Another solid workout today at the practice facility. D.J. Augustin, Stanley Burrell, Josh Duncan, Malik Hairston, Longar Longar and Jason Rich were put through the paces today by the Trail Blazers' coaching staff. Here are some of the things that I noticed.
D.J. Augustin looked great. He had his game going today, showing off just about everything that you'd like to see from an NBA point guard. He's 6-foot, but he's got good length and decent size in general. He shot the ball extremely well, going 38-of-50 during the 3-point shooting drill. His jumper is about as pretty as they come: smooth, compact and fluid. He went 9-for-10, 8-for-10 and 10-for-10 on the first three 3-point stations. He faded a little at the end, but that's to be expected after going full speed for an hour.
Augustin ran the pick and roll to near perfection. Super quick off the dribble. Displays a great pump fake that defenders bought just about every time. Pull up jumper was on the money (which obviously helps the pump fake). Knows what to do when he gets into the paint, be it finishing or finding the open man after drawing a defender. Likes to drive the lane and kick out to the open man on the perimeter. He also likes to cut and move without the ball. Adept at splitting double teams. He got to the basket numerous times by cutting in between two defenders.
The first thing you notice about Malik Hairston is that he's in really good shape. He looks like he's lost at least 15 pounds since college while adding muscle, especially in his arms. He looks much quicker, probably due to the weight loss, which helped him play great defense against the guards and forwards in the workout. It looks like he also changed up the mechanics on his shot a little bit.
Hairston seemed upset by his shooting, but managed to get involved in other ways. He displayed a nice handle and seemed comfortable dribbling the ball at all points on the floor. He opted a couple of times to dish to open players rather than forcing the issue in traffic. Seemed capable of getting to the hole whenever he put his mind too it. He didn't shoot all that well during the drills, but he displayed a nice mid-range shot during the three-on-three portions of the workout. Looked good passing in general. On defense, he guarded just about everyone on the floor at one time or another, with great results. He really fought hard through screens. Also quick to close in on his man when going under screens.
Longar Longar was probably the most physical player on the floor. He's a tough defender who's also not afraid to shoot the ball. Especially willing to go up with it when in the post. High release on his shot. Displayed a fairly reliable jumper during the shooting drills. He actually wanted to shoot from the NBA 3-point range, though Maurice Lucas convinced him to move a little closer to the hoop in order to better display his skills. You have to like a guy who challenges himself.
Josh Duncan held his own during this workout. He uses some crafty moves to get to the basket. Finishes around the hoop very well. Capable of putting the ball on the floor and able to throw a couple of moves at his defender with his back to the basket. A solid athlete. Quick with or without the ball. Very solid defensively.
Now here's where it gets a bit embarrassing: I couldn't tell Stanley Burrell and Jason Rich apart. We're watching from across one court, with people sitting in between and without a great picture to reference. And since I'm not up on my Xavier or Florida State basketball, and since both guys are about the same size and were wearing the exact same t-shirt and shorts, I was incapable of distinguishing between the two. I did take notes, though I referred to one as "gray shoes" and the other as "arm brace." Since I'm not sure which is which, I don't feel comfortable giving my impression of either, whomever they may be. Sorry.