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Jimmer Fredette says he is mentally ready for NBA game now

Sep 20, 2012, 1:37 PM EDT

Jimmer Fredette , Kurt Thomas, Nolan Smith AP

Jimmer Fredette remains much more a cultural sensation than one on the NBA court. He’s still the pride of Glens Falls, N.Y., where he was a high school star. He is still revered like few others in Utah, a positive public model for many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormons).

But on the court for the Sacramento Kings last year, he looked like a rookie who has work to do to get his game to fit in. He shot 36 percent from three (where he took nearly half his shots) but he struggled in a ball handler’s role. And on defense.

Fredette thinks his sophomore campaign will show his game does fit in the NBA. He told the Deseret News that a large part of it is mental — he got married this summer and he thinks that support system will help him.

“Mentally, I’m more prepared.”

He said he’s worked extensively on his offense and defense, worked to create space and get his shot off quicker and worked on the pick-and-roll — a play he must master at that level.

“I’m working on making floaters and other things that have to be a part of my game. I’m better than a year ago, my skills are better and I’m excited about the season and being part of it.”

We’ll see. Isaiah Thomas has emerged as the starting point guard in Sacramento and Tyreke Evans will get time with the ball as this is the season where we see if and where fits in (probably, for his sake it better be).

But there are minutes there, minutes to be grabbed. But Fredette is going to have to earn them. If he really is better mentally prepared, that is a big start down that road.

  1. thebigcaptain2011 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I actually can buy this. There is a good chance he really wasn’t prepared. He had just come from a system to where he was asked to do one thing and one thing only. Now he has to play defense and be a better passer. His work ethic has never been in question, so I could see him being a gym rat this past off-season. I think that he can be a solid player (a’la JJ Reddick or even a Jeremy Lin type) but not in Sacto. I think he gets lost in a numbers game there before an inevitable trade to Utah or one of the New York teams.

    • nbascreed - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Does anyone know if Jimmer has a step? I honestly haven’t seen enough of his game to know what his quicks are like. If Rose/Westbrook = 5 and Derek Fisher = 1, where would Jimmer fall?

      • borderline1988 - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Quicks are maybe a tad below average for NBA standards, probably a 2 or maybe stretching to a 2.5. But he can be very shifty – he finds other ways to get himself open shots, besides for blowing past defenders (similar to, although to a lesser extent, James Harden). He’s got some great moves on the dribble and has great body control and ball-handling ability, allowing him to utilize spin and hesitation moves.

        But to answer your question, you won’t seem him jab-stepping once and then turning on the jets to leave a defender in the dust, like what Russell Westbrook can do with ease.

        If he wants to stay on the court, he needs to do a JJ Redick makeover. I doubt he’ll ever be a starter b/c he doesn’t have PG abilities even though he’s 6″2 and cannot guard PGs or SGs. But he can be an excellent scorer off the bench in the future. At the very least, he’s a tremendous shooter, and teams can always use shooters.

      • nbascreed - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Thanks Border. I always thought the 90’s Bulls created the archetype for getting slower, smaller shooters (Paxson, Armstrong, Kerr) major minutes.

        You really have to put them alongside TWO athletic, quick, ballhandling perimeters in order to cover their deficiencies and most utilize their skills. If done right your perimeter players are left playing 1:1 and your shooters get really good looks when the defense is forced to finally help off. Of course we haven’t seen a duo like MJ or Scottie since but I think Wade/James and the Heat are most close to replicating that model.

  2. phaden27 - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    That awkward feeling when you’re replaced by Mr. Irrelevant.

  3. shaylove46 - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Well he got married and now that he’s “allowed” to get him some thats probably what did it. No more FLOATING!

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