OKC Thunder's Kyle Weaver improving across the board
Darnell Mayberry •
Published: July 16, 2009
/articleid/3385577/1/pictures/608266"> Oklahoma City’s Kyle Weaver has done a strong job on defense in the summer league. PHOTO BY HUGH SCOTT, THE OKLAHOMAN
"It’s still challenges and a lot to learn. But I think from just being out there on the floor, things are starting to become a little bit smoother, which is a good thing because it allows me to do the things that I do well out there.”
But it hasn’t been all defense.
Weaver is shooting well this summer. Thunder coaches talked all last season about how good of a shooter Weaver is. But what has stood out, even in limited chances, is how Weaver is beginning to shed his slow, elaborate shooting form.
He’s now looking more comfortable shooting from the perimeter after working on developing a quicker release. Through the Thunder’s first two games, Weaver is shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
"I’ve been practicing it and just trying to get it to where I can get it off when defenders are closing out so they can’t affect my shot,” Weaver said. "I’ve been doing a lot of shooting this summer so just being consistent with it I think is the biggest thing.”
Weaver also has played the point guard position for a good amount of time this summer, learning how to set up the offense while continuing to be a solid facilitator.
He gets lost in the mix only because he chooses to be a team-first player who doesn’t mind deferring to and setting up teammates like James Harden, Shaun Livingston, Serge Ibaka, Byron Mullens and Robert Vaden.
"But he can always defend, and he’s capable of doing different things when called upon,” Keefe said. "When the ball comes to him he can make a shot or make a play. His shooting has improved. But his versatility is where his strength is. He can guard multiple positions and that’s what makes him valuable to us.”