In his last five games, Washington Wizards’ small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has shot 1-for-26 from behind the arc. Despite having open looks and putting up extra shots in the gym, he cannot find the bottom of the net. During this stretch, he had missed 21 three-pointers in a row
. His shooting woes could not happen at a worse time as the Wizards are playing for post-season seeding. Regardless of the funk, Oubre is remaining confident and embracing the struggle.
“Keep a smile on your face. God got it, man,” Oubre said after Washington’s loss in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. “I definitely hit a downslope, but at the end of the day, if I don’t miss I ain’t gonna know what it’s like to make.”
(Photo: Ed Sheahin for Hoop District)
In the month of March, Oubre shot his worst percentage from the three-point line. He was 17-for-66 (25.8 percent), a season-low for him. Even though his jumper is off, his teammates have not lost confidence in him. Bradley Beal said he has not paid any mind to Oubre’s struggles.
“I didn’t necessarily notice it,” Beal said. “I feel like everybody who shoots the ball is capable of shooting. It’s nothing but confidence and getting back to having fun playing the game.”
Beal said he would pull Oubre to the side and remind him that he’s confident in him and to relax. He wants the wing to continue to shoot because eventually, Oubre’s shots will fall again.
Washington will play in Houston on Tuesday against the Rockets and Oubre is looking forward to returning to his second hometown to continue to perfect his craft. Earlier in the season
, his offseason trainer Drew Hanlen visited Oubre in Washington to clean up some of his mechanics.
“Just got to keep shooting,” Oubre said. “I’m excited to get to Houston and go to the gym tomorrow. Pretty much just get better and work on my mechanics. That’s all I can do.”
Aside from Oubre’s adversities, the Wizards are 4-6 over their last 10 games. The team has been scrutinized for their lack of efforts and continuing to lose games against teams that are not in the postseason. Oubre says every night he goes out there and put his all on the line.
“I try to go out there and play with the same passion and fight each and every game. You see my rage. You see my intensity each and every game. I come out there and play my ass off. That’s my job and I’mma do that,” Oubre said.
There are five games remaining in the regular season and Oubre will continue to work on his jumper in the gym. It is imperative that he finds his stroke sooner rather than later because Oubre’s energy, shooting, and defense is what Washington will need come playoff time in less than two weeks.