Wrist still bothers Bibby's shot
By Sam Amick - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 6:27 am PST Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Story appeared in SPORTS section, Page C4
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PHOENIX -- When Mike Bibby says he's a "machine," as he has been known to do, it's more a mental description than anything else.
The Kings point guard's body isn't indestructible, of course, and it only takes a glance at the stat box to see how his ailing right wrist continues to affect his production.
In the past few weeks, Bibby had gone quiet about the wrist he injured Oct. 22. But before Tuesday night's 127-102 loss to Phoenix, he said the explanation for his shooting woes is no different now than it was then. His wrist just isn't right.
"I've got a bad wrist," he said. "I haven't been able to (take) extra shots, haven't been able to do extra work because it's been hurting. I've got to wait for it to pass by, and when it passes by, then I'll get my extra work in."
In the meantime, the bad shooting nights pile up. Since hitting 29 of 61 shots in a four-game stretch from Nov. 6 to Nov. 15, Bibby had hit just 41 of 132 attempts in the last nine games before Tuesday. He is shooting a career-low 35.1 percent overall and connecting on just 25.9 percent of his three-point attempts.
It's a sharp contrast to his play before the injury, when Bibby was 18 for 39 overall and 10 for 14 from beyond the arc in four exhibition games. Still, Bibby is not yet concerned.
"We're only what, 13, 14, 15 games in?" Bibby said, although it's 17 games. "If it continues for 60, 70 more (games), which I doubt, then it'll be a problem. Other than that, I'm not worried about it."
Especially considering the wrist is improving. In the Kings' home loss to Orlando on Monday, Bibby played without his wrist brace for the first time. And despite playing through the injury, he said it continues to improve.
"It feels like it's getting better, and I played without that thing on the last game, and it felt a little better," Bibby said. "I shoot. If I can't do anything else, I can shoot. I'm going to be all right."
Sharpshooters -- Sure, there are 65 games left, but Suns point guard Steve Nash and Kings shooting guard Kevin Martin could make history if they keep playing at this pace.
Larry Bird is the only player to average at least 20 points and shoot 50 percent or better from the field, 40-plus percent from three-point range and 90-plus percent from the free-throw line.
Entering Tuesday, Nash was averaging 20.5 points and shooting 51.1 percent from the field, 47 percent from three-point range and 90.2 percent from the line. Martin was averaging 22.5 points and shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 47.5 percent from three-point range and 89.6 percent from the line.
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The Bee's Sam Amick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org