Laker Scouting Reports

Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:10 am

First off, great work, Jorker. Thanks so much.

Rooscooter wrote:^^I don't remember Troy attacking the rim like that.... If his injury didn't take that athleticism AND he can return that that form we are in decent shape at the 4 now......

I'm a Notre Dame fan. Troy Murphy is one of my favorite college players of all time. He was ridiculously good in college, and he has had impressive success in the NBA for a guy who plays the kind of game he does. The biggest concern is what Troy Murphy it is. How healthy is he, how spry is he going to be?

Here's a link from one of Murphy's best games last season. He played 17.6 minutes, put in 12 points (7 FGA), 7 boards, had 2 steals, and one block. I mean, he looked good on the pick and pop, made nice passes, and seemed involved on D.



Josh McRoberts is impressing me. In other news, I'm calling him Wahlberg from now on because he's clearly Donnie and Mark's long lost taller brother. Looks not terrible running the floor (and that's amazing for a guy his size, but not as good as Odom, of course), looks willing to pass, willing to follow shots, and he has some fire. I like it.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:46 am

Just watched some video of Ater Majok. He looks like a crazy shotblocker...and so raw it's crazy.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:14 pm

Ramon Sessions
Position: PG
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
Age: 25
Contract: $4,257,973 (’11-’12); $4,551,626 (’12-’13~player option)
Nickname: N/A
Years with Team: 0
Years with League: 4
Previous Teams: Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland
Acquired: Trade involving Christian Eyenga, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and Lakers 2012 1st round pick (March '12)
Strengths: Elite passer and ballhandler, Excellent at drawing fouls through dribble penetration, Good rebounder, Good free throw shooter, Very tough, Consistent, Durable, Adaptable, Good height for position, Understated defender
Weaknesses: Doesn't space the floor, Nonexistent defensive playmaker

Sessions is a player that has long been considered underrated, as he's been a young player who has put up good stats mostly in mediocre or bad teams for his four years in the league. At age 25, he's been presented an opportunity to play significant minutes for a winning team, and establish his name more.

Offensively, Sessions has proven throughout his four years that he can play at a starter level. Even though he's taken a bit more of a scoring role this year for Cleveland, he's a pure point guard through and through--he had the highest assist rate and usage combination among all point guards last year, and this year only Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo beat him on that front. His stream of 10-15 assist games at the tail end of his rookie year already implied that he has extremely natural and effortless playmaking ability. Since the Lakers have been absolutely deprived of that for much of this century, this element of Sessions' game will be a sight for sore eyes. His shot-creating ability can really inject the Lakers' currently middle of the road offensive efficiency this year.

Sessions' passing is enhanced through his dribble penetration. He owns the 4th highest free throw rate among PGs this season, a feat that's only bested by Rodney Stuckey, Jeremy Lin and John Wall. He's the best high usage passing PG in the league who can draw fouls, which is quite a distinction--he has super unique strengths which could spell some All Star success if the cards fall right. Again, that's no fluke--the two seasons before that, Sessions put up even higher free throw rates than that, so he's a foul magnet who knows how to use is upper body strength to get to the line. He utilizes shifty speed and misdirection and never really stops the ball. Even the changes to his game show positives: this season, while his assist rate is down, he's putting up more higher quality assists (he's become increasingly good at creating space for three point shooters), and his turnovers are down. As a very good passer, he's also in good company as a ballhandler--only six point guards had a higher assist/turnover ratio and a higher assist rate. All in all, Sessions is the type who is in the elite crust as a passer and ballhandler--this has to be emphasized because he's never played more than 30 minutes per game in a season, so his assists don't stand out as much. But he's the type of player who can theoretically average 10 assists a game in a season, if the cards fall right.

Despite Sessions' ability to draw fouls, he's only middling in efficiency as an offensive player. He gets to the basket easily--he takes between 6-15% more shots at the basket than the average PG--but he's surprisingly a slightly below average finisher, although that's mitigated by the fact that he can draw fouls. Historically, though, he has a pretty decent tear drop from 10 feet. For a player who doesn't space the floor to launch threes at all, Sessions doesn't take too many mid-range shots either, and the rare ones he tends to take are more likely to be of the spot-up variety. With his ratio of shots I don't ever expect him to become a three point bomber, but it has to be noted that he's an OK to decent mid-range shooter, and really does splash ability with the mid-range jumper (he's a 82% and 84% free throw shooter the past two seasons). By far his best attribute is his ability to draw fouls, and he maximizes it by draining his free throws, so he does cater to the strengths of his game here.

Sessions is a tough player, between his ability to draw fouls and his ability to clear the boards, particularly in the defensive glass--only six PGs ranked better than him in overall rebounding this year. Another neat stat to look at his shots blocked/AND-1 ratio--among PGs, only John Wall, Jeremy Lin and Shaun Livingston best him in this feat. Sessions rarely gets his shot blocked for a slasher but muscles his way into a lot of AND-1 finishes, again illustrating the toughness. Of note is that with the great passing element and the rebounding, he's capable of producing a triple double on some nights--only the high end PGs in the league can say that.

However, Sessions isn't much of an asset in making defensive plays. Of note is that his rate of defensive playmaking, particularly his rate of steals, have dropped since he's entered the league, and only four PGs had fewer defensive play rates this season. Between the decreasing free throw rate and lower steal rate, one wonders if he's peaked athletically, even though the free throw rate is still very high and he makes up for it with smarts and playmaking ability. Despite the lack of defensive plays, his rep as a bad defender by national outlets is a bit overstated--while he surrenders high scoring rates to opposing PGs, his man defense has varied in environment--he can be decent or very poor. With the Lakers' defensive minded coach and their twin towers, Sessions can be optimized to be "decent" here. Also, his team defense has been pretty good in his last few stops. He doesn't have a pitbull mentality, but he's an adequate contain defender who can track down open players well to contest shots.

Sessions really reeks of the new age Andre Miller--between the stocky build and good height, the lack of three point shooting, the innate passing and ability to create shots, his durability (he's only missed four games since the start of the 2009 season), the fact that he's highly consistent good offensively (constant PERs between 16-19), and the fact that he started producing the moment he got into the league, there's just many trends that show that he's headed in that direction. His defense has been labeled as terrible to the point that he's a bit underrated in that area as well. He's a highly adaptable, smart player who seems like a guaranteed real positive no matter how it's sliced. He's a really underrated player with some elite level PG attributes that just go unrecognized by the national media, and could really be a positive surprise.

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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:28 pm

Jordan Hill
Position: C
Height: 6-10
Weight: 235
Age: 24
Contract: $2,855,760 (’11-’12; Rockets did not pick up team option)
Nickname: N/A
Years with Team: 0
Years with League: 2
Previous Teams: New York, Houston
Acquired: Trade involving Derek Fisher and a Lakers 2012 1st round pick (March '12)
Spoiler:
Strengths: Seems to be a good rebounder, Wants to score, Some touch from no man's land
Weaknesses: Horrendous defender, Very foul prone, Low basketball IQ, Low free throw rate, Takes a lot of ineffective jumpers, Destined to be backup?


Hill's largely been doing the same things he's done over the course of his NBA career, but he's made a few subtle but major improvements--such as moving his shot distribution such that 70% of his shots are within 9 feet, which really buoys up his offense and giving him a career high in true shooting percentage (four!!! percent better than his previous mark). This is in conjunction with a reduction of fouls and getting a career high in minutes, allowing him to get more exposure. It's no surprise why he was a hot commodity at the trade deadline for those reasons, but the reality is, Hill has always had a diversified offensive game who can fill multiple roles, with reliable layup and dunk rates off o-boards on top of self-created hook shots and short mid-rangers. He's also been able to contest and even block shots, on top of his always good defensive rebounding. And these career marks are being done with a position switch--Hill is playing power forward over two-thirds of the time, due to D'Antoni's insistence in him in being a part of Gasol and recently, Kaman lineups. Hill has always been a great valve who can plug holes on both ends of the floor, and this added multi-positional play gives him even more value, even if he's far more natural as a center. He's a classically underrated player who is still quite does not have the amount of hype his game would suggest, as the issue is compounded by Coach D'Antoni's constant undervaluing of his game.

On offense, Hill is very robust, with a high dunk rate near the top third of all NBA centers, and he is also slightly above the top half of centers in layup attempts. His layups are an excellent proposition, as he's in the top quarter of Cs at finishing those shots, and these shots are accumulated off a combination of set ups but also excellent offensive rebounding (second among PFs). He's also in top third of generating tip-ins, but prefers to scoop with layups after o-boards. But perhaps where Hill likes to set up shop is via inclined, self-created hook shots; he is 6th among centers in attempts, but only slightly above average in conversion. but here Hill is fairly average by position at drawing fouls, especially considering the frequency with which he plays 9 feet in. He mixes up dunks, layups, and hook shots here, but one would like to see a switch from hook shots to more layups, even if the hooks give him an angle to create offense out of half court sets.

Hill's in the bottom third of centers in mid-range attempts, mixing up short and long range shots. However, he's only adept at short mid-range jumpers, which he can even create for himself a quarter of the time via turnarounds. Hill hits a cool 39.4% on short range jumpers, but spot-up long mid-range jumpers as usual give him trouble, at only 32.3%. As with the hooks to layups, Hill would benefit by cutting out the long mid-range jumpers from his game, even if it gives him the illusion of offensive diversity. Hill has had subtle improvements in assist rate while reducing his turnovers with respect to his career, but his assist rate is still in the bottom third of PFs and turnover rate fairly average.

On defense, there are quite a few virtues, even in the face of the positional switchup. Hill has controlled his fouls far better than in seasons past, but is still on the foul prone end--still it is to be commended, as he is now playing a career high 19.9 minutes per game this season. Hill's always showed far more zest on the o-boards than on the defensive boards, but he's still very good here--11th among PFs, and he outrebounds his matchups easily with respect to both positions, so this is seriously legitimate. Out of both positions, Hill also contests shots extremely well, and is an excellent shotblocker by position (9th among PFs). Also, Hill learns--after an early adjustment where he was defending centers far better than PFs, that has switched around--Hill now defends PFs slightly better than Cs.

Cons on defense? Teamwide, the Lakers defense suffers slightly with Hill in lineups, even though Hill defends shots well by position. So somewhere, the sum of Hill's parts is less than the whole, even though Hill has defended PFs better. As mentioned, Hill is still somewhat on the foul prone end, and he's in the bottom cluster of PFs in steal rate. But that is it. Hill is not a lockdown defender, but he plugs holes in contesting shots and rebounding out of two positions that there is still value to what he brings here.

The takeaway from the position switch is slightly mixed, but Hill's net as a center (+9.6) is far better than his net as a power forward (+2.5). For those reasons, it's very, very easy to believe that Hill is playing out of position, even if he's made inroads to adapting to as a PF to the point where he's still a net gain. With the two-third power forward split, Hill's bottom line, despite his own individual success, hasn't been there: the Lakers are over four points worse offensively, and also over a point worse defensively. So it feels like a letdown, because as a center, Hill is far more aggressive on offense, really looking to score more, passing more and drawing far more fouls, because of the insane rebounding rates he puts out of this position. He's comparatively passive offensively as a PF, even if he defends well here, but the difference isn't large enough. As mentioned, great on Hill for playing well and improving within the coach's constraints, but it is what it is: the coach's constraint. He is just one of a few players who feel like they are having their game hamstrung by the coach, but it says a lot about Hill he is putting up career numbers in spite of that. It's actually impressive, given the schizophrenic playing time, that Hill has not complained about the issue (fellow alienated players Antawn Jamison and Chris Kaman already did), and always comes ready to play, which speaks to his professionalism and hard work.

Spoiler:
Hill has made a name for himself through the first fifteen games, but the irony is he's largely doing the things he's done over the course of his career. There are several differences however. One primary difference is that close to 80% of the shots Hill takes are directly at the rim, up 15% from previous seasons, a very smart proposition to REALLY elevate his field goal percentages. Hill's work is off a wide array of at-rim shots: layups (33% of his shots), hook shots (22%), dunks (11%), and tip-ins (7%), all of which are in the upper third of shots attempted among centers, particularly the hook shots, and his ability to hit hook shots and layups are also in the upper third as well. In addition, the shift towards the paint has also led him to draw fouls at a career high pace. This is far better proposition to his mid-range shot, which he only hits at a fairly average pace, so he has rightfully cut down its attempts to lower third levels among centers, as it is corroborated by his career 67.0% free throw percentage. Overall, Hill scores in the paint in a variety of ways: he is always an excellent offensive rebounder who always roots himself in position well before the shot goes up, and while he isn't at the absolutely insane levels of last year, he's still top notch. Hill also moves well in roll type situations and knows how to get to open space for dunks, and can drive mechanically to the center to release a hook shot. Within the Lakers' offense, he is an absolute gem: he catches all the bricks the jumpshooters throw up, acts as a primary paint presence, and most of all, he can score without the ball in his hands. He's putting up the best scoring rate in his career despite touching the ball less than last year, in large part due to his efficiency. Of note is that Hill is a far more active scorer, in particular drawing more fouls, when manning the center position. Early in the season, with Hill playing more center, the Lakers were at a point even over nine points better offensively with him on the court, but now with his dwindling playing time and more usage at power forward, the Lakers are over a point worse.

Defensively, Hill's best asset, by far, is the insane defensive rebound rate he's posting this year, made even more valuable because with him, the Lakers would be even more clobbered on the boards. Hill-based lineups, per nbawowy, also defend threes over a percent better, and Hill in particular defends corner threes well. Elsewhere, he is mixed. There are a few ordinary but not great aspects--as a shotblocker, Hill is more or less just OK for his career. He has slightly improved his rate of fouls but is still on the foul prone end, a reason why despite his ability he is playing a career high 23 minutes per game this year. Nbawowy says that when Hill plays, he is a slight negative, with opponents having an effective field goal percentage of about 1% higher, mostly at the behest of shooting about two percent better on two-point shots. Per nba.com stats, Hill is just decent at defending the rim, but a closer look via nbawowy reveals that while opponents are just average at hitting layups when Hill is on the floor, they dunk nearly two percent more and finish their tip-ins with about eight percent more efficiency, indicating that opponents are more aggressive around the rim in Hill-based lineups. Hill-based lineups also struggle to defend mid-range jumpers, as opponents hit over two percent better here. 82games is harsher, stating that the Lakers are over three points worse defensively with Hill on the court, indicating that his team defensive awareness is just lacking.

The other issue might be positional, due to the Lakers' current configuration: D'Antoni insists on getting Hill onto the floor more frequently as a power forward, in Gasol-based lineups. Hill sees over 60% of his playing time in these situations, where his rebound rate and differential are far worse, and he defends worse, while the opposing power forward as a higher scoring rate. Hill is far more effective as a center, defending shots far better and rebounding with zest yielding a rebounding differential nearly double of that than when he plays power forward. These splits are alarming and show that Hill actually can top off his elite rebounding with very competent defense, and at his age and being 6'10" that's quite hard to acquire in the league. His rebounding is enough to get playing time, particularly in a completely rebounding-deficient Laker outfit this year, but the Lakers have not been optimizing Hill's possibly untapped defensive strengths, instead brushing it aside and seeing him as merely a slightly subpar defender in terms of shotblocking, fouling, and leveraging at-rim and mid-range defense.

Overall, Hill is a classically underrated player who the Lakers are really under-utilizing (and possibly underestimating) in an effort to cater to D'Antoni's philosophies. The reality is, for this season--his value is more to the Lakers--without him, there are absolutely no second chance points, and even worse rebounding on the other end of the court, and fewer shots at the paint. Moreover, he has always been classically underrated as a rebounder on both ends, and unlike many rebounding centers he actually looks to score as well, which makes him very viable even with a simplified game. Even though he is at his theoretical peak, he's vastly improved on offense simply by scaling his shot selection back to indulge in his very good at-rim game, so it's not out of the question to see his defensive improve simply by using him as a full time center where he can rebound and defend with far more zest, not to mention be far more aggressive offensively. He is a center completely mis-cast out of position this year, and while he's still good enough to produce value, it would be far greater at his natural position. It's actually impressive, given the schizophrenic playing time, that Hill has not complained about it (fellow alienated players Antawn Jamison and Chris Kaman already did), and always comes ready to play, which speaks to his professionalism and hard work.

Spoiler:
Hill has made a name for himself through the first fifteen games, but the irony is he's largely doing the things he's done over the course of his career. There are several differences however. One primary difference is that close to 80% of the shots Hill takes are directly at the rim, up 15% from previous seasons, a very smart proposition to REALLY elevate his field goal percentages. Hill's work is off a wide array of at-rim shots: layups (33% of his shots), hook shots (22%), dunks (11%), and tip-ins (7%), all of which are in the upper third of shots attempted among centers, particularly the hook shots, and his ability to hit hook shots and layups are also in the upper third as well. In addition, the shift towards the paint has also led him to draw fouls at a career high pace. This is far better proposition to his mid-range shot, which he only hits at a fairly average pace, so he has rightfully cut down its attempts to lower third levels among centers, as it is corroborated by his career 67.0% free throw percentage. Overall, Hill scores in the paint in a variety of ways: he is always an excellent offensive rebounder who always roots himself in position well before the shot goes up, and while he isn't at the absolutely insane levels of last year, he's still top notch. Hill also moves well in roll type situations and knows how to get to open space for dunks, and can drive mechanically to the center to release a hook shot. Within the Lakers' offense, he is an absolute gem: he catches all the bricks the jumpshooters throw up, acts as a primary paint presence, and most of all, he can score without the ball in his hands. He's putting up the best scoring rate in his career despite touching the ball less than last year, in large part due to his efficiency. The Lakers are much better with him offensively (over nine points) with him on the court, even though he has no plays run through him.

Defensively, Hill's best asset is the insane defensive rebound rate he's posting this year, made even more valuable because with him, the Lakers would be even more clobbered on the boards. As for actual defense, he is improved from last year, even though his team defensive awareness is still really lacking. In man-to-man, he contains centers far better than he does power forwards, but D'Antoni insists on playing him at power forward frequently to get him on the floor more, so his value is not as high as it could be here. Although he's poor at defending shots directly at the rim and just average at contesting mid-range J's, he spots corner three point shooters and does a decent job of forcing misses at the 3-9 foot space. As a shotblocker, Hill is more or less just OK for his career. He has slightly improved his rate of fouls but is still on the foul prone end, a reason why despite his ability he is playing a career high 23 minutes per game this year.

Overall, Hill has made inroads this year merely by playing more at the rim and defensive rebounding more, but with this team, his value is more to the Lakers--without him, there are absolutely no second chance points, and even worse rebounding on the other end of the court, and fewer shots at the paint. He has always been classically underrated as a rebounder on both ends, and unlike many rebounding centers actually looks to score as well, which makes him very viable even with a simplified game. There is a problem with minutes allocation: Hill's best work is done at the center position, and while there's a virtue to keeping Hill in the court as power forward in Gasol-centered lineups, he fouls more and struggles to contain the efficiency of opposing fours. Hill is far better at outplaying his matchup at center, as he has a far greater zest for rebounding and bottles up the efficiency of the opposing five far better.


Spoiler:
Hill's defense is atrocious, and while he only played limited minutes this season, he was second worst on the team, only behind Steve Nash. Hill actually does an OK job defending shots at the rim and can even contest longer range threes quite well, but he absolutely gets hammered by his inability to defend mid-range jumpers. He's also a slightly subpar defensive rebounder (32nd out of 54 centers), subpar shotblocker (28th), is a subpar overall defensive playmaker (37th), and is foul prone (18th), so overall all his defensive attributes are net negatives.

Hill's money is made on offense, where he has a pretty good usage rate (19th out of 54 centers) who actively seeks to create his own buckets without teammates doing it for him. Hill has average ballhandling skills, and looks mostly to score (46th out of 54 centers in assist ratio). Mostly, he likes to operate as a mid-range spot-up shooter (12th out of 54 centers in attempts) but it's not a good proposition, becuase he's 40th out of the 54 in conversion rate. Among centers, Hill's has a fairly poor rate of at-rim attempts, other paint shots, and foul drawing ability (33rd, 31st, and 29th out of 54 centers), but because most centers take their shots at the rim, his shots here are still fairly significant. And Hill does an elite job of creating buckets off his own accord here--he has the best offensive rebound rate (1st among 54 centers) and isn't even close among centers, but he's hindered by an average conversion rate both at rim and at other close range shots (37th and 30th out of 54 centers, respectively).

Hill's offensive efficiency is nothing special because he's only OK as a finisher and takes too many mid-range shots for something he can't convert well, but his ability to generate a lot of putback attempts at a pretty high usage rate makes him a viable offensive player, and allows one to overlook his horrid defense. Still, he's mostly an activity player, and that makes him a backup in this league.


Spoiler:
Hill is an energy big man who has rebounded very well this season. Only six big men, including fellow Laker Andrew Bynum, bested him in that feat this season; Hill particularly makes his mark in clearing the defensive boards. However, that might be a fluke: in past seasons, Hill was way more effective as an offensive rebounder and only put up average rebounding rates; however, if this can be sustained, and if he can combine the two, this is a worthwhile asset that he could hang his hat on.

Elsewhere, Hill makes few defensive plays and is a slightly below average shotblocker. The biggest marker for an "energy" big man I like to use is the defensive plays/foul ratio, which is an indicator that shows if the big man knows what they are doing: Hill has ranked poorly in this metric throughout, being an absolute hack but also mustering very few defensive plays. As a comparison, only Semih Erden, Jamaal Magloire, Aaron Gray, Ian Mahinmi, and Johan Petro have higher rates of fouls and rank worse in this metric--not surprisingly, many of these are now fringe NBA players who average in the mid-teens in minutes, hampered by their foul trouble while being ineffective defensively. For a backup, that's not bad, but that's probably what Hill is for his career; historically, players who can't make defensive plays while fouling do far worse than their counterparts.

But that just serves to reinforce the elephant in the room: Hill cannot defend. At all. Houston was an average to below average team the past two years, and Hill spent much of his time getting torched by backup centers, surrendering high scoring rates in particular. Similarly, his team defense numbers have been atrocious. Between the rampant fouling, the lack of defensive plays and the inability to play defense, Hill's basketball IQ and acumen are clearly in question (he took up basketball late).

As a center, Hill has middling ball skills, but in particular he cannot make plays for others. He does provide a bit of a scoring punch for an "energy" player, though, although he sports a very low free throw rate for someone his size. He's a bit soft and doesn't quite know his limitations, as seasonal variations have shown him taking a lot of spot-up jumpers, which he hits a subpar rate, and he trades it off by taking fewer shots around the basket. There's slight potential here, however, given the high 60s-low 70s free throw percentages he's sporting. Hill also is good at the short-range shots from 3-9 feet. Still, at the end of the day, between the low free throw rate and the low percentage jumpers, Hill is an inefficient offensive player. What also buoys up his scoring is his easy scores off putbacks, so at least he provides that.

In summary, Hill's an energy player who at this stage is just athletic clay with just one slight thing to hang his hat on--rebounding. He wants to develop a jumper, but from his body of work there's no guarantee that he can hit them at an average level. However, he's clearly a project still trying to sort things out, and his lack of defense and rampant fouling are things that can undermine his career and relegate him to 10-15 minute stints. At age 24, he's starting to become more prospect than player, and teams have already noticed because despite being a lottery pick three years ago, he's already working on his third team.

Last edited by rydjorker121 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:06 pm

Christian Eyenga
Position: SF
Height: 6-7
Weight: 210
Age: 22
Contract: $1,097,520(’11-’12); $1,174,080 ('12-'13); $2,119,214 ('13-'14~Team option); $3,178,821 ('14-'15~Qualifying Offer)
Nickname: Skyenga
Years with Team: 0
Years with League: 1
Previous Teams: Cleveland
Acquired: Trade involving Ramon Sessions, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a Lakers 2012 1st round pick (March '12)
Strengths: Defensive disruptor/shotblocker/potential, Athletic dunker
Weaknesses: Poor three point shooter, Cannot draw fouls, Horrific rebounder, Cannot see the floor, Poor defender

Eyenga is a project, but it's quite easy to tell that he won't amount to much, between the reasonable playing time he received in Cleveland and between his stints at the D-League. Eyenga's offense is flawed: he's a role player offensively in usage, but he doesn't see the floor well. He was a surprisingly good spot-up mid range shooter during his rookie season, but he also took an average amount of spot three point shots which he shot at a very subpar rate.It's even questionable whether he's this good mid-range shots, if his 64.3% free throw shooting has something to say about that. Eyenga is league average in attempts and efficiency around the basket, but he really shows an aversion to drawing fouls--only four small forwards amassed a lower rate last year, and they were all shooters (Sasha Pavlovic, Jason Kapono, Steve Novak and Shawne Williams). Eyenga isn't a shooter at all. So it's really tough to pencil him as having any sort of strength offensively--he's a poor three point shooter, can't draw fouls, and can't see the floor, which are the three most critical factors on offense. He displayed these symptoms as well in the D-League, so this is probably who he is.

People hype up Eyenga's potential as a defender, but last season he was poor, surrendering high scoring, rebounding and shooting percentages to opposing small forwards. His team defense also appears subpar. Moreover, he's a horrific rebounder--only three small forwards rebounded worse than him last year, and he also showed that in the D-League. The lack of athletic markers on the free throw front and rebounding front is awfully scary for him--how can someone that athletic not compete in these areas? He really has a lot of flaws on offense and defense, and it's hard to see him overcoming all of that, even if he's only age 22.

Eyenga does manifest his athleticism in the more flashy areas that people remember, though. Eyenga dunks on 9% of his shots, and has the tools to be a dunk contestant participant. Perhaps the real interesting thing about him is his shotblocking--only 5 small forwards who played more than 20 minutes per game had higher shotblocking rates. He also does a reasonable job at the passing lanes, and overall, can be a disruptor. He has a reasonable foundation to learn defense--only 12 small forwards had a higher rate of defensive plays per foul, so Eyenga does control his fouls. He just needs to learn how to integrate his disruptions into actual defense. The defense is really his calling card in the league if he is to succeed, as his offense is just too flawed at this stage. He can be a good garbage-time dunker, though.

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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:27 pm

Updated Andrew Bynum's profile: post2982734.html#p2982734

Also take a look at Steve Blake, Josh McRoberts, and Troy Murphy (a lot of scathing reviews there--someone better show this to Mike Brown). Go to the first post of this thread to see more :man11:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:22 am

I'm going to have to come back to some of these when I have time to read. Love how in depth they are. Such an asset to the site, in my opinion.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:08 am

Darius Johnson-Odom
Position: SG
Height: 6-2
Weight: 214
Age: 22
Contract: TBA (if he makes team)
Nickname: N/A
Years with Team: 0 (as of yet)
Years with League: 0
Previous Teams: N/A
Acquired: 2012 Draft Round 2 (#55) via Dallas Mavericks trade for cash considerations
Strengths: Athletic freak/strong, Above average three point shooter, Workable NBA scoring game, Takes care of the ball, Defensive intangibles/competitiveness, Defense should translate to NBA level as contain defender
Weaknesses: Inability to pass the ball, Lack of height for a SG, Passing/height requires frequent crossmatching on offense/defense, Doesn't make defensive plays/steals, Poor rebounder given athleticism

Johnson-Odom actually has a workable offensive game for the NBA construct--he's able to spread out the floor and also get to the basket, and this mutual-exclusion type offense often translates well to NBA settings. Moreover, unlike some prospects, Johnson-Odom knows his game--he's a preferred jumpshooter as opposed to slasher, and this is a good proposition considering that he's shot between 36, 39, and 47% from long range in his three years at Marquette. However, the free throw percentages are quite mediocre for his position, meaning that the proper expectation is that he's more of a good rather than great shooter. But, it seems reasonable to believe he should be a good floor spacer.

Similarly, the slashing game might be viable: Johnson-Odom rated as the 5th best athlete overall his draft (out of 56 draftees who participated in the combine), particularly sporting a 40-inch vertical and also sporting excellent strength, so he can leap and withstand contact in his drives. Johnson-Odom also does a good job of taking care of the ball, ranking near the bottom in turnovers for his past two seasons at Marquette.

Where Johnson-Odom just struggles badly, and really makes him a bit predictable, is his court vision: he passes the ball even worse than most NBA small forwards, and while his passing is reasonable enough to masquerade as a NBA shooting guard, there's absolutely no point guard skills at all with him. He can't be relied on as a combo guard, and that makes him more predictable with his drives, as the opposition would know that he is driving merely to finish and can play defense on him accordingly. If Johnson-Odom were 6'6", this would be far less of a problem, or if he had combo guard skills, this would also be less of a problem. As is, his offensive game is viable and has legs, however, with a viable floor spacing game and slashing for the NBA, but without the passing he's more ideally suited as a popcorn type scorer off the bench especially given his height. Without the passing, he might need to do a lot of crossmatching on offense and defense, where he can play SG on offense and guard PGs on defense, and this concern might have caused him to slide down in the draft.

As mentioned, Johnson-Odom is a freak athlete, essentially, ranking 5th out of 56 prospects, and considering that he carries a defensive reputation, his tools combined with his reputation should make the defensive transition quite easy for the NBA level. He rates well in the intangibles, carrying a competitive streak, showing real toughness and coming from Marquette where their more recent NBA players are known as hard workers with toughness (Dwyane Wade, Wes Matthews, Jimmy Butler, and this year's Jae Crowder). He's got decent, but not great, length for his size, which explains why he's a very poor defensive playmaker (he averaged less than one steal in each of his three seasons at Marquette) so largely, the expectation is that he'll make his mark as a contain man-to-man defender, rather than as a gambling rover. He certainly has the tools to accomplish that. Elsewhere, Johnson-Odom's a poor rebounder for his size, and he doesn't seem to have a particular nose for the ball.

As mentioned above, though, Johnson-Odom's defense requires frequent crossmatching--he doesn't have a huge wingspan to compensate for his far below average height to guard shooting guards, so he'll most likely need to guard point guards the majority of the time. There, he shows a lot of the attributes to act as a doberman against opposing points, but for many teams that don't have a large point guard to man up against the opposing shooting guard it's hard not to get exploited. The crossmatching issue is largely why he's best coming off the bench long term, if he's able to make it to the league, where he can probably get away with more when facing more inferior players off the bench.

Johnson-Odom's a player who has strengths on both ends of the court--he's a shooter and good enough slasher on offense, and can be a PG doberman given his rep/physical tools/intangibles on this end. But, in order to succeed, he needs to have these strengths maximized to their fullest potential. I question whether he can get away with shooting 35% from three long term, because as a 6'2" shooting guard he needs to join the right team for coaches to live with the frequent crossmatching, so that his strength of guarding opposing points can be maximized. If he's shooting at a mediocre pace and he's guarding opposing SGs, he's essentially interchangeable, and will go the path of guys who have bounced around and eventually went out of the league, like DeMarcus Nelson or Fred Jones (a former lotto pick). He needs to be made into a specialist in his two areas of potential--he needs to firm up his shooting so that he can consistently hit 37% and above on his threes, and he needs to be in a situation where defensive crossmatching can really help him.

The Lakers have been known for their big points during the Phil Jackson era, and even now they still have relatively tall PGs (Sessions at 6'3", Morris at 6'5"), but both of those players aren't super tall or strong enough to guard opposing SGs, nor do they carry defensive reputations. Mike Brown has a defensive rep, so he'll have to be savvy on how to maximize his lineups or subtly improve the defense of his guys (hey, he did it for Troy Murphy last year) so Johnson-Odom could see more court time. He looks super tough, has a real competitive streak, and is not lacking in confidence, so he can also find a way to get things done on his part--Mike Brown could appreciate his defensive toughness and actually give him minutes. When answering the question whether he was too short to guard SGs in the NBA, he said that he will be on the floor because of his work ethic, and that if he doesn't want you to score, you won't score.

While the Lakers don't have the ideal PGs to help crossmatch, there is a path for him to succeed on this team, and his floor spacing and added potential PG defense are two things that the Lakers sorely need, and they could potentially kill two birds with one stone. On a team lacking in youth and energy/intangibles, he can also provide that. Also, Johnson-Odom ranked in the mid-2nd in my draft rater, so taking team fit and his overall talent into account, the Lakers might have a steal in their hands--that's why they were willing to trade for him even though they could have taken him with their 60th pick.

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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:34 am

Awesome stuff. Very detailed, and I am intrigued.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Battle Tested20 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Great Write up, thanks rydjorker!
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:57 pm

Robert Sacre
Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 263
Age: 23
Contract: TBA (if he makes team)
Nickname: N/A
Years with Team: 0 (as of yet)
Years with League: 0
Previous Teams: N/A
Acquired: 2012 Draft Round 2 (#60)
Spoiler:
Strengths: Good defensive playmaker/shotblocker, Has had some defensive impact, draws a ton of fouls, willing and apparently decent jumpshooter, potential inside-outside game
Weaknesses: Very athletically deficient, Very woeful rebounder, foul prone, zero ball skills, jumper more OK than good?


Sacre's a low usage center (44th out of 62 centers), but the problem is that he does not pair with other useful attributes: of centers with lower usage, only Ryan Hollins has a worse offensive and a worse defensive rebound rate. He by and large takes inefficient shots. And after an fluky good start on defense, his defense has normalized back to the poor levels that it was at last year. There's just not much to work with on both ends of the floor.

Sacre's offense is predicated on a mix of hook shots, spot-up mid-range jumpers and the occasional dunk while limiting turnovers.The problem is that because he never gets layups and doesn't dunk enough, he's relying on shots that he's just decent at (the hook shot) and a shot he's subpar in (the mid-ranger) to accrue his points, and those shots don't allow him to draw fouls (his foul drawing rate has significantly decreased from his Gonzaga days). All in all, it's a very inefficient style of offense, which is why he's been phased out of the rotation at times, because his offense has been unreliable. Sacre is middle-of-the-road as a passer as well. He looks to score off set ups, which explains his low usage.

Sacre particularly likes the hook shot (7th among centers), and about half of his shots are spot-up mid-rangers. He's subpar on mid-rangers overall, but a closer look shows that his short mid-rangers are awful, and his long ones are good (42%). He's not much of a foul shooter (three seasons of the low 60s in college, working on two with the Lakers) so this could be a major fluke, but it's good to know there's at least something between the cracks. As mentioned, he'll also get the occasional dunk, mostly by rolling off the pick in half court sets (10.1% of his shots are dunks, a decent rate for centers). As mentioned his low usage stems from an inability to create shots for himself around the rim: only two qualified centers take fewer layups than he does, and only eight convert at a worse rate than he does on them; with the ninth worst offensive rebound rate, and only six centers generate fewer tip-in shots.

On defense, there's just one good thing of note: he's in the upper third of centers in shotblocking. Otherwise, it's all downhill. After the positive fluke start, he's been all-around awful. He fits the awful trifecta: 1) he struggles to contest shots, as opposing centers shoot well against him, 2) he's extremely foul prone and hacks drivers and bigs alike, and 3) the guy can't rebound, with a -4.6 difference to his opposing matchup. The defensive rebounding, in particular, is madness; only five centers have a worse rate than he does, and he's a key part in why the Lakers always get outrebounded every night. At 7'0", 260 lb, even with a small wingspan and a lack of verticality, he should be putting up better rates than this. Not surprisingly, he's a net negative in team defense on the court. He means well and will get a few blocks, but he's simply unable, in every sense of the word, to perform well on this end of the court.

Sacre is a top-notch teammate, locker room presence and is a top two bench cheerleader in the league (the other now being current teammate Kent Bazemore), but his game is all-around ragged and questionable for the NBA on both ends. He flashes signs of skill--many centers do not have the hook in their game, and he (supposedly) has a good long-range jumper, but he can't create easy looks at-rim for himself in any fashion, which is a major detriment. On defense, he can block shots but is so abysmal in the fouling, contesting, and especially the rebounding department it's really hard to see this end being salvageable. His "good teammate" aura is the major drawing point above anything else, and while he can live on his raw staple of offensive "skill" for a few years with the illusion of defense via shotblocking, his issues aren't exactly of the improvable variety. It will be hard pressed to see him improve much from this point onwards.

Spoiler:
On offense, Sacre is low usage, playing a highly role player style of game, but in fourteen games this season, he has played that role very well as the quarternary scorer in 5-man lineups. Particularly underrated is his extreme unselfishness, with top notch passing skill especially searching out the Lakers' three point shooters, and on top of that he limits turnovers extremely well--both are complete reversals from his limited work last season, and also fly in the face of what he did in college. Sacre gets most of his points within the flow of the offense--particularly setting picks and rolling to the basket for finishes, but he's just decent at drawing fouls and average as a finisher, as he lacks vertical and is not really a contact seeker despite his strength. Still, with the proper steps and an open seam, he will dunk the basketball, although he brings little as an offensive rebounder. As always, Sacre's preferred perch is with 3-9 foot shots, which he has vastly improved from last year with surprisingly decent touch, whether off rudimentary footwork, pick and roll type plays or spot up shots, but his free throw shooting is fairly nondescript. Sacre plays the complementary role-playing center decently, moving the ball, finding open teammates, and hitting a fair share of non-restricted area paint shots, but he lacks the judiciousness, athleticism, ballhandling craftiness and at-rim and longer range effectiveness to elevate this role into something even more significant. He works around his relative limitations well on offense and acts as a plug, as the Lakers are over five points better with him on the court on offense, with impact, passing and shooting improvements over the past season.

Sacre is perhaps more interesting on defense than he is on offense, and has vastly improved from the scathing review I wrote in the last scouting report. His calling card in the early returns? Shotblocking. Sacre is in the top three among centers, in a per 48 basis, in this category, and he plays hard on this end, moving his feet, leveraging his body to create the angle, using his height and just having very good timing, to offset the small wingspan and lack of verticality. He has also vastly improved his fouling from last year and also from his earlier Gonzaga years. Early returns show that he is defending the rim and also mid-range shots at an excellent rate--in defending the perimeter, Sacre noticeably steps out and hedges hard, and does a good job of inside-outside defense. Sacre is both effective in man and team defense: in man defense, he contests shots extremely well so far, really holds down the efficiency of the opposing center, and surprisingly puts them in foul trouble. He rotates well on team defense as well, and the Lakers are nearly 7 points better on defense with Sacre on the court. The only real problem is the severe lack of rebounding, which was also seen in college and last year--Sacre is just extremely awful on corralling defensive boards, exacerbating a team-wide problem for the Lakers. While Sacre defends well, through a combination of overcompensation and just lacking a nose for the ball, he gives opposing teams many second chance and some third chance opportunities. On defense, Lakers often pair him with fellow rebounding-deficient Shawne Williams, a unit that has really been stingy defensively but lacks rebounding prowess. Pau Gasol can really rebound this season, but Gasol-Sacre units absolutely got scorched this year on defense, and Sacre and rebounding machismo Jordan Hill can not, and have not, played together due to lack of floor spacing. Likely, he needs to be paired with a player who can really rebound and defend simultaneously while meshing with Sacre's root offensive skills, something the Lakers do not quite have at the moment.

Overall, Sacre's massive improvements on offense and defense while acting as a very useful role player plug has made his contract extension look like a huge value play. Besides being a top notch teammate and a major cheerleader for the team like former Bulldog and Laker Ronny Turiaf, it is nice to see viable ability on both ends, particularly with his ability to pass, hit short jumpers, block shots, and defend effectively inside and outside, none of which he was able to do last year. Rebounding, at-rim finishing and long range jumpshooting are major weaknesses that limit his long term upside, but the framework he has right now is certainly NBA viable, especially with the added benefit of being a good teammate. In terms of sustenance, the shotblocking and the passing are far better than his career norms, so there are some questions there, but the defense might be more sustainable as it is currently better than the offense.

Spoiler:
Sacre's only played nearly 30-some games of garbage time minutes with the Lakers, but even then you can start drawing some conclusions:

Defensively, if Sacre played enough meaningful minutes, we could easily conclude he's the worst defender on the Lakers, and possibly the worst in the league (could be a bottom 12 NBA defender). Sacre's particularly awful at defending short-range paint shots from 3-9 feet, but he's also horrible at defending mid-range J's. On top of the complete lack of defense, Sacre can't defensive rebound at all (52nd of 54 centers) and while he can hold his own in shotblocking because he doesn't do anything else he's a nonexistent defensive playmaker (48th). But most of all, he wouldn't last a game with his constant hacking and fouling (53rd). Between the nonexistent defense, nonexistent rebounding, and constant hacking and fouling, he's so far from an NBA player it's not even funny. Even if he was the LeBron James of offensive players, I'd wonder whether he could stay in the league. That's how awful he is here.

Offensively, Sacre is a spot-up center whose shots are all created for him, not surprising given that he has possibly league-worst ballhandling ability (53rd out of 54 centers) with better but still subpar passing (30th of 54 centers). He operates under a low usage rate (41st out of 54 centers), with a shot selection that sees a ton of 3-9 foot shots (1st out of 54 centers) and 10-15 foot mid-range J's (11th). The problem is, these shots aren't even high value for him--he's only 45th in conversion rate at the 3-9 foot range, and 47th at 10-15 feet. He sees very few shots directly at the rim (49th), mostly off his own tip-ins (10th in offensive rebound rate), although because he's a center they still comprise about a third of his shots, so they still have an impact. And it's not much of one, as Sacre is an awful finisher (49th) and similarly is unable to draw fouls in his attempts (49th), so he's very useless here. Overall, he's awful in all of his favorite zones, and even at the rim, and with poor passing and zero handles there's really no hope on this end of the floor, except maybe for his offensive rebounding.

It's garbage-time, admittedly, but he's played enough games, and even started a few, and he's near last in so many offensive and defensive categories it's almost a near certainty that he won't be in the league next year. Even in six D-League games, Sacre was a subpar rebounder (26th of 44 centers), shotblocker (28th) and couldn't even hit anything from the field (40th), and that's accounting for the weaker competition. The only thing he did better there was control his fouls. Elegantly stated, he's not even an NBA player.


Spoiler:
Physically, Sacre looks the part of the NBA center, having the strength and the height for the position, but that's where it basically ends. His combine measurements ranked 53rd out of 57 prospects charted, so he's a really poor athlete--he has no standout physical attributes, and on top of that has a very small wingspan and excess body fat, so there might be conditioning concerns. Still, Sacre has some skills defensively: he makes a good number of defensive plays, and despite his lack of wingspan, is able to block shots, so the size helps. Moreover, in the past, he's shown to be a good team defender, having good +/- numbers at the defensive side of the ball. The problems on defense are two-fold, though, and thus his defensive skills are back-up caliber, at best: he's quite foul prone, and this jibes with the fact that although he's try-hard on this end, he doesn't quite possess the conditioning or physical tools to stop opposing players either one-or-one or on switches. In addition to the tools, his fundamentals are also lacking: he appears to go after every shot, having a very poor rebound rate for a 7-footer, so even though he shows some promise defensively, the fouling and in particular, the lack of rebounding makes him a bit like Ronny Turiaf (interestingly a guy who he compares himself to, besides the Gonzaga roots) in this end. He means well, has some impact and will gain style points with blocks, but his severe athletic limitations and lack of fundamentals in rebounding hinders the overall picture. That's why, defensively, he's probably way more suited against backups over time, where there's less strain exerted.

Offensively is where Sacre starts to remind more of Turiaf: there's definitely skill level here. He has zero ball skills, in particular lacking in court vision, so he's definitely a catch-and-dump sort of player for open looks or dunks. Sacre does an excellent job at making himself a good option on both fronts: he draws fouls by the bushel, having the third-highest free-throw drawing rate among NCAA centers this season, and this has largely been the trend throughout his career. And unlike many of the offensively-deficient centers that populate the league, he has a decent face-up jumper as well, based on decent-for-his-size type free throw percentages, but past numbers have shown his overall jumper to be middling, so his potential here isn't enormous. Sacre's ability to draw fouls is particularly impressive when considering the fact that he's a well-preferred jumpshooter than low post scorer, so that wrinkle to his game makes him more offensively potent. Sacre will also get his fair share of dunks, but just like is overall rebounding, he's a woefully deficient offensive rebounder and will rarely partake in tip-in type plays. Overall, he's useful as a floor spacing center who has a knack for drawing fouls, however, but the cons are that he doesn't chase after o-boards or have much ball skills.

Overall, Sacre has quite a few uses on both ends of the court--he'll make defensive plays and has had some impact in the past, but he loses the narrative due to very poor rebounding numbers, foul trouble and his serious lack of physical tools, so it's highly questionable whether the defense will translate seamlessly to the NBA level. Similarly, Sacre is a willing jumpshooter with some touch and the ability to draw fouls effortlessly, but he's simply a catch-and-shoot/finish type player and doesn't go after o-boards. The lack of athleticism in particular is probably what hurts him, and likely will relegate him to a career backup.

I expect his defense to be the foul-prone enforcing type, but overall very hit-or-miss, and his offense could show more inside-outside stuff, but again, I'm not completely sold on the jumper. He's already 23 and by and large has put up the same stats in college as he did in 2009-2010, so he's already peaked and the overall scouting report here probably won't deviate much from here on out. In many ways, he reminds me of former Laker Chris Mihm--a 7-footer who showed flashes on both ends, but lacked the conditioning skills to maximize his physical tools, and who also showed enough skill deficiencies on both ends of the court to make him woefully inconsistent. Certainly, if the Lakers get a Chris Mihm type at the #60th pick here, by all accounts it's a steal. It might be a bit more reasonable to expect him to be the next Francisco Elson, but really, his game is of the journeyman sort--it's too inconsistent to the point of interchangeability, so even if he finds a footing in the league with us I can't imagine he'll stay too long with us. Of note is that my draft rate put him as the #58th overall pick, so I think the Lakers got him at the right place, but I don't think he'll amount to much at all given his standing.

Last edited by rydjorker121 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:35 pm

Antawn Jamison:
Position: PF
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 235
Age: 36
Contract: $1,352,181 (’12-13)
Nickname: None
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 14
Previous Teams: Golden State, Dallas, Washington, Cleveland
Acquired: Free Agent '12
Spoiler:
Strengths: Willingness to spot up for jumpers/attempts to spread the floor, Extremely consistent/cerebral, Never turns the ball over, Good runner game, Veteran leadership/well-mannered, Durability
Weaknesses: Absolute defensive sieve/no positive attribute on the non-offensive end of the court, Completely unathletic/old, Questionable jumpshooter/efficiency, Becoming a terrible rebounder, Doesn't play around basket much


Jamison is the Lakers' second worst defender this season (the worst being Steve Nash), and his defense is definitely on the poor side, ranking somewhere between 186th and 208th out of 270 NBA players. He doesn't get torched in any particular area, as he's poor in many zones, but he struggles most defending shots at or near the rim and also defending corner or long threes. Still, this is a marked improvement from his Cleveland days when he was absolutely atrocious on defense. On top of that, Jamison's a subpar defensive rebounder (39th out of 67 PFs) and a nonexistent defensive playmaker, being all around bad in accruing steals, blocks and charges (54th out of 67 PFs) but does a good job avoiding fouls (15th). In the aggregate, Jamison can stay on the floor, but he appears to be a net negative in all things defense, from defensive playmaking to rebounding to the actual defense itself.

On offense, Jamison is somewhat a low usage (45th out of 67 power forwards) hybrid. He mostly operates as a spot-up three point shooter, as he's 9th out of 67 power forwards in attempts from this distance. While for a power forward, he doesn't appear to play around the rim, o-board or draw fouls much at first glance (43rd and 44th in at rim/foul drawing, 47th in offensive rebounding) and surprisingly has also avoided runners (48th), at-rim shots and runners off the dribble still make up over two-fifths of his shots, so they still impact his offensive bottom line. The somewhat frustrating thing is that Jamison is far better at finishing (19th) and hitting runners (22nd) than he is at hitting threes (16th, but below the average for the typical power forward since most do not take threes). The runners in particular have been a part of Jamison's staple for his career, and have been consistently excellent, but he's taking them at lower doses this year. In particular, Jamison's runners and at-rim shots are a good proposition, because he's a good ballhandler and as mentioned can finish well enough. Elsewhere, Jamison by and large eschews mid-range shots nowadays and has poor court vision (47th out of 67 PFs). Nonetheless, Jamison still is quite efficient as far as power forwards go, but one wonders if he could become super efficient if he split up his shot selection more towards the basket, but it's hard to argue: he hasn't been this efficient for over five years.

So while Jamison might have a slight identity crisis on the offensive end and doesn't contribute defensively, he's efficient enough in his runner and at-rim game and can handle the basketball, to offset an overall subpar three point game. As long as he can maintain that production, he'll be useful off the bench.

Spoiler:
The book on Jamison is that he gets off tons of shots without turning the ball over. He's also remarkably consistent from year-to-year in his game--and shows few signs of slowing down. For the past six years he's always ranked in the top twenty among PFs in usage rate, and this year he was even able to rank sixth, albeit for a Cavs team depleted in much offensive talent. But what's remarkable is that he's able to wing up shots without turning the ball over--he ranked third from the bottom in turnover rate, and that's no fluke--his past six years would also rank at that level. He's very cerebral at this end, because he's able to have the sort of rhythm and pace to get off shots despite not having the greatest ballhandling skills or athletic ability to normally do so. Jamison's smarts are certainly reflected through this attribute, and is similar to Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Love, and LaMarcus Aldridge in this respect (more high usage guys with low turnover rates).

Jamison certainly treats his possessions like a star, between his high usage rate and the fact that he's averaged 20 points per game for each of the past seasons. Like many feature power forwards, he sports a low assist rate, and doesn't really look to pass at all, and never really has. Where Jamison might fit with the Lakers is that he's made inroads in a few subtle things that will help into his transition back into a sixth man-type role, like the one he had in Dallas at '03-'04 where he won sixth man of the year. He was 27 then (and of note was that he played next to Nash and shot a career high 52% from the field), and he's now 36, but Jamison actually sported a career high assist rate this year, as compared with the past six years. In addition, over the past four seasons, he's had the highest rate of assisted shots among players with usage rates as high as he does--Kevin Garnett is a comparable in this respect.

Like Garnett (and other aging men like Dirk Nowitzki, Al Harrington and even Chris Bosh) Jamison completely eschews offensive rebounds, and he's always taken nearly or over half of his shots from 16 feet and beyond--the average PF takes about 30% from here. Jamison's unique among big men in that he can spread the floor--he's a very willing three point shooter, and this has largely always comprised a quarter of his shots. Another reason he might fit in with the Lakers is that all of his jumpers are virtually off the catch--almost all his threes are assisted (of note is that he had three straight seasons where all his threes were assisted) as well as all his mid-range J's. Among big men, even though it's rare to see him do so (see below), he's among the better ones in cutting off the ball to finish around the basket. Nash will be able to find him in his spots quite easily, because he's one of the best at getting to them.

Jamison is well-mannered (he has a habit of calling reporters "sir" in interviews), has pretty much avoided technicals and flagrants throughout his long career, and rarely ever gets injured, so those side-pluses are very understated benefits that have prolonged his career despite the weaknesses we'll get into below. His good-guy approach and durability, in addition to the cerebral game, are elements that appeal to coaching staffs.

It's refreshing to see a high usage offensive player who has shots created for him, but where Jamison falls short compared to many of his multiple-time All-Star patriots: efficiency. Jamison's largely been average in this area for the past six years--this isn't bad when it's coupled with his lack of mistakes--but it's one of the few reasons (the other is defense, see below) that has stopped him from making more of an impact and having more name power. This season, it really went downhill for him however--he had the 6th highest usage rate, but was 11th from the bottom in TS%. This meant that instead of forcing OK chucks, he was now completely sinking the Cavs offensively by heaving bricks on nearly every possession down the court. This season, only Glen Davis and Andray Blatche had slightly similar comparables, and the perception of the both of them isn't all that good.

Looking deeper into Jamison's woes, he's simply not a good shooter, but he takes them like he is one. Period. He's a career 34.6% three point shooter, not horrendous, but not good either, and it's questionable whether he's good enough to have defenses monitor him when he's spotting up from sixteen feet and beyond. Further validating that fact is that he's a career 72.5% free throw shooter, which might be OK for a big man but is subpar especially when you're considering someone who might need to use shooting to keep defenses honest with the Lakers. Looking deeper, he's always been a slightly subpar mid-range shooter, but this season he was sixth-worst, and again most of those were spot-up shots so he has it easier than the guys that create their own shots off the dribble. He's not as bad in terms of threes, but still, his resume as a shooter is very, very questionable.

And Jamison needs to be a shooter, because he isn't going to get to the basket much. He rarely takes shots around the basket, but he does a decent job on rare occasions of cutting and finishing (he's an average finisher among PFs though). Jamison well prefers to take runners off the catch instead of finishing nowadays (he's extremely notable for his ability to get off shots with one leg here), but again he doesn't get here that often. He has an excellent runner game, however, and this could be a side element to his game that will help him. He's always been relatively subpar at drawing fouls, not too surprising given his jumper-heavy game. He's routinely among the bottom in PFs in dunks per season, and never had much athleticism to begin with. At the end, his willingness to fire up spot-up mid-range J's and threes with the side element of runners have their uses for the Lakers, who need scoring, but I question whether he has the shooting ability to really help the Lakers offensively, and efficiency needs to be the priority. He's cerebral, extremely consistent within his offensive game and rarely makes turnovers or gets blocked, though, and those attributes tend to appeal to the coaching staff.

Jamison is a complete mess on the other end of the court. He had the tenth lowest rebound rate this year among PFs, and this part of his game really sunk like a rock, which doesn't bode well for his aging process. Combined with the nonexistent offensive rebounding, he had the sixth worst overall rebound rate. Jamison was never strong, menacing, or athletic to begin with, but in the past he'd hold his own and be slightly above average, so like former Laker Troy Murphy's sudden drop in rebound rate this has to be very concerning. He has never been athletic as mentioned, and thus never makes many defensive plays, but it would be nice if he would risk his body to draw charges, which he hasn't done for the past several years. He does a good job of staying out of foul trouble, but for his case, considering the lack of defense, one wonders if that's because he's coasting and not really applying himself on this end. But that's not even the most damning part of it--let's bring in the numbers. Jamison's team defensive numbers have almost always been on the negative--he's simply atrocious on this end. Let's illustrate: this season, the Cavs were 26th on defensive efficiency--but Jamison, for 33 minutes a game, made that "defense" way way worse whenever he was on the court--to the point that it was well into the league bottom. Jamison's man-to-man defense against power forwards isn't as atrocious, but it's still pretty bad. Everything on this end appears to be a negative, and I question whether Jamison has enough of an offensive fit to counteract all the woes he brings on this end of the court. Don't forget, the Lakers also have Steve Nash to cover up for in defense. I'd even wonder if Jamison's D is worse than Nash's.

Jamison's scoring punch and willingness to spot up will help the Lakers a lot, and he's consistent and cerebral enough to find ways to fit into the team scheme. But the questionable jumper, the lack of athleticism, and absolutely blow-by-me traffic cone type defense possibly gives him too many flaws to cover up for. It will be interesting to see this dynamic, but I have to wonder if the Lakers aren't coming ahead of the bargain in terms of skill set, even though for the vet's min it's an excellent deal--you can't get 17ppg on the market for that deal. So it's a bit of a strange situation.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:44 pm

Fascinating writeup. I'm sort of hoping we end up making Jamison the primary scoring option and find a way to put defenders/shooters around him (Blake, for instance, seems like a good fit with him).
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby revgen on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:52 pm

Thx for the writeup. Very informative.

I can understand your criticism of Jamison, but for vet min, I don't think you can really complain. He provides what we need for our bench unit at a price that's more than reasonable.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby jamabile on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:54 pm

Thank you for the scouting report! Admittedly, I haven't seen a lot of Jamison. He's going to get open looks with this team & with Nash's ability to penetrate and dish, I believe Jamison's overall FG% will go up thus improving is efficiency.

Our bench was flat awful last year. Any slight improvement would be welcomed. If he can bring 10-14 points a game, create his shot, score, & give Kobe and Nash a decent rest, he's done his job. It's kind of like the PG position for me, honestly. Fisher & Ramon were so bad that whatever Nash brings will be offset by his amazing ability on offense.

The same concept applies to Jamison and our bench. Jamison is coming to a bench full of scrubs. Whatever he brings on a productive level is going to be huge for our team. Another note in the thread I read earlier is that Jamison lead the league in points off open jumpers last year. He's going to get open looks. Andrew, Kobe, Pau, all demand double teams.

I believe he'll flourish in his role. It's going to be a great fit.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:51 pm

Steve Nash:
Position: PG
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 178
Age: 38
Contract: $8,900,181 (’12-13), $9,300,000 ($'13-'14), $9,701,000 ('14-'15)
Nickname: None
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 14
Previous Teams: Dallas, Phoenix
Acquired: Sign and trade with the Phoenix Suns for 2013 1st round pick (Nemanja Nedovic) and 2015 1st round pick and 2013 2nd round pick (Alex Oriakhi) and 2014 2nd round pick (Johnny O'Bryant)
Spoiler:
Strengths: Transcendental PG/lot of cache-popularity, In the conversation for best passer/shooter to grace the game, Most efficient PG in the game, Incredibly tough, savvy and durable, Maximizes athletic weaknesses (defense/rebounding)
Weaknesses: Lacks athleticism/needs to be hidden on defense still


Nash is an atrocious defender, by far the worst on the Lakers, and arguably bottom ten in the league in defense (his range is 251-262 out of 270 PGs). He's arguably the third worst among PGs in defense this season as well. Nash in general is awful from everywhere, but he's beyond awful defending shots at the rim, and also at defending straightaway threes. Both slashing and long range bombing PGs routinely torch him at will. Nash is also a subpar defensive rebounder (38th out of 72 PGs) and completely nonexistent in steals (71st) and defensive playmaking (69th), even though he never fouls (1st of 72 PGs). Nash is completely awful on this end overall, with atrocious defense and defensive playmaking, and he appears to conserve energy at this end by never fouling.

Nash's usage rate has dropped every season with age, but this season he's almost invisible in usage--even teammate Darius Morris has a higher usage rate than he does, and he ranks 63 out of 72 PGs here. Nash operates as a hybrid with his low usage, creating his own shot equally as having them set up for him. He's an average ballhandler but an excellent passer (7th among 72 PGs), and mostly uses his limited possessions as for passing purposes. Offensively, Nash prefers to set up shop from the mid-range, particularly having a knack for taking "no-man's land" 10-15 foot shots off the dribble (4th among 72 PGs), and it's his sweet shot as he's also 4th out of 72 PGs in conversion rate. He sprinkles that with a few runners (25th out of 72 PGs), but he only converts these at a relatively average rate (33rd among 72 PGs), and longer mid-range shots (30th out of 72 PGs), which he's excellent at (2nd among 72 PGs). Nash is an infrequent spot up three point shooter (40th of 72 PGs) despite being excellent at it (3rd among 72 PGs) and never sees the rim (55th out of 72 PGs), although he does a better job of drawing fouls than you'd expect given the infrequency (45th out of 72).

In fact, that's the crux of Nash's problem: he's such a great shooter from everywhere that he's efficient anyway, but he doesn't quite recognize that he can optimize it either further. While the 10-15 range is his sweet spot, he's even sweeter at longer mid-range shots and threes. The mid-range shot is the most overrated shot in basketball, and while Nash uses the threat of it to optimize his passing, if he were to stick with a shot distribution that saw more threes (rather than runners) he'd be even more efficient than he currently is. Also, with his passing and shooting talent, it's frustrating to see his invisibility--almost like seeing the talent go to waste, even if that could be partially attributed to age. Nash is obviously capable of the low usage-high efficiency style of play, but because he plays nearly league-worst defense, that puts the ceiling on him as just a starter, and nothing more.

Spoiler:
Nash is a transcendental point guard, having won two MVPs, battled in a lot of tough playoff games and engineered much of his team's successes (and in the process made a lot of players around him better and helped them gain fat contracts--coughcough Jason Richardson, Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, Amare Stoudemire, Tim Thomas, Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, etc). He's humble, has a lot of international popularity due to his enjoyable up-tempo game and ability to succeed despite the lack of athleticism, and has a lot of cache--players actively want to play with him, and perk up offensively whenever he's on the court. He's one of the most influential players in the game today on the court.

What's probably most remarkable about Nash's sixteen-year journey is that at age 38, he's still going as strong as ever. If you look back across all seasons, Nash arguably is the best 38-year old player in the game, most notably from an efficiency standpoint. Nash has back problems, but he's extremely tough--he plays well within the 70s and sometimes 80s in terms of games every season, and hasn't missed over 12 games ever since the 1999-2000 season. Phoenix's training staff did wonders for him, but Nash's work ethic, vegetarian diet and excellent conditioning deserve major props. He's a natural fiery competitor, an excellent trait for a point guard. Let's begin with his slew of positives:

Nash is one of the best shooters to ever grace the game. Period. But it goes beyond that: many shooters can just shoot, and that's it. Nash's underrated brilliance is that he's so diverse, crafty, and aggressive such that he can really get his shots from anywhere on the court (Kirk Goldsberry's shot selection chart hereillustrates the entire story). He has literally no weakness besides the baseline two pointer, really, whereas many players struggle just to find several areas where they can shoot very well in. He's had four 50-40-90 seasons, many more that came close to it, and to sum it up, he's a career 49.1% shooter, 42.8% three point shooter, and 90.4% from the stripe. To top it off, he led all PGs in true shooting percentage this season, and five of his last six seasons would also rank at the top of the list (the other he would be second on the list). Needless to say he's an efficiency wizard. He doesn't get enough credit for that, and let's go for the jugular: almost all of his shots are unassisted. He led all PGs in unassisted shots this year, and is always in the top five for the past half-decade. He's essentially creating his own shot and hitting them all the time, from everywhere. Now, that is tough to do.

Nash is also one of the best passers to play the game. On a purely usage rate-assist rate basis this year, only Rajon Rondo is slightly similar, and Ricky Rubio and Andre Miller are in the periphery. Nash had the highest assist rate this season among PGs with a usage rate above 15, and would be in the top five for the past six years as well. He's as pure a PG as they come, engineering both shots for himself from everywhere and dishing them out to his teammates effortlessly. He makes the offense, and even his above average turnover rate is offset with his propensity for racking up dimes effortlessly. He's averaged between 9.7 and 11.6 assists with Phoenix for the past eight seasons--while it's hard to see that with the Lakers, he's by far the best passing PG in today's game, not to mention one of the best shooting, and it would be foolhardy not to run offense through him to maximize his skills.

Let's put Nash's offensive brilliance under the microscope: he's starting to slowly relinquish control of the offensive reins with age, but the efficiency never stops with him. Nash rarely gets to the basket for a PG, but now it's probably by design to prevent further injury: when he gets there, he shoots them like many shoot free throws--at 74.3%--and he's had 70 marks for the past three years, rim numbers that would lead all PGs. And he also gets there on his own accord, having unassisted marks that are top among PGs as mentioned. Nash's runner game is equally excellent--throughout the past six seasons, he's had four seasons that would lead all PGs in percentage, but once again, he rarely utilizes this. All in all, he's progressively getting less to the basket despite those uber-efficiency numbers. He's simply holding back in this area.

Nash's preferred place nowadays is the mid-range shot, and again he led the league this season with his efficiency there, and again, he's creating his own shot most of the time. Nash is starting to eschew a few threes in favor of these shots, and he's still shooting the three at an excellent rate, but considering Nash's mid-range J's it's hard to fault him for the tradeoff. Once again, he's top three among PGs in having his threes unassisted, and he's largely taking them off the dribble. Nash, as mentioned in the Kirk Goldsberry article above, has no offensive weaknesses, and is even prolific in the 10-15 foot range off the dribble, and only Beno Udrih, among PGs, can rival him in that aspect. For someone who rarely slashes, it's actually impressive that he gets to the line at a slightly above average rate, indicating his savviness at drawing fouls.

Another sign of Nash's toughness is that with his lack of athleticism and age, he still was an average rebounder this year, and has been for the past half-decade. Another thing about Nash is that he virtually never picks up fouls: he led all PGs, by far, in not picking up fouls this year, and for the past half-decade he'd still be in the top three in this area. Nash doesn't particularly put effort on defense as evidenced by the lack of fouls and bottom-five type defensive playmaking, but in his mid-years of Phoenix he showed an ability to draw charges. He's not doing that as much anymore, and has taken to preserving his body instead due to age. Phoenix and Dallas were at best, average defensive teams with Nash at the helm, but mostly they were poor defensive teams--the philosophy was to run-n-gun on offense, which went right at Nash's wheelhouse. Both teams have taken steps to cover up his poor defense--Dallas used zone, Phoenix tried to hide him on weak links through crossmatching if the point guard was too athletic/offensive minded. But Nash deserves credit--he's played well within these schemes, actually having positive man-to-man and team defensive results over the past two years. His team defense is understated, and he's made inroads to become more decent at this part of his game, even with increasing age and declining athleticism.

Overall, Nash is a revelation--he combines shooting AND efficiency where many players just find it hard to be a good shooter, and he tops that off with equally HOF-worthy passing skills and the toughness and durability that makes him transcendental. He even maximizes his weaknesses, such as lack of athleticism and supposedly poor defense. As a leader, he's well spoken and has the best resume in the league, having been the sole reason (see all those unassisted shots and huge assist rate) to help his team's bottom line in offensive efficiency throughout his career. Few players are that transformative for their teams, but Nash's game is just that.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Big Mamma Jamma on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Thanks for the write-ups! Well done!!!!
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby jamabile on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:17 pm

Those unassisted shots and huge assist rates, & shooting are going to be huge for this team. The ability to create his own shot right alongside with Kobe creates versatility within this offense & more balance. I like what you mentioned that he can get his shot from anywhere on the court and his efficiency in those areas. That's great. He's a threat from everywhere.

In addition, his huge assist rates come from being the most unselfish play on the court. The ablity to Nash to find seams in the lane without using stellar athletic ability but rather veteran savvy are impressive. He has a penchant for finding his teammates in positions for them to score. He makes the game so much easier for everybody on the court. This should bode well for Kobe, Pau, Andrew, and all the Laker players.

He's also a floor space as you noted. He can shoot the midrange and three at a very effective rate and that alone means you can't double off of Nash. This will give more room for Andrew & Nash to operate. Again, it will do wonders.

Another thing is in a closely, contested playoff game, you now have another ball handler who can shoot free throws. That is so key and overlooked. We need to make our freethrows and Nash hits them at an almost 90% clip.

He's going to make a tremendous impact. I can't wait to see the type of quality basketball he brings on the offensive side. It should be fun...
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:27 pm

Awesome stuff as usual. Your concerns about Jamison worry me a bit.

I was hoping he'd come here and be our scoring threat off the bench, but it seems he may not be that guy. I would say the Lakers need someone who is able to create off the bench, even with the addition of Jamison.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby jamabile on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:33 pm

therealdeal wrote:Awesome stuff as usual. Your concerns about Jamison worry me a bit.

I was hoping he'd come here and be our scoring threat off the bench, but it seems he may not be that guy. I would say the Lakers need someone who is able to create off the bench, even with the addition of Jamison.


Quite frankly, just my opinion, Jamison will have his role reduced quite a bit. He can be that guy to space the floor, hit the open jumpers, and score points 10-14 pts off our bench.

Nevertheless, you make a key point; we still need another player to create off our bench...
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby JSM on Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:29 pm

Great writeups, jorker, as always.

Jamison and Nash both are weak links on D, Jamison more so than Nash cause he can't play team D anywhere as near as Nash can. BUT we do have 3 of the best defensive players at their position (C, SF, SG) and that can cover up quite a bit. And I suspect Jamison will be playing at least half of his minutes a night with some combination of those 3. Also, Brown gets to earn his paycheck now. He doesn't have to spend a single tick of the clock worrying about the offense with Nash quarterbacking the offense now. Now he can focus all his energy on the defensive end and covering up our weaknesses and playing to our strengths.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby jbiggs on Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:01 am

love the write ups man! its funny though i was all stoked about getting jamison but now that i read your criticisms of him i have my doubts... guess we will just have to see
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:42 am

Nash just might be the most skilled basketball player in the history of mankind given his lack of height and athleticism. The guy relies on pure skills to get it done. No hint of athleticism. He's always been one of my favs to watch because of this fact. I look forward to watching him this year. Can't forget Magic and Bird but Nash didn't have the height either.

And great write ups. Who is this guy? Is he just a forum member or some sort of scout?
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Punk-101 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:08 am

therealdeal wrote:Awesome stuff as usual. Your concerns about Jamison worry me a bit.

I was hoping he'd come here and be our scoring threat off the bench, but it seems he may not be that guy. I would say the Lakers need someone who is able to create off the bench, even with the addition of Jamison.

Man, he's sounding like Troy Murphy or something... :scurred:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby therealdeal on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:26 am

Punk-101 wrote:
therealdeal wrote:Awesome stuff as usual. Your concerns about Jamison worry me a bit.

I was hoping he'd come here and be our scoring threat off the bench, but it seems he may not be that guy. I would say the Lakers need someone who is able to create off the bench, even with the addition of Jamison.

Man, he's sounding like Troy Murphy or something... :scurred:

:man10:

Okay maybe not that bad. But I was hoping he'd be something like a Lamar Odom-lite and it seems he won't be as much in that mold. The good news is that it seems he'll fit in well with other creators like Nash and Kobe.
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