NBA Roundtable

Mike Dunleavy +Training Camp

In General NBA on December 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Mike Wells reports

Indiana Pacers swingman Mike Dunleavy’s weary legs continued when he went 1-of-4 from the field and committed a team-high five turnovers in a 110-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said he will have to look at what options are available to help Dunleavy find a rhythm.

“Clearly his legs are not in the type of game shape that they need to be,” O’Brien said. “That’s a dilemma because it’s hard playing basketball without strong legs, and it doesn’t look like his legs are carrying him very well right now.”I’ll have to talk to our medical staff and see what their impressions were because I don’t know if his legs are ready to carry much of a load right now. That would be my best guess.”

The article continues

Dunleavy, who missed all of training camp and the first 13 games of the season because of knee surgery in March, is shooting 9-of-36 from the field in the past four games.

The problem Dunleavy faces is he’s trying to get into shape on the fly because the Pacers have limited practice time.

“It’s not so much missing the practice time now as it’s missing training camp,” Dunleavy said. “The last two years, you really get an appreciation for training camp, because you can build up your legs and get in shape.”

The first 10-12 games of the season are usually a piece of cake because you have adrenaline, but once you settle into the routine of the season, you realize it’s a long haul and you don’t have that base.”

Training camp is important during the best of times but it is hugely important for player’s returning from lengthily absence.

Any time you see a player like Mike Dunleavy who has been out for a prolonged period of time + you see that he was unable to take part in training camp … be wary about the player’s ability to return to top form quickly. There’s a very good chance he’ll need a month or two to work himself into form and a fair chance that he isn’t able to reach peak form until the following season after he gets in a summer’s work of training first.

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