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  • JULIE JACOBSON / Associated Press

    Kings guard Ben McLemore shoots against Dallas' Bernard James on Saturday. McLemore had a rough professional debut.

  • Orlin Wagner Associated Press file, 2012 Ben McLemore, shooting over San Jose State's Alex Brown as a freshman at Kansas last November, has "a gift," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "He can put the ball in the hole."

Kings focus on McLemore's shot selection

Published: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2013 - 7:02 pm

LAS VEGAS – Ben McLemore put up plenty of shots in his summer league debut – 23.

He also missed plenty of those shots – 19 – in Saturday's 76-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

But that doesn't mean McLemore, who scored 11 points, needs to stop shooting or that the Kings will discourage him from shooting.

Shooting was one reason the Kings were enamored of McLemore before drafting the 6-foot-5 guard seventh overall last month.

McLemore has textbook form. There's little wasted motion, he gets off the floor quickly on his jump shot, and he figures to be able to get it off whenever he wants.

It's more about when and where he shoots, because shooters such as McLemore can tell when their form is off.

The Kings' focus will be teaching the rookie how to best use his athleticism and perimeter shooting.

"Guys that make shots, you don't mess with how they shoot," Kings assistant coach Chris Jent said. "They just get to their shot quicker. You help them read defenses so they know what they can get on their catches to make them better. Or you help with their relocation, to find open areas, to find shots."

Part of that means trusting the shooter to know what's wrong after an off game.

McLemore said he watched film of his summer league debut and noticed his footwork was off.

"Coaches helped me correct that," McLemore said. "We definitely watched film to see what I did wrong."

Kings head coach Michael Malone said it's rare for a player to shoot as well as McLemore while having the ability to finish a fast break with a lob dunk over a defender with ease.

Malone saw a lot of good shooting last season as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, who have a backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Both excel at pull-up jumpers, spot-up shots and shooting off screens.

"Obviously, (Curry and Thompson are) great shooters, but they're not the athletes Ben McLemore is," Malone said. "That's no knock on them, but the one thing we have to continue to work with Ben on is shot selection."

McLemore's athleticism means he can create shots. The Kings just want him to create good shoots.

"He's athletic, and he's such a great shooter, but he's got to understand what's a good shot and what's a bad shot," Malone said. "But he's got a gift. Shooting makes up for a multitude of sins, and he can put the ball in the hole. So we're not going to mess with that at all."

McLemore was happy with his shot selection against Dallas but felt he "changed up" his shot during the game, leading to misses. He hopes to correct the mishaps in today's 5:30 p.m. game against Golden State.

"I've just got to keep the same rotation, keep the same form," McLemore said. "I can't change it up and mess up my shot. I've just got to keep the same routine."

Notes – Veteran guards Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton participated in Sunday evening's practice.

• Former NBA player and assistant coach Popeye Jones helped post players during practice, but the Kings have not hired him as a coach.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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