A simple discussion with his coach is likely to revive a player. Bones Hyland can attest to that. In the middle of the week, he had an exchange with Mike Malone, after a collective shooting session, for the two men to recover “ on the same wavelength “. Upstream, the technician had sent a message to his rookie. ” It’s not you “, he formulated in substance.
The 26th choice of the last Draft had indeed chained two meetings, against the Thunder then the Clippers, without scoring a point and finishing at 0/5 on shots in both cases. Not ideal for raising a percentage of success over the year limited to only 36%.
This conversation had the merit of removing ” a bit of stress weighing on the 21-year-old’s shoulders. “ It allowed me to relax more, to be more at ease, knowing that the coach and I have strengthened our bonds. This meeting was very important“, describes the young man.
It has largely raised the bar since. In the wake of his two missed outings, he signed one of his best games of the year with 17 points in the big victory against the Blazers. Even if he had registered the majority of his points in the “garbage time”.
This night for the reception of the Lakers, the point guard / back did even stronger, having a real impact on the turn of events. Capping at 32% success behind the 3-point line, he caught fire with three award-winning baskets in the first period, which ended with 16 points scored. Beyond his long address, the rookie made an impression with his speed and agility with the ball in hand. Like his magnificent “spin move” which froze Trevor Ariza in place in the racket.
First double-double also
” If they try to get me off the 3-point line or if they’re too aggressive on me, I know I can use my speed to break in, go where I want and create for my teammates too. My shot is a formidable weapon, I will continue to use it “, warns the native of Delaware.
On arrival, a new record in his young career with 27 points (8/15, including 6/10 from afar), 2 assists and 2 steals but also… 10 rebounds. First double-double for the player of 1m90 and barely 80 kilos.
Mike Malone who, paradoxically, had asked his player to stop being obsessed with “scoring”, loved his player’s reaction: “ I felt like for a while he was in attack mode. I think the message got through. More importantly, it was received. He was phenomenal. […] I just like the maturity of this young man who had a really difficult year because of the Covid or his ankle problems. He’s been great in the last two games.“
Shining against the Lakers has a special flavor for Bones Hyland who clearly wanted to show off against one of the players he grew up with, LeBron James. ” Being on the same pitch as him was important to me. I wanted to show the world what I had to offer, I made a name for myself and we came away with the victory. It was a great team victory. “A great victory for him too.