First-round lottery pick Romeo Langford isn't going to be ready to play in the Boston Celtics' summer league during his rookie season. But that hasn't stopped him from getting in some action in workouts and working on his shooting.
Langford struggled with his shot last season at Indiana, so it's unsurprising that he is trying to work on that early in his NBA career. However, the Celtics were using a unique technique to help correct one of the issues with Langford's shooting form.
During workouts, the Celtics had Langford shooting with a ping-pong paddle taped to his left hand. The paddle was there to serve a specific purpose that was unrelated to his surgically-repaired right thumb as Langford outlined in a post-practice interview.
"Really [the paddle] just [keeps] my thumb, my guide hand off the ball, because that will mess your shot up," said Langford, per our own Chris Forsberg.
Langford admitted that the paddle was there to help change his release a bit to avoid a hitch in his shot that he doesn't want to become an issue at the NBA level.
"I used to shoot with a little hitch in my shot," Langford added. "If you want to be consistent and be one of the best shooters in the NBA, you can’t shoot with a hitch in your shot. Most good shooters have a two-motion release, so just trying to eliminate that little glitch or hitch. Just try to make it all one smooth [release].”
Last year at Indiana, Langford averaged 16.5 points per game but shot just 44.8 percent from the field and 27.2 percent from behind the arc. While Langford won't be on the court this summer, we'll see if he can sort out his thumb issues on both hands (the injury and the hitch) and improve his overall shooting ability ahead of the NBA preseason.
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