Well done, but not good enough, high expectation number one

“In situations where I have a choice, I try to focus on getting the shooter’s feel for the shot, because shooters are just as sensitive as pitchers in baseball, and it can happen that you’re not feeling great and then you get into a game and every shot you take is hitting the rim and bouncing, or it can be the slightest thing that triggers it. It’s just a matter of whether it’s less ups and downs or more ups and downs, but every shooter has those elements, so I wanted to check those things and make sure that the shooters in the team get their fingertips hot.”스포츠토토

SPOTV commentator Shin Ki Sung gave the above answer when asked about his leading traits during his playing days in an interview with ‘Basketball Personality Interview’. Although he competed with the best pure point guards of his time, such as Kang Dong-hee, Lee Sang-min, and Kim Seung-hyun, and his image was cemented as an offensive guard due to his accurate shooting and fast breaks, he recalled that he actually had a good passing mindset to help his teammates.

“Why did I focus on being a shooter first? If I make the right pass at the right time, I have a high chance of scoring, but outside shots are different, because you’re shooting from a distance. No matter how good the pass is, if the player’s shooting feeling is not good, the shot will be short or long. On the other hand, if the player’s shooting feeling is good, even if it is difficult to pass it through the defence, he will often make a three-point shot.”

As Shin says, a shooter’s feel can be compared to a pitcher’s delivery. On a good day, he has an amazing success rate even with a defender, but on a bad day, he often fails to save even a no-mark opportunity. In baseball, if a pitcher is shaky, the catcher will try to reassure him with words or gestures, or change his throwing pattern. The same goes for basketball. Just like the catcher in baseball, the point guard in basketball plays that role.

“I’ve seen a lot of pure point guards and dual point guards these days, and I don’t really know which one is better. It depends on the team situation, individual ability, etc. The important thing is that the point guard has to be able to make his teammates play, not just himself. If he can do that, it doesn’t matter if it’s pure or dual.”

Of course, there’s no one answer to that question, so there are many different ways to go about it. In the case of Shin, he said that he checks the condition of the shooter from the beginning to save his life. There’s no special trick. He just tries to get them to touch the ball one more time. This is because a shooter”s shooting feeling is developed by shooting often.

As we mentioned, shooters are more affected by conditioning and have more ups and downs than any other position. But that’s why when a shooter comes alive, the team’s performance improves. It opens up space and reduces the amount of pressure on other position players. It’s a synergy, a win-win situation.

In that regard, the play of Heo Hoon (28‧180cm), who played as the No. 1 starter in the first game of the KB Kookmin Bank 2023 Men’s Basketball National Team Trial against Japan on the 22nd, was a bit disappointing. One might wonder why. The team won the game 76-69, and Heo himself had a solid game with 22 points, three rebounds, six assists, and one steal. He led both teams in minutes, points, and assists.

He was one of the top contributors to the win. However, when it comes to the point guard position, there is some regret that the team did not utilise Jeon Sung-hyun, who was shooting well from the beginning of the day. As evidenced by the 42-25 rebounding and 6-0 blocked shots differential, despite winning the height battle, it would have been easier to take advantage of the advantage from the outside given that the game was close throughout.

In fact, Jeon made a series of three-pointers before stepping onto the court. In this case, the point guard may need to create opportunities for the player. Like Shin’s example, when a shooter gets hot, it’s easier for him to make plays. However, Heo Hoon chose to focus on his own scoring, and General Meng’s flow continued.

Of course, Japan’s defence tightened up in response to Jeon’s successive outside shots. However, unlike their home team, it’s hard to focus on a specific player in a national team with all the aces of each team. If you focus on Jeon Sung-hyun, other players are bound to get open. When that happens, it’s a good situation. The opposition defence will be shaken.

One of the reasons why Jeon was such a sensation in the middle of last season was that he was able to knock down high-sensitivity three-pointers even when he was heavily marked. It was hard not to recognise his ability as a shooter, as he was able to break through double and triple teams to hit outside shots. He later went through a slump due to health issues, but his back-to-back three-pointers early in the game were a comeback shot that confirmed that he was back to his old self.

Of course, Heo Hoon is a bit different from the wide-eyed, all-court dominance of Lee Sang-min and Kim Seung-hyun in the past. His offensive ability is so good that he uses it to shake up the defence and exploit the gaps that open up. He’s at his best as a dual guard, as evidenced by the fact that he won the regular season MVP award for his play.

Perhaps this is a straw man argument. He’s already one of the best 1s in South Korea, but he’s a talented player who still has room to grow, which only adds to the desire to see him do better here. That’s why the evaluation and expectations for Heo Hoon are high. On this day, Heo Hoon spent a lot of time playing one-on-one, but it is expected that the addition of veteran guard Kim Sun-hyung and point forward Choi Jun-yong will ease the burden and allow for more stable play.

Article_Kim Jong-soo Columnist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *