Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for

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doordoor123
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Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#1 » by doordoor123 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:26 pm

The NBA has changed into a pace and space type of game. Where shooting matters more to space the floor, mobility matters to get to the basket and defend, passing matters, running matters, and with the level of basketball so much higher, skill matters.

When evaluating prospects in this young age of pace and space, I’ve noticed a couple things have significance when it comes to college players succeeding and translating in the NBA.

- Running in space: Means the ability to take advantage of a short window and sprint to the basket with the ball, to either finish or dish. It’s a guard like Donovan Mitchell who can run in full sprint with the basketball, extend his arm and finish because he’s able to get to the basket. Even someone like Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns have shown the ability to dribble into a small space and get to the basket. With so much use of the P&R nowadays, getting into the paint is essential in the NBA and driving to the rim creates easy baskets. This is essentially sprinting with the basketball, something to look for in college players. The speed of the player, burst and handling are particularly some things to look at. It’s useful on fast breaks in the NBA, running pick and rolls, dimes and again, easy finishes around the basket.

- Defending in space: Pretty much means team defense. Individual defense can be learned with a player that has mobility/length, but awareness, fighting over screens, get in the passing lane, double teaming, recovering deflecting and blocking shots off-man is more meaningful in the NBA. In the NBA defenses are all about team-defenses, double teaming, getting turnovers, chasing down fast-breaks and overall awareness of the defenders around. We often confuse good on-ball defenders as good NBA defenders because they’re good on man, but in reality the NBA isn’t one-on-one basketball anymore. It’s about moving the ball, switching and covering. Look at someone like Fred VanVleet, he was never the best on-ball defender, but racked up steals in college because he was a great team-defender with good awareness. Same is said about other players on the Raptors as well, Delon Wright and OG Anonoby. Everyone was afraid of Anonoby’s footspeed, but statistically he had the most impact on team-defense in college basketball by a mile. Unless you’re looking at advanced stats, I suggest watching games to see how well certain players are with team-defense.

- Passing and Shooting: I put these two in the same category because unless you’re Giannis Antetokounmpo or Ben Summons no one can be good in the NBA without shooting and passing. No one even gets minutes without both shooting and passing unless you have an elite defender on your hands like Cory Brewer or Andre Roberson. Shooting and passing is important because of the space and the quality defenders there are in the NBA. Shooting creates space in the middle and passing creates space all over the floor. In analytics turnovers are a big statistic in basketball and putting a bad passer on the floor creates a possibility to lose a possession or multiple possessions and give up points, which could lose a game for your team. Putting a bad shooter on the floor does something similar. Overall most teams would rather have shooters on their team. Even sharpshooters like Kyle Korver are good passers. And while it doesn’t seem like it all the time since they’re always jacking up shots, the ability to pass is present. Look at shooting stroke, ability to shoot over guys with length or athleticism, shot percentage/usage, ability to shoot on the move, ability to pass into the post, run the P&R, make correct passes, etc. Turnover to assists ratio also matters.

-Running the Floor: Running without the ball. This is pretty much stamina and effort. Players that run when their team gets a defensive rebound, a player that trails the attacker on a fast break, player that runs around on offense, and a player that doesn’t get tired easily. In an NBA that is getting faster and is looking to push, teams need players that have the drive to get into great shape and create more offensive opportunities. Running the floor and moving gets players in better situations on the floor often for rebounds, for getting easy buckets and open shots. Someone like JJ Redick gets tons of open shots coming off of screens and someone like Ed Davis gets a ton of baskets off of missed drives. There are lot of bigs get tired and don’t run the floor so its especially valuable skill for bigs. It’s part of the reason Draymond Green is so effective as a center. Look for effort to run without the ball. The eye-test is probably best to look for this, but it’s super important and NBA coaches preach it all the time.

-Super Advanced Moves: The difference between an advanced move and a super advanced move is that NBA defenders have counters for advanced moves. Super advanced moves look like lucky moves. To trick NBA defenders, players need counters for counters. A normal step-back or normal hook shot or normal pull-up doesn’t work. I’m talking about effective hesitations, the ability to pull up from three and easily sink a shot, the ability to spin, dribble behind the back, post up and then fade away. These are super advanced moves. Again Donovan Mitchell has these mastered coming into the NBA. I specially remember a shot of him catching the ball in the corner, spinning around and using the momentum to jump in the air and sink a three as if it was a shot hes practiced. Or Kyle Kuzma, who often uses multiple moves to get a shot in the paint. In a league with such good defenders players need to surprise their opponents to get an easy shot a lot of the time. It’s usually what makes great players so great. You need to watch players to see this stuff.

-Size and Athleticism: Size and athleticism is important for a number of reasons, but the main points are that it helps a lot on defense, in setting screens and creating an advantage on offense. Big hands matter a lot because it creates another advantage for someone that can easily palm a ball/adds extra length and body-type also matters since it does help to be physical.
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Re: Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#2 » by King Ken » Tue Sep 3, 2019 4:13 am

The biggest thing people missed on Donovan Mitchell was his high end 3pt variance and his high volume on shooting three which per36 which just a tad less than Klay as a Junior at Washington St at 7.4 per game. Mitchell was shooting every type of three pointer. Because he shoot an high end three point variance which does translate as we seen with Trae Young and Luka Doncic and he shot 80% from the FT line. Mitchell shooting marks should have made him a no brainer top 3-5 pick. His percentages may look low but over 50% of his shots were threes. In the modern NBA, that's critical to efficient marks which college doesn't value and his projected 3pt percentage for his career was 37.7% as a soph which is an exceptional mark, especially for a Soph. For example, a rare shooter like Klay Thompson mark was 38.8%.

It's fair to say Cam Reddish and Tyler Herro is being severely underrated as both of them have high end variance in terms of 3 pointers. Garland from the small sample size seems to have that as well. I've seen the workout tapes and I've seen the same things. High end variance on three pointers is the most translatable valuable skill that a NBA prospect can have in the modern NBA.

;t=100s
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Re: Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#3 » by 23-7 » Thu Sep 5, 2019 8:53 pm

King Ken wrote:The biggest thing people missed on Donovan Mitchell was his high end 3pt variance and his high volume on shooting three which per36 which just a tad less than Klay as a Junior at Washington St at 7.4 per game. Mitchell was shooting every type of three pointer. Because he shoot an high end three point variance which does translate as we seen with Trae Young and Luka Doncic and he shot 80% from the FT line. Mitchell shooting marks should have made him a no brainer top 3-5 pick. His percentages may look low but over 50% of his shots were threes. In the modern NBA, that's critical to efficient marks which college doesn't value and his projected 3pt percentage for his career was 37.7% as a soph which is an exceptional mark, especially for a Soph. For example, a rare shooter like Klay Thompson mark was 38.8%.

It's fair to say Cam Reddish and Tyler Herro is being severely underrated as both of them have high end variance in terms of 3 pointers. Garland from the small sample size seems to have that as well. I've seen the workout tapes and I've seen the same things. High end variance on three pointers is the most translatable valuable skill that a NBA prospect can have in the modern NBA.

;t=100s


Coby White?
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Re: Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#4 » by King Ken » Mon Sep 9, 2019 2:44 pm

23-7 wrote:
King Ken wrote:The biggest thing people missed on Donovan Mitchell was his high end 3pt variance and his high volume on shooting three which per36 which just a tad less than Klay as a Junior at Washington St at 7.4 per game. Mitchell was shooting every type of three pointer. Because he shoot an high end three point variance which does translate as we seen with Trae Young and Luka Doncic and he shot 80% from the FT line. Mitchell shooting marks should have made him a no brainer top 3-5 pick. His percentages may look low but over 50% of his shots were threes. In the modern NBA, that's critical to efficient marks which college doesn't value and his projected 3pt percentage for his career was 37.7% as a soph which is an exceptional mark, especially for a Soph. For example, a rare shooter like Klay Thompson mark was 38.8%.

It's fair to say Cam Reddish and Tyler Herro is being severely underrated as both of them have high end variance in terms of 3 pointers. Garland from the small sample size seems to have that as well. I've seen the workout tapes and I've seen the same things. High end variance on three pointers is the most translatable valuable skill that a NBA prospect can have in the modern NBA.

;t=100s


Coby White?

I gotta watch more film on White again, what stood out was his talent, isolation ability, range and scoring prowess. I didn't check for high end 3pt variance. I have to check for it to know you got it. It's not something you see from a stat sheet.

I watched Garland in HS and his short time at college. He had it but let me go back and review Coby tape
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Re: Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#5 » by kb02 » Mon Sep 9, 2019 11:31 pm

King Ken wrote:The biggest thing people missed on Donovan Mitchell was his high end 3pt variance and his high volume on shooting three which per36 which just a tad less than Klay as a Junior at Washington St at 7.4 per game. Mitchell was shooting every type of three pointer. Because he shoot an high end three point variance which does translate as we seen with Trae Young and Luka Doncic and he shot 80% from the FT line. Mitchell shooting marks should have made him a no brainer top 3-5 pick. His percentages may look low but over 50% of his shots were threes. In the modern NBA, that's critical to efficient marks which college doesn't value and his projected 3pt percentage for his career was 37.7% as a soph which is an exceptional mark, especially for a Soph. For example, a rare shooter like Klay Thompson mark was 38.8%.

It's fair to say Cam Reddish and Tyler Herro is being severely underrated as both of them have high end variance in terms of 3 pointers. Garland from the small sample size seems to have that as well. I've seen the workout tapes and I've seen the same things. High end variance on three pointers is the most translatable valuable skill that a NBA prospect can have in the modern NBA.

;t=100s


Sounds interesting, but can you back it with some stats rather than a few handpicked samples?

As for shooting greater than 50% of his (a player's) shots from 3, that may also be an indication of a players ability to get to the hole (i.e., a lack of an ability) or it could be a product of the offense.

As for shooting variance from 3, would love to know where you're sourcing that type of stat and how it's being normalized against current peers and historical peers.

That said, for me, the most translatable and overlooked skill is a player's feet. Quick feet on both sides of the ball is severely underrated. De'Aron Fox is an example of this. Never had any doubts that he would be a two way terror because of his feet. Zoom zoom on offense and the ability to stay in front of any player on defense. On a wiry, 6'3 frame.
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Re: Translating to NBA Game: Things to look for 

Post#6 » by King Ken » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:43 pm

kb02 wrote:
King Ken wrote:The biggest thing people missed on Donovan Mitchell was his high end 3pt variance and his high volume on shooting three which per36 which just a tad less than Klay as a Junior at Washington St at 7.4 per game. Mitchell was shooting every type of three pointer. Because he shoot an high end three point variance which does translate as we seen with Trae Young and Luka Doncic and he shot 80% from the FT line. Mitchell shooting marks should have made him a no brainer top 3-5 pick. His percentages may look low but over 50% of his shots were threes. In the modern NBA, that's critical to efficient marks which college doesn't value and his projected 3pt percentage for his career was 37.7% as a soph which is an exceptional mark, especially for a Soph. For example, a rare shooter like Klay Thompson mark was 38.8%.

It's fair to say Cam Reddish and Tyler Herro is being severely underrated as both of them have high end variance in terms of 3 pointers. Garland from the small sample size seems to have that as well. I've seen the workout tapes and I've seen the same things. High end variance on three pointers is the most translatable valuable skill that a NBA prospect can have in the modern NBA.

;t=100s


Sounds interesting, but can you back it with some stats rather than a few handpicked samples?

As for shooting greater than 50% of his (a player's) shots from 3, that may also be an indication of a players ability to get to the hole (i.e., a lack of an ability) or it could be a product of the offense.

As for shooting variance from 3, would love to know where you're sourcing that type of stat and how it's being normalized against current peers and historical peers.

That said, for me, the most translatable and overlooked skill is a player's feet. Quick feet on both sides of the ball is severely underrated. De'Aron Fox is an example of this. Never had any doubts that he would be a two way terror because of his feet. Zoom zoom on offense and the ability to stay in front of any player on defense. On a wiry, 6'3 frame.

None in particular. You have to watch the games or at least all of the players shots and actions.

Most tend to be heavily 3pt shooting based as you mentioned. Most tend to have great skill. Most tend to have excellent footwork. Most tend to be good in isolation and they look advanced in actions. That's common. That doesn't really translate well to the NCAA but so far it's been fail proof for the NBA. Too many guys look at 3pt shooting percentage but projected 3pt percentage on tankathon has been more sound as well as FT%. Some guys have parts of this but need full development to have the whole package. Like Zo Ball has parts of this with his footwork and he has skill on the ball but his shooting motion is tragic, his range while NBA level isn't 30ft plus and he flings the ball. So even if you have nice footwork, you gotta have the form and the shot.

I want to say, watching the film, do you have the wow factor. When I watch some high volume 3pt shooters like and I am like, wow. Chris Clemons popped and it's no surprise he was so good in SL. Most guys are just spot shooters or movement shooters and usually undersized for college much less the NBA. But some guys with 1st round talent really pop. Herro film for example. Reddish film which was pretty amazing shooting wise till his suffered his core injury v. UNC in the 1st matchup.

Of this list: https://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/individual/624

Only 4 players popped for high end 3pt variance plus volume. Only two will likely ever have 1st round grades. I like Antonee Davis from Detroit Mercy too. Five if Herro make the list.

Fox does have elite quickness, lateral quickness and speed but my favorite is his off the ball explosiveness. He recovers as well as Zion but obviously lacks the defensive gravity. He also plays with a motor. I like Fox a lot. One of my favorite PG prospects.

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