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Evan Turner working on overhauling his shot

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The 2010 No. 2 overall pick, Evan Turner, had a rough rookie season.

That starts with trouble putting the ball in the basket with any consistency. The main reason for that was Turner’s shaky outside shot — the 22-year old Ohio State product finished well at the rim, but shot only 37.6% on 10-15 foot jumpers, 37% on 16-23 foot jumpers, and 31.8% from beyond the three-point arc.

This off-season, Turner is trying to shore up his biggest weakness, and has been working diligently with Philadelphia area legend (and college coach) Herb Magee to change the mechanics of his shot and become a more successful shooter.’s Kate Fagan has the story:

Unlike what most NBA players do, which is get into the gym and just take hundreds of jumpers and three-pointers, the work Turner is doing with Magee is breaking everything down to the absolute basics. Anybody who has ever played or worked on their shot knows the structure at a camp or as a kid: shoot the ball to yourself with all of the fundamentals in check (feet shoulder width, shooting elbow tucked in, etc.), shoot the ball in the air to someone else, approach the hoop and shoot one-handed shots employing the same fundamentals, add the guide hand (off hand) and shoot within a foot of the rim, slowly take steps away from the rim, etc.

Again, one more time for emphasis, the fact that Turner is absorbing this instruction and not scoffing at the thought of shooting the ball to himself in the air should give you an indication that he’s pretty coachable. I don’t know a lot of NBA players who would allow their game to be broken down to such a microscopic level. It sounds like Turner and Magee worked for over an hour and a half yesterday and never got past shooting the ball one-handed, not more than a foot away from the rim.

According to Magee, the problem with Turner’s shot isn’t his shooting hand, but the placement of his off, or “guide” hand, and that’s what he’s looking to fix. Plenty of rookies have come into the NBA and struggled because of shaky jump shots — what separates the semi-late bloomers from the busts is which players are willing to put the right kind of work on their shot in and which ones aren’t.

Turner appears to be putting the work in — if the results come, he may well live up to his No. 2 pick pedigree in the near future.

Kevin Love names NBA players he thinks could play in NFL

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The majority of guys in the NBA are not built for the NFL. Blake Griffin the tight end makes a huge target for a free safety to line up. Kevin Durant is a little thin. Carmelo Anthony? Come on now.

But there are a few guys who might be able to, and on his show Dan Patrick asks Kevin Love about it today (see the video above). Then DP tries to take the obvious call of LeBron James off the table.

Nate Robinson as a DB? He’s athletic enough but at his height he would be a target for tall receivers. I like Dan Patrick’s suggestion of Russell Westbrook the free safety — he is certainly athletic enough.

Love also picked himself as a QB. Um, no. I’m not sure his outlet passing skills translate.

Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on not guilty verdict: “Justice was served”

Thabo Sefolosha

Friday morning, a New York jury found Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha not guilty of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. The charges stemmed from the night in the final weeks of last season when Sefolosha and then teammate Pero Antic went to a New York club after arriving in town, and while there Pacers’ player Chris Copeland was stabbed outside the club. In his clash with police, Sefolosha suffered a broken leg that required surgery and kept him out of the playoffs.

The New York prosecutor tried to make this go away with a plea deal of just day of community service and six months probation. But Sefolosha had the means and mind to fight the charges, got his day in court and won. This is what he said in a statement after the verdict, released by the Atlanta Hawks.

“This morning’s verdict ended a long and emotional period for me.  Justice was served and for that I am eternally grateful to the judge and jury for their quick and deliberate decision….

“It’s troubling to me that with so much evidence in my support that this case would even be brought to trial and that I had to defend myself so hard to get justice. It pains me to think about all of the innocent people who aren’t fortunate enough to have the resources, visibility and access to quality legal counsel that I have had.

“It was important to me as a man, a father to two young girls and as a role model, to stand up for what I believe in and have my name cleared of any wrongdoing.  Today’s verdict will not make up for the pain and trauma my family and I have suffered over the past six months or bring back the opportunity to have played in the Eastern Conference Finals and have a shot at an NBA title, but it does bring me some peace and closes a painful chapter in my life.

“Now I look forward to returning to the team and focusing solely on my rehabilitation for the upcoming season so that I can get back to playing the game I cherish so much.”

While Sefolosha says he is focusing “solely” on his rehab, the win in the criminal case would bode well for a potential civil case if he wanted to sue regarding his treatment and the broken leg.

Hawks’ coach Mike Budenholzer — who testified at the trial and was amused by parts of it — released this statement:

“Thabo is a man of great character and we are proud that he took a principled approach to proving his innocence. We are extremely happy for him and his family, and we are very pleased with today’s verdict in his favor.”