Though Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Kay Felder hasn't seen much court time early in this 2016-2017 NBA season, don't think for a minute that he gets to take it easy. The morning we visited with Felder, the 5-foot-9 rookie out of Oakland University was being put through an exhausting series of on-court drills by assistant head coach Phil Handy—and that was after Felder had worked out and gone through the morning shootaround.
Felder has had to fight against his size his entire career, and it's only gotten more difficult in the NBA, where the bodies are taller and the players are stronger. For Felder, navigating the floor can be like cutting through thick underbrush; and because of that, the Cavs want him to think ahead and use the skills he possesses to his advantage, specifically the pick and roll.
Handy ran Felder through a series of drills in which the rookie was instructed to use the pick (in this case a large cone that represented a teammate) in a myriad of ways. In one, Felder darts around the cone and pulls up for a midrange jumper. In another, he dribbles one way around the pick, then pivots back around another pick, set by Handy, into a give and go. Finally, he engages in a pick and pop, where he darts out to the side of the pick and shoots a jumper.
Felder also worked on his handles and crossover dribbles, first using a medicine ball, then replacing it with a basketball. By the end of the session, Felder was drenched in sweat; and despite his claims that this was a "light" workout, nothing about it looked easy.
Just another day in the life of a rookie looking to make the leap to NBA point guard.
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