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Re: Walker Not Ready To Be Small Forward
> What I don't get is that two nights ago, Walker started with Battie and Pot,
> played small forward, and had a great game. Last night, they play the same
> team, Walker starts at 4 with Pierce and Griffin at 3 and 2, and he has a
> lousy game. How does that add up to Walker is not ready to play the 3?
I would hypothesize that this is a motivational ploy by Pitino to get
Walker in great shape, because that is really the key to Walker becoming
a great player. Walker sees himself as a small forward with his passing
and ballhandling skills and would rather play there than get beat up
by bigger power forwards every game. So Pitino tells him, "You have to
get in the best shape of your life to play small forward." Pitino's
dangling that carrot in front of Walker, and Walker has to play power
forward until he's in much better shape - which by coincidence, is when
Danny Fortson returns.
Walker evidently is really not in great shape either. I thought he was fine
after watching a few games because he would race up the floor during fast
breaks and beat his man up the floor, and he was active on the press
making steals, but I think he's also conserving his energy when he can.
Sometimes he does a slow jog up the floor and looks tired early in the
game. From the box scores it looks like his rebounding is not up to par
either, and that is probably a good sign of his overall conditioning.
Now, he doesn't necessarily need to be in better shape to play the 3 than
the 4 - just have a difference balance of cardio to strength, probably -
but hopefully Pitino can convince him that he needs to stay in great
shape to play 3, and Walker gets in great shape this season and keeps
it over future offseasons.
Distressing stat - Walker has gotten only 43 rebounds over these eight
preseason games, an average of 5.4. He has not gotten more than two
offensive rebounds during any game. I hope he steps it up in a major
way once the real season starts because the team desperately needs his
rebounding with Fortson out.