Iman Shumpert Working On Weaknesses
As a junior coming out of Georgia Tech, Iman Shumpert knows there are plenty of aspects of his game he can tinker with to improve. The most glaring issues is his jump shot, which has come into question at times, but Shumpert is doing all he can to rectify the issue.
"It’s going well," said Shumpert, responding to off-season work on his shot. "You know, a whole lot of reps, I’m starting to get a whole lot more comfortable with the NBA line and just taking the hitch out of my jump shot, making everything a smooth motion. It feels good."
Until closer to the end of his college career, Shumpert played the point guard position exclusively. As his team needed his scoring ability, he moved to off the ball, putting him in a better position to make baskets and put his team in the best position to succeed. Although he knows versatility is important in players, especially in a supposedly weak draft such as the 2011 draft, Shumpert does have a preference for his position on the next level.
"I’m more comfortable at the point guard position," said Shumpert. "Being on the ball, I grew up doing it. I’m more comfortable there. I learned to play off the ball. I’m starting to get comfortable there and I feel like I can complement either position."
If he will in fact play most of his minutes in the NBA at the point guard position, being 6’6" will be a great advantage for Shumpert. He will have the ability to take smaller guards into the post, take his time, back them down and shoot over them. He is quick to give the credit to his college coach for teaching him those tools that will give him this advantage once he hits the NBA floor.
"Coach Hewitt definitely exposed me to life in the post and it worked to my advantage a lot," said Shumpert. "It also helped me with my legs, not having to go break guys off the dribble all the time, being able to take a smaller guard down there and post them up, it’s something big for me. It makes me a matchup problem."
As draft day approaches quickly, Shumpert knows there still remain some questions about his abilities translating to the NBA from college. He is doing all he can to answer his critics, improve on his weaknesses and help his draft stock. Outside of his shooting, he knows there is one other main area of concern to address and believes he has a built-in solution.
"I think it’s just my assist to turnover," said Shumpert. "I think a lot of times I would have the ball at the end of the shot clock and be forced to make crazy decisions, make something out of nothing. I just feel like decision-making will improve. Also, with the NBA game, being able to have a more dominant scorer around me will help me with some of that decision-making."
In what should be the most exciting time of his life as he is about to achieve his life-long dream of being drafted into the NBA, the question still hangs in the air if there will be a season next year. Although the start of his NBA career may be put on hold for reasons outside of his control, Shumpert remains level-headed, focusing only on what is important to him and continuing to stay ready for that first time on the NBA court.
"I’m just working out every day," said Shumpert. "My family, I know if all goes wrong and there’s a lockout for a year, I’ll be able to be at home and I’ll be able to get workouts in, so I’m fine."
Soon enough, Shumpert will find out along with the rest of the world which NBA team believes they can utilize his skills the best.
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