Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

February 29, 2012
The Morning After: Smart just wants Jimmer to shoot

Win or lose, my Twitter account at some point is usually flooded at some point with Jimmer Fredette questions.

They usually are about why isn't Kings coach Keith Smart playing Fredette more? Or does Smart not like Fredette or why is the coach holding Fredette back?
Fredette has had his struggles as a rookie. Fredette gets into trouble when teams force him to dribble into trouble and has struggled defensively (which I touched on here.).

When the Kings drafted Fredette he was touted as a point guard but Smart doesn't want Fredette to worry so much about running the offense. Instead he wants Fredette to do what he does best.

"I'm encouraging him to be a shooter," Smart said. "That's a skill you have, be a shooter right now."

Fredette's playing time has decreased with the return of Marcus Thornton (who has scored 20 or more in nine of his last 10 games).

Fredette had some good moments while Marcus Thornton was out. Fredette averaged 9.8 points and made 50 percent of his threes in six starts.

But in the last two games, Fredette has played just 20 minutes, none of the time coming in the second half.

Overall Fredette averages 7.9 points and is shooting 37.7 percent on threes. Fredette is shooting 37.8 percent from the field this season.

Smart would rather Fredette shoot than dribble into trouble and have a shot blocked or commit a turnover.
Smart, however, isn't going to be Fredette's ear every moment of every practice or when he's in the game.

"I think for me as a coach and a player you have to leave him alone," Smart said. "I think everyone is in his ear about everything and so I try to stay away from him and let him play because if I'm in his ear he'll be a robot on the floor."

"My job is to keep encouraging him and not get caught up in making him into something that he's not yet."

"For me I've said what I need to say to him. He knows where everything stands. So I've got make sure I leave him alone and let him grow as a pro but again keep encouraging hm. I want him to focus on shooting the ball."

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