Development is a must for a young NBA player. Constant enhancement is a necessity to survive in the league. Players use the off-season to improve facets of their game, but inevitably inside the season flaws are exposed and those holes must be attended too.
Two of the Utah Jazz third year players Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors have had to go back to the drawing board during the season. Hayward’s jump shot was off kilter in the opening month of the season and in the limited practice time available he re-tooled his fundamentals. Nearing the end of the pre-season and into the opening of the regular season Favors altered his free throw technique.
The willingness to work at the craft showed Tyrone Corbin the core of who these two player have become, “ They are true competitors, young pros trying to get better and understanding the things they have to get better and they are putting in the time and effort to get better.”
The difficulty arises when a player has to use the new found skills in the game. This is truly uncomfortable and has a high risk of failure. If a player stops playing the game instinctual and becomes a thinker success rarely follows.
Yet, both Hayward and Favors have been able to implement what they have worked on into game action. For Tyrone Corbin this shows why these players on the road to large improvements.
“They are smart kids, they want to get better, both of these guys game are going expand faster because they can take lessons on the run and they implement them. They transfer from the practice floor to the game quickly.”
This ability should not be underestimated, working in the off-season is a much easier task. Altering how you shoot in the middle of a season is a big leap.
“It is difficult; it is tough for a lot of guys to do it in season, to make a tweak in their game, when they make improvement in the course of the season in areas like free throws or jump shots to do it without throwing their whole game off. “
Favors has improved from a 65% free throw shooter last season to 71% free throw shooter this year. Hayward opened the year shooting 29.6% from three in November then hit for 46.3% in December and has nailed 9 of his 14 three point attempts in January.
“I am a professional; this is my job, so I am supposed to be able to work on it. I have been getting extra shots working with Jeff, Jeff has done a graet job of making sure when I am on the court I am always ready to shoot and some release issues,” explained Hayward after the win in Phoenix.
These in season gains are terrific signs for the future of Hayward and Favors.