The 2018-19 NBA season has been one of the fastest-paced in recent memory. The average number of possessions per 48 minutes this season has eclipsed the 100 possession threshold for the first time in thirty years. Given the increasing emphasis on transition offense, understanding a given collegiate prospect’s effectiveness at creating for themselves and others in up-tempo fast break scenarios is an essential piece of analyzing their potential projectability to the professional level.
In our sixth Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into prospects with potential to translate as dynamic transition threats.
Shooting from range is more valued than ever in the modern NBA. While spot-up shooting is very valuable in and of itself, what separates truly great shooters and adds exponential offensive value is the ability to shoot off-movement. High-level off-movement shooters are few and far between in the collegiate game, but those who do possess this skill certainly will catch the eyes of professional evaluators.
In our fifth Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into prospects with potential to translate as effective off-movement shooters.
In the modern NBA, efficient shooting is predominantly derived from threes, free throws, and attempts at the rim. While bigs derive most of their looks at the rim from putbacks, lobs, post-ups, and easy assisted looks, wings must be able to adeptly attack the rim from the perimeter as drivers. A well-rounded finishing package for a slashing wing is comprised of a subset of specific situational driving skills, including attacking closeouts, off-the-dribble self-creation, blowing by switching bigs, absorbing contact, one-foot and two-foot bounce, change of pace, stride length, acrobatic mid-air body contortion, fluidity, touch, and more.
In our fourth Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into non-big prospects with potential to translate as effective slashers and finishers at the rim. To provide some context, let’s first lay out a few examples of non-big NBA players that excel at attacking the paint on drives and finishing through traffic.
In the modern NBA, fours and fives no longer live on the block as solely back-to-the-basket post-up threats. Much of an NBA forward/big’s offensive value is now derived from their ability to space the floor. Stretch bigs open up the offense for the rest of their teammates by pulling rim protectors out of their comfort zone and diminishing their effectiveness as help side rim protectors.
Through the NBA pace-and-space / Moreyball revolution, pick-and-roll actions have remained a mainstay as a prominent offensive action. What has changed, however, is the demand for ball screening bigs to be capable of not only providing roll gravity as a pick-and-roll drive threats, but also as pick-and-pop three-point shooting threats. Though circumstance and offensive scheme may mask some prospects’ potential as pick-and-pop threats, showing effectiveness and natural feel as a screener, popper, and shooter from deep on even a limited volume of pick-and-pop opportunities helps in projecting potential translatability to the NBA.
In our third Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into forwards and bigs that project as effective pick-and-pop shooters. To provide some context, let’s first lay out a few examples of NBA players that provide valuable floor spacing, offensive versatility, and catch-and-shoot acumen as pick-and-pop scorers:
In the modern NBA, it is essential to complement your stars and primary creators with a plethora of off-ball wings capable of spacing the floor and sticking it from deep. Such shooting prowess adds offensive value both from the perspective of their conversion of catch-and-shoot threes, as well as the gravity they provide as a means of creating operating room for drivers and shot creators. Modern NBA offensive schemes are very much reliant on the presence of reliable spot-up shooters, so draft prospects that show consistency in catch-and-shoot/spot-up possessions from deep may be more valuable than ever.
In our second Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into under-the-radar prospects that have shown projectable spot-up shooting prowess and an ability to counter high-hand over-commitments and attack closeouts.
Defensive effectiveness has historically been difficult to adequately measure. Even in the modern NBA age of advanced analytics and sophisticated tracking data, individual defensive value within the context of team defensive scheme can be difficult to quantify.
Identification of prospects’ defensive contributions to winning intelligent, instinctual team defenders has historically been a market inefficiency within the context of NBA Draft prospect analysis. Traditional box score statistics (steals and blocks), their affiliated possession-based rate statistics (STL % / BLK %), and overarching defensive metrics (DBPM, Defensive Rating, etc.) are only a minor piece of the defensive translatability puzzle. A keen scouting eye and hours of in-depth film analysis is the only way to obtain a full understanding of a prospect’s acumen as a team defender, and whether their combination of skill, communication, athleticism, versatility, and instincts will translate to an NBA defensive scheme.
As such, we have gone through the exercise of a team defensive deep dive in the film room. In doing so, we have identified a handful of 2019 NBA Draft prospects that have shown to be consistently impactful team defenders in ways that could potentially translate to the next level.
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