Articles today bring us good news about our young players. The Herald has a piece on Al Jefferson and his conditioning for this season. It seems that Al has hired a chef and is very, very serious about his conditioning.
He is 30 pounds slimmer with only 9.5 percent body fat and much more muscle. This new trimmed down body has him feeling lighter and moving quicker. But when he took on rookie Leon Powe Thursday, certain qualities came right to the surface.
Powe, an outstanding post player in college, struggled against Jefferson, who blocked, altered or stripped all but one shot by the rookie.
“I felt like I could get higher - a lot quicker,” Jefferson said. “I could really tell that I was moving quicker. I felt great.
“I just refused to let the surgery set me back. Man, my body fat is 9.5 (percent), and I’ve never been that low.”
This is good news indeed. We can expect great things from Al Jefferson this season.
Some other good news came from The MetroWest Daily in an article on Gerald Green by Scott Souza. Gerald brings a world of potential but last season looked more like a deer in the headlights than a pro basketball player.
Green's body is another thing that has changed dramatically in a year as he has noticeably built up muscle on what was a lanky 6-foot-8 frame.
"When I was a draft pick they said I was 200 pounds, but I was probably more like 193," he said. "Now I am almost 215. I have been lifting weights and eating right. Last year, I was light. I could only do one pull-up. I could do maybe 11 pushups. Now I can do 100 pushups and do pull-ups with added weight. It's a big difference."
One of the many things that should make it a much different training camp for Green starting in two weeks.
Gerald, like Al has worked hard on building the optimum NBA body and this work on strength and conditioning will pay off in improved play this season. With Kevin Eastman and Clifford Ray here to work with our young players, We should see both Al and Gerald taking that next step this season.
The third bit of good news came buried in an article in the Globe between Nellie's coaching Golden State and Pittsnogle's advance salary.
Earlier this summer, Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said the main reason the team traded Sebastian Telfair to the Celtics was that the Blazers wanted to play a halfcourt style and Telfair is better-equipped to play an up-tempo style. Theo Ratliff, Telfair's teammate in Portland and now in Boston, seconds that emotion, while adding that Telfair was also ``caught up in the melee last year in that there were too many young guys and distractions. His game was crushed. I'm very positive in what Sebastian can do. I know his work ethic. I know his attitude. I think he's going to be a great player in this league. He's still young and he still has a lot to learn in terms of command of the game. But here, he will get a chance to develop without having so many young guys all around, trying to be coached. It is a better fit for him." . .
Ratliff, who has been around the league for a good long time, agrees with his former coach and feels that Telfair will thrive in Boston. He certainly will get a chance to do so. If Doc does as he says he will, our team will run a lot this season. We have the legs and the young players to do so and now we have 2 young points who can run the team and the fast break. Coach Eastman is working with Rondo on his shot and I imagine will work with Telfair as well. That has been his job with Nike for the past year, teaching young players how to shoot and the fundamentals. This should make a difference for us and what has been perceived as a flaw in both Rondo and Telfair's game will no longer be there.
Lots of good news today. I can't wait for training camp!!
Good going Jefferson. Drop that excess baby fat and get even quicker. Part of Jefferson's criticism was that he had a limited vertical jump. Losing 30 lbs and hardening his body under 10% body fat is very incredible. This is what should have happened last year. Oh well, he had to learn the hard way.
Sebastian has got the ability to be a star player. He's got the personality and charisma for it, and he's got the substance in his game to be a star. Now he's just got to add it altogether and consistently improve his game. FL, I also feel that Rondo has got a good chance to beat out Bassy, but that's only if Sebastian can't put everything together. Either way, I'm glad we have two true PG's to battle it out.
- Theo Ratliff is a bad influence in the locker room. He showed pretty much no leadership last year, and sat out games when he didn't feel like playing. Him and the coach had an ongoing spat about his knees. Hope that his welcome isn't warn out too quickly.
- Sebastian Telfair is a flashy player, but is years away from contributing within a team offense.