Tag:Point Guard
Posted on: June 25, 2009 3:57 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Curtis Jerrels, Baylor


Curtis Jerrels: 6-1, 200, PG, Sr. (Baylor University)

Draft rank:  #46

PG rank: #16

Strengths:

Very creative and crafty point guard.  Likes to penetrate and find his teammates.  A leader on the floor that will talk to his teammates and let them know what they should be doing.  Can hit the outside shot.  Can take his man down into the post and use his strength if necessary.  Really knows how to use the pump fake and the jab step to get by his man and get into the lane.  Also uses his body to shield defenders and get the ball to his teammates. Likes to pass with both hands.  Does a very good job of using picks at the top of the key to head left or right and go right into his jump shot.  Will bull his way into the paint and has the ability to finish with either hand once he gets there.  Does a great job of misdirection to gain space so that he can rise into his jumper.  Does a good job of using his dribbles to head north to south rather than east to west.  Has very good hesitation moves.  Has been consistently productive in all four years at Baylor.  Gets his hands on a lot balls defensively.  Has good scoring ability off the dribble.   

Weaknesses:

Sometimes pounds the ball for too long.  Doesn’t use his arms to be an active defender.  Presses the ball on offense and sometimes tries to do too much for his team.  Doesn’t have the explosiveness or quickness that NBA starting point guards have.  Often forces shots and doesn’t shoot for a good percentage for a point guard.  Turns the ball over too much, especially when trying to get into the lane.  Doesn’t have great leaping ability.  Lacks lateral movement when he is guarding quicker point guards and sometimes becomes flat footed on defense.  Isn’t particularly good in the transition.      

Mental:

There is no doubt that Jerrels likes to have the ball in his hands and direct traffic, which is important for a point guard.  He has a confidence about him that allows him to take big shots at the end of the game.  Jerrels has a no quit attitude on the court and continues to play hard even when his team is down. 


Comparison:  Derek Fisher, 6-1, 200 PG

Conclusion:

The biggest issue for Jerrels is that he is just average at just about everything.  He doesn’t have great quickness, passing or shooting ability that teams look for in a point guard.  He is a solid but I am just not sold on the idea that he can be a player at the next level.  Jerrels certainly knows how to play and at the very least will have a career abroad but he will really have to work on his shot and become a reliable shooter if he wants to stick.

He has a similar game to another lefty in Derek Fisher, but Fish has always been a consistent shooter and has always taken great pride on defense.  Jerrels should try to model his game after Fisher’s, but I am afraid that he may have to go abroad to work on his game and hopefully he can work his way back over.  Fisher’s college numbers actually are very similar to Jerrels and they have almost the exact same build.  Surely, I don’t see him as having as long or productive career as Fisher, but I do think he reminds me of him. 

Look for Jerrels to either go in the 2nd round or possibly go undrafted.  I think due to the depth at point guard in this year’s draft and the need for teams to cut back on payroll and possibly go to 13 roster spots, I am not sure how attractive of a 2nd round pick he is.  His upside is limited but he surely has the skills to become a decent backup if he continues to improve on his solid college career. 

Posted on: June 24, 2009 9:04 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Rodrigue Beaubois, Cholet

Rodrigue Beaubois: 6-2, 182, PG, 21 Years old, Cholet (France)

Draft rank: #43

PG rank: #15

Strengths:

Has good size and a tremendous wing span to play the point.  Has very good leaping ability.  Extremely quick laterally.  Is very shifty.  Has a tremendous first step that he uses to get by his man and get to the hoop.  Has great anticipation and quickness to get his hands on a lot of balls on the defensive end.  Has very good balance and follow thru on his shot.  Does a tremendous job of faking one way and going the other.  Really attacks the defense and does a tremendous job of drawing contact to get to the foul line.  Has very good ball handling skills.  Has very good pull up capabilities off the dribble.  Does a very good job of holding his follow thru.  Uses his long arms to finish in transition with ease.  Is very hard to stop once he gets a full head of steam with his right.  Has a very nice cross over step back jumper that he uses and then he makes sure to get enough arc on his shot to ensure that it gets above the defender’s reach.  Does a good job of throwing slip passes to the roller on picks. 

Weaknesses:

Forces the issue and turns the ball over a lot.  Often leaves his feet and gets caught in the air which leads to bad decisions.  Fades back on his spot up shots rather than leaning into them which will limit his range and consistency in the NBA.  Often forces shots from the perimeter instead of working the ball to his teammates.  Struggles when he is forced to go to his left.  Doesn’t always look for his teammates once he breaks a defense down.  Sometimes dribbles with his head down.  Needs to prove that he can be a better passer.  Doesn’t have a good feel for where his teammates are going on the floor.  Needs to show more patience.

Mental:

Beaubois often raises his hand when he fouls somebody and doesn’t seemed very concerned when fouls are called on him, which is a good thing.  He also makes sure to point or slap five with his teammates when they set a good pick or set him up with a good pass.  One of the concerns I have with him is his ability to get his teammates involved and whether or not he can run a team.  He often looks for his shot which could become an issue if he is running the point in the NBA and he needs to show selflessness in getting his teammates involved.  Often forces passes when being trapped which leads to turnovers. 

Comparison:  Leandro Barbosa, 6-3, 176, PG/SG

Would be a good fit for:  New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs or Atlanta Hawks

Conclusion:

Beaubois is a very interesting point guard prospect.  He is jet quick and has the length and shooting ability to really give teams fits on both ends of the floor.  Beaubois should really flourish in the NBA’s transitional open court and I could see him developing into a starting point guard one day.  The problem is that he is still raw and you can see that he struggles when he is forced to make quick decisions.  He will have to learn to take care of the ball while still attacking with the scorers mentality that makes him stick out while on the court. 

Beaubois really reminds me of Barbosa.  Like Barbosa he gets his hands on a lot of balls and is a terrific finisher in transition.  His scoring and shooting ability make him a threat on offense and he can almost always beat his man one on one when he wants to.  Like Barbosa he has a ways to go before he can run a team as a starting point guard.  Look for Beaubois to get serious consideration in the first round, but unfortunately for him this draft is loaded with point guards and teams will have a number of guys who they have had the chance to see for a couple years in college to fall in love with.  But I really like Beaubois’ upside and he would make for a very good 2nd round pick. 

Posted on: June 24, 2009 2:02 am
Edited on: June 24, 2009 2:03 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Sergio Llull, Spain

Sergio Llull: 6-3, 176, PG, 21 years old, (Real Madrid)

Draft rank: #39

PG rank: #14

Strengths:

Has good mechanics on his shot.  No wasted motion and does a good job of stepping into his shot.  Has good size to play the point.  Does a very good job of using his feet to turn the corner and has tremendous balance that allows him to get to the rim.  Even when he is at full speed he is able to stay in control.  Does a really good job of getting into the lane and getting to the rim.  Does a very good job of attacking open space with the ball.  Has very good speed.  Does a good job of pushing the ball in transition and making the defense pay when they aren’t setup.  Does a good job of penetrating and dropping passes off to his bigs.  Really knows how to take advantage of the defender if he is off balance.  Doesn’t settle for outside shots and is not afraid of attacking bigger players at the rim.  Uses his hands to try to create steals and take off the other way in transition. Can shoot the ball even if he is moving to the left or the right because of his ability to square up to the basket.  Has good hang time when attacking the basket.  Does a good job of shielding his man with his shoulder and attacking in transition with an underhand scoop shot.  Does a good job of floating shots over the defender and off the glass so that he can score in the lane.  Really good athleticism and solid explosiveness from a point guard.  Does a good job of finishing on reverses and knows how to dip his shoulder down so that he can beat his man and get to the other end of the rim.    

Weaknesses:

Is right hand dominant and he often turns the ball over when he is forced to go left.  Often loses his balance when someone knocks touches him while driving to the hoop which causes him to shoot bad shots or make bad decisions.  Often forces passes and as a result turns the ball over.  Struggles shooting the ball when there is a player in his face.  Sometimes forces his shot.  Doesn’t do a good job fighting thru screens.  Struggles to keep quick guards in front of him.  Does not do a good job of pulling for mid-range jump shots and often just forces shots around the rim instead.  I am not sure he will be able to hit the NBA three consistently.  Often pounds the ball.  Has still only played limited minutes and has put up limited numbers in those minutes. 

Mental:

When watching Llull I was very surprised at how composed he was for a 21 year old.  The guy has no problem with going and getting the ball from his veteran teammates and also doesn’t have a problem with telling those same teammates where to go.  I love the fact that Llull isn’t afraid of getting knocked down and how his overall aggressiveness.  In the NBA where charges are few and far between a PG that can penetrate and get into the paint with a little bit of recklessness is a good thing.  Mentally I really like what I see from Llull as far as confidence is concerned.  

Comparison:  Sergio Rodriguez, 6-3, 170, PG

Would be a good fit for:  Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards, or Detroit Pistons

Conclusion:

While he is clearly a point guard, he was used a lot as a secondary point guard overseas.  What I mean by that is that they had a different player bring up the ball and then would let Llull run the offense in the half court.  I would love to see him have the ability to push the ball from the get go, but that’s the offense they run and Llull seemed very comfortable in the half court as well.  He is a very intriguing prospect just based on his size, speed and his ability to handle the ball. 

I had the fortune of watching a young Sergio Rodriguez when he was starting to make some noise in Madrid and this Spanish Sergio does remind me of Rodriguez.  He has a similar flare to his game and he has a similar build.  The big difference is that Llull is fearless when taking the ball to the hoop and is a lot more aggressive than Rodriguez was when I saw him play.  While they may have their differences both had the ability to change the course of the game with their play making skills and that is ultimately why Llull is an attractive prospect for NBA teams. 

Llull may get drafted in the 1st round, but if he doesn’t then I could think of numerous teams that should take a flyer on him.  At the very least he continues to play at a high level in Spain and they can let them grow into a complete point guard.  He still has to show more consistency and work on his game, but Llull is definitely an intriguing prospect that should not be overlooked in this year’s draft.     

Posted on: June 24, 2009 12:36 am
Edited on: June 24, 2009 4:47 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Nick Calathes, Florida

Nick Calathes: 6-5,185, PG/SG, SO. (University of Florida)
 
Draft Rank: #38

PG Rank: #13

Strengths:

Can play both guard positions, but really knows how to play the point.  Very creative passer.  Sees the entire floor and has the passing ability to hit the open man in stride.  Has very good point guard instincts, despite being a very tall point guard.  Does a good job of jumping into the passing lane and causing steals.  Very good passer in transition.  Does a very good job of finishing in the lane for a point guard.  Makes quick and crisp decisions off the pick and roll.  Is a very good re-bounder for a point guard.  Has good leadership skills.  Is a solid spot up shooter.  Does a good job of cutting and using misdirection to get open without the ball in his hands.  Can pass the ball with either hand which allows him to hit players in stride.  Does a good job of driving and dishing as he uses a drop pass, bounce pass or throws the alley-oop with ease.  Does a good job of contesting threes with his length on the defensive end. 

Weaknesses:

Doesn’t have the foot speed to defend quick guards at the next level, which will make him a defensive liability.  Doesn’t have a great first step which is essential for NBA point guards.  Lacks NBA quickness to shake the defender so that he can create for himself and others.  Very turn over prone.  Shoots a set shot rather than a jump shot.  Takes a long time for him to get set and get his shot off.  Pushes his shot with his arms rather than using his legs to rise up into his shot.  Needs to step into his shot.  Is a high dribbler which causes him to lose control of the ball.  Isn’t a good shooter off the dribble.  Often loses the ball when he is forced to dribble to his left.  Often throws no look passes into heavy traffic areas which lead to turnovers.  Despite his size he doesn’t have post up ability when he has a mismatch. 

Mental:

He does a good job of getting his teammates set and instructing them on where to go.  Calathes is a point guard that likes to orchestrate the offense.  He knows how to go get the ball and wants to be involved in every facet of the offense.  Mentally he is pretty solid as he knows how to set the tempo for his team and he is constantly trying to make his teammates better. 

Extra info:

-Led his team in scoring and assists.  
-Older brother Pat, was a successful player at St. Joe’s.
-SEC Co-freshman player of the year. 

Comparison: Marko Jaric, 6-7,210,PG

Would be a good fit for:  Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers or Washington Wizards

Conclusion:

I think whoever drafts Calathes will probably want him to go overseas so that he can get some more experience.  He will be very attractive to teams like Washington or Portland in the 2nd round who don’t have roster space for a 2nd round pick.  The great thing about Calathes is his ability and seemingly willingness to go abroad which is attractive for a lot of teams that are trying to keep rosters to a minimum and payrolls down. 

As for Calathes’ skill set I am not sold that he can be a consistent backup in the NBA.  While he is still young, he is not a consistent shooter and he doesn’t possess the quickness to break down a defense in the NBA.  What he does possess is tremendous size and an ability to see the floor that is important for point guards.  Ultimately if he improves his shot he could become a very solid backup guard who would give a team flexibility as he has the size to slide over the 2.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 12:13 am
Edited on: June 24, 2009 12:25 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Toney Douglas, FSU

Toney Douglas: 6-2, 196, PG, Sr. (Florida State University)

Draft rank: #36

PG rank: #12

Strengths:

Very complete scorer.  Has a nice floater in the lane to complete a very good mid-range game.  Has very good handles.  Really does a good job passing the ball and setting his teammates up when he is covered.  Takes pride in playing defense and has the energy, build and stance to be very effective on that end.  Has good lateral quickness.  Gets his hand on a lot of balls causing turnovers.  Does a nice job of stopping and starting when attacking the rim.  Is very crafty in getting to where he needs to get.  Does a good job of using misdirection to get to the spot that he wants to get to.  Has good length to play the point.  High volume three point shooter but still shoots for a solid percentage from out there.  Solid free throw shooter.  Does a good job of helping on the boards.  Very quick and shifty. Has very good pull up and stop and pop shooting ability.  Has a nice jump step that he uses to attack the rim.  Has a nice cross-over dribble.  Gets good elevation on his shot.  Has the ability to take a hit and still score.  Does a good job of getting to the foul line. 
He doesn’t just settle for outside shots and isn’t afraid to take the ball to the hoop.  Isn’t bothered by a defender’s hand in his face.  Likes to fake left and go right where he can raise right up into his shot. 

Weaknesses:

Often forces the ball too much to the right and doesn’t trust his left hand.  May be best suited as a 2 guard, but doesn’t have the size or strength to play that position. Turns the ball over too much for a guy that doesn’t get enough assists.  Often pushes his shot rather than using touch.  Leaves his feet and turns the ball over in the air too much.  Not a great passer.  Doesn’t always get good arc on his jumper. 

Mental:

Douglas clearly cares about winning and will do what it takes for him to do so.  He often throws his body around and isn’t afraid of getting knocked down.  He is a mature player who has used his 4 years in college to really improve his game.  Mentally I think Douglas should be able to fight for backup guard minutes and provide a team with energy in the backcourt.  Shows good leadership by orchestrating the offense and making sure they get to where they need to be.     
 
Extra info:

--Transferred from Auburn after his Freshman year. 

Comparison:
CJ Watson, 6-1, 171, PG
 
Would be a good fit for:  San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, or Milwaukee Bucks

Conclusion:

Douglas is a guy who really knows how to fill it up in a variety of ways.  He can hurt you outside with his jumper and can also take the ball to the hoop and score in the paint.  Obviously, he is not your typical point guard as he has never averaged more than 3 assists per game.  Douglas is a shoot first point guard who can really break down a defense and get them off balance.  The big question mark is whether or not he can run a team as an effective point guard and that is why I have him this low in my ranking. 

As for comparisons he reminds me of CJ Watson.  Like Watson he was a good scorer in college and it might take him a while to break into an NBA rotation.  He has almost the exact same build as Watson and will have to adjust his game and understand that he needs to get his teammates involved first and then he can do his scoring thing. 

Of all the potential first round point guards I have Douglas as the lowest.  While I like Douglas’ game, I am not sure that he will be steady enough to be a backup point guard right away.  He may have to go overseas to work on his point guard skills, but he certainly has the talent and potential to play in the NBA.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 12:00 am
Edited on: June 24, 2009 12:29 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jack McClinton, Miami

Jack McClinton: 6-1, 185 PG/SG, Sr.(University of Miami)

Draft rank: #35

PG rank:  #11

Strengths:

Very good scorer.  Can play either guard position, but is naturally a 2.  Has three point range.  Does a really good job of driving, stepping back and hitting the jumper.  Effortless shooting stroke.  Has a very quick release and great elevation on his shot.  Has a killer crossover that really gives defenders trouble because of his shooting ability.  Has really good quickness with the ball in his hands and when making cuts away from the basketball.  Does a good job of helping on the boards for a guard.  Very good free throw shooter.  While he shoots a high number of threes, he shoots for a good percentage.  Is very aggressive and active on the court.  Has great pull up shooting ability.  Has good spot up shooting ability.  Really does a good job of squaring up and stepping into three point shots which gives him great balance.  Can stop and pop with extremely fast.       

Weaknesses:

Lacks the size to play his natural position of shooting guard and is actually undersized to play point guard as well.  Doesn’t pass the ball enough for a point guard, especially for someone who will have to play that position at the next level.  Is already 24 years old.  Turns the ball over too much, bad A/TO ratio.  Struggles to defend against bigger guards.  Doesn’t get his hands on enough balls or create enough steals.  Often makes bad decisions in transition.  Right hand dominant.  Not a good finisher at the rim. 

Mental:

He certainly doesn’t lack confidence.  His swagger can be seen on and off the court.  That swagger may lead to some problems with his coaches, but overall I like to see that mentality from a combo guard whose job is to score.  He sometimes appears over confident and I can see how he will struggle to fit in as a bench player (which is what he probably will be).  The key for him is to keep that confidence and use it when he is on the court, but to not let it boil over and take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. 

Extra info:

--Transferred from Siena after his Freshman year
       
Comparison:  Eddie House, 6-0, 176, PG/SG

Would be a good fit for:  Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, or Memphis Grizzlies

Conclusion: 

McClinton knows what he is.  He is a shooter from just about everywhere on the floor.  He will make it in the NBA if he can bring the same confidence and consistency that he had while at Miami from three point range.  His role will be pretty basic, come in and make outside shots.  When he is on a team can ride him and when he isn’t making shots a team should give him a yank.  No matter what his ability to get his shot off is what should give him a role in the NBA.

The comparison to House is pretty obvious.  Like House, he lives on the perimeter and relies on a quick release and effortless shot to get his points.  He has a similar bounce to his shot that House has used to make a living in the NBA.  Comparing their college numbers they are pretty much the same size with very similar physical make ups.  The statistics actually favor McClinton in 3 pt. percentage and field goal percentage. 

Look for McClinton to have a very similar role to House in the NBA.  Like House, he is not your typical point guard, but if you pair him with a bigger guard and allow him to defend against point guard’s then he should have a very significant role as a bench player in the NBA. 

Posted on: June 16, 2009 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2009 1:18 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings: 6-1, 170, PG, (Lottomatica Roma)

Draft Rank: #8

PG Rank: #3

Strengths:

Tremendous quickness and shiftiness to his game. Has a great crossover, which he uses to create space from the defender. Has an array of ways that he can finish in the lane, including a one-handed floater that is very effective. Has a great vertical for a guy his size. Has the hops to take a hit off the defender and still finish. Throws the alley-oop ball as well as anyone in the draft.  His passes are extremely quick. He does an amazing job of splitting the defense on picks and really getting into the heart of the defense. Goes and gets the ball on offense and doesn't struggle to separate from his defender to do so. It is very hard to keep the ball out of his hands. Uses his quickness and ball handling to get to where he wants to go on the floor. Gets very good elevation on his jump shot. Has a quick release on his jumper. Can create for himself by using an array of ball handling moves. He is a handful once he gets a step on his man, which he often does with ease and then attacks the rim with his left. He is extremely fluid and bouncy when he gets a full head of steam and is heading toward the hoop. Does a good job of keeping the ball on his hip and exploding to the backboard as he attacks the hoop. Has quick hands and a sneaky jab that he uses to get steals. Can really get up and down the court quickly and hurt teams in transition by attacking the rim or creating for his teammates. Has very good body control.

Weaknesses:

Very thin. Will try to make the impossible pass and because of that will often force the ball when the play isn't there. Still needs to work on his shooting consistency. Needs to focus more on the defensive end. Needs to do a better job of hedging on screens and closing out on the perimeter as he often plays to far off of his man. Often rushes on pick and rolls and doesn't allow for the roller to get open. When he isn't splitting the defense on picks, he often is not rubbing off of the screener, which leads to him settling for jump shots on the perimeter. Once he gets into the lane he struggles when the defense collapses and he often turns the ball over when looking for his teammates. Often fades back on three-point shots rather than stepping into them, which will become a problem as he tries to extend his range to the NBA three. Sometimes shows laziness with his passes. Definitely favors his left when attacking the rim. Often forces his own shot in transition rather than creating for bigger and better-finishing teammates.

Mental:

The fact he went overseas has a lot to do with him as a prospect. But he has a confidence and certainty about him that you love from a point guard. He believes in his own abilities and I think that will rub off on his teammates. As a point guard I think he can be effective because of his confidence in his game and the idea that he won't back down from other players. Now can that confidence backfire and turn into arrogance? Possibly, but I would rather have a player with built-in-leadership capabilities then someone who is passive. With that said Jennings needs to still prove he is most interested in winning rather than putting on a show. NBA coaches will not be supportive of his highlight attempts when there is an easier play to be made. I also noticed that he often complained about not getting "and-one" calls when he went up,  so hopefully he will focus more on getting back on defense rather than arguing with the refs. Jennings did however show tremendous maturity overseas as he tried to change his game to fit his team needs, so I think that his flashiness will be toned down as he gets older. Overall, I actually like his mental makeup and think he has some of the leadership abilities that all of the great point guards possess.

Comparison: Steve Francis. 6-3, 195, PG

Would be a good fit for: Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks

Conclusion:

Jennings is probably the biggest wild card in the draft. We never saw him play in college and his minutes were inconsistent overseas. However, he does possess a swagger and a star quality that the NBA loves. The guy appears to have all of the moves and game to be a successful guard at the NBA level, but it's still hard to get a reading on it when his minutes were so limited. I was also shocked to see him often playing off the ball in Rome and letting his teammates bring up the ball. In many of his games he would be off the ball and then pop up to get the ball in the half court set, as off guards Kobe Bryant and LeBron James do. I think that this role stunted his development as he is the type of player who loves to get up and down and push the ball after both made and missed baskets. Any team that drafts him will surely give him the keys to the car immediately and wouldn't and shouldn't hesitate to let him bring up the ball in the backcourt, as that is where he excels.

I really look forward to seeing how he does when he is surrounded by athletes. The guy is so creative and so athletically gifted that he would often be by himself in Europe when he tried to make plays. When watching film you could tell that he often made passes to guys thinking that they could get to the spot and instead they were to slow or not athletic to get there. Give Jennings a couple of high-flying wings and he will instantly make them better -- and his game will be better as a result. The wings in the NBA are just so much more athletic then they are in Europe and Jennings will thrive as a result of that.

I think he is a better passer than Francis was, but I see him as a similar type of player. If Jennings can really focus on passing and getting his teammates going rather than scoring then I really think he will be a special player in the NBA. I also believe Sacramento should roll the dice and snag him up at No. 4 in the draft. Jennings would instantly give that city a player who they can be excited about and Sacramento has the time to let him develop. Furthermore, if you had an athletic wing then all of the sudden the Kings would have an intriguing and young starting lineup of Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, Kevin Martin, Jennings and whichever athletic three they go after (maybe a Trevor Ariza type?). Finally, like Ricky Rubio, the upside on Jennings is extremely high. If a team is patient with him and lets him grown into a starting point guard then I believe they will be happy with the results.
Posted on: June 16, 2009 3:04 am
Edited on: June 16, 2009 8:51 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Ricky Rubio, Spain

Ricky Rubio:  6-4, 180 PG (DKV Joventut)

Draft Rank: #3

PG Rank:   #1

Strengths:

The first thing that stands out about him is his tremendously creative passing ability. He uses misdirection and a variety of moves to get the ball exactly where he wants to. He is very good in transition. Has great size to play the point and uses that size to read a defense and make passes. His size also allows him to be very effective on pick and rolls -- as the big man slips to the hoop he is able to hit him in stride for a dunk or layup. He has very quick hands, which allow him to steal the ball and get his team in transition situations where he excels. Has great anticipation to steal the ball. Loves to pressure the opposing team's point guard after made baskets. Has tremendous feet and long strides that he uses to get to the rim, often times using only two steps. 

Is a good floor general who makes sure to get his teammates in a position where they can succeed. Even when he doesn't have the ball in his hands he is constantly directing his teammates, letting them know where they should be. He does a good job of going into the defense and drawing fouls. Has a very good first step and does a great job of getting his defender on his hip. Has great handles with both hands and doesn't lose speed when running and dribbling. While he does turn the ball over a lot, he also has great vision that allows him to make some passes that the average point guard wouldn't even see. Has good pull-up ability that he uses when in transition. In isolation situations he can really break down a defense because of his length and quickness, which is very important when you are a play maker. Does a great job of changing gears and attacking the paint when his best option is to attack. When he does have time to shoot he squares up nicely and can knock down the open shot. 

Weaknesses:

Doesn't have good lift on his shot. He often struggles and forces shots up when he gets to the rim. Needs to get more elevation around the rim or else he will get his shot blocked often. Is not a consistent spot-up shooter. Needs to be able to swing his right foot forward when shooting from the perimeter and he won't always have the time to do that in the NBA. Often misses shots short because he forces the issue when trying to score. Turns the ball over and forces the issue way too much. When he gets into the paint he often tries to put added arc on his shot, which causes the ball to hit the backboard or the side of the rim and reduces his accuracy. Sometimes pounds the ball and wastes time rather than passing the ball around to his teammates. Doesn't use his size to exploit smaller players in the post.
 
Mental:

Rubio's years of professional experience make him much more mentally "ready" than some of his peers. For an 18 year old he sure has no problem telling his teammates where they should be on the court. He showed this not only with his European team, but also with his strong play on a very good Spanish National team. When watching film you can see him constantly talking, encouraging and pointing to teammates to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. This is extremely important for a point guard and the fact that he already does that stuff at such a young age is very encouraging to his mental makeup. After watching film I was concerned about his steadiness when running a team. There were times where he clearly got rattled when he tried to force the issue and turned the ball over. He will have to learn quickly that sometimes you can't force the issue and you have to take what the defense is giving you. How he reacts to those lessons will be key in his future success.

Comparison: Jason Kidd, 6-4, 210, PG

Would be a good fit for:  Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings or Washington Wizards

Conclusion:

Rubio is definitely a work in progress. He has to significantly improve on his shooting consistency and will need to bulk up so that he can finish once he gets into the lane, but he does have a ton of potential. His size, quickness and passing ability make him a unique prospect who could grow into an All-Star point guard. The key word for Rubio is "grow." Make no mistake, there are more ready NBA point guards in this year's draft. He has definite flaws in his game and from the tape I watched he was often very erratic. That inconsistent play won't fly in the NBA. He has to really learn to cherish every possession and focus when he gets open looks.

If you haven't seen Rubio play you really need to understand that he has tremendous speed with the ball in his hands. The best point guards always are as fast with the ball as they are without it and Rubio's no different in that regard. I struggled to find a comparison for Rubio because it is rare to see a player with his length possess the quickness and passing ability that he has. The guy who he reminds me a little of is Jason Kidd. Now before everyone goes crazy on me, I would like to note that I don't think he will be as good as Kidd, but simply that his game reminds me of Kidd's.

Like Kidd, Rubio uses his size and speed to his advantage and knows how to attack creases to find the open man. One of the big differences was Kidd's ability to lock down other team's point guards in his prime. I really think Rubio may struggle with opposing team's point guards but offensively, he does have the potential to control a game in a similar fashion to the way that Kidd did in his prime. All things considered, I really think Rubio is an intriguing prospect. Like most great playmakers it would be ideal for him to be put in a system that allows him to play free and not be overly concerned with protecting the basketball. He is a classic case of a raw-but-talented point guard who will most likely get thrown into the fire right away.

As I noted earlier, the potential is there for him to be a very effective point guard, but don't expect him to come in and be a ball-control point guard. He may struggle early in his career, but give him some time to improve and he should end up being the best point guard in this year's draft. If a team is expecting him to come in right away and turn their franchise around it is sorely mistaken. But over time he could and should be the type of point guard you want to build a team around.

Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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