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Thread: NBA DRAFT 2020 DISCUSSION

  1. #26
    Auburn's playing

    Isaac Okoro time
    Tyrese Maxey/Isaac Okoro/Killian Tillie/Onyeka Okongwu/Devin Vassell endorser.

    Eye test people: analytics people watch more basketball than you do.

  2. #27
    Man, I just love Okoro's effort on the glass. He's always crashing back to the rim, and even though he doesn't collect a bunch of them since he's coming in from the perimeter, he's constantly soaring for the board if it pops out long. He's got 2 offensive boards in the first 4 minutes of this game that way.

  3. #28
    He just hit this really nice drive from the perimeter where he got super low mid-stride and lowered the dribble with it to squeeze through the space and man, it looked so slick. Great stuff.

  4. #29
    Okoro does not bite on fakes

  5. #30
    Okoro finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, shot 5-8 from the floor (1-2 from 3)

    Drew 2 charges as well, and forced about 2 more turnovers. I don't really like how Auburn is using him, they're kind of playing him in this 3+D role where he doesn't put the ball on the floor often at all, which I think is what results in his low assist numbers despite him making quite a few nice passes and showing decent vision. His proclivity to pass is also what pushes down his scoring numbers; he has good feel and shake, a decent handle, and has shown signs of high level shooting (hit some stepback 3s early this season) but he gets so few touches on offense that when he passes as much as he does, he doesn't rack up tons of FGAs.

  6. #31
    Haven't watched any Kira Lewis Jr this year, for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but I've heard a lot about him the last few days. Need to start watching some of him when I get the chance. 6'3 PG prospect, generally seen as a late first rounder/second round talent, but he's been impressing recently so he might rise up a little. Here's a few tweets about him from Polarfall, who is an absolutely brilliant scout and analyst. He's a doctor, so his biomechanics writing is cool. He is Korean though, so don't mind his English, it's pretty good but sometimes there are anomalies.









    Apparently his defense is just not there yet, but will report back when I've actually watched a chunk of him

  7. #32
    Watching some more LaMelo tape, and I'm pretty divided on him. I think he has enough raw talent to justify a top 10 pick, but there are so many huge gaps in his game, and some of those gaps have been there for years so it's hard to believe he hasn't been made aware of them yet.

    Pros -
    - He has really good feel for the game, that's just obvious watching him.
    - He's a great passer. Truly awesome vision, creative, has pretty much the whole passing-package available to him. Honestly his most impressive single skill, he's pretty excellent at it and his turnovers aren't even that high given the crazy passes he goes for
    - Good frame with height and seems to be decent length, maximises his passing potential because it gives him the ability to see/pass over people
    - Has decent feet and quick hands which seem to imply the possibility for decent defense with some work
    - Good, ambidextrous handle. He's no Kyrie Irving or anything, but for a guy of his height his handle is definitely solid and he's progressed with it a little during his time in AUS so it's a good sign for future improvement.
    - Can pass off the dribble: vital skill for high level passers

    Cons -
    - Just awful defense, from a man perspective. He's sometimes okay as a team defender, certainly better than he was at the high school level, but one on one he really is just terrible.
    - Extremely poor efficiency in the NBL doesn't bode well for that next step up against NBA defenders. 38% from the floor, 27% from 3, 73% FT, for 47.3%TS is extremely poor.
    - Low motor, doesn't really look to get involved with the smaller aspects of the game like boxing out or filling lanes in transition.
    - Poor decision making at times. Seems counter to his great instinctive passing, but he's prone to taking awful shots that are just unnecessary.
    - Avoids contact at all costs: doesn't get to the FT line that much, would rather take a 15 foot runner than hit the hoop


    I'll include some clips here of his settling for runners and weird scoop shots and stuff:





    The ''amusing'' possession Carlin talks about there is just horrible. Lazily walks the ball up the floor, comes off a screen, has only one defender in front of him and settles for an 18 foot floater with 15 seconds on the clock. That's horrible horrible horrible offensive game.


    LaMelo really is an intriguing prospect for me. IMO, you take him if you've met with him before the draft and you're confident that your coach/development staff/etc can really iron out his decision making and fix his effort issues, because if he can really improve in those areas I think his ceiling is pretty high, but if you're just an average programme with mediocre development or a bad coach (I'm basically saying Knicks here) then don't take him lol

  8. #33
    Rewatching the Memphis/Oregon game, more James Wiseman observations incoming

  9. #34
    DISCLAIMER: THIS IS JUST MY TAKES ON STUFF FROM THIS ONE GAME.
    James Wiseman observations from Memphis v Oregon:

    Pros:

    - Had a few plays where I expected him to leap for the block like he used to in pre-college play, but he stayed grounded. One of these led to a block, which is nice.
    - He's obviously mobile, straight line speed is fairly good. This isn't a big with complete cement shoes.
    - Did box out occasionally, using his height to his advantage. This was mostly on the defensive glass rather than offensively, but it's still good to see it at all even if it's inconsistent.
    - FT Stroke looks pretty good, and actually after shooting horrifically poorly from the line in EYBL play, this seems to have improved somewhat. Jumped from 55% in EYBL play to 70% at Memphis. Admittedly, it's only a 3 game sample size so that's really not a guarantee of improvement, but the stroke does look okay. He hits a FT line jumper towards the end of the game that looked fairly solid. That even applies to a three he shot late: it didn't go in, and it wasn't even that close, but the stroke looked like there's something there that can be worked on.
    - Wingspan is 7'6, so that just works there were a few plays where he contested vertically and it really can bother shots just based on his height and length. That's not really a skill, but it is an ability that's good to have.

    Cons:

    - Looks lost on offense when the ball isn't in his hands. Often just wanders from spot to spot with very little intent.
    - Looks lost on defense when outside of the paint. Recovers slow to shooters, runs half-hearted at shooters before sinking back into the paint, isn't actually impacting some of the plays at all with his 'roaming'. Either doesn't help at all, or commits so fully to the help that he loses his man completely.
    - Fairly slow recognition. In his defense, some of these errors came when there was very little space to make the read and act, but some of them (an early charge, for example, vs Oregon) was just a case of him turning around and forgetting he had a defender there. There's a moment at about in the second half with about 17:30 left on the clock where the opposing team throws a lob over him, and he watches it travel over his head, watches it get caught, and then jumps after the lob has already been completed. Just, three or four full seconds too late to impact the play whatsoever.
    - Despite some improvement here, he does still jump at fakes pretty consistently
    - Has very average hands. Passes in tight windows or with a lot of speed on them slip from his grasp regularly, even if he has both hands available.
    - Massively ineffectual screener. Doesn't screen often, doesn't get great angles on them, doesn't make contact. Doesn't even slip them either, just kind of sets it and then walks off.
    - Functionally no handle displayed in this particular game at all. The one time he did attempt to do more than one dribble, he lost it off his own foot, and it would have been a turnover if the refs didn't bail him out by calling it a foul when there wasn't one.


    - This isn't like, a serious 'con' to his game overall, but he did that really annoying thing guys sometimes do where they jump to take the jumpshot but just... don't? So they land with the ball still in their hands for no reason, get called for the travel, pointless turnover. That's not a trend because it's not like he did that frequently, but still annoys me


    He kind of reminds me of Hassan Whiteside a little, where he's just big enough and long enough that he'll scoop up a bunch of rebounds and put-backs and such, but where his court awareness and focus run so low that he isn't really generating ''events'' outside of the stat sheet.

  10. #35
    Watching the big Georgia v Michigan State game for the purposes of Anthony Edwards Scouting. I had him as probably #2 coming into this season behind Cole Anthony from UNC, so I'm interested to see how he looked in this game given the gaudy box score. This is just the takeaways from one game of course, so it's not a final verdict on someone's overall ability.

    I will say, Bill Walton on commentary is the absolute greatest and he should commentate every game.

    Pros:

    - Good snap on some of his passes, with nice velocity on them. Has the ability to do that with some confidence. Some flair with them too; there's at least two high level bounce passes in this game where he threads the needle between defenders in transition. He has to load up a lot to do it, doesn't seem to have the perfect 'flick' there for instant power but the accuracy and the reading of the defense is clear.
    - Moves well laterally. It's less of a sliding motion and more of a sort of side-wards gallop, it looks a little awkward but he seems balanced. Tracked the ball-handler well on the drive and timed the block perfectly. Uses his weight to lean into the ball-handler without fouling. Walton says ''I prefer blocks that are kept in bounds'' and you know what, so do I, but it's a good defensive play anyway.
    - Showed nice landing mechanics a few times. Will have to keep an eye out for consistency, but he tends to land with a slightly bent knee on the balls of his foot, which is good.
    - ''There's more than 12000 species of Ants... how do we know which one Anthony is?'' - Bill Walton, on Anthony Edwards' ''Antman'' nickname
    - Some decent anticipation on his paces; passes ahead well, there was a nice outlet pass he made with accuracy. Refer back to those bounce passes as well.
    - Shooting form is pretty okay actually. It's not stunning or anything and the release point is a little low, but he follows through alright and there's no weird hitching. Took him a while to get into it, but was really drilling them consistently in the second half: deep threes too, easily beyond NBA range. His form is so confident and he rises so smoothly, I don't know if he's got the touch to be a consistent elite shooter at the NBA level but I think he has it in him to be a shot taker and shot maker, if that makes any sense.
    - Has real, hairpin trigger bounce. He's not a Lebron/Zion level athlete or anything, but he does have some quick trigger athleticism there. There's a block at 7:05 left in the second half where he gets seriously airborne, it's pretty cool.
    - Good pace control; chances speed quickly and naturally mid-stride.
    - Pull up game looks smooth and confident.
    - Reads the offense well; racked up a bunch of steals in this game partly from luck (as steals almost always are) but also due to reading the passing lanes well and making sure to be in a sensible position.
    - ''A body like he has, chiseled from the marble of Tuscany'' - Bill Walton
    - Tracks the ball so well in the air, he had multiple blocks in this game off this skill.


    Cons:

    - Seems to be a little disengaged when off-ball on defense at times. Nothing too horrible but there were a few moments where he failed to provide help where it would have been useful, or helped a little late.
    - Feels like he overthinks things at times, maybe doesn't quite have the higher level moves on autopilot yet. Occasionally takes a moment to act before going into more complex movements, particularly as a half-court initiator. His physicality seems to be slightly more advanced than his mental game, in that way; he's fully capable of doing all these things physically, but his mind is a step behind his instinct. It's more of an issue in the first half; in the second half, he starts just gunning it and that's when everything starts going right for him.
    - Seemed to start the game really slowly, I think part of that was a lack of intensity but also I think part of it was that overthinking issue; not necessarily a low motor thing, just a thing he needs to get over in order to really play at his best.


    Not much to complain about in this game. His first half effort was pretty poor but the second half was absolute solid gold. Really incredible showing, probably the best single half of basketball from a prospect I've seen so far this year, and will probably end up being one of the best still by the end of the year.

  11. #36
    Right, time to watch UNC vs Alabama, also known as Cole Anthony vs Kira Lewis Jr

    Notes from this game:

    KIRA LEWIS JR:

    Pros:
    - Real snap on his passes, good court awareness and vision. Has a wide arsenal of passing moves, whether it be bounce passes, pocket passes, passing along the baseline, lob reads, it's all fairly well developed.
    - Good, quick burst; gets off his feet quickly with confidence and with a degree of smoothness to his game that's hard to teach.
    - Shows real hustle; at one point he got two consecutive offensive rebounds above multiple taller men, then on the other end got the deflection and dove on the floor for the steal. Didn't quite get the steal, the ball jumped free, but the hustle is great.
    - Good brakes; stops well on the dime and then pulls up for a floater that didn't even touch the rim; all twine. Nice touch finish there.
    - Moves pretty well off the ball from time to time; does look for cuts. It's not as consistent as I'd like, but it does happen often enough to note.
    - 3pt stroke does look good; he had an ugly airball, but he's also had some makes that looked really good and he rises up well with a clean follow through.

    Cons:
    - Low release point on some of his scoops and layups allows for easy defensive possessions for bigs in the paint; gives up opportunities for blocks despite relatively long arms and solid touch.
    - Looked slightly unsure on where he should be on a couple of defensive possessions; wasn't egregious, but it's clear that he's not fully integrated into this particular scheme yet.
    - Handle is solid but it looks like he carries a lot. I know nobody calls that anymore, but still.


    COLE ANTHONY:

    Pros:
    - Has some good shake with his dribble moves, able to keep defenders backpedalling a little.
    - Strong handle, nothing massively fancy but lots of confidence and control in it.
    - Able to create good separation with irregular footwork on the drive, fairly long strides at times without losing balance against defenders.
    - Smooth and confident FT stroke, looks nice for the most part; not a huge fan of his follow through, which looks like it could introduce some unnecessary variance, but it does look mostly good.
    - Navigates a bunch of screens fairly well, even on multiple screening actions, although does seem to be more comfortable going under the screen than you'd like.
    - Decent passer; made a few nices ones during this game, including a nice pocket pass that was fairly impressive.
    - Good looking 3pt stroke, including off the dribble.

    Cons:
    - Doesn't seem to have the same speed laterally as he does in a straight line; isn't massively slow by any means, but isn't quick twitch on defense.
    - Picks up his dribble a little before he should sometimes; not often, but once or twice it's clear he's picked up his dribble without actually knowing what he's going to do after.
    - Decision making seems to come and go; often has an open shot/lane and turns it down for a pass into an uncertain action. Needs to be more decisive on ball.
    - Reckless during drives occasionally; got called for more than one charge due to just putting his head down and going for it regardless of defensive response.


    GIFS AND CLIPS:

    Kira Lewis whip pass along baseline:



    Cole Anthony pocket pass:


    Cole Anthony shooting off a screen:


    Offball cut and finish from Kira Lewis:

  12. #37
    Okay, watching the Georgia vs Chaminade game for more Anthony Edwards!

    In this game, Bill Walton asks: ''Have you ever fallen on a sword? I am the blow-hole, I am the egg man.'' Which, I think is special.

    Pros:

    - Solid recognition as a passer still stands out. Started the game off with a nice offensive board that he turned into an almost-a-touch-pass under the basket for an easy dunk. He also hits a nice dump off pass off a drive later in the game; given the two awesome bounce passes in transition last game, it's fair to say he has some solid vision and feel on this stuff. It's happening semi-regularly.
    - Looks pretty good getting into a jumper off movement; he comes around the screen and gets his feet set pretty much in sequence with the catch before instantly rising up. Again, the jumper looks fairly smooth. He hits another one later off the dribble that looks equally smooth and confident; he gets a really good high arc on his shots.
    - Tracks the ball well in the air and in mid-dribble; doesn't always pay off for a block, but his mirroring is pretty solid on D, even when jumping.
    - Walton says that some of Edwards' favourite players growing up and to this day are Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, which makes sense because he does play a little bit like them, although not a mirror image by any means.
    - Great defensive sequence at 15:40 of the first half; spots the entry pass from the perimeter and moves across the lane to cover the catcher. He arrives in position quickly, before the catch, loads up from two feet and bursts up to block the shot off the glass. It's a very smooth motion, very confident, he keeps the ball in bounds and his own team gets the recovery. Lovely play.
    - Repeat of my praise for his control of his pace, movement speed, and pull up game. Looks good.
    - Shows some really nice hesitation moves in the transition game, faking defenders out of his way with the dribble. At 6:35 in the first half, he does that, and finished with a nice crafty left handed layup against heavy contesting. Just crafty play. Looks far more comfortable making quick decisions in this game than last.
    - Very good body control, there's a great sequence where he's taking the ball in transition, dribbling with his left, takes off from his left foot, transfers it to the right hand, passes it back to the left slightly, then fully tips it to his right hand again before laying it up, with his legs fully beneath him the entire time. Absolute control over his body there, very good stuff.



    Cons:

    - Something I mentioned from the last game comes through again, and that's slightly disinterested defense off-ball. There's a sequence where he's stood under the basket, his teammate is going for the offensive board and there are two guys from Chaminade going for it too, and Edwards doesn't put a body on either despite them both being on his side of the basket. Just kinda watches.
    - I totally admit that this could be just a result of fatigue (this was his third game in three days) but he does take quite a few plays off on offense, not moving off the ball, or really doing much at all. That's probably fatigue, it wasn't a big issue in the last game, but it's worth taking note of just for now.

    Some GIFS of this game for you:

    Here's the shifty layup with the body control I mentioned:



    Smooth jumper off the dribble here


    Just a really good athlete with legitimate burst. Like I said, this isn't Zion/Brandon Clarke/Lebron level, but man. It's legit.





    Good stuff. I've got Anthony Edwards as my top prospect atm, he just looks so NBA ready compared to almost everyone else.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 11-28-2019 at 02:39 AM.

  13. #38
    Okay, let's go: Iowa State vs Michigan in order to analyse sophomore TYRESE HALIBURTON, a PG prospect notable for averaging many assists, few turnovers, and being overall lengthy and weird. Let's go.


    Pros:

    - Moves fairly well off-ball on offense. He's a 6'5 PG, so fairly tall, and he uses his height well; runs a lot of ball screens as an off-guard, which is nice to see.
    - Hustles well on defense; has strong recognition although I wouldn't exactly call it preternatural, yet his length allows him to get into the places that he reads. The same awareness that makes him a talented passer also allows him to read through offenses and intercept passes of his own.
    - Good pacing on his passes. He's able to flick them with some speed to get through more narrow windows, but if there's space he's happy to drop a pass off fairly slowly to give the big plenty of time to read and react.
    - Has some creativity on his passes. There's a nice dump-off pass around the defender on a drive, and at another occasion he does an over-the-head hook pass with his right hand towards his left which is nicely on target and under control as well. Uses them functionally though: he's very happy to just do a chest pass if that's what's best for the situation.
    - Slightly atypical jumper; his release point is fairly high, which his length probably exaggerates a little, but it does look comfortable to him. He's shooting 29.4% from 3 this year, which is not good, but that's a dramatic drop from his freshman season where he averaged 43.4%, so hopefully it's just a cold start and he warms up later because the shot does look decent.
    - I like his patience; he's constantly probing into the defense when he's got the ball in his hands, looking for good passes to make, but he isn't just launching the ball at the first option he sees.
    - Good at changing the rhythm of his dribble to disguise a pass, blending it well with the dribble. His handle isn't super complex or Iverson-esque, but it's adequate and controlled.


    Cons:

    - He moves a lot off-ball which is a plus as I listed above, but it does seem to me that on occasion, he is just moving off-ball kind of aimlessly. There are a few possessions where he moves a lot in terms of distance covered, but it's not really for anything; he's just moving laterally up and down the wing, not cutting or relocating or anything.
    - Needs to stop taking stepback threes until he can get his regular, catch and shoot percentage back to regular places. It's just a horrible shot for him right now, none of them are close and when you're shooting 29% from 3, you shouldn't be wasting possessions with jacking up deep deep stepbacks.
    - Really average athleticism; no real burst or pop to his leaping, and he knows it so it deters him from being aggressive at times when driving hard could really collapse the defense to let his passing take over. There are a few moments where he goes for it, and they look okay, but it's really not something he's comfortable with.
    - Forget a quick first step. He doesn't even really have a first step, it's identical to all his other steps. Lack of explosion and burst again.


    Some GIFS for you to examine:










  14. #39
    HERE WE GO AGAIN

    I'm now watching the Dayton vs Kansas game. Prepare for incoming analysis of Obi Toppin.

  15. #40
    Obi Toppin analysis from the Dayton vs Kansas game at the Maui Jim Invitational.

    Pros:

    - Fairly quick off the ground for a block; it's not intense burst, he doesn't just explode like Zion did, but it's confident elevation.
    - Can make simple reads and pass out of the post. Doesn't demonstrate elite vision or anything, but it's not like he just catches the ball and then freezes, he is making some observations out there. This includes a few decent passes out of the double team.
    - Uses his weight and top-heavy frame to put a body on his man in the post when playing defense. Boxes out fairly consistently on defense, and regularly establishes solid front position on his man.
    - For a big man, his hands seem pretty solid. He's no Jokic in that regard, of course, but he does get his hands in there; strips his man on one occasion like this as he's going up for a dunk.
    - Nice reversed scoop layup goes down, even through a little bit of contact. He does seem to have some touch around the rim, though I certainly wouldn't call it astounding or anything.
    - When he does get a chance to take a few dribbles, get his shoulders square, his 3pt stroke does look fairly nice. I wouldn't bet on it right now just from looking at it (haven't checked the %ages) but it does have some promise in it. Certainly seems like it could be turned into an NBA three, potentially even a pull-up?


    Cons:

    - Doesn't actually impress that much in terms of verticality. He's a little undersized, at about 6'8 ish, and I'd be shocked if his vertical was impressive. He doesn't get very far off the ground.
    - Gets caught off guard when switches come about. There's a moment early in the first half, 17:30 left on the clock, where he has to close out on a perimeter shooter and his footwork is so bad that gets his left foot in front of his right, crossing them over each other, and nearly falls on his face. Not encouraging.
    - Doesn't really screen, at all. He sometimes makes a movement that has the appearance of a screen, coming up to the side of the ballhandler's man, for example, but he doesn't actually set anything, doesn't make contact, doesn't roll, it's all very lackadaisical. I think he set 1 true screen all game.
    - Shot a three that was a complete airball, and part of that seems to be that he doesn't really get his feet set or his shoulders in line consistently on his jumper (rare as the jumper is, anyway).
    - Fighting for position on offense is relatively inconsistent. Sometimes he's fine to just let himself get fronted and stand there doing nothing.
    - Because he's undersized, it's hard to really imagine his position at the NBA level. He's a little undersized for the traditional C position, and doesn't have the passing acumen or the IQ of a Draymond to counteract ir, not the explosion of a Zion or a Brandon Clarke. But he's not really capable of being a 3 at all, because his lateral quickness isn't really there. I feel like he's a stretch 4 waiting to happen, maybe? Need to watch more of him, and do some checking on his historical shooting percentages.




    - Not necessarily a con with his game but if he gets drafted this year, he will be a 22 year old rookie and will turn 23 during his rookie year. Not terrible, of course, but something to be aware of.

    Obviously need to watch more of him, but right now I'm thinking of him as a big, maybe late first round? Depends on team need, I suppose, but I definitely would rather take Okongwu, Tshiebwe, and even Wiseman over Toppin. That's not to say Toppin looks terrible, but his combination of low height+lack of explosion combined with his age make it hard to put him over the others.

  16. #41
    USC vs Fairfield: Onyeka Okongwu breakdown:


    Pros:

    - Shows decent off-ball awareness, particularly on defense. Keeps his head moving, and tends to stand on the balls of his feet, ready to move.
    - Solid lateral quickness, manages to stay on a few guards when they drive. In fairness, they aren't massively fast guards on Fairfield, but still. This switchability should translate to the NBA; even if he can't stay on NBA top guards, he'll be able to defend down to some wings.
    - Gets good inside position for rebounds more often than not.
    - Hedges well against ball screening actions, and then rotates well on the help. This rotation leads to more than one stop, as he moves directly into the line of a drive and uses his length to erase the shot.
    - Mobile with good straight line speed; doesn't waste time getting back on defense or offense, and is very happy to run.
    - Not massively explosive, but a very smooth athlete; gets off the ground fairly quickly and has good body control. Stays vertical on contests without much issue and uses his length to meet shots before they reach their apex. It's kind of like how Tim Duncan would block a lot of shots at their lowest point, which meant he didn't get many highlight blocks, except Okongwu does get airborne when he goes for it and his recognition isn't quite on Duncan's level. That's no insult, obviously; Duncan is Duncan.
    - His hands aren't elite level, but he does have solid hands, particularly on defense. He's a fan of a swipe-down method of steals grabbing, kind of like Jokic does, and he has good timing on those. I'd be tempted to see what his STL% will look like by the end of the year: right now it's about 2.01%, which is good but not outstanding. His BLK% is 12.5% though, which is monster.
    - Defends without fouling. Seems to know his physical limits well and contests without taking huge risks. Hasn't had a single foul all game, for example.


    Cons:

    - Occasionally overcommits on the help, leaving his man for an easier shot than you'd want (on one occasion, a wide open 3), with slow recovery.
    - Inconsistent screen navigation; sometimes he skips over them perfectly, other times he can get stuck. Doesn't seem to be an angle thing, and his hip mobility is impressive for a big, so I think maybe it's a footwork issue?
    - Doesn't really seem like a stunningly impactful player on offense. His screening is inconsistent, he isn't a constant put-back presence (seems to have an issue reading the ball off the rim?) and he doesn't really have any range. He did have 14 points tonight on 6-11 shooting, which looks good at first, but his impact doesn't seem to match his defensive impact. Will need to watch more film properly to really see if this is a trend or if he's just being inactive tonight on that end.


    Decent game, but I don't think this one is really representative of his overall game. Seems like he was playing a more subdued role than I've seen from him before, so I'll need to watch more of him analytically before making final judgements, but he does look good. He had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, on better than 55% shooting. It was the quietest 14/10 with 2/3 stocks I've ever seen, but it still happened. So nothing really bad here, just nothing that popped hard to me; will need to watch more properly.

  17. #42
    Arizona VS Pepperdine, let's go for Nico Mannion! Also keeping an eye on Zeke Nnaji and Josh Green, who are also on Arizona, and who are also generating some buzz. WOn't be doing a full write-up for them here, though I will at some point: just wanna get some first thoughts down on them here.

    Pros:

    - Moves well off ball, is happy to give it up and get it back later; he's not some ball dominant crazy person. Constantly relocating off-ball: potential as a movement shooter? Loves the baseline cut and is always ready to catch the ball when he comes out on the other side.
    - Really good brakes, can stop and start on a dime. That helps his pull-up game a lot. He's projects very well as a pull-up/transition shooter; he even gets into his shooting motion before he's even really taken off properly with the jumper. It's so smooth and integrated.
    - Good defensive hustle and positioning: draws a charge early here. He's not got insane speed or anything, but he knows where to be and he is active. Keeps his head on a swivel. Willing to provide help as well, and recover. At 11:10 in the first half, he has a really nice help possession where he just leans in and pokes the ball away from the ball-handler, forcing a turnover, without ever really straying out of position on his own man. Good hands there, and nice recognition. Stays in front of his man with solid lateral quickness and strong mirroring. His small wingspan (6'2, I think?) and lack of athleticism mean that he'll probably never be a great defender, but he's not like Trae Young, where his defensive troubles basically negate his offensive benefits. He'll be an okay defender.
    - Navigates screens well, pops his hips nicely over the screen and also moves quickly whenever he goes under. It's pretty good to see someone just flow over the screens without getting constantly caught.
    - Such a smooth shooting stroke. Hard to overstate how immediately he rises and fires. He's confident with it, he goes up smoothly, and he can stop and go into it with no warning. Follows through well, and he hits from NBA range. He's shooting 45%+ from 3, and his FT% is over 80% as well so he projects to be a legit shooter with mechanics like that. Nails the pull-up, also hits a nice catch and shoot without hesitation.
    - Really nice touch; his lack of willingness to drive means that he often settles for floaters, which aren't exactly the best shots in terms of value, but he has very good touch and the floaters do seem to be going for him. Still not optimal but it does give him a degree level of scoring threat from the paint.
    - Reads the court well ahead, happy to throw a lob from near the half-court line, on target and on pace.
    - Good decision maker; doesn't force shots unless he's confident with them. That doesn't mean that he's reluctant to take contested shots, he isn't, but if there's an open man right next to him he makes the right play.
    - Doesn't throw tons of risky passes. Despite that, he is a passer with a ton of versatility; he has ambidextrous passing going on, including off the dribble. He can thread the needle, he can hit throw the lobs, entry passes, it's all there. After LaMelo Ball, he's probably the most gifted natural passer in this draft that I've seen. Isn't massively turnover prone either thanks to that good decision making. Feeds the hot hand.
    - Touch takes over when he's at the rim; at the start of the second half he makes a brilliant left-handed layup off the glass with spin on it despite having two defenders right on him. Really nice shot that proves he can finish at the rim, the touch is there. Just need to see him doing it more.
    - GAME WINNING FLOATER/RUNNER OVER TWO DEFENDERS, JESUS CHRIST WHAT A FINISH. WOW.

    Cons:

    - Straight line speed is good, but he's not massively athletic and he doesn't have burst on any major level. Limited athletically in that way.
    - Really reluctant to drive in the halfcourt. This is his 7th game, and he's made something like 5 total half-court shots at the rim so far this season. It's not cause he's taken tons and misses them, that's not true, he's just not taking them. That's not great. He's fine in transition, and if there's a mismatch he'll do it, but against a set defense it's just not something he's shown willingness to do.
    - Limited package of hesitation moves. He does have some, but they're not massively varied.
    - Needs to add some core strength to help him maintain position against bigger guys.
    - Footwork on defense isn't always perfect; he occasionally leans back on his heels rather than staying on the balls of his feet and it can lead to backpedalling when driven on. Not always, it's only once or twice, but it's still worth noting because it's the kind of thing that NBA level guards will be more likely to exploit unless it gets fixed.

    Mannion finishes with 16 points, 11 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, was 5-12 from the floor (2-5 from 3)


    I like Mannion a lot. Right now he's fighting it out for being my top PG prospect (I have Anthony Edwards as a SG, and Cole Anthony has been kind of meh so far) with Maxey. Maxey's got better defensive potential, I think, and will almost certainly be a better finisher, but I think Mannion has a higher ceiling as a passer and off-ball guy. Both have good potential as shooters, although Mannion is certainly showing that more so far, and I think the versatility of his shooting (off movement, catch and shoot, pull ups, etc) will edge him that category.


    Zeke Nnaji: nice smooth 18 footer; hits two of them in this game. Has some trouble passing out of a double team early but once he's warmed up it seems to come more naturally to him. Nice footwork and solid balance when turning; has a pretty mediocre handle but it's functional when catching the ball only a few steps away from the shot. Not a complete stiff on defense, and doesn't feel the need to leap at every single driver, which is nice to see, but he doesn't seem to have good natural feel on defense and isn't a prolific screener or box-out guy. Nice FT stroke. Kind of frustrating that he doesn't go for dunks despite his obvious burst advantage over most guys, seems happy to settle for less high percentage touch-finishes. My initial thought is that he probably is an NBA player, but not a high first round guy. Obviously need to see more prospects, but I'm thinking of him as a late first round, maybe second round guy right now? Will be a good offensive big off the bench but a neutral defender, I think.

    Josh Green: Really nice steal reading the skip pass, takes it all the way in transition and hits a good contested runner while absorbing the contact. Was a nice touch finish through the foul. Decent leaping ability off one foot later in the game, hits a nice dunk after cutting to the basket in transition and gets the lob from Mannion. Seems to have good body control as well, which leads to that contact-absorbing thing I mentioned earlier. He moves with some pretty solid fluidity; not on an elite level, but he's certainly fairly agile for his size at least going forwards. Hip mobility isn't great, can be jerky on defense. Seems to bite on fakes. Has a nice shooting stroke, particularly from the wing. Feels most comfortable taking it after a dribble rather than straight catch and shoot. Nice hustle. Looking like a first round pick tonight.

    Arizona runs this one set like, every 3 minutes where Mannion does his baseline cut while Nnaji establishes position. Mannion comes out onto the right wing, catches the ball and throws the entry pass to Nnaji while Josh Green spots up on the left wing. Nnaji draws the double, at which point he turns and throws the pass to Green who is wide open from 3. Josh Green hit 3 threes tonight off that EXACT action, and it's a really nice play. Love to see it, like clockwork.

    Really good game, loved watching this one. Pepperdine looks good (helps that they couldn't miss for like 17 minutes )

  18. #43


    Here's that Mannion game-winner, Jesus Christ. What a shot.

  19. #44
    Seriously man appreciate all of your post. Keep doing what your doing. You can make a career out of this.
    CAW CAW!!!

    -Founder and valuable member of the Caw Caw Boyz-

  20. #45
    This draft class so far is seeming drastically weak imo, but it's still super early.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverfoxx View Post
    Seriously man appreciate all of your post. Keep doing what your doing. You can make a career out of this.
    Thank you

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverfoxx View Post
    This draft class so far is seeming drastically weak imo, but it's still super early.
    It's low on absolutely top top top tier talent (there's no Zion prospect, for example) but it's actually pretty deep in guys who will be functional NBA role players. The downside is that a LOT of them are guards, so it's pretty unlucky to have so many guys at a single position in one draft. I feel like some of the lower ranked guys may not even declare this year.

    Edit: also worth noting that the lack of a Zion type prospect (who is just obviously and blatantly incredible) combined with the media's desire to have Icons and Hype-Machines may be what's propelling the narratives about LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman. Without someone producing ridiculous, all-time-great plays like Zion, they've simply latched onto the most impressive physical presence (7'1 Wiseman with his 7'6 wingspan) and the guy with the most name recognition (Ball) and are trying to push them to the moon.

    That's not to say Ball and Wiseman are horrible, I do think Ball is a top ten prospect right now and I also think Wiseman's a clear first round pick, but neither of them are close to Zion level.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 11-29-2019 at 02:48 PM.

  23. #48
    More Mannion views, since the Arizona vs Penn game is on

    Pros

    - Still appreciate his willingness to screen as a guard. Sometimes will screen multiple times in a single possession. Obviously his size limits his effectiveness but it compounds smaller errors and mobility issues from bigger players. Again, this will improve with core strength.
    - Some more good signs playing on the passing lanes; gets another great steal from super super early anticipation. He's there so early it almost looks like a pass to him. Stole another pass later with quick hands swiping down on the dribbler.
    - So much arc on that shot. It really looks great.
    - Check out VID#2 down below. The touch on that shot is absolutely insane. Combine that with the contested running mini-hook gamewinner from last game, and this dude's touch is off the charts. So much fine control on these floaters, hooks, teardrops, etc. It's amazing. He hits another floater from about 14 feet later, and it doesn't even touch the rim, it's so clean (see VID#3) He hits it again a little later. And again.
    - Great catch and shoot off motion, curling out to the 3pt line from the paint. Just a gorgeous shot. More versatility; he gets his feet and shoulders in-line mid-jump, it's great. (See VID#4) He hits another 3 off a screen later, using the screen for space.
    - Still making good passes, but his teammates can't seem to make a shot at some points today still, he had a really nice right handed pass to his left, almost like a hook pass, in transition to the trailer. Was really nice; Green got fouled so it wasn't an assist, but it was a gorgeous pass. Hit another go-ahead pass in transition later for an easy layup, immediately after stripping someone at the other end.
    - Another half-court layup! Was a reverse thing. He's doing that slightly more often now (still not much, just more), and it had great touch on it, of course.
    - Such. Good. Brakes.
    - Threads the needle on a ridiculous on-the-move pass to a cutter


    Cons
    - Overhelped at two points. Seemed to almost completely forget his man; by the time he went to recover, his man was right under the basket.
    - Limited hesitation moves still, obviously. It worked this time, but it was the same one as last game just in the other direction. I guess that kind of counts as a different one, fakes a little different, but not really.
    - Still not driving to the rim enough in the half-court. His absolutely *elite* floater game mitigates the issue a little, but still. Would much prefer it if he demonstrated the ability to really get to the hoop more consistently.
    - Doesn't really get to the free throw line much. This stems partly from his preference for floaters and runners over lay-ups, but it is concerning. He hits the free throws really well when he gets them, but he just doesn't get many.


    Mannion finishes with a line of 24 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals. 0 turnovers, 1 foul. Shot 78.6% from the floor (11 of 14) and 50% from 3 (2-4). Really impressive stuff. If anyone ever asks you to explain what we mean by ''touch'' in basketball, tell them to watch this game touch is off the charts ridiculous.




    GIFS AND VIDEO:

    This is gonna translate


    VID #2


    VID #3


    VID#4


    More floaters/runners





    Real rough game for Ira Lee. Just looked awful on both ends.

  24. #49


    here's that bonkers pass where he threads the needle

  25. #50
    Having watched a bunch of games now (more than just the ones I've written up lol), and having also read a bunch of analyses on fansided and The Stepien and such, I feel like the real issue with this class is wing depth. Like, guys who are natural small forward kind of types.

    There's no super hyper mega elite all-time prospect in this class from what we've seen so far, no Zion, but there are plenty of good players who will make good NBA careers. But they're almost all guards and bigs.

    Guards: Cole Anthony, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Maxey, Nico Mannion, LaMelo Ball, Theo Maledon, RJ Hampton, Tre Jones, Kira Lewis Jr, Tyrese Haliburton, I think these guys are all NBA players at some degree of quality. Not all of them have any major star potential, and some of them won't even be starters, but they'll be productive players.

    Similarly, with bigs, there's Onyeka Okongwu, Oscar Tshiebwe, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Zeke Nnaji, Paul Reed, Isaiah Stewart, Neemias Queta, etc etc. Again, not all great prospects, but all of them should be able to make a roster.

    But with wings/forwards it's like... Isaac Okoro, Deni Avdija, Josh Green, and that's kind of it. There'll be a few others but those are the only ones I've seen who I'd feel comfortable taking top 20, and even Josh Green is kinda borderline as a 4.

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