Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Kobe8Fan on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:23 pm

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By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com

Jordan Hill missed nearly two-thirds of the Los Angeles Lakers' 2012-13 season, 53 games to be exact, mostly because of his back and hip. But Hill also was absent from other games when the 6-foot-10, 235-pound energy force simply wasn’t given a chance.

While Hill was unable to go for a significant portion of the schedule because of a herniated disk in his lower back and surgery on his left hip, what about those three consecutive games in December when he didn’t play even though he was perfectly healthy?
This hardly received the same attention as when coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t play Antawn Jamison for seven straight games later in the season and Jamison spoke up about it. Hill, who would tie Steve Nash for the unofficial but all-important Most Supportive Teammate award, kept quiet.

When the season was over, however, Hill asked D’Antoni -- who coached the player in New York before the No. 8 pick was shipped out of town just months into his rookie season -- what he needed to do to stay on the floor next season.

“He talked about what I need to work on for this coming summer,” Hill told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “My jump shot -- he definitely wanted me to work on my outside jumper.”

The experiment to turn Pau Gasol into an outside-oriented big man blew up in D’Antoni’s face last season. But in Hill, who has played eight fewer seasons in the league than Gasol, the coach found a much more malleable subject.

“That’s mostly what I’ve been focusing on this whole summer, not so much the post work because I know I can go down to the block and easily get an offensive rebound and putback,” said Hill, who ranked sixth in the NBA last season in rebounds per 36 minutes (among players who played 25 games or more), according to BasketballReference.com. “We got Pau Gasol that can focus on the paint and we got Chris Kaman that can focus on the block. So I just want to be a stretch 4. Just try to spread the floor a little bit, just show a little range. I’ve been working on it the whole summer, trying to focus on that, on my 3-ball. It got a lot better. I’m just ready to put it all together and showcase it.”

Hill, who shot 61.8 percent inside of 5 feet last season en route to a career-high 6.7 points per game average, did not fare as well the farther away from the basket he went. According to NBA.com Stats Cube, Hill shot 35.7 percent from 5-9 feet last season and 30.8 percent from 15-19 feet. And he missed the only two 3-point shots he attempted (in fact, he’s 0-for-9 on 3s for his career). However, there was signs of promise. He shot 50 percent from 10-14 feet and 42.9 percent from 20-24 feet, but the opportunities were limited (fewer than 10 attempts during the season from each of those spots).

Hill has traded Mikan drills around the basket for ballhandling exercises meant to help him develop a one-dribble, pull-up jumper. He's also practiced the footwork required for pick-and-rolls. Not just playing the part of the man setting the screen and diving toward the hoop, but also flaring out in pick-and-pop scenarios, and even working on curling off the pick as a screen-recipient rather than a screen-setter.

"I’m just trying to do a variety of stuff that will help me spread the floor and get great shots," Hill said.

The location of Hill’s offseason home is helping his outside improvement. It just so happens that Hill spends his summers in Atlanta, the same place as teammate Jodie Meeks. The sharpshooting Meeks, who was third on the Lakers last season with 122 made 3s (behind Metta World Peace’s 141 and Kobe Bryant’s 132), doesn’t necessarily coach Hill’s shot, but he does motivate Hill.

“Jodie’s not him telling me I need to follow through, but we always have competition shooting,” Hill said. “He’s definitely going to win a lot, but I’ve definitely won a couple. So when I do competition shooting with him and I win, I get the confidence that, ‘OK, my shot’s falling now. I can shoot better now.’”

The key to survival is adaptation. Hill is trying not only to carve out a niche within D’Antoni’s system but also to expand his game in hopes of extending his career.

“Now, in my head, it’s just like, ‘Man, I just got to try to keep my body healthy,’” said Hill, who has appeared in only 187 of a possible 312 games in his four-year career.

After returning for a brief stint in the playoffs less than four months after undergoing hip surgery that was supposed to sideline him for six months, Hill said he feels 100 percent as he tries to teach his body new tricks on offense.

"I feel great," Hill said. "I feel good on [the hip]. I’m walking around with no pain. I’m jumping, I’m strong. I’m doing spin moves. I’m doing everything right now that involves my hip, and no problems."

Nor does Hill have any problem recognizing the true value he brings to the Lakers. No level of offensive ascension that Hill achieves will cause him to sacrifice his dedication to defense. It remains the priority.

“Oh man,” Hill said, between two audible sighs, when asked what went wrong with the Lakers’ shoddy pick-and-roll defense in 2012-13.

For Hill, the first step in neutralizing the opponent is recognizing where the biggest threat lies. The crop of point guards controlling the ball in today’s NBA might be the best collection of talent the league has ever seen at that position. Meanwhile, you can count the number of game-changing centers playing today on one hand. It is the responsibility of the big men to help their guards.

“They got to go up against guards like Chris Paul. They got to go up against these guys every night so it’s definitely going to be a tough battle,” Hill explained. “There’s definitely going to be some ankle breaking, going to the rim, so we definitely need to contain our guys more and help on defense a lot more. Guys are scared to get off their man. We’re always hugging up on our man, instead of staying in the middle of the floor, and then the guys go right to the rim. It was definitely hard seeing that, especially when I couldn’t do nothing about it.”

As much as bad chemistry poisoned the atmosphere surrounding last season's Lakers, their lack of execution on defense spelled their demise as much as anything. Hill is behind what the Lakers have done to try to address that.

“Now we got Kurt Rambis, so that’s a big A-plus,” Hill said of L.A.’s defense-minded assistant-coaching hire. “We got Mike D’Antoni for the offense. We got the guys to put the points on the scoreboard. We just need a guy who will help us stop our opponents from putting points up on that board, and now we got it. I feel it’s going to be good. We just got to go out there and buckle down and do what we got to do.”

It will still be up to D’Antoni to decide who will get the chance to go out there and how often. The coach recently told ESPNLA 710 that he plans to expand his rotation, which was only eight players deep for much of last season, and use 11 guys.

“It gives a lot of people confidence that you’re going to play,” Hill said when asked about D’Antoni’s stated plan. “We got older guys that got a lot of age on them, got a lot of years on them, that they definitely need rest. Steve and definitely Kobe, coming off his injury, these guys are definitely going to need rest, and I hope it works. If that’s what he wants to do, we just got to make it work.”

And while a deeper rotation should help maintain some of the more senior members of the Lakers’ roster, Hill and the rest of the younger players on the Lakers can learn the art of longevity in the league from the old guys.

“Age doesn’t get to me, I’m not really focused on that,” said Hill, who turned 26 in July. “I mean ... look at Steve [Nash]," Hill joked. "Steve’s almost 50 and is still out there giving the business. It’s all about taking care of your body. That’s all I have to do for the rest of my career, and I think I’ll feel great."


http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lak ... -stretch-4

Not really a surprise since that's what D'Antoni has been wanting for his offense. Hill doesn't have a post game. Mind as well work on that. Channing Frye is a big who doesn't have a post game. Wasn't known for his 3 point shooting while playing in New York until he went to the Suns. Maybe it can be the same for Hill.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby lotus on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:41 pm

I'm ok with him learning to shoot. It will only make him a more well rounded ball player. I really like his playing ability.

As far as him being a true stretch 4, it won't take long for him to focus back on the boards because you know Pau and Kaman won't hold it down for very long.

If they wanted a low priced stretch 4, they should have held on to Easy Earl.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:52 pm

Yipe!!!

Not sure this is where I want him playing..... then again I'm not sure I want MDA coaching either if he's making a hustle guy a shooter....
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby The Rock on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:54 pm

Hes the best offensive rebounder in the game why should he move farther from the basket? I dont get it

If hes gonna develop a 15-17 foot Jumper. Fine. 20 and out no way
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Weezy on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:07 pm

Stupidest thing I've heard all offseason. He's a hustle guy, he scores off offensive boards a good portion of the time, he belongs in the paint grabbing boards, and not shooting any further than 15 feet or so. This is the sort of thing that makes me want 'Antoni gone regardless of how meaningless this season is, trying to turn a guy into something he's not to fit a stupid system, going away from his strengths. Hill is a better shooter than Noah, but to me this is kind of like trying to make Noah into a stretch 4.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby CarolinaLakerFan on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:09 pm

Move our best rebounder farther away from the basket to shoot jumpers? Sure thing D'Antoni... :bang: :freak2:
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby bigdog2013 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:14 pm

The heat play the same way. You see bosh taking the corner 3s all the time. Its nice to see players add something to their game.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby trodgers on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:38 pm

Dumb. Arse. Move.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Center Court on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:09 pm

people are surprised?

MDA doesn't give a rats [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] about rebounding and quality shots... he cares about quantity of shots and to him the 3 point shot is the best shot on the court.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby SK8 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:11 pm

Jordan already had solid mid, but chill for a second and look at our roster, we have Kobe AND NICK YOUNG, those 2 will combine for about 40 shots in one game, it's not like Jordan will camp on mid and shot jumpers.
And MDA again showing us that he is just stupid, or he just act's that way, why put our energy guy away from basket, we don't need Chris Bosh type 4, STRETCH?? Stretch for what, it's not like we have LeBron and Wade so they need space, we all know that Kobe, Nash and Young will shot a lot.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby JSM on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:26 pm

Coach of the year candidate
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby chingy248 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:31 pm

JORDAN HILL WITH THE FADEAWAY 3333333333333333333333333333333333333333!!!!

:man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :disagree: :man8: :man6:
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Center Court on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:42 pm

MDA's dream team

Bosh
Anderson
Korver
Reddick
Nash
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby noobiew on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Dwight Howard was long gone so why we still need a stretch 4 ?

Why we need a stretch 4 when you already have Pau Gasol playing at the 5 spot ! Jordan Hill hustle, energy, rebound and defense is exactly what we need from a PF position to complement Pau Gasol.

Make zero sense to me, if you really want a stretch 4, you may as well start and play Ryan Kelly instead.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby kenzo on Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:12 pm

You guys seem surprised, that's Pringles b-ball 101 :freak2:
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Armani on Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:13 pm

What the hell? Why's he turning a hustle rebounder into a jump shooter? :man10:
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby slimjim on Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:43 pm

Honestly, it's not a bad idea at all!

Sure he gets a lot of offensive rebounds and logic says he should be closer to the basket...

But his body can't take the constant banging in the paint. He's undersized compared to the other PFs of the league. This should also help in his injury prone-ness.

Developing an outside game could be very good for him. His body suits a stretch 4 MUCH better than a energy bruiser rebounding PF.

I don't think he's going to be outside the paint much anyways. It's just another weapon to add to his game so he can step outside and hit the J every once in a while.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby therealdeal on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:47 pm

I don't want him shooting threes, but I'd love for him to be able to knock down a jump shot.

Kevin Love takes and makes a ton of threes while still being an effective rebounder. I don't see that as a problem.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Helljumper on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:02 pm

Makes sense. It's what's needed from our 4 position and something I personally think Hill is very capable of doing. D'antoni is trying to get Hill ready to capitalize on opportunities that he will be getting at his position regardless of the offensive philosophy of the coach. He is a face-up hustle PF who should try and become a threat in the pick-and-pop game. He is not and has not been a low post player. As the article said, he's already had success shooting from 10 - 15 feet. Those are the kind of shots he will continue to get and if he gets comfortable with them, it's fine if he takes an occasional open three every once in a while. With a summer of work and the coach's blessing to continue taking those kinds of open shots, I don't think Hill will have an issue converting to this role. He's not going to be camped outside the three point line. He's not going to be forced to stay outside of the paint. He's still going to be active enough and as good with his positioning to get tons of offensive boards, he'll just hopefully be a bit more versatile on offense. And if it doesn't work out and for whatever reason Hill is unable to consistently hit the open jumpers he'll get ... then obviously they'll switch things up since D'antoni has proven multiple times he's willing to adjust his system to what works for his players.
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby S.R.05 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:21 pm

noooooooo! i want him in the paint, boxing out and fighting. not every damn player on the team needs to be able to shoot 3's
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Alleyhoops on Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:15 pm

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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby LTLakerFan on Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:18 pm

:man10: :man10:

I was laughing at Showtime.Revival's post but this ^^^ works well too :man10: :man10:
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:24 pm

Showtime.Revival.05 wrote:noooooooo! i want him in the paint, boxing out and fighting. not every damn player on the team needs to be able to shoot 3's


We might go a whole quarter between rebounds putting him out on the perimeter. He's the only guy on the team not tainted with illusion of being a 3 point threat..... MDA can't have that can he?
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby CaCHooKa Man on Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:43 pm

absolutely not
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Re: Jordan Hill's Summer Assignment: Become A Stretch 4

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:08 am

Not exactly a Mensa worthy idea. As others have said, Hill is a rebounder, a hustle player, and he's got a decent mid-range game for a big. But no way has he shown any ability from long range. It would take him away from where he needs to be - close to the hoop for offensive boards.
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