Copeland speaks candidly about his shooting
Chris Copeland is about as frank as they come in the NBA. After practice on Thursday, before the team headed to the airport to board their charter flight to Chicago, Copeland spoke openly about his preseason shooting woes.
“I’m off,” he said right away. “I’m always honest about that.”
Through four preseason games — all losses — Copeland is 8-for-34 from the field and just 5-of 25 from behind the arc. And that’s his speciality. In Wednesday night’s home loss to Dallas, he was 3-for-12 (25 percent).
“At the end of the day, I gotta make shots,” he stressed. “No excuse.
“I just got to keep shooting. That’s what preseason is about, I think. It’s for a lot of guys to get in a rhythm. I’ll be fine.”
Copeland, a 42 percent three-point shooter last season with New York, has been getting to Bankers Life Fieldhouse early this week to get shots up and ensure that he gets his reps in.
“Because I’m a competitor, I know it’s preseason and I’m thankful that it is preseason, that I can go through this little period of drought or whatever you want to call it,” he continued. “I am out there on the floor a little concerned at times because I am a competitor and I want everything to go in. It’ll fall. I’m confident. I’ve always been a shooter; It’s not a last year thing. I’ve been a shooter my whole life. I’ve been through droughts as well, you know what I mean. Last preseason, I didn’t shoot the three-ball well either. It’s not a big deal. I’m not really super concerned about it. I’m frustrated when it doesn’t go in.”
Last November, the start of his NBA career, he was 1-of-5 from deep. It wasn’t until March, when he played consistently, that he began to put up impressive numbers.
It honestly was a bit strange to see him get down on himself so early. Particularly because in the short time media has been allowed to watch practice since camp opened, he’s rarely missed. They went in time and time again. Copeland says his mind is on more than just hitting.
“To be totally candid with ya’ll, man, when you get out there and you want to be everything that they want you to be — from the organization, from the fans, I would like to be everything and more that they thought they got with me,” he said with such concern in his voice. “I miss one or two and it got to my head early. Thank God for coach and my teammates to telling me to keep shooting and help build my confidence. It still hasn’t been falling like I want it to but it’s gonna come. I’m very positive of that.”
“For me, it was just more of a mental thing, trying to make sure I’m doing right and making everybody happy [that they signed me].