It's been taken for granted that Yi Jianlian is a three point shooter, a specialist. After all, he hit five out of six against Miami and is shooting 9-for-15 from the arc so far this season, a spectacular 60% rate. He shows no fear in letting loose on the other side of the line.
But it's just not so.
Yi's successful long-range bombing with the Nets has no precedent in his career--not with the Bucks last year, not with the China National Team at the 2008 Olympics or the 2006 World Championships, not even in the Chinese Basketball Association where he played from ages 15 through 19. And in international venues, the three-point line is a lot closer to the hoop.
In Milwaukee, Yi made just SIX three pointers all season, shooting 6-for-21 or 28.6%. In the Beijing Olympics, he made only two, shooting 2-for-9 or 22.2% in six games. In 2006 at the World Championships, he took--and missed--one three pointer. And in the Chinese Basketball Association, he made 16 in FOUR YEARS, shooting 16-for-69 or 23.2% for his career.
Adding them all up, he's made only 24 three's--on 100 attempts--in his career prior to joining the Nets. It's been widely reported that Yi has been taking special instruction on deep shooting and other things from Kiki Vandeweghe since arriving from China. On many days, Vandeweghe can be seen at the Nets' practice facility in his t-shirt and short shorts, working with Yi on shooting or boxing out. It sure seems to have worked.