Bader looking to become a quick-shot artist for the Sixers

Posted: July 09, 2014

ORLANDO - A half-second. Think about how quick that is. It probably takes more time to punch in the security code on your phone. It took more than that for you to read this far into the story, longer to draw a breath, a little more than the blink of your eyes.

For Travis Bader, a half-second could mean the difference between him making it on a team in the NBA or probably heading overseas to keep following his dream.

The 6-5, 190-pound guard out of Oakland University has a definite skill set, and that is shooting the basketball from long range. He set the NCAA record for most three-pointers made in a career at 504, eclipsing the mark of 457 set by J.J. Redick at Duke.

As Sixers coach Brett Brown has said: "When you are looking at a player that is marginal to make the NBA, you are looking at a specific skill set, whether it be rebounding, blocking shots, shooting, playing defense . . . If there is one thing that you can do exceptionally well, you have a chance of making it in this league."

Give Bader a basketball 20 to 25 feet away from the basket and he will amaze you with his accuracy. In college, his height enabled him to shoot over many defenders, and his ability to set his feet quickly coming off screens was another factor in setting the three-point record.

But it's the half-second that is the difference at the next level. Here at the Orlando Summer League, Bader is finding that there are many, many opponents who are making his trademark jumper a little more difficult.

"It's a little different," he said. "You have to be looking to get your shot off quicker. Guys are a lot longer, they get to shooters quicker, so you have to be ready knowing that guys are coming, and you have to be ready to shoot the ball. You also just have to have that mentality of .5 seconds and knowing what you're going to do with the ball - if you're going to attack, if you're going to shot fake, if you're going to put it up. You just have to be ready.

"I'm just trying to prove that I belong, trying to find a spot somewhere in the NBA. I've proven that I can shoot the ball. I'm trying to show that I can defend and do other things out there on the court. I can handle pressure from big, quick guys and I can be a playmaker and I can be someone that you can trust out there on the court."

He struggled to find an open shot in the first game, and once he did he didn't have much success, going 1-for-7 against the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

Sunday against Oklahoma City, Bader drained his first attempt and it seemed to trigger his confidence. In close to 33 minutes, he scored 13 points. If there was a sliver of time to get off his jumper, he nailed it. But those times were few as evidenced by his low shot total (seven). He was admirable defensively and did deal four assists. If he can catch up to the speed of the game, maybe get a half-second quicker, perhaps there could be a spot for him in the league.

"The game's faster, so you just have to be ready for that, you have to expect that and just know what you're going to do with the ball," said Bader, who will play with Golden State in the Las Vegas Summer League, which starts Friday. "After the draft I had a lot of teams call my agent. He thought this was a great fit for me to come here and play for Philly. Everybody loves shooters and everybody wants someone who can come in and knock down shots. I'm getting confident in what I'm capable of doing."

Nerlens watch

Nerlens Noel was back on the court and in the weight room yesterday, so fear not, Sixers fans. Not playing in Sunday's game after his successful debut on Saturday was just a precaution taken by the team.

"I felt a little sore [all over] but not much really," he said. "We had a pretty tough training camp the week before so I felt conditioned for that. It's all just real precautionary. I was just glad I got out on the court and I know there aren't any limitations. We're just being steady on this Summer League, making sure we're not overdoing it, working on my game."

Noel said he will play tonight when the team plays the Houston Rockets at 7. After that, the Sixers will decide whether he'll go again on Wednesday or take another day off.

Six shots

The team didn't have a game yesterday, but worked out early in the morning at a Magic practice facility . . . Iranian Arsalan Kazemi, the 6-6 power forward from Oregon whom the Sixers acquired last summer, joined the team yesterday. Though the watch on his wrist was still set to Iranian time, Kazemi said he was ready to contribute to the team now.

"[The] Sixers are my team and I still want to join the team this year," he said. "I want to see what I've added to my game. I can guard the perimeter, but I still need to work on the perimeter [offensively]. I think I worked on my shot a little bit, so hopefully it will show here."

More Sixers: Hopefuls just trying to be hopeful.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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