Last night on FSN News Greg Dickerson interviewed Big Al. He looked very loose and was joking and having a good time. During the interview it showed him practicing his shots. The best thing I heard was that for the first time, he has no pain in his ankle and that physically and emotionally that is a good thing for him. He did say that it still crosses his mind when he sees players go up for a rebound and it may take a playing some before he can dismiss those fears. He has worked on increasing his shooting range this summer and he said he has made his goal to average a double double. He said he hopes to be cleared to run some drills and for contact next week. It seems that now that they finally found the real problem he is healing quickly and anxious to get going.
I expect Al to have a break out year for a few reasons. First, he had a very disappointing year last year and the criticism stung him when people called him soft. He had a very real physical problem that was being ignored and he couldn't help but feel hurt by all the criticism. Second, he is determined to prove all those critics wrong. He has spent his entire summer in Boston working out and getting into the best shape of his life. He is working on defense and extending his range and has set the goal to average a double double. Third, Clifford Ray and Theo Ratliff will be great mentors and role models for both Al and Perk. They haven't had that before. How much could they learn from Raef, Blount and Scal? I expect their learning curve to be very steep this season because both are working hard and very determined. 27 Days Till Training Camp.... I am getting very excited about this season!!
I'm expecting bigger things this year. I'm looking at this as his real sophomore season. We expected to see marked improvements in his game last year, and we really didn't get to see them because of his injury setbacks. Now he's healthy, and we are hoping he stays healthy.
Both he and Perk have been saying that they've been working on their jumpers and extending their range. I don't want either of them to take too many shots outside the painted area. I want them to be capable of hitting 15 footers, but I don't want them settling for jumpers all day like Mark Blount.
I have always said since his rook year that Big Al's 3rd year will be a key year and his "breakout year". He should actually be a junior in college right now!
Man! Makes me feel old.
I love his motivation. Another thing Danny has put together is a team of hard workers. These guys don't quit. Hard work pays dividends also. I have always believed that the best teams have always been the most hard working teams. Because they refuse ti quit and give up on themselves and their teammates. Way to go Al.
I am hoping that Al can become a tougher version of Jermaine.
Boy do I feel old... I'm older than many of the retired guys ... I also feel that Al is going to break out this season. I did a piece on Celtics Pride a few days ago and one of the things that Celtic Pride embodies is a work ethic in the players... We certainly have that on this team.