Thoughts from Bobcats vs. Hawks
I was watching this game since Biyombo was debuting and a few things stood out for me.
First, the Bobcats are going to be really bad this year. No new news there I guess. Idk where they're going to get points from besides Walker and Magette. The only good news out of Charlotte is for Magettte's fantasy owners.
Atlanta's backup pg spot is wide open. There's a huge hole there, literally a blackhole. They brought Jannero Pargo and Donald Sloan in to battle for the backup, but I don't really think either of them are good enough to fill that position. The other option would be to play T-Mac or Joe Johnson together, and have one of them run the point. T-Mac did pretty well as a distributer for the Pistons in the second half of last season, but he had a sky-high turnover rate. The hawks really have weak guards on the bench. They brought in Willie Green and T-Mac to shore up those holes, but both of those guys are getting up there in age, and their play is declining.
Here's some thoughts on individual players:
Ivan Johnson: Hey Atlanta, SIGN THIS MAN!!! Johnson lit it up today (15pts 8reb and 2 stl in 20 mins), and had a solid performance in the last preseason game as well (4pts 7reb and 2stls in 17 mins). Johnson has solid size for an NBA pf at 6'8" 230 with very good strength. He's not a great athlete, but he plays hard and strong, maximizing his physical gifts. He also has huge hands. Tonight I saw him do his best Kawhi Leonard/Al Jefferson impersonation by catching the ball like it was a grapefruit a couple times by palming it with one hand. He can palm it with ease on offense while sizing his man up, or whip passes around with one hand.
On defense, Johnson is tough to back down in the post and does a very good job rebounding.
Offensively is where he shines though. Johnson has a very nice midrange game, and can create for himself. He took defender's off the dribble on a few occasions, finishing once with a floater through contact. He is very agile for his size. On one fastbreak he handled the ball from the top of the key to the basket, finishing with a nifty eurostep around Diop through contact for the and-1. He also showed promise from the faceup position. He hit a number of stepback 17footers after putting his man off balance with a pumpfake or a jab step.
If the Hawks don’t sign this guy, another team needs to. There’s always room for players like him in the NBA. What team doesn’t need a 4 who can come off the bench and create his own offense and actually rebound and play D? As an added bonus, he rocks a Rick Ross beard, so we can have more bearded ones than just Baron and Harden in the league.
Kemba Walker: Walker can score it at any level. He’s going to be really good in the league. Augustin is playing his way out of the starting role, and Kemba’s showing enough promise to warrant taking it. Look for him to be starting very soon. Walker absolutely toasted Jannero Pargo on one hesitation move to the basket. It should be on NBA’s top 10 tomorrow. Walker can hit from long range, pull up from midrange, beat his man to the basket, and finish over defenders with floaters and runners.
On defense, Walker is going to take his lumps. He’s very undersized, but has quick hands and feet. It’s going to take time for him to improve, as it does with all rookies, but he’s definitely a liability on D in the league, at this point in his career. The good news is, he’s surrounded by great rim protectors in Tyrus Thomas, Biyombo, and to a lesser extent Derrick Brown. Also, Gerald Henderson is a very good wing defender, so they can switch matchups if Walker has to guard an elite pg.
Bismack Biyombo: Well this is pretty much what was advertised. He’s just so raw. The potential is there, of course, but Biyombo’s got a ways to go. I really like his mentality though. He always plays hard, especially on D, and attacks the glass with ferocity. His wingspan is out of control, and he uses it well. Biyombo had two huge blocks tonight, one on marvin Williams, and one on Keith Benson. Both times Biyombo challenged with two hands and kept body contact to a minimum.
Here’s the negatives though. Biyombo plays extremely hard, perhaps too much so. He fouls very often, and I wonder how long he’ll be able to stay on the court. I doubt he can stay on for more than 20 minutes on most nights, as he contests every shot that any player takes at the rim. This should work itself out as his basketball IQ goes up, but for now he’s a foul machine. The other problem I see is coordination. It seems like Biyombo has really terrible balance. His feet are shaky and his hands are terrible. Biyombo has trouble catching hard passes, and is a turnover waiting to happen when he posts up. He did throw some nice passes tonight though, which is a good sign for his offensive awareness. He can actually zip the ball into tight spaces. Biyombo’s footwork is worse than I thought however. On hedges and pick and rolls switches, he does a pretty good job of slowing the defender down, but it seems like he gets very off balance. I thought he was going to fall a few times. Again, this should work itself out in a few seasons if he puts in the work. The plyometrics and core training that NBA trainers employ these days should vastly improve his balance. Biyombo is also slow to react on the perimeter. He got burned by Vlad Rad a couple of times (yeah, Mr. Radmonovic). He bites on pumpfakes, and reacts slowly to the offensive player’s first step. Biyombo does a very good job of recovering though, thanks to his athleticism and wingspan, so once again this should improve as his basketball IQ goes up.
Byron Mullens: It hurts me to see this kid guy play now. I remember seeing him in the high school allstar games and thinking, wow this kid is going to be incredible. I mean, how many 7-footers have you seen throw down eastbay dunks? But Mullens is probably the least physical player I’ve ever seen. He’s listed at 275, so idk why he’s so scared of contact. He never goes up strong, usually opting for a pull up or fadeaway jumper. On defense he got eaten alive on the glass by Zaza Pachulia (that’s not a fair matchup, why didn’t Silas put him on Radmonovic?). He was handing out offensive rebounds like candy on Halloween. Even Radmonovic was getting offensive boards over Mullens.
Donald Sloan: Sloan has the tools to be a backup pg. Only problem is, he doesn’t utilize them effectively. He overdribbles on almost every possession, and seems to like contested jumpers more than uncontested ones. On the bright side, he’s got a very tight handle, and very good strength. His game sort of reminds me of Raymond Felton’s, only without the decision making ability. He’s also got some athleticism, as he almost threw down a baseline one handed tomahawk, but drew too much too much contact to finish it.
T-Mac: Looks like father time keeps detracting from him. I don’t even recognize T-Mac’s game anymore. He’s slower and less engaged than even last season. Part of it might be preseason, but it still makes me wonder how much he has left.
Taylor Griffin: The other Griffin is too small to play the 4 effectively in the NBA, so he had to make a position change. Since I last saw Taylor, he’s added nicely to his perimeter skills. He now has a respectable 3 point shot, and some ball handling ability as well. I’m not sure if he’s going to make the bobcats roster or not, but nonetheless it’s nice to see him expand his game.
Other Notes: Magette looks to be in good shape, and I think he’ll have a very good statistical season. The new sleeker and slimmer version of Josh Smith is scary. We’ve heard that he lost about 25 pounds in the offseason, and it shows. His explosiveness looks to have returned to the level of his early NBA years, and he’s using it to his advantage. His jumpshot looks to have improved a little bit as well. Hopefully this weight loss won’t result in him falling in love with the perimeter again. Pape Sy still has no idea how to play basketball, if you were wondering. Keith Benson looks like he’ll be spending a lot of time in the D-League this year. He just doesn’t have enough muscle to deal with the physicality in the NBA yet (ex. Melvin Ely was posting him up and scoring on him with jumphooks in the 4th quarter).
Kemba is gonna be able to get that shot off, but I don't still don't see a true PG or a particularly efficient scorer. He's too aggressive, quick and his handle is too crazy for him not to be able to score though
Kemba might not shoot a high percentage, but his TS% will be high b/c of all the free throws he'll shoot. Guys are going to foul him just because he's so quick with the ball in his hands.
Your stupid how is there a blackhole at the back up Pg position when the have Teague or Hinrich starting and one coming off the bench
"Your" is the second-person word for indicating possession, not the predecessor to an adjective.
Great write-up, Crazy. I wanted to watch the game, but it wasn't on League Pass. Appreciate this.
Your always correcting people. Lol
Seriously though, if you're going to call somebody stupid, you should take measures to ensure that you don't sound stupid yourself.
Was watching bits and pieces of this game and trust me Ivan Johnson impressed any Hawks fan watching that game. I wouldn't go as far as saying he deserves a lot of minutes because he's is the kind of guy who will get ahead of himself, he is a 12-15 minute guy who will hustle his heart out, kind of reminds me of Dejaun Blair minus his large girth dude has QUICK hands saw him get his hands on quite a few loose balls and even ripped Diaw once. You are right though, if we don't sign this guy I will be very sad because for a team like the Hawks who sometimes lack that 'grittyness' he is a guy who will come in and send a message every time, love his game.
oh, and for the guy that called me stupid: Hinrich is out at least 1-2 months after surgery to remove a cyst and repair his left labrum. In four month season, that's a quarter to half the season. The hawks have to win games to make the playoffs, and it's hard to do that if you only have Teague at the pg. Even when he does come back, he'll be out of shape and rusty.
If you ask me, that means there's definitely a hole at the pg spot. They should probably trade for a veteran backup (OR JEREMY LIN...). Please someone give Lin some PT, he's productive in every minute he plays. Don't hate on the only Asian we have left
Did someone really just write a two paragraph essay on a lottery pick who had 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 2 blocks, 2 rebounds, and 1 point in 16 minutes where the negatives are said to be he just plays too hard? I haven't read this kind of propaganda since Kim Jong Il went golfing.
Kemba's inability to shoot transitioned with him. It shouldn't be surprising.
man Josh Smith is SLIM
That's strange I was the first to comment on his post it even got to likes. It's isnt the one that's already here thats my second reply. Some how gotted deleted.
As a Bulls fan, I love this Charlotte Bobcats team. That pick from the Tyrus Thomas trade is going to be amazing once they get it. I mean their best player probably wouldn't be the 2nd best player on most teams. I feel bad for Kemba though. It's going to be hard to become a better player with absolutely no talent around you and a black hole in Magette.