After a solid rookie season, Ryan Kelly came into his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers looking to prove that he belonged in the NBA. Unfortunately, Kelly strained his hamstring in training camp, and ongoing issues with both hamstrings forced him to miss 30 games during the early part of the season.
Kelly believes the reason injuries popped up early in the year is because he overworked himself during the summer, according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
I was probably overworking myself leading up to training camp […] That was my first offseason really as a NBA player. I think, especially leading up to camp, I did a little too much. I obviously wasn’t training in the best position possible where I must have been off in some way. Once training camp rolled around, it put me over the edge if you will.”
Missing training camp and the early part of the season is an extremely difficult thing for a young player to overcome and Kelly struggled throughout the season. This summer he plans to lighten his workload, but does have some goals in mind for himself, via Medina:
He will tweak the arc of his to ensure a quicker release. He will work on ball handling drills. He will try to add more strength to his 6’11,” 230-pound frame.
Kelly was put in a tough situation as he spent a lot of minutes at the small forward position thanks to the rash of injuries the Lakers suffered to their perimeter players. His shooting, especially from inside the three-point line, was not good and he struggled to keep faster wings in front of him.
Returning to his natural position of power forward allowed Kelly to show some of the flashes of potential that were apparent down the stretch of his rookie season. The Lakers’ frontcourt could be crowded next season so Kelly will have to earn his spot in the rotation next year.
Lakers 2015 Exit Interviews: Ryan Kelly