For MCW, rest and rotation

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Carter-Williams could add to his game with consistent outside shooting.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Carter-Williams could add to his game with consistent outside shooting.
Posted: April 08, 2014

TWO YEARS AGO, in order to get Evan Turner's shot more mechanically sound, the 76ers set up some shooting lessons for their swingman with legendary coach and shooting guru Herb Magee. The problem with Turner was that his left (guide) hand was overpowering his shot a bit as it was placed too much in front of the ball instead of lightly on the side of it.

Before this season started, knowing that his rookie center would probably not suit up for a game after surgery to repair a torn ACL, coach Brett Brown started from ground zero in working on Nerlens Noel's mechanics, which were flawed in so many ways that the coach wouldn't allow the 6-11 bean pole to use his guide hand at all until after Christmas. Noel has a tendancy to fall off to the left when he's shooting and Brown wanted to get him more balanced, more comfortable with relying on the dominant hand when shooting foul shots and then, ultimately, jumpers. It is still a work in progress but the progression at their daily shooting sessions is definitely noticeable.

Waiting in the wings for some of Brown's shooting instruction, probably to begin not long after this season ends, is another student - Michael Carter-Williams.

MCW, who has most likely sewn up NBA Rookie of the Year, is a very inconsistent outside shooter, maybe borderline bad. It was the knock on him coming out of college and there hasn't been a ton of improvement. Most of his points come from him going to the basket and using his 6-6 frame to either get to the basket or somewhere in the lane, from which he often ended up at the foul line. If he can become a consistent outside shooter, his offensive potential ultimately could become lethal.

Asked if he thought his shot needed mechanical work, MCW quickly said it didn't. He was then asked if he thinks his coach will work on the shot, and he replied: "Not sure. Maybe he will. Maybe he won't."

Oh, he will.

"I think that the basics of the extension of his follow-through and the preparation prior to receiving it were the two things that we focused on when we got him," said Brown, noting that he didn't want to tinker with MCW's shot during the course of the season when he was playing so much. "We tried to pick two basic points: His preparation prior to receiving it - which includes his footwork - and then we talk about his release point. 'Are you staying in your shot, make or miss?' He's done those two things well. There are things with positioning, there are things with dips, his focus on what he's looking at when he rises up, that we have to focus on. In general, he's made good adjustments in the time frame that we've had him."

The first order for Carter-Williams, once this long season mercifully ends on April 16 at Miami, is for him to get some rest. After that, both coach and player know they have a busy offseason getting ready for his sophomore campaign.

"Once the season is over, I'll sit down and watch some tape and figure out what I need to work on," Carter-Williams said. "My three-point shot, getting my body stronger, watching a lot of tape. I'll definitely work on it [his shot]. It's more about reps than working on my shot. I have pretty good form, I just want to get more consistent rotation on my shot. Not too much really needs to be changed."


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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