The questions surrounding 2010 NBA rookie of the year Tyreke Evans usually center around two things – is he a point guard or a shooting guard, and how good can this kid be if he can develop a jump shot? Well, the Kings have made question number one completely irrelevant. Tyreke Evans is our point guard, no matter what any of you think. But what about that second question?
Many of you have seen the edited 15 second clip the Kings floated out there of Tyreke hitting 4 three pointers in a row and thought, he looks good but….4 out of how many? Let me give you something new to chew on. Not only is Tyreke working hard to improve his most glaring weakness (perimeter shooting), but coaching legend, basketball hall of famer and Kings assistant coach Pete Carril is right beside him every step of the way to provide something I like to call perspective.
In a shockingly candid interview following the Kings second day of training camp, Pete Carril lays it all out there.
“Everybody in the whole league, the country, the whole world knows that his (Evans) in-between shot is suspect”
I don’t want to go all Bill Walton and speak in superlatives here, but one of the greatest basketball coaches in the history of the sport just said what? And I was not only standing there to hear it, but brought the flip video to make sure I could rewind and replay it repeatedly to ensure that I had heard him correctly. At least someone is being honest here. Someone has some perspective. And that man is 80-year-old basketball legend, Pete Carril.
It’s day 2 of camp, practice is officially over, but Evans is not done. Neither is the man the players call Coachie.
You can see the difference in Evans’ shot, even if all four of them don’t cut through the net. Gone is the arch in his back and the constant fall away. The shot looks clean, he is squared to the hoop and coach is impressed.
“His shot, I think is 1,000 times better than it was last year.”
The Kings training camp emphasis is clear. Evans, along with coach Carril and an assistant, worked the left elbow, the right elbow and the baseline. There is no catch and shoot from behind the arc, and like coach already told us, Evans can take anyone to the rack. If Tyreke is to elevate himself to elite status, he will need to improve the mid-range game.
“You can’t always go to the basket, sometimes you just have to pull up.”
So let’s look at Tyreke’s pull up through a series of pictures.
Evans looks strong and balanced. He squares both his lower body and upper body to the basket. Tyreke still has the slight fall off in his upper body reminiscent of his rookie season, but it is much less pronounced. The rotation of his shot is tight and his follow-through is refined. It is day 2 and the improvement from last season is evident. But still, Coachie is working him hard and to his credit, Evans is all ears.
Evans wants to be great. There is no questioning that.
Coach Carril also wants Tyreke to be great. Helping Tyreke Evans achieve greatness will go down as one of many achievements of his career. A little perspective can go a long way.