NBA Ball: Why did Shabazz Muhammad disappoint this year?
Everyone says shabazz Muhammad disappointed this year but how? Everyone says he can't create his own shot and doesn't make his teammates better but he never did those things in high school, so why did everyone think he was going to do that this year? What made him a number 1 pick candidate before the season and what is different now? The one thing that I was disappointed in was his athletism and speed. He looked pretty slow on both ends and that just wasn't the case last year when you saw him play at Gorman. I'm not saying he was ever fast but he definitely was quicker, lighter and more explosive a year ago. He was carrying around extra weight all year long which did seem to affect his game. If you have seen shabazz lately you can he already looks lighter and looks close to what he was in high school. I'm. I'm not saying he didn't disappoint but what were you expecting? I was definitely expecting him to put a whole bunch of people on posters and dunk everything he could instead he didn't seem to have the lift and tried to lay it in where he often got blocked. You can't say he only can dunk on high school kids cause there are videos of him on you tube dunking on Mitch McGary, isiah Austin, 2 of the bigger guys in college today. He just didn't attack the rim like I thought he would.
Because your suppose to improve your game, not keep it the same.
Ya he can't create his own shot but neither could Paul George his first 2 years and look at him now.
Paul George was never expected to be the first overall pick. Paul handles in college was better then Bazz now, he was able to go to his off hand somewhat respectfully.
Paul George was also a 6'10 ripped sg, not 6'6 and carrying extra weight
Why does everyone forget that he missed 8 weeks during the summer in what Ben howland called one of the worst ankle sprains that he has ever seen. Than right before the season started he missed one month of practice due to a ankle sprain and was questionable to play in the season opener whether he was eligible or not. So when he was finally eligible he only had a few practices in and his dad knew he wasn't ready but he played anyways. So he was heavier and slower to start the season which did affect his athletism and explosiveness.
He was also thought/projected as a very good defender. That definitely is not the case anymore.
He scored 18 a game and forced his way to the line a lot. Not bad for a guy who can't create his own shot.
The thing that stood out to me was his poor attitude and work ethic. He had bad body language, and showing up out of shape was a concern to me, even though he was recovering from an injury. you don't have to be at 100% to eat healthy and keep your cardio up.
I am still optimistic about Shabazz though. I think Howland/UCLA was the worst possible situation for him. He needs to play the whole game and have the ball in his hands. His teammates and the system were terrible at getting him the rock, and I think a lot of his poor attitude developed out of that situation. Howland is an old school hardass, and Shabazz needed a player's coach who could build his confidence and hand him the keys to the team.
I think he'd still be a contender for the top pick if he had played in a better system with a more compatible coach. Clearly the scoring talent is there. I too am a little concerned about his lack of play making, but lets be honest, his game is "ball dominant high volume scorer", The type of dude you build around with faciltators and role players, not a guy you ask to run an offense and create shots for others.
Still has as much upside as anyone despite a relatively disappointing year. In a weak draft I feel like he should be higher on draft boards. even if he ends up as a jamaal crawford type, that's probably pretty good given the depth of talent in the draft. If this crop of players didn't produce a single all star I wouldn't be surprised.
He also was praised for his character and intangibles in high school and that took some hits this year too.
His and Harrison Barnes have made me skeptical about the possibilities of outright dominance by Wiggins, Randle, Parker, etc next year.
Yeah, his character has taken a hit because of the NCAA investigation thing and the age thing.
Shabazz didnt disappoint me at all. In my eyes he had a great year and did his job. He's a scorer. Averaging 18 and 5rbs on a team like the one they had was pretty good to me, especially for a freshman. He played average defense, not bad Defense. His offense was just much better. I was surprised that he wasn't much more athletic, but like you said, I knew he had been setback because of injuries for a while and couldn't workout due to that and the NCAA investigation that occurred and caused him to miss some games. When he was finally able to play it was easy to see he had gained weight. But I expect him to get back to his normal playing weight and be in top condition now.
Muhammad just seems to lack great court awareness. He often played lazy, slow defense and loved to cherry pick way too much. He shadowed the ball when he didn't have it, hurting floor spacing, and he showed zero passing ability, hardly ever passing, even in obvious situations, and yet making bad passes often when he did try to pass. I think the way he scored in the NCAA doesn't translate terrifically well to the NBA, as he isn't explosive enough running around screens to get a lot of those plays called for him in the NBA and he isn't a good enough passer or ball handler to effectively create his own offense. He has great physicality, but really is not as skilled as he was advertised. It will definitely take him a while to transition to becoming an effective and efficient NBA player and I am just not a big fan of ball stopping perimeter players to begin with, especially if they aren't elite scorers.
No one said he can't create his own shot. The problem is him not creating for others.
He did absolutely nothing to expand his game this year. Also, he lied about his age which slightly hurts his draft stock since when you think about it, his great SR year of H.S. he should have been in college, and his stats this year were essentially of a college SO.
Lots of people on this site have said he can't create his own shot. It's been said in this thread already.
Why does everyone say shabazz lied about his age? Kyle Anderson and other teammates have said they know he is 20 and that's what he tells everyone. He carries around his driver license and it says he's 20 and that what he tells people. Now his dad probably told people that he is 19 but shabazz never did
I agree in that Bazz has unfairly seen his draft stock fall. When we talk about players with the most potential in this draft class, Shabazz has to at least be up there in the conversation for most potential. Obviously he needs to work on some things, but what incoming rookie in this class doesn't?
My questions are:
1) Do you think Shabazz will start the majority of his games his rookie season?
2) Do you think Shabazz will average over 15 ppg his rookie season?
3) Do you think Shabazz will develop into an annual 20 ppg scorer?
4) Do you think Shabazz will ever average over 4 apg?
I personally think the answer to the first three are yes. The fourth one is where the line is drawn. Will Shabazz be a complete player in that he can score and create for others or will he just be a chucker in the NBA? I think he'll mature into a team-first mindset as he gets a few years of experience in the NBA, and that he can top the 4 apg mark. In a draft class like this, I think he's worth a gamble, especially as he will be one of the bigger SG in the league and SG is easily the thinnest position in terms of depth. Depending on team need, I think Shabazz should go anywhere between 4-9. McLemore, Noel, Porter are likely 1/2/3. Then any order of Bazz, Len, Bennett, Burke, Zeller, Oladipo are likely to follow unless someone else raises their draft stock.
Shabazz is my favorite player on any level, with that being said; I wasn't very impressed with his game this season. I think the reason he's so poor at creating for others and himself is because his lack of handle/confidence in his dribble. He looks awkward putting the ball on the floor, unless it's a straight line drive; my heart would go bonkers anytime Shabazz started dribbling. The reason he was compared to Kobe and James Harden on this site because Junior/Senior year he had great handle. I remember watching him at the 2010 COP, he broke a press with a behind the back between the leg dribble that had the crowd going bezerek. He ended up with 7 assists in the first or second round game (It was two years ago can't remember well). Although Bazz didn't have crazy Bounce, he was still very athletic. I hate to use a video game as a point, but every draft class on 2K share had Bazz at a 90+ speed and quickness, he was super quick. His scout.com report had his athleticism as a key part of his game. Like I've said in a previous post, I don't want to hear "OH SHABAZZ WAS ONLY HYPED HE WAS JUST PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL TALENT" lol, Bishop Gorman didn't play scrubs, they played top schools nation and he entered camps and regional games that pitted him against top talent including Andrew Wiggins who he scored a whopping 35 points on. He's gained supreme weight, and it doesn't look like that weight is going anywhere. On his instagram he doesn't look like he's dropped any weight and he's still eating fast food. I love Shabazz but it seems like his work ethic has taken a extreme hit. I honestly think a key part of it comes from his dad's radical actions. IMHO, Shabazz has the scoring ability to be a franchise talent, every year all-star, but until he drops that weight, and learns how to dribble and take smarter shots, at best he's a Nick Young. Oh and one last point, all the slander of Shabazz is getting slightly annoying, I understand people see him as a "ballhog" but calling him a headcase and talking about his character is outrageous. All his past coaches, friends, family and teammates said Shabazz is one of the nicest people they ever met. Don't let the Nazi Collegiate Athletic Association fool you.
Watching highlights of shabazz in high school his handle did look better than what he showed this year. I'm not sure if his handle got worst or why he didn't show some better ball handling moves.
If he gets back into shape and improves his handle, he will be a stud in the nba. The athleticism and speed people saw this year was not the real shabazz.
If he could score 18 ppg this year in Ben howlands system while being out of shape, imagine what he will do being in shape in a more offensive system in the nba.
I think the hype machine lead us to believe he was an elite athlete, when in fact he has very average leaping ability and speed but his massive wingspan and strength do make up for some of his shortcomings athletically.
Shabazz is not an average athlete he's actually very good unfourtanetly we didn't get to see it this year due to injuries. If you saw buzz play at Gorman he look very explosive and was actually pretty quick
@joe wolf1 shabazz is not a Andrew wiggins type athlete or a LeBron type athlete, but his speed and athleticism are not average. he was dealing with a lot this year. he started the year out of shape and never really got a chance to get back to who he actually is as a player from a speed and leaping ability standpoint. he is not an elite athlete, but he is a very good athlete. if he had not had these injuries and had not had to deal with this ncaa bs, you would have seen a much different player.
He didn't disappoint he just wasn't what everybody wanted him to be.
Just like everybody on this wiggins train right now. Let kids play and then put them on a pedestal
The guy is 20yrs old and will be 21 this yr. I guy can't dribble period. He only has one hand. IMO if a GM draft Bazz in the lottery they should be fired period. He brings no value to your team. The 18 pppg a game is misleading. Bazz is OVER HYPED PERIOD POINT BLANK!
He definitely had an underwhelming year simply because he wasn't putting up highlight dunks or blocking shots on a nightly basis. I think that could all change though if he shows up to the Combine after dropping weight. I know the Combine isn't technically part of the year, but if reports come out that a healthy Shabazz is dominating at workouts and such, I think the hype and draft rank will both come back.
Yep, it's pretty much this in a nutshell. The end of the college season is FAR from the end of evaluation that goes on with these prospects.
On the positive, his jump shot looked better this year. At least he worked on that. Hope he'll get back into shape and work on his off hand and defense before the draft.
The position change & weight gain are what really hurt his stock in my eyes. A 6'5-6'6 heavy SF is not nearly as attractive to the NBA as a nimble & athletic SG the same height. That's what scouts loved about him in HS
I'm not sure how many of you have suffered a major injury, but long-term layoff can wreak havoc with your ball-handling ability and your confidence with your off-hand.
Your handle is something that needs to be constantly maintained, drilled and developed to be considered elite, but Bazz didn't have the opportunity to do that while he was sitting out injured.
When you come back from an injury straight into games, you tend to play to your strengths, in this case it's his dominant hand, picking his moments to attack and using his jumper more often.
Bazz is so competitive that he wouldn't use his off-hand just to prove he could use it because it might have meant he'd lose games, even if doing so hurt him in the long-term. Instead, he played within his limitations, picked his spots and didn't force things off the dribble because he wasn't confident with his handle.
Also, in terms of the weight issues, part of the blame has to lie with Howland encouraging Bazz to gain weight. Bazz had a spell where he was ill and he lost a bit of weight, but Howland's comments to the media were that Bazz needed to make sure he ate a whole lot to put it back on.
Now, while illness isn't an ideal way to lose weight, it happened, but Howland quite obviously wanted Bazz to be a power player for this team.
When you factor in Howland's complete inability to help Josh Smith lose weight, there does seem to be some deficiency in the former coach's conditioning programs which also hurt Bazz.
Did Bazz disappoint? Not in terms of production, he put up great numbers in terms of scoring (his main strength), he hit some big shots, got the team to the tournament and did his best when Adams went down to compensate, but like you can't blame Barnes for UNC disappointing with an injured Marshall/Henson, you also can't blame Bazz for a very young UCLA team going out in the first round. He also showed a more consistent jumper than many people expected and a great capacity to move off the ball, using screens and the like to get shots in ways not many young players do these days.
Honestly, I think with the months he'll have away from Howland and the pressures of school, games etc., he'll be able to really work on the areas of his game which fell off, like his handle and his conditioning.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if he showed up at the combine/workouts with noticeable improvements in his handle and MUCH better athleticism.
I just really hope he can convince a team in need of a first-option scorer that he's their guy, because if he fall too far in the lottery he won't be given the opportunity to showcase his ability to the fullest, much the same way Barnes has been held back in terms of production by falling to a Golden State team loaded with scorers.
I would take him either 2nd or 3rd
I mean Bazz 30+ plus on B-Mac might be even bigger advantage than Ben's athleticism on him (especially when you could hope Bazz will look much more athletic next year after getting it back with NBA coaches)
his 6'6 with 6'11 wingspan are also far superior than Ben's
everyone talks how great Ben shoots but except FT Bazz shot nearly as well and he has more much "killer instinct" than Mclemore..
it's pretty debatable in my eyes