A little worse for Rui today, 6/15 for 19 points. But 2/3 from 3. Going back to his last 3 games. That's 2/3 from 3 today, 2/3 from 3 last game and 2 makes from 3 his last game of summer league, but I can't remember how many attempts. Granted that the Fiba 3-point line is closer in than the NBA 3-point line, it's still good that he's making them. Tbh, Rui's in a lose lose situation. If he plays well, he's playing against bod competition, but if he plays bad then he's a reach at 9.
You can dismiss the 13/17 all you want, but the truth is that Rui doesn't even have a good pg to set him up. He had to generate all of those points by himself. That is to say, that you give him a great pg/player that can set him up and that 35 point game, turns into a 45 point game. Then add in the fact that he was mysteriously 7/14 from the ft line (he was 5/6 today) and he had foul trouble and you can start to fully see just how dominate he was.
Also he is in tremendous shape. I'm going to post video from his Fiba games last year, from Gonzaga and then from the game Monday.
You look at him and he looks like a 3, with the ability to guard 4's. Also, you can't talk about the competition until you're blue in the face. Skills translate. The jumper he makes off the pin down starting at 52 seconds, the hard one dribble pull-up at 57 seconds. The pick-and-pop at 2:35. The form on his 3-point shot at 2:40 looks great. looks great
You can start to see how a Thomas, Beal, Rui, Bertans, Bryant lineup will look. Especially with Rui being a screener and Thomas and Beal manipulating the screen. It is going to be very hard for teams to stop. Rui's going to get open pick-and-pop 3's, mid-range jumpers and he's going to get switches onto smaller defenders, rim-runs etc. Given what we've seen, I simply don't see how opposing teams are going to stop him. Especially given the fact that in that lineup, we have 3-point shooting at every position.
Look at these 3 consecutive plays starting at 4:36
And he's still so raw. 3 years from now when his ball-handling is better and he's had 3 years to work on his 3-point shot, there's no telling how good he might be offensively. None of those clips even showed his low-post game which he also has.
So let's break it all down. Rui was considered by many to be a borderline NBA player. A 6th or 7th man at best.
Athleticism / Frame Overview: Not a great athlete vertically or laterally, but he’s solid. Fast in transition / when he gets a head of steam. Where he’s really able to thrive is using his strength – does a great job using his strength + length to his advantage.
Mentality Overview: Aggressive, physical, and a shoot first mindset. Does not have the best feel. Not someone who does the dirty work on either end.
Role: Score first PF. As he expands his range out to 3, his efficiency should stay around/average league average given his FTr and physicality around the rim, but he’s not someone who should be expected to create plays for others.
Outcome: Medium / Realistic Outcome: 6th/7th man scorer, poor defense. Even though he has made strides over the last two seasons (a solid jump this past season as the season progressed), I still think he has a ways to go on defense. With that in mind, I think given how important back-end defense is (and versatility), I don’t think his offensive scoring ability will be able to make up for his lack of defensive feel…especially when his offense is predicated on shooting jumpers and him being a ball stopper.
So there are couple things off the bat that are wrong. His offense isn't only predicated on shooting jumpers. He can score in the low post, score on lobs and take defenders off the dribble. Athletically, he's shown to be a very good athlete. Like I said in my original post, he clearly bulked up in college to play the 4/5. Looking at the Rui who played vs. New Zealand, if he uses his 7'2 wingspan correctly, he'll be able to guard 1-4 at least and all but the biggest/skilled 5's (Embiid/Jokic).
The paradox of Rui is precisely this, that while being skilled he's also raw. Now for fans who's basketball perspective is dominated by American basketball, the above statement is contradictory. But like I mentioned in earlier posts, with Rui we have to always keep in mind that he grew up playing basketball in Japan. A country where the best basketball players, are the one's with the most skill. So when Rui started playing basketball at 11 or 12, immediately the coach started to teach him skills. But Rui's feel for the game is still developing. Now what does this mean? Well, it means that despite having basketball skills, Rui still has a long way to go.