I've been defending Terrence Jones for his unusually bad ballhandling and shooting since he badly dislocated his pinkie, so, after my workout a couple of days ago, I decided to test my hypothesis that the reduction of hand "spread" with the pinkie taped to the ring finger on one's dominant hand can severely decrement the ability to shoot and handle the ball.
Some background: I'm almost 65, an old ball player, can't run for crap, can barely get both feet off the ground and have the relfexes of a sloth. But I can still shoot, as long as the range is five or six feet inside what it used to be.
So my experiment went like this:I taped my right-hand pinkie to my ring finger and went to work shooting free throws. Normally, after a little warm-up, I can hit aboutt 17-19 out of 20 (no pressure, no defense, remember). Well, with the two fingers taped together, and after warming up, I hit one, missed one, hit 11, missed one, and hit six. Looks like I disproved my own theory, or did I?
Jump shots were another matter (realizing that "jump" in my case is a gross exaggeration). Very tough to get the ball into shooting position on the impaired hand without taking a lot of time. Two-handed rebounds were tough, too. Too much instinct and not enough time to position the hand to control the ball. And think about the pain involved with dislocating the proximal interphalangeal joint (I looked it up!!!!!) on the pinkie to the point that it would point sideways about 45 degrees.
So, while I went into my experiment with an outcome in mind (the surest sign of a terrible researcher, or one with an agenda), and seemed to disprove my own theory, in the end, I stick by my defense of Terrence. I think his progress in rebounding in the Loo (you do know what that means in the UK, don't you?)-uh-ville game shows that the pinkie is making progress.
So, I ain't giving up on the kid yet. And when Miller re-gains his shooting touch (progress there, too), Teague becomes a college point guard (more progress, although slower than Cal wants), and Wiltjer gets a confidence booster shot, LOOK OUT.