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Matt Dibb
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Al Jefferson has always joked he can’t go back home to Mississippi in the off-season because the food is too good. In a longer off-season than usually physical conditioning was going to be a big issue for Big Al.

Al took care of any potential problems by spending June till the lockout ended in Santa Barbara at training center P3. Al Jefferson choose P3 because as he said “it is connected to the Jazz so they knew I was working.” Each day he would spend 2 1.2 hours in the morning doing workouts and then in the afternoon he would come back and do basketball drills.
Head Coach Tyrone Corbin lit up when talking about Al ““He looked good, his body looked good, he moved very well, his athletic ability improved ,his knees are really strong, it was really important he spent the time (in Santa Barbara) we are seeing the value.”
Al’s commitment stems back to how he felt at the end of the season . Despite a strong second half of the season averaging 22 pts and 11 rebs while shooting 52% with career highs in blocks, assists and free throw % he would not call the year a success.

“Not a success, can’t be satisfied with that, can’t wait till after the all-star break. I have to make my teammates better. I have been a guy with good numbers on a bad team, I want to be the guy with ok or good numbers on a good team.”

Al’s final workout in Santa Barbara showed his hard work. The drill is to jump on top of a 12 inch box and then back down and then jump up to 24 inch box and down and then to a 36 inch box. Al set the goal to be able to clear the entire 36 inch box. On the final day he did it. “No way in the world I could have done that at this time last year,” said Jefferson. Just to add to the accomplishment he jumped to the top of the 42 inch box.

Coach Corbin has noticed, “really has the first two practices on the defensive end, the way he is rotating and getting back, he has already taken three charges in practices.”

For Al he can feel it in lots of different ways, “jumping higher, moving faster,I feel it the hard work is definitely showing right now. Got it keep it going, it was never a problem coming in shape it was staying in shape in season. I don’t want to let anyone down. I promised Kevin I would work, I want to keep my word.”

How much this changes Jefferson defensively is to be told over time. The coaches told him he has to be better and more consistent. They focused largely on his ability to get out and show on the pick and roll on the defensive end.

“I have to. I have to,” explained Jefferson when asked if he could be better defensively.

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The second episode of Dinosaur Revolution had some awesome stuff. Excited for the next two this Sunday!
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