It was much publicized – and criticized – of Mike D’Antoni’s failed attempt at making Pau Gasol a stretch four. Gasol tried his best, but failed quite miserably at becoming an outside threat for the Lakers. This year, D’Antoni’s moved onto another post player for the Lakers as his project. Jordan Hill, who has been victimized by MDA in the past, has been working on developing his outside jumper, according to an interview with Dave McMenamin.
When the season was over, however, Hill asked D’Antoni — who coached the player in New York before the No. 8 pick was shipped out of town just months into his rookie season — what he needed to do to stay on the floor next season.
“He talked about what I need to work on for this coming summer,” Hill told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “My jump shot — he definitely wanted me to work on my outside jumper.”
Developing a jump shot as a big man isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a big man. Gasol has a great jump shot and is a great player. But Hill isn’t working on a mid-range game. He’s working on something much farther out…
“We got Pau Gasol that can focus on the paint and we got Chris Kaman that can focus on the block. So I just want to be a stretch 4. Just try to spread the floor a little bit, just show a little range. I’ve been working on it the whole summer, trying to focus on that, on my 3-ball. It got a lot better. I’m just ready to put it all together and showcase it.”
Not only is this an awful idea, it’s probably a worse idea than making Gasol a stretch four. All of last season, Hill took just 69 shots that were outside five feet. He’s never been known for his jump shot, taking just nine three pointers in his career. While you have to encourage Hill’s drive and desire to be a useful player in D’Antoni’s offense, you have to question D’Antoni. Hill has proven to be a great low-post player, living off of offensive rebounds, putbacks, and dunks. Pulling him away from the basket can only lead to bad things.