Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter embracing the hook shot
By Aaron Falk
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Mar 12 2014 08:07PM
The statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is a frozen portrait of the Hall of Famer’s deadly skyhook.
It’s a shot the ex-center lamented has fallen out of favor in today’s game.
"I’m not really surprised because the guys that coach grade school kids don’t show them how to play near the basket," he said. "They all want to shoot 3-pointers. Kids want to handle the ball."
But it’s a shot Jazz center Enes Kanter has in his repertoire — and one his coach would like to see more of.
"When he feels the guy, feels the guy and it’s that running hook across the lane with his rhythm, I think that’s a really good shot for him," Ty Corbin said. "And actually it gives him an opportunity to get fouled because he’s going across the basket. He’s moving, his guy is moving."
About 11 percent of Kanter’s attempts this season have been some variation of a hook shot, according to the NBA’s data. He’s hitting on 61 percent of them.
"Kareem in his day perfected the shot," Corbin said. "It’s very effective. I’ve seen a few of them myself live. You can’t get to it."
Go big or go home
John Lucas III wore a protective boot on his right ankle Wednesday, after spraining it the day before in practice.
"He tried to block a shot," Corbin said of the 5-foot-11 point guard, before breaking into a laugh with reporters. "We like the hustle. He knew right when he tried to block the shot it wasn’t the right thing to do, but we appreciate the effort."
Lucas, a 30-year-old journeyman, has blocked two shots in his NBA career.
Corbin said X-Rays of Lucas’ ankle were negative. He’s listed as day to day.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki hit on his first attempt of the game, a one-legged fadeaway, to most past John Havlicek and into No. 12 on the all-time scoring leaders list. The bucket gave Nowitzki 26,397 points. Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins is No. 11 on the list with 26,668 points.