While Jahlil Okafor continues to work on being in “NBA shape” on a day-to-day basis, he’s made it a point of emphasis to work on his three-point shot as well.
Here he is, shooting away, from long two and corner three range at the Nets’ Monday practice, working with assistants Brett Brielmaier and Will Weaver.
Okafor says his comfort level is very high … in practice. Before he took — and missed— two vs. Toronto, Okafor, known better for his post and face-up games, was 1-of-6 in his two years with the 76ers.
“In practice I’m very comfortable shooting it. It’s just trying to adjust that to the game,” he said. “(The game is) a lot faster with somebody actually guarding you. Just trying to make it game speed, more game-like. I’m a basketball player so I’m always going to the gym and always shooting.”
Okafor also talked about the encouragement he’s received from the Nets’ coaching staff to better himself in that area (among others).
“Yeah, they encourage everybody on the team. Everyone here is positive and they want the best for each and every player. They’re encouraging me to shoot it, to improve as a player.”
Said the two he took in the game were the first he took as part of a game flow, meaning the previous six were of the last second toss variety. Was he comfortable with the range?
“I can’t really gauge (it),” he said. “I can come in here, shoot all day and be comfortable but I haven’t had a chance to shoot those in the game. It’s just all new to me.”
The Nets have had a recent history of encouraging everyone to step out, specifically, centers who don’t typically shoot from long range...
Like Tyler Zeller.
Like Timofey Mozgov.
And even like Jarrett Allen.
Add Okafor to the list. At some point, we’ll be able to see it in games. We don’t know when yet, though.