How do feel about JLins first full season as a starter? How much has he grown as a player?
I think he's had a solid year. His team is going to the playoffs and that is a meaningful accomplishment considering the age and experience of their roster. It takes time to really become a team and I can really see the guys are getting to know each others skill sets. They appear to have better relationships while playing. You can tell they enjoy playing basketball. The NBA season is LONG and exhausting with many hills and valleys along the way. They are a fun offensive team to watch when they move and share the ball and take the shots a team needs to take to be successful. I don't enjoy when Harden holds the ball too long while everybody stands. He is really an offensive talent that just needs to make his move sooner and create shots.
I think that Jeremy should be lauded for playing EVERY game through many ankle tweaks, 100's of falls, dozens of charges, stitches, facial blows. He really is a Tough athlete. He also is that rare NBA player that puts forth an honest effort every game. His defensive principles are solid and he is a player a coach can rely on to always play the right way. I'd like to see his on-ball defense improve in containing dribble penetration. I'm not referring to situations when he's been in a helping or rotating situation, or, even in a pick and roll where he has to rely on getting hedge help or corral help, I'm talking about staying in front of his man and not relying on his help. That is a trait every point guard at any level should possess. Pressuring the ball and containing penetration.
Jeremy plays best when the ball is in his hands and having to share touches with Harden has been an adjustment, but I think that he's getting better at playing off the ball. He's learning that he can put himself in advantageous position when he does catch the ball if he attacks a close out. He has developed a beautiful, explosive catch and drive upon reception of the ball. I still think he turns down too many catch and shoot opportunities which are a result of reverting back too whats comfortable, which is for him, attack the rim. He still has a hesitant attitude about shooting, and , you can use the threes he hit vs Memphis in the 4th as an example.. Those 2 releases were quick and shot with complete conviction... The result....2 perfect, rhythmical shots. Those particular shots are there for him many times during the flow of the game.
When the ball is in his hands and he has a creator mentality he is just a great Shot Creator for his team. His vision and delivering the ball with great passing angles is a trait that makes him a joy to play with.
As his shooting coach, I think he has space to shoot and doesn't, but I think that being a point guard he's very mindful still of not being a shot-hungry player that is a pain to play with. Just trying to find that balance is very tricky.
He's still 24 years old. He's going to get better, and he wants to be great! All of his shooting numbers have improved as the season has progressed. His overall FG %age is 44% and his 3 point pct is now at 34%... Thats big improvement over his early season numbers of 38% overall and 27% from 3..
How often were you in contact with Jeremy over this past season?
We exchange texts before and after most games..I give him shooting reminders and my feedback on what he's done well and improvement areas.
Did you have a chance to see/work with him during the season?
I went down to Houston twice during the season in late October and after Christmas. He was struggling with his shooting mechanics and mentality. We worked together 2 times during each visit, and it took 10 minutes to "tune" up his mechanics. He just needed a voice to remind him of his release cues (wrist snap,defined follow through), footwork (quick, defined jump). I still believe his game shooting numbers will continue to reflect and be closer to his drill shooting numbers as he continues to make progress. He was shooting mid 70's %wise in ALL shooting situations this summer. He should be in the 40's from 3 and 50 overall...85 from the line.
Any advice to him before the start of the playoffs?
Doc: No advice other than to be aggressive. Just be Jeremy! He's always relished big game opportunities throughout his whole career playing basketball. I'm excited to see how he responds.
Will you be working with him again this summer? If so, what things will you be focusing on?
Doc: Yes.. I have a long list of skills and improvement areas.
We'll continue to work on all of the shooting situations so he can shoot a high %age on every shot. We'll also combine cardiovascular fatigue to the drill situations to better simulate a game.
I'm also going to suggest he play a lot of small sided pick 2v2 3v3 where he's working on mastering playing away from the ball , moving into passing windows, being hard to guard without the ball, and developing a shooters mentality under playing conditions. Using these practice situations will give him hands on experience,and with that, a confidence in his shooting ability in games. i wanted to start that this past summer but we were limited with his knee rehab. I want to work on his shooters body language where he is seeking the ball with a mind set like a cat on the prowl. So many times he's standing without a purpose.
I'd like to continue to cut down his shot release time which is just about making jump quicker on his shot.
He's developed a nice repertoire of finishing moves around the basket,but, he still reverts to a left foot take off lay-up too much, which puts him at risk for getting drilled, and is, sometimes not the right finish at the right time. I want him to be able to dunk off a 2 foot take-off and a right foot take-off. He basically has his left leg as his pet takeoff leg (like a high or long jumper) . I'd like him to develop the ability to be almost as comfortable off his right and 2 feet.
I'm sure he'll continue to work on his handle to get it tighter, as well as his off hand development passing the ball. He really passes well with his left hand and worked hard to improve that.. It's an absolute joke that the "experts" say he can't go left because he has no left hand.. He prefers driving right because his left leg is his most comfortable exploding leg.. He has made GREAT strides in driving left with an explosive burst since last year.
Lastly, he needs to continue to master a 2 foot floater. Many times on his drives he takes it too deep when he has space in that 8-12 foot floater zone. We'll work on that quick 2 foot stop floater so he can shoot the ball before the helping big can get to it.. All you have to do is watch Tony Parkers floater and see how effective you can be. Jeremy prefers the 1 foot high arcing runner which he 's not consistent with. (too much forward movement going off his 1 foot causing long misses and a difficult time controlling distance) He'll have a deadly floater next year!
Are you going to Asia again?
I'd love to go to China again. Haven't really heard any details about the trip.
JeremyLin.Net:more to come…