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Novakaine: Not just a sniper?
Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak has new summer digs 10 minutes from Marquette's campus, where he spent his college career. He's also added some new elements to his life on the court. On Wednesday, after his three-hour morning workout, he shared insights into his different training methods with ESPNNewYork.com, and discussed the upcoming season and his personal goals.
First, Novak takes you inside the Golden Eagles' gym in Milwaukee to tell you how he's been gearing up for 2012-13.
Q: The Knicks' offseason acquisitions reflect Mike Woodson's defensive culture. Is that someting you've thought about and are preparing for?
Novak: Yeah, for sure. When I'm here in the summer playing against these former Marquette guys -- Wesley Matthews [Trail Blazers], Jimmy Butler [Bulls] and Darius Johnson-Odom [Lakers] -- I work on defense. I think for me, it's been nice to be at Marquette and have 5-on-5 games all summer long, because that's the time when you can really put an emphasis guarding different position players. I think for me, the thing I'm really focused on this summer was positioning -- making sure I was always in the right spot, making sure guys always knew where I was, that I was talking. I feel like that's going to be my value defensively -- being there to take a charge, being there to help -- because I need to be a team defender, there's no doubt. That's the kind of team that we've built.
AP Photo/Kathy WillensSteve Novak wants to be more than just a spot-up shooter next season.
Q: Offensively, what have you been working on?
Novak: In the NBA, they say, "Do what you do." I try to never get away obviously from understanding what my strength is, which is shooting the ball, but knowing how defenses are going to change this year guarding me, I knew I had to work on my one- and two-dribble pullups. I knew I had to be more comfortable putting the ball on the floor more and dribbling more -- not just catching and shooting. So that's really what I did a lot of work on -- lots of reps with "The Gun," the rebounding machine. I would just get the ball and shot fake to the right, shot fake to the left and shot fake to draw the foul. The thing I've been focusing on is just a small change, being more comfortable with that, but I feel like it's one of those small changes that can just make a really big difference. I feel like if I can draw fouls on my shot fake and that kind of thing, it totally changes the way a defender has to guard me.
Q: In your drills, are you looking to take on more pressure from opposing players and different training devices that help players get used to absorbing contact, while still making the play? Your former Marquette teammate Dwyane Wade is great at that.
Novak: Yeah. I did quite a bit with my workout guy, where it would basically be him jumping in the air like he was contesting my shot and me just jumping into him. Sometimes I'll do it even without contact, and it's really just a mental exercise because it's almost like you have to just mentally know that's kind of what you're going for, and you have to be able to recognize it quickly. If you shot fake thinking you're going to dribble right away, then you lose the opportunity to draw that foul. A lot of times in my game, it's important for me to just get space as quickly as I can. So it's really two things: it's shot faking and getting away from the defender quickly, and then the shot fake and staying put to draw the foul.
Q: Do you watch film of guys who specialize in creating space and drawing fouls?
Novak: In years past, the film I watched wasn't as much how they drew fouls. The film I would watch would be how Reggie Miller comes off screens, how Rip Hamilton would set his man up -- how they would just come off screens and get their shot off quickly. That kind of thing. A lot of it was watching how guys got open -- not as much after they shot; more before they shot.
Q: It's amazing how it all comes down to a split-second decision, where one dribble here or one shot fake there can be the difference between an open look and a missed opportunity.
Novak: It really is true. Everything does happen so fast because guys are so long and guys are so athletic that you can't be thinking about it as an after-thought. It has to be something you kind of have ingrained in you, and I think that's what this summer has been about. I wanted things to be kind of more ingrained in me, so when the game comes so quickly and it's happening, I've been practicing those things, I've been thinking about those things, I've been recognizing them more quickly.
Ray Allen in his prime is a more complete player than Novak.
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Ray Allen in 2012 is a more complete player than Novak
Loco Ochos, i'd say Novak got most dimes from either Lin or JR Smith,
so it's 1 or the 2 for sure, who's to say other than a stat-man?
good article to read, the 'Kaine is an intelligent dude who knows he's gotta
change his game just a tad to improve. I like everything he had to say, good
to hear he's been working hard over the summer with quality players.
he don't lie, he don't lie... novakaine.
Sometimes, I like to think that Novak is a shotgun
Novak did most of this stuff last year. Saw that pump fake, step in dribble and shoot a few times last year. And he uses position to box out and get his rebounds along with defending.
I want to know at 6'10" can he throw it down, people assume since he's that tall that he can but I bet he can't because there's not one video highlight I have ever seen him where he's done it college or the NBA, practice or real game.
Jason Kidd will now supplying the novacaine off the bench...
However Lin always hit Novak with great passes but Kidd is not slouch and I like having Kidd finding guys like JR and Novak whenever he wants
Another reason Allen Iverson should be signed is to teach Novak ball-handling skills.
This, the bold. Just that move alone if used more often can make him twice as dangerous.
Originally Posted by tiger0330
Look, I'm glad he's working on the game, but he's always a sniper first and everything else second. If he can add some more things to his game, that's a great bonus, but I'm not really going to hold my breath. Novak do what Novak does.
And I think he can absolutely slam dunk the **** out of the ball. I mean, the guy made it to the highest level of professional basketball and he's 6'10", do 6'10" guys even have to jump to dunk, really? I think he doesn't dunk because he doesn't really drive the lane. Plus probably where he is from in Wisconsin, they don't dunk maybe they're Amish or something, like Yao Ming didn't dunk because it's a cultural thing, because in China it's rude to dunk on people.
Iverson is not coming. Stop beating a dead dog.
Originally Posted by RunningJumper
AI doesn't strike me as the teaching type. I think he's just one of those players that the game comes easy to and wouldn't know how to simplify it for someone that doesn't have the skill set he does.
Originally Posted by RunningJumper
He needs to work on his fakes so he can get the ďAnd 1ísĒ. I think heíll pick up some defensive skills (positioning wise). I can see him getting a few charges if he can just get better with his foot work and awareness. I donít expect him to be a shot blocker, ball stealer, or someone that will take dudes to the rack. Just get better at what he does and help out a bit more on defense.
I think we're expecting too much from a player who has spent majority of his career as a 10th man. He had a career year under us, it'll be nice if he can play more aggressive defense (He's not HORRIBLE).
Everyone can get better, yes?
His defense IS horrible. It's the one gripe i have with him. He's too slow to stay with most of the SF's he gets match up against. He can't stay in front of them on drives and dosen't have the quickness to close out on shooters. His length should help him there but the guy just can't get it right.
I like that he's been working on putting it on the floor but would much rather hear about him doing 2-a-days to get his conditioning and defense up to par.