Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 10:45 am  |  19 responses

Yi Jianlian Adds To His Toolbox

Via the Washington Post: “The Washington Wizards’ textbook fast break against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday – two passes, no dribbles and a dunk, in less than five seconds – served as evidence of the evolving Yi, who is looking to finish strong near the basket more often and “race the floor,” not simply run it. ‘Race the floor,’ Yi said with a grin. ‘That is the term.’ Yi picked up that phrase while working for six weeks last summer with David Thorpe, the executive director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Fla. In one of their early conversations, Thorpe asked Yi if he runs the floor. When Yi told him yes, Thorpe retorted, ‘The best players race.’… Through the first three games of the preseason, Yi is leading the team in rebounding (6.7) and ranks fourth in scoring at 11.7 points per game, despite playing just more than 23 minutes per game. He had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the preseason-opening win in Dallas, then had a team-best 16 points in the win over Cleveland. ‘He had skills, but he didn’t know how to play. I think he knows how to play now,’ Thorpe said in a telephone interview. Thorpe worked with Yi six days a week last summer and claims that Yi never missed a workout. Before connecting with Thorpe, Yi thought he could make it in the league simply by being a big man who can spread the floor and hit jumpers. ‘I thought for a 7-foot, agile, long, coordinated athlete like him, it was a huge mistake,’ Thorpe said of Yi, who made 36.6 percent of his three-point attempts last season. ‘We just kind of rearranged his thinking of himself. Instead of [his shooting ability] being a defining part of his game, it’s now one of the tools in his toolbox.’”

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  • JTaylor21

    Dude got talent and just needs to put it together like Jenga.

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    Be Yi-zzy!

  • t-sizzle

    Good to see he even got 3 blocks against Dallas. Let’s hope he keeps this up. Man, if all it took was letting him know not to shoot so many shots and start running the court and being more aggressive, I coulda told him that ages ago..

  • Clement

    most difficult part of the game to master is always the mental aspect.

  • Pindajung

    If he does see the light he could be very very good. Wizards only gave up Quinten Ross for him….. And got paid 3 million for it! They should extend him as soon as possible because he’s gonna get a pay day from someone this summer if they dont

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Easy Yi! Dude has a lot of potential to be good. Depending on how much playing time he gets in Washington, he could be good. Definitely a new thing coming off the bench too!

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    how often do you see pros willing to change their game? good for this young man being willing to listen and change.

  • http://Slamonline.com rocksinmypants

    Adding to your tool box is every mans dream

  • http://zoran_dakovic@hotmail.com RickyRude

    Wizards will be very exciting to watch this year.

  • http://sdklff.com Jukai

    Hey, Maybe Yi will get it. No reason not to root for the dude.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    The asian population in milwaukee is unsatisfactory

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    David Thorpe is a good trainer. He got Kevin Martin’s game right too. Martin went from an athletic jack of all trades, to a stone cold scorer with a knack for getting to the line in one year.
    If I was a player I would train with dude.

  • Luckyme

    Let’s hope he does not get hurt again. I remember he got hurt when he was starting to do really well
    ( in both Milwaukee and New Jersey), then when he came back from his injuries, he was not the same man.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    wonder if they’ll play him at the small forward spot for long stretches this season. they could potentially be a very long lineup.

  • flipnoyce

    He has time to grow but he needs to be more aggressive!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    with andray blatche at starting power forward, i might not be long before easy yi starts!

  • Ronald

    @Allenp: Yeah, he does sound like an awesome trainer. He’s also honest i.e stating that starting Yi with Blatche/Javale would be a mistake cause Yi doesn’t rebound well. I hope it works out with Yi though, the guy is bloddy talented.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ Actually Ronald, Yi has really improved on his rebounding. I’d say if he continues to improve the Wizards will be better off with Yi starting.

  • http://gps00200@gmail.com Alex

    Yi needs to be more aggressive and mentally stronger.