Isaiah Thomas worked to improve his off-the-dribble 3-pointer

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Post by bobheckler on Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:14 am

http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2016/09/boston_celtics_star_isaiah_tho_3.html



Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas worked to improve his off-the-dribble 3-pointer

Isaiah Thomas
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (Winslow Townson / Associated Press)


Jay King | mjking@masslive.com By Jay King | mjking@masslive.com


on September 22, 2016 at 7:30 PM



Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas worked to extend his range this summer and hopes to unveil an improved pull-up jumper during the coming season.

From Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy:

"I've been working on extending my range," Thomas said. "I'm doing a lot of off-the-dribble threes just because that's something I shot a lower percentage on and that's something that I do a lot, where I got the ball in my hands and I'm dribbling and I need to be able to shoot better off of the dribble. I'm pretty good at catch-and-shoot and spot-ups and stuff like that. My main focus this year was extending my range, getting a quicker release on my jump shot and being able to pull-up from anywhere. When the defense has their hands down, I want to be shot-ready at all times. That was my main focus and then also just getting better at everything else. Getting better with my right hand, whether that's finishing around the rim – different types of finishes – or right-hand passes off of the pick-and-roll. I just tried to continue to get better and also to continue to work on my one-legged shot. I pulled that out a lot of more and improved it. I'm supposed to be having a conversation with Steve Nash in a few days and just pick his brain about his one-foot shots that he used to do when he played."

Like he said, Thomas has not been as efficient while shooting off the bounce. That's not exactly uncommon -- for most guys it's harder to shoot off a live dribble, partly because that often means a defender is nearby. Still, Thomas dropped from 38.7 percent accuracy on catch-and-shoot threes to 33.5 percent on pull-up threes. If he can lift the latter number, it would make him an even more dynamic scorer.

It's blasphemous to compare anyone as a shooter to Stephen Curry, and I won't do that with Thomas. One way for the lefty to expand his game, though, would be to grow more comfortable with deep pull-ups, like Curry did last year while extending the game of basketball to places it had never been. Thomas won't ever be quite like that, but maybe he could use one more possession per game to pull up in semi-transition, punishing a defense that failed to match up quickly enough. Thomas used that shot at times last season, and it fell more down the stretch -- according to NBA.com, he actually hit 38.5 percent on pull-up threes after the All-Star break. That's obviously a tiny sample size, but if he sustains that percentage that's a very efficient shot -- and a shot that's tough to guard because of all the other ways Thomas puts pressure on a defense.

For the record, I also enjoy that Thomas is picking Steve Nash's brain about his one-foot shots. Thomas actually didn't use that shot much last season, but he tries like heck to add new wrinkles to his game. Be sure to check out his whole interview with Kennedy, which touches on a number of other subjects.




bob
MY NOTE: The best paet of this is that the defense will stay closer to him and he can then blow by them. I HOPE he doesn't see it as more 3s. His right hand; however, now that is something well worth working on.

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Post by wideclyde on Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:48 pm

Not surprising at all to hear of one of our better players working to improve in the off season. I will bet that every one of the returning players was given a list of things to work on before they left for the summer and that many of them will return as better players next week as of doing the same type of thing that Thomas has done.

This is something that I credit Coach Stevens and his staff with. I have not yet seen a guy who has been with the Cs for more than two months not seemingly get better at at least one part of his game. No question that Stevens and staff have "reached" the players that they have had right from the beginning of the coach's tenure in Boston, and this is now pretty widely known throughout the league by other coaches and players.

Player development in Boston since he arrived has been superlative making Stevens (and, not just his "after-time-out-plays") a big part of the turnaround and will continue to be as more and more players in the league will want to play in Boston.

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Post by worcester on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:23 pm

And in what ways did Sully improve his game last season? By adding the new Domino's Pizza app to his phone?
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Post by wideclyde on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:26 pm

Sullinger did improve last season from the year before. Especially at the beginning of last season.

In 2015 he could only handle about 15 minutes of total playing time. At the beginning of 2016 he could actually play pretty well for about 22-23 minutes. He also was much more selective on his three point shots and played at least slightly better defense for the first half of the season as well.

He did not finish the season well, but he did make improvements from 2015 to 2016.

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Post by worcester on Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:45 pm

I guess i just remembered his second half. The one where his gravitational field got stronger.
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