Head coach Mike D’Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers hasn’t exactly been embraced by the fans of the storied NBA franchise since taking over for Mike Brown last season. D’Antoni was not the ideal choice for the Lakers with Phil Jackson ready to return, but the team’s front office believed it was the right direction and continue to stick by their decision.
As D’Antoni heads into his second year with the Lakers, the veteran head coach continues to make questionable moves with his latest being the kind of player he wants forward Jordan Hill to become.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, D’Antoni wants Hill to develop into a player that can stretch the floor at the power forward position:
“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.”
Once Hill was acquired from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Derek Fisher, the veteran forward emerged as one of the team’s best front court players off the bench. Hill can bang with the best of them in the paint with an ability to be a force on the glass and offensively with a decent post game.
One thing that Hill doesn’t excel at is shooting from the perimeter. Hill attempted to develop a jump shot last season, but never really excelled at shooting the basketball. Unfortunately for Hill, the veteran may have to improve his jumper in order to stay in the rotation with Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman.
In each of the last two years, Hill shot only 50 percent from 10 to 15 feet, but shot fewer than once per game from that range. Obviously, that’s not favorable for Hill’s chances to become the stretch four D’Antoni hopes he’ll develop into.
D’Antoni attempted to turn Gasol into stretch four last season, but that didn’t go as planned. Hill may struggle even more than Gasol did adjusting to a different role at power forward.
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