Drew Hanlen Rumors
Hanlen said the new coaching staff has done a good job talking to Tatum before the season about where he feels most comfortable and what new roles he can take on. So much of their preseason offense was him finding different approaches to lure in double teams and experimenting with varying ways to get the ball out to find an open shooter. “Teams can double-team him on the post. We can obviously play him on the perimeter, play him in pick-and-rolls, play him on the elbows, areas that are hard for him to be double-teamed,” Udoka said. “The other part was the playmaking. He’s welcomed that. He understands the attention he draws so he’s been great in practice and games really picking the gym apart.”
The event was hosted by Drew Hanlen, a renowned basketball trainer and skills coach who has worked with countless superstars over the past several years. In addition to D.C.’s backcourt, other recognizable faces—like Jayson Tatum, Zach Lavine, Enes Kanter, Cheick Diallo and others—participated as well.
What’s the biggest reason for the playoff injuries? Trainers are also split on the issue. The “shortened offseason is definitely the biggest reason” for the slew of injuries we have seen in the playoffs, Drew Hanlen, who counts Joel Embiid among his All-Star clients, told Yahoo Sports in a text. “A lot of people don’t take into account the rest players got during COVID,” Justin Zormelo, an analytics-minded trainer whose own list of All-Star clients has included Paul George, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons, told Yahoo Sports. “Players got three months off not playing basketball to heal their bodies, then they played the bubble, and then they had two months to get ready for the season. You can say they rushed back, but nobody’s talking about the rest they got to heal their bodies. It balances out.”
Now as Tatum sets out to once again hit that next threshold in the playoffs with his team grasping for hope, his trainer, Drew Hanlen, his sherpa on the mountain to the top of the NBA, sees their offseason plan coming to fruition. “The biggest thing that we wanted to focus on this offseason was getting downhill more, and that started with improving his posture, playing lower,” Hanlen told The Athletic. “Then the second thing was basically improving his angles. The third thing was improving his physicality. Early in the season, we didn’t really see that. But I think later on in the season, he’s realizing that those three things not only improve his finishing ability but also improve his ability to get to the line, which has helped him a ton.”
It shows up in Tatum’s finishing numbers, as he has gone from shooting 55.4 percent to 65.9 percent on shots within 5 feet, per NBA Stats. That trails only Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James among non-bigs who took at least five shots at the rim per game. “I think a lot of that has to do with that he’s on balance more,” said Hanlen. “So he’s able to sidestep, Euro step, he’s able to play off for two feet more. He’s able to jump laterally around them. When you’re off balance, the natural thing to do is avoid a charge. Now he’s trying to finish.”
“Brad’s never been someone to run from adversity,” Pure Sweat Basketball’s Drew Hanlen, Beal’s longtime trainer, told Yahoo Sports. “While a lot of other stars have chosen to blame others and run to another team where things are easier, Brad wants to stick things out and help turn the Wizards into a winning franchise.”