No. 7 dishes on takeaways from his second year, summer plans and much more.
Hey, Kings fans – Thanks as always for checking out my blog.
We played well in April, although it didn’t show up in the win column, and finished the season on a strong note. We know we need to keep getting better and learn to work well together as a unit. We have a lot of young talent on our roster, and it’s all about progressing, working hard during the offseason and coming back ready.
I believe I definitely got better as an all-around player in my second season. I worked hard during practices and focused on improving each and every day. When I had opportunities to play, I feel I performed well and showed I’m a much better player.
My three-point and overall field goal percentages were up from my rookie season because I felt more comfortable and confident on the court. I was able to recognize where I can get my shot off, as well as prepare for the way defenses would play me when I was out there.
I think I’ve made strides on the defensive end, as well. Being a good defender is all about the angles of the game, getting to know players’ tendencies and making sure you know the scheme of the defense, which are areas I’ll continue to concentrate on during the coming months.
I plan to work on every aspect of my game this summer – as I strive to become a great guard in this league – including off-the-ball screens, pick-and-roll situations and ball handling.
I workout with my uncle, Lee Taft, who’s been my trainer ever since I was a young kid. I’m very fortunate to have him on my side because he watches my games and gives me advice on different areas I should work on improving. We go through various drills, from weight training to lateral movement to speed and quickness.
My goals are to get quicker, stronger and more consistent with my jumper during my three-to-four-hour daily workout sessions. I don’t necessarily have a certain number of shots I need to put up per day, but I have specific target goals that vary depending on my area of focus.
I also intend to work on different moves that will help me get my shots off easier during games from everywhere on the floor and from different angles in the lane, such as floaters, runners, etc.
Race to the Finish
During our game against the Grizzlies on April 7, Whitney joined Cole’s fiancée and Isaiah’s girlfriend in The Pepsi Races on the court during a timeout.
The three of them love to have fun and thought it would be cool to do. I couldn’t see a lot of what was happening from my vantage point, but I was definitely keeping my eye on it, since I knew she was participating. What’s funny is I didn’t know which costume she was in until after the race! She said she had a great time afterward and was laughing about how she fell at the end.
Whitney and I had a nice dinner to celebrate her recent birthday. Her family was in town, as well, so we had an enjoyable day all around. I gave her a lot of presents, including nice clothes she really wanted. I also picked up a really cool bike for her – a colorful beach cruiser – which she was really happy to get.
During the summer, we’re planning to visit Europe for about 10 days to check out London and Paris – I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun.
Thank you once again for reading my updates throughout the season, and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from me. I know I’ve had a lot of fun and appreciate all of your support.