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News » BUCKS Taking a shot or 2 . . . thousand Mbah a Moute drinks in the work on road to better jumper

BUCKS Taking a shot or 2 . . . thousand Mbah a Moute drinks in the work on road to better jumper

BUCKS  Taking a shot or 2 . . . thousand  Mbah a Moute drinks in the work on road to better jumper By TOM ENLUND

St. Francis - During a water break at a recent Milwaukee Bucks practice at the team's training center, forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute positioned himself alone at a basket and hoisted a number of jump shots while the other players quenched their thirst.

It's also not uncommon to see the second-year player stay after practice and put up even more jumpers with assistant coaches.

Improving his mid-range jump shot has been high on Mbah a Moute's list since the end of last season and it's something he took seriously over the summer and in training camp.

"He's put in hours and hours on it," said Bucks assistant coach Bill Peterson, who worked regularly with Mbah a Moute over the summer. "And good, quality time. Not just messing around. I think we'll see progress. Will he be where we want him to be? Not quite yet. He's only a second-year player. He's really focused on it. He wants to get better."

Said coach Scott Skiles: "He's worked on his shot tirelessly."

Last season as a rookie, Mbah a Moute averaged 7.2 points on 46.2% shooting and he and departed forward Richard Jefferson were the only two Bucks to play in all 82 games. Mbah a Moute's 491 field goals attempted were the fewest among the players in the regular rotation. Mbah a Moute, though, didn't take long to establish himself as the team's top defender.

In an effort to avoid a drop-off in his second season, Mbah a Moute has worked in the weight room to get his legs and upper body stronger. He wants to improve at taking contact and finishing around the rim and develop his low-post game.

But sharpening his jump shot was as important as anything, and Mbah a Moute thinks he's made progress.

"I got better," he said. "My shot got more consistent. I worked a little bit on my defense. I was also trying to develop a post game a little more and be more aggressive there."

Asked what he's hoping to bring to the table this season, he said, "The same thing I brought last year. Come in and play hard and defend every night. Compete and give my best for the team. Be unselfish on the offensive end and try to make plays for the team. That's all."

For the most part, the Bucks have had Mbah a Moute working on the mechanics of his shot, getting him to follow through more consistently, keep a wider base, as he tends to keep his feet together when he shoots, and use his legs to get into his shot.

"When you get a wide base, you have balance," said Peterson. "When you have a wide base and push you have more force when you shoot the ball. He's pretty good when he steps in to shoot. Where he gets in trouble is when he is just standing. His feet tend to get inside his shoulders and he's got no lift and he ends up hitting the rim. Or he's short, something like that.

"Here's a young man who has put in a lot of time. He's not a natural-born stroke guy like Carlos Delfino or Mike Redd. He's put a lot of time in and he's gotten better and better and will continue to get better. It's a work in progress."

Working with Peterson and assistant coach Adrian Griffin over the summer, Mbah a Moute would shoot until he made 2,000 shots a week, doing so for five or six weeks. Some of those shots were even from the three-point line as the coaches tried to extend his range.

"From where he was last year at this time to now, he's way, way better," said Peterson. "He can do it. He just has to keep doing it . . . repetition, repetition, repetition."

Mbah a Moute says he doesn't set personal goals going into a season.

"I usually don't set goals for myself," he said. "I just want to be who I am. Try to get better as the season progresses, that's all it is. I just want to get better and see my team get better. If the team does good, I'm doing something good."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: October 7, 2009


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