs, face-ups, and fadeaways, Richard “Rip” Hamilton operated in a different fashion with his catch and shoot method. It goes to show that you can be a master at something in multiple ways. It doesn’t matter how you get the bucket just as long as you get the bucket.
Check out this Richard Hamilton Mix!