|Jimmer Fever could be spreading again soon. Take vitamins. (Getty Images)|
In his rookie season, Jimmer Fredette didn't show the Sacramento Kings anything to prove they made a smart deal when they made a three-team trade to acquire the guard out of BYU as the 10th pick in the draft.
He scored just 7.6 points on 7.3 shots in 18.3 minutes per game. Other than a four-game stretch at the end of January in which he averaged 16.5 points on 45.6 percent from the field and 2.5 assists per game, Jimmer struggled to put together back-to-back good games throughout the hectic lockout-shortened season.
This season, he has seen his minutes reduced with the emergence of Isaiah Thomas last season and the signing of Aaron Brooks this offseason. But the minutes that he has received so far in his second season, he has turned into a glimpse of the reasons why he was picked in the lottery.
Jimmer is only receiving 10.1 minutes per game, but his 36-minute averages of 24.1 points on 51.6 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from the 3-point line and 91.7 percent from the free throw line show a remarkable improvement from last season. The improvement back toward where he was as a college player can be credited to adjusting to NBA life. Via SportsRadioInterviews.com:
What he did this offseason to get ready for his second season in the NBA:
“Just worked hard in the offseason and try to work against some good players and play against some good competition this summer. I think the Summer League helped a lot but just shooting a lot of shots, finding yourself, getting comfortable within the offense and I think the second year around in anything you always feel more comfortable just with the players, the coaching staff and area in general. I think that helps a lot.”
Jimmer probably felt uncomfortable last season because he couldn't get any separation for his jumper. The lack of quickness and athleticism that the naysayers claimed would stop him from being a weapon at the NBA level were very real concerns after his rookie season. He looked overmatched and had to just throw up bad shots as almost a trial-and-error method of figuring out how to score in the NBA.
In the Las Vegas Summer League, Jimmer looked like he was only looking out for his own scoring. He took a lot of shots, hit a few of them and looked more like a gunner than a point guard.
However, to start this season, he has been pretty spectacular in spot minutes. Jimmer is moving a lot better without the ball, and he has been able to do a lot of damage in transition, where roughly 20 percent of his scoring has occurred. The efficiency of Jimmer in limited minutes has led to a cry from Jimmer fans to get him more minutes with the first and second units.
Adjusting to NBA life in all aspects has helped him be able to find more of a rhythm on the court.
“My senior year was crazy and that summer was definitely life-changing and a lot different than what I was used to and with that comes a lot of critique. Last year was a transition year, something that I just need to continue to work on and get better and use it as motivation to get better as an NBA basketball player and help this team reach where we want to go so that's pretty much what I'm trying to do right now. Settled in, feeling great and hopefully able to have a great season.”
While the Kings aren't having a great season so far, Jimmer's improved play and ability to eventually earn more minutes could at least make it more entertaining.