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When Stephen Curry’s shot needs a little something B.J. Goodson Jersey , he dives into ”The Menu.” Warriors teammate Klay Thompson might put up a few extra shots after an off night. If Kevin Durant is trying to rediscover his rhythm, he does some studying that usually means watching his made shots.
Golden State boasts some of the world’s best shooters and each has his own way of bouncing back from a poor performance.
For Curry, there is no actual list or book for ”The Menu.” The two-time MVP and his right-hand shooting man, Bruce Fraser, keep all the details in their heads for what the record-breaking 3-point sharpshooter could use work on any given day. It comes in especially handy when the shots aren’t falling, though Curry certainly found his touch fast in returning from nearly six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury to score 28 points in a Game 2 win against New Orleans on Tuesday night. Golden State leads the series 2-0 going into Friday.
Maybe Curry needs more catch and shoots one day. Or off-the-dribble work. Sometimes, it’s ballhandling into his shot. Perhaps a look at balance, rhythm and core, or just focusing on spot shooting from various places.
”We collaborate. It’s like going to dinner with your wife, maybe. Maybe some people’s wives tell them what they want,” said Fraser, a Warriors player development coach. ”Different restaurant, different menu. We have a lot of things to pull from and it’s usually based one day, need. What does Steph need that day? … The Menu has all sorts of creative pieces in it that get the workout you want. Sometimes we’ll piece things together and go a la carte, sometimes we’ll make it a simple meal. I’m kind of having fun with it.”
On the opposite end of the defending champions’ practice floor, Thompson’s shooting plan might be nearly as precise as he works back from a bad night – he went 4 for 20 and 2 of 11 on 3s Tuesday. Thompson will usually put up a few extra shots after a poor performance. Depending largely on how he feels physically, he might take as few as 50 shots Jatavis Brown Jersey , or well more than 200.
Either way, it typically doesn’t take Thompson long to feel right again.
The belief Thompson has in his shooting ability is unwavering and he ignores any critics when it comes to his shot, considering they aren’t ”in the gym with me shooting every day.”
”I will never doubt myself when it comes to shooting. I put too much effort into it,” he said, adding, ”I know what it takes.”
In a Game 4 loss to San Antonio in the Warriors’ first-round series, Thompson finished 4 for 16 and scored 12 points. He was 42 of 71 – 59.2 percent – over the other four games against the Spurs.
”They make up for the bad shooting nights on the days before the bad shooting nights. They can’t get out of it by going into the gym and just shooting,” said Chris Webber, a TNT analyst who played 15 NBA seasons. ”They’re great shooters and all the thousands of shots they’ve been taking since college is what makes them bounce back.”
Webber believes coach Steve Kerr’s offensive system allows players to keep shooting and break out of ruts.
”Knowing where you’re going to get your shots, how you’re going to get your shots, and you have the freedom,” Webber said, ”but it’s all because of how hard and how many shots they take and put in the work when no one’s looking.”
After that Game 4 against the Spurs, Thompson took a heavy shooting day.
”Probably a couple hundred, nothing serious,” he said matter-of-factly.
Kerr, a talented 3-point shooter in his own right Drew Bledsoe Jersey , considers the psychological component to the process as well.
”Sometimes the best thing to do if you have a bad game is to not shoot,” he said. ”And you have to feel that, and as a player once you’ve been in the league a few years you get it. You start to understand, `OK, maybe I feel a little tired so I’m going to go walk Rocco (Thompson’s bulldog) today instead down at the park and enjoy some sunshine. Or go play golf or something. Or there’s a mechanical flaw and it’s almost like a golfer, you go to the range and you go, `I’ve got to find it.’
”But as a player you figure it out and the more years you’ve played in the league the easier it is to tell what the right approach is.”
After an off-night, Durant mentally goes back through each possession and studies his shots – ”mainly my makes.”
Curry constantly changes his workload and regimen. Durant notes, ”it takes a lot to shoot a basketball … there’s a lot you’ve got to think about in a couple of seconds.”
After most practices starting during last year’s title run, Curry and Durant engage in good-natured shooting contests from all over the court . They regularly take 10 shots from different spots, keeping track of who hits more. They’re usually very close.
”It’s a feel thing. You monitor your fatigue level because during the season, 82 games, there’s gaps in the schedule where you can go a little harder,” Curry said. ”Back-to-backs obviously you can’t. Me and Q come up with, we call it `The Menu.’ I walk over, open up the fake menu, read down the list and see what type of workout we need. He usually tries to come up with on a scale from 1 to 10 like a 2 Richard Sherman Jersey , a 4, a 6, 8-type of workout. We go that way. There’s never really a set kind of regiment to it.
”I have certain drills I like and I know As first-year Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine installs his playbook, he’s got one of the best to deliver the daily tests: two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Through a week of training camp, Pettine’s defense is passing those early quizzes.
By Pettine’s count, his defense has seven interceptions of Rodgers. Three came at Monday’s practice.
”It certainly gives our guys some confidence,” Pettine said Wednesday, an off day for the team. ”What a gift we have on defense to be able to go against one of the most elite quarterbacks to ever play the game. You talk about wearing ankle weights. That’s a tremendous thing for us, and for us to have that success, it’s a challenge for him. He’s not going against the same defense that he had gone against and maybe he got used to over years and years and years that he figured out. He’s still trying to figure us out, and there’s that element.
” I just love the competition part of it. It’s great when our guys can make a play. I think that from the beginning of camp, that’s the bottom line: We’ve had some great competition.”
Continuing that momentum will be the challenge as the Packers return to the field Thursday and look forward to Saturday’s Family Night practice at sold-out Lambeau Field. On Monday, two defensive starters, third-year safety Kentrell Brice and fourth-year inside linebacker Jake Ryan, suffered significant injuries. Ryan tore his right ACL and is out for the season. Brice appeared to have reinjured the right ankle that required season-ending surgery last year.
At linebacker, the Packers will turn to Oren Burks, a third-round pick out of Vanderbilt who had taken some of the first-team reps from Ryan. Burks is one of five players on the depth chart participating in their first NFL training camp. The only remaining veteran is third-year starter Blake Martinez.
”(Burks) has flashed some things Justin Evans Jersey ,” Pettine said. ”The transition from the college game to the NFL, it takes some time. He’s very intelligent, he processes very quickly, but there’s still just that learning curve. . We’ll see how it plays out. It’s a big loss with Jake. I know there’s certainly open lines of communication with the personnel department.”
At safety, Brice on Tuesday said he was thankful the injury ”wasn’t as serious as it could have been.” Until he returns, the Packers figure to move forward with Josh Jones, a second-round pick last year.
Brice is a pure defensive back and Jones, a combination defensive back and linebacker, so they bring different skill sets. That could force Pettine to make some adjustments if Brice’s injury lingers into the regular season.
”At this point, we’re asking them to do all of the menu,” Pettine said. ”Whether it’s a job during the season we might not have them do, we’re asking them to do it all (now). But I think we certainly have thoughts on Kentrell is best at this, Josh is best at this, and kind of marry that together with a package; I think that’s kind of on us as coaches to begin to shape a game plan and have the right personnel doing the right jobs when we’re out there. But it’s just too early.”
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