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Which veteran should rookies study? [Insider]

Tongue-Out-Like-23
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Which veteran should rookies study? [Insider]

Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers


Steve Nash
Phoenix Suns



There are two main ingredients that make Nash the superstar player that he is: dead-eye shooting and brilliant floor vision. He might be the best shooter and passer in basketball. Irving can become a special shooter (he's already very good) and has shown signs of being a great passer, too.

It's very difficult to do what Nash does, which is to shoot enough to make himself a target of the defense while always being mindful of his role to help his teammates get good shots and ensure the Suns are scoring at a good pace. He's a master maestro, someone that Irving has the talent to emulate, which would put him into elite territory.

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Derrick Williams
Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Love
Minnesota Timberwolves



It is apparent that Williams is best suited to play power forward in the NBA, a role currently inhabited by a legit MVP candidate in Minnesota. Love is the best rebounder/3-point shooter in league history, brilliantly balancing skill and toughness, long-range accuracy and paint dominance.

Williams may never be the shooter Love is, but does have solid 3-point shooting potential. Williams is also strong, tough, athletic and perfectly capable of being among the top rebounders in the game per minute. Being effective at both is incredibly difficult, but he only has to watch his teammate to learn the nuances of that challenge.

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Enes Kanter
Utah Jazz


Marc Gasol
Memphis Grizzlies



Kanter is a big bull of a man, strong and thick, and that's how he plays. Gasol is also a bull, but there is a ballet dancer inside who uses footwork, craft and smarts. That's what makes him such a brilliant player -- he can pound opponents or use his size to help create solid scoring or rebounding angles, and then rely on his more graceful gifts to finish the play off.

Gasol is also a top-five center in assist rate, using passes to exploit an extended defense, thus creating better scoring chances for himself, too. Kanter is listed 83rd out of 83 power forwards in assist rate, so watching how Gasol alertly scans the floor before making a move will pay off.

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The list goes on including:

  • Ricky Rubio
  • Kenneth Faried
  • Chandler Parsons
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Brandon Knight
  • Kemba Walker
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Bismack Biyombo
  • Jimmer Fredette
  • Marshon Brooks
  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Alec Burks
  • Nikola Vucevic
  • Markieff Morris
  • Jan Vesely
  • Klay Thompson

If you want me to post the article for a certain player, just let me know.


Tongue-Out-Like-23
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Why was this moved to the

Why was this moved to the off-topic section?

Wahoo757
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Jimmer, please?

Jimmer, please?

Tongue-Out-Like-23
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Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette
Sacramento Kings


Chauncey Billups
Los Angeles Clippers



Fredette needs to build an overall plan as he enters each game, and it should read something like this: "Look for uncontested catch-and-shoot 3s, push the ball and attack defenders but make easy plays, manage the game better overall when the ball is in my hands." And he should add: "Fight on defense!"

Billups is not the "fighter" he once was, but he's no pushover either, and on offense I like to call him "Roboguard" because it's as if he calculates the odds of every possible action instantaneously before he acts. Even playing next to a point guard in L.A., Billups remained the same and is missed by his teammates because he made the game easier for them. Fredette must learn to play this way if he wants to get on the court with Isaiah Thomas.

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Feel free to ask for as many as you'd like, I just didn't want to post too many that nobody would even look at.

I May Be Krypt
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I like these! I'll have to

I like these! I'll have to agree with all of them (even the Jimmer/Billups one in some respect)

Can I request Alec Burks and Nic Vucevic?

I feel like Nic could be "mentored" by Zydrunsas Ilgauskas (solid on the boards, good jumper, good shot blocker)

Raef LaFrentz
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I'd like...

Vesely and Rubio, por favor.

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Alec Burks Utah

Alec Burks
Utah Jazz


James Harden
Oklahoma City Thunder



Burks loves to slash and has some talent as a driver, that much is sure. But most of the time NBA players have to read and react, not attack then read. No player has had a better feel for that since his first day as a pro than Harden.

Always quick, but never rushing into danger, Harden is a great threat as a scorer and a passer since he takes the time to see the game as it plays out. It helps him to anticipate, too, which is something Burks would benefit from greatly. If Burks can learn to shoot like Harden, well, that would be an even greater gift.

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Nikola Vucevic
Philadelphia 76ers


Nikola Pekovic
Minnesota Timberwolves



Earlier this season, Vucevic seemed to be the steal of the first round. But then the book on him got passed around -- he doesn't like contact and wants to float outside.

He's not an iron man like Pekovic, who is probably the strongest big man playing today. But Vucevic does have the size and length to score and rebound in traffic if he'd put himself in position to do so by banging guys first instead of second. That's Pekovic's trick. After playing for years in Europe, he is already one of the best bigs in the NBA at locking up opponents with a strong seal. He gets his shot blocked some, but doesn't care, as he shouldn't. If Vucevic banged down low relentlessly, his outside game would be even more relevant.

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Jan Vesely
Washington Wizards


Gerald Wallace
New Jersey Nets



Vesely is a better player than he's shown for much of this season, but early failure has robbed him of much-needed confidence. That has morphed him into a player who sometimes forgets that energy alone is a valuable talent.

No player has more of that talent than Wallace, who knows that playing as hard as possible without a great skill set gives his team a better chance to win. Wallace knows who he is and brings that player to the game every night. Vesely has the length and agility to make a lot of hustle plays, and if he focused on that every night, he would be on the right track toward becoming the player the Wizards expected when they drafted him.

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Ricky Rubio
Minnesota Timberwolves

Chris Paul
Los Angeles Clippers



Rubio has proved to be a lot of things this season, but "efficient" and "productive scorer" are not items he can check off yet. In fact, they are big problem areas for him. Enter Paul, who finishes well in the paint thanks to his amazingly slow play when he gets inside. He's under control every step and ready to pass or shoot depending on what the defenders do.

Rubio is often racing to the rim, which takes away precious time to better evaluate the situation. He is taller and longer than Paul and also has strong hands, so he should be able to make more shots in the paint. Learning Paul's killer fadeaway jumper that he uses to finish off middle-of-the-paint drives -- a great go-to move at any point in the game -- would also help make Rubio a better threat at closing time.

I May Be Krypt
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thanks man!

thanks man!

Tongue-Out-Like-23
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Anytime MMA bro!

Anytime MMA bro!

aamir543
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Thanks man, these are great,

Thanks man, these are great, can you please post Klay and Faried, thanks!

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I really like the Faried one.

Kenneth Faried
Denver Nuggets


Udonis Haslem
Miami Heat



Faried reminds me of Haslem when he was a rookie in that Faried is light and thin but ultra-tough and competitive. He's proved to be even more athletic than I expected, routinely making plays above the rim on offense and defense while still being expert at the grimy plays. His next step, though, is understanding and anticipating the game. He needs to learn how to use his mind to sniff out an action before it happens, or know exactly where to move on offense so a teammate can earn a better shot or make an easier pass.

Faried gets lost on defense in part because he moves so fast, so thinking while slowing down and reading the sets will actually help keep him in better position longer. Haslem was coached in high school and college by uber-successful men and then graduated to Stan Van Gundy and Pat Riley in Miami. His hoops IQ is higher than most players and it shows.

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Klay Thompson
Golden State Warriors


Mike Miller
Miami Heat



I remember when Mike Miller was a pure shooter as a young player at Florida. That seems like a different player than the ultimate warrior we see today who hustles after every loose ball and rebounds as if his career depended on that and not his perimeter jumper.

Thompson looks like the real deal as a shooter. To be more valuable going forward, and to help Golden State dig its way back to relevancy, he could do a lot by emulating Miller's ability to play with reckless abandon. It should not have any negative effect on his shooting and will only endear him more to his teammates.

michaele201
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Bismack Biyambo and Shumpert Please

those are two standouts to me on defesnee i havn't seen much of biyambo though tbh

TheDagger40
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Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker please

Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker please. Thank You in Advance

3-6 Mafia
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why was this moved to off

why was this moved to off topic. i like reading these

3-6 Mafia
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they should remove all the

they should remove all the trolling here if anything. i get a feeling aran likes the trolling just because some people like it.

Allen_Iverson_3
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Could you add Marshon Brooks

Could you add Marshon Brooks and Isaiah Thomas please?

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Biyombo and Shumpert

Bismack Biyombo
Charlotte Bobcats


Andrew Bynum
Los Angeles Lakers



Biyombo is absolutely as raw as we expected him to be, looking much like Andrew Bynum did when he was a rookie. Although Bynum may still be prone to saying or doing silly things here and there, his on-court game is textbook-perfect now.

Look at how Bynum keeps the ball up after catches and rebounds. Watch him use his long arms to their fullest by extending when finishing. See him own the area of the paint just around the rim. Most of those good things were taught to Bynum, which means the same kind of thing can happen for Biyombo, who has the disposition to dominate. Now he just needs the skills to do so.

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Iman Shumpert
New York Knicks


Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls



When Derrick Rose first entered the league, he had no clue how to use ball screens. Bulls fans used to beg his coach to stop using them and just put him in isolation plays. Naturally, he learned that using screens can be a big help by making it far tougher for defenses to cover him and his passing options. He's one of the league's best pick-and-roll men now.

Shumpert is in the first stage now. Hard shows by the defense curb a lot of what he can do with the ball, even though his quickness and power suggest he should be much harder to guard when the bigs show. This is a reminder that this game is more mental than physical.

Almost every NBA point guard needs to learn how to play with ball screens in a short clock (college guards attack picks very differently early in their shot clock) if he wants to become a more dangerous scoring threat. It's a skill that would have a big impact on Shumpert's game and his value to the Knicks.

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Leonard and Walker

Kawhi Leonard
San Antonio Spurs

Andre Iguodala
Philadelphia 76ers



Leonard is in the unique position of being a steady rookie who doesn't have to do too much to make an impact on his team. But he has the potential to be a pretty skilled guy, and he would be an even more valuable player if he could make more plays with the ball in his hands, as Iguodala does. Iguodala stands behind only LeBron James as the best wing defender/passer in the game.

Leonard may not have a ceiling as high as those two guys, but we won't really know his ceiling until he starts trying to reach it. Next year would be a good time to stretch his game and see what happens. Trying to channel Iguodala would be a great first step.

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Kemba Walker
Charlotte Bobcats

Tony Parker
San Antonio Spurs



These are two of the quickest guys in the league with the ball in their hands, but only one of them is a good finisher in the paint. Walker can get to the rim with relative ease, but he has had trouble finishing down there amongst the trees. Parker, meanwhile, has led the league in paint scoring more than once in his career.

Parker uses excellent body control and hand strength to twist and turn and finish shots off drives. But he also chooses wisely, meaning he doesn't often attempt shots he has little chance of making. This is a great lesson for Walker, who has troubles in this area.

Tongue-Out-Like-23
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Brooks and Thomas

MarShon Brooks
New Jersey Nets


Ray Allen
Boston Celtics



Brooks has a natural feel for scoring, but he looks anything but natural when trying to score off a set -- pin-downs, single-doubles and the like. He uses just one speed when coming off screens and struggles to jump straight up on his shot. That makes it tough to get open and even tougher to make the shot, especially from long range.

Allen is the prototypical shooter off screens in the NBA (it was Rip Hamilton five years ago), displaying perfect balance on his lift and a great understanding of how to use screens to get the shot in the first place. He's also expert at sprinting to the screen and then immediately stopping and pulling up -- a very tough task that he makes look easy. Brooks is solid and comfortable on the dribble, now it's time for him to learn how to play off the ball.

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Isaiah Thomas
Sacramento Kings


Goran Dragic
Houston Rockets



Very few NBA players look and play like Thomas, who is small in stature but has a big game. Even with the kind of season he's having, there are people (including me) who suspect he'll always be better served as the leader of the second unit rather than a starter, especially on a good team. But the best way Thomas can prove us wrong is to always be in full-on attack mode every time he plays. Like Dragic, who's proving to be a force that's difficult to stop or even slow down right now.

Dragic has done this before and has still been forced to return to the bench, but his drive has never taken a night off. So consequently, when given the chance to shine again due to injury, he's proved to be a star. Thomas will be faced with similar challenges, but as long as he stays aggressive he'll end up doing great things.

ProudGrandpa
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haha

Iman Shumpert should study Derrick Rose. That's ironic.

lilballa141
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I just shouldnt be laughing

lmaoooo I just shouldnt be laughing right now

goszoosaooasa
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thanks man!

thanks man!

Debora_jone
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Who would you pair up with

Who would you pair up with Magic?

rhamnlacson
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drummond

drummond,perry jones and MKG please thank you

LerinErin
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This is great

Thanks a lot... Could you post em all?

i also don't know why this off topic

epapnvoaoo
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thanks man!

thanks man!

lavi8938
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Jimmer, please?

Jimmer, please?

Emily J Jayden
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Jimmer, please?

Jimmer, please?

WimaoZE
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Williams may never be the

Williams may never be the shooter Love is, but does have solid 3-point shooting potential. Williams is also strong, tough, athletic and perfectly capable of being among the top rebounders in the game per minute. Being effective at both is incredibly difficult, but he only has to watch his teammate to learn the nuances of that challenge.

visoakwoow
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Anytime MMA bro!

Anytime MMA bro!

visoakwoow
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i also don't know why this

i also don't know why this off topic

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