There were times last year where you saw glimpses of PJ Hairston’s potential and there were times where you would shake your head in disbelief at some of his questionable decisions and shot choices.
No one questions whether PJ can shoot the ball, he’s a prolific shooter and a streaky scorer, but struggled mightily last year with his footwork. Luckily, Hubert Davis was brought in as an assistant coach and has worked extremely hard with PJ on his footwork and his shot.
In the first two games you couldn’t really see the improvement in Hairston, but he’s started to catch fire to the tune of 32 points in two games and is coming off a career high 18 points Monday night. His shot looks more fluid and his footwork looks more put together. Along with his 18 points Monday night he also had three blocks; showcasing defensive talent not many of us thought he possessed.
The success of this young perimeter oriented team depends a lot on Hairston’s growth and maturity as a player. His confidence shriveled last year to a very low level, but this year is a fresh start and PJ has shown the ability to be a lethal scorer.
Unlike Leslie McDonald and Reggie Bullock, PJ can use his muscular build and athletic frame to get into the lane absorb contact and score in the paint. This makes him even more dangerous because you can’t just get in his face and make him put it on the floor because he can drive it to the hoop as well.
Quite often in the NBA and college basketball the biggest growth in a player’s game is from his first year to his second year. I think big things are going to take place in PJ Hairston’s game as he begins to realize his potential. Look for him to continue to break out this year, score in bunches, and place more of an emphasis on defense then he has in the past.