Cleat Geeks

Jabari Hype

Jabari Parker is a Chicago Bull and considering Chicago is his hometown, he will be dealing with extra adrenaline when the regular season starts this week. Shortly after the Bulls signed Parker, former NBA player Ray Allen believes Parker can be an outstanding basketball player. “He’s a very good, humble, down-to-earth guy,” Allen said. “As a player, he reminds me of Paul Pierce but bigger. His potential is so great.”

The preseason is well underway and he has not played great in three exhibition season games. The Bulls hope Parker can play small forward when star Lauri Markkanen is scheduled to return in 6-8 weeks after suffering a right elbow injury in practice in late September. One of the biggest areas of improvement for Parker is the ability to play defense in the pick-and-roll and the team is counting on him to help a defense that has struggled in recent years.

His shooting is off and needs to do a better job of taking advantage of mismatches while switching on larger power forwards. Perhaps he spent all summer practicing in the small forward position, but three games isn’t an excuse at this point. Even with Markkanen out, it would best serve Parker to come off the bench in the early going.

“Again, just getting used to different guys and hearing their voices is pretty much important,’’ Parker said. “I knew it was going to take some time. It’s a new environment for me and other people too. I’m not looking at it months. I’m trying to build years here. It’s going to take some time. Every team in the beginning is going to take some bumps and bruises to get to where they are.’’

Parker’s shooting woes have been seen in the exhibition season, as he has made 9 out of 37 shots in his first three games. At his best, he can score from the outside and can be an intimidating force inside as he is 6’8. Parker has had injury history that the team is well aware of, tearing his ACL twice. Even with those injuries, he has averaged 15 points a game along with a field goal percentage in the high 40’s.

Without those two ACL injuries, he would have been an all-star at least twice since getting drafted in 2014 by the Milwaukee Bucks. On a side note, if you are a sneaker head or wanting to be one, you should be inspired by what Parker has shown, as he wears different variations of Jordan’s, and you will jump out of your shoes, I promise that. He seems to have some issues with motivation and hopefully that changes because there is nothing better than to play for your hometown team regardless of what sport it is. Parker has some incredible talent, he wasn’t drafted as the second overall pick for nothing, at times he has the hops that Michael Jordan did in his prime years, if he can show that on a consistent basis, all of the hype will be worth it.

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