Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 10 Al-Farouq Aminu
No. 10: Al-Farouq Aminu
NBA players often talk about what they want to add to their game. For New Orleans small forward Al-Farouq Aminu last season, his successful progression was as much about what he eliminated from his.
At the urging of Pelicans Coach Monty Williams and his staff, Aminu was significantly more discriminating about launching perimeter shots, instead using his athleticism and 6-foot-9 frame to score around the rim and soar for rebounds. The third-year pro also reduced his turnover rate, a problem area during his 2011-12 debut season in New Orleans. In another example of his improved shot selection, the Wake Forest product has decreased his three-point attempts from 143 as a rookie to 47 to just 19 last season.
Aminu’s individual improvement led New Orleans to re-sign him to a one-year contract in July. The 23-year-old was only the team’s seventh-leading scorer in 2012-13, but offense isn’t what makes him valuable to the Pelicans. Williams often gives Aminu the most difficult defensive assignment, while asking him to help out on the backboards at both ends of the floor. In the last New Orleans Hornets game last April, Aminu set a career high with 20 rebounds at Dallas. He was New Orleans’ second-leading rebounder last season (7.7 rpg) – behind only Anthony Davis (8.2) – and tied for 24th in the NBA with Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Indiana’s David West.