Wow. Tough play. Scoring in traffic against double- and tripleteams. Nice passing. putting a body on his man on offense and defense. And hits the Dirk one-legged fadey for that final shot That's some grown man big boy play right there.
Yeah he's going to be fun to watch. Next to Bryant. Ferocious, high energy.
What's amazing is that, if you hadn't watch his other FIBA games, you would assume that he's just a burly inside player who can only operate around the basket. The entire game he was just outmuscling everyone.
But then, if you tune into the New Zealand game or the Germany game, Rui is playing like a pure small forward, hitting pullup 3's off the bounce, step-back jumpers from 19 feet, and doing inside-out crossovers to get to the rim.
The kid has the whole package. I'm feeling real confident about this. The Wizards finally hit a home run in the draft. Rui isn't going to merely be a career starter, which would be great for a #9 pick. He is going to be a star.
I can't believe it. The wildly optimistic tank-for-a-year-and-rebuild strategy might actually work as well as the most optimistic predictions. Hachimura and Bryant may very well be above-average starters by the end of this season and Hachimura could be an All-Star in 2 or 3 years. If Troy Brown pans out to be a starting caliber player, and we tank our way to a high pick in 2020, we may already have most of our new young core in place! In 2021, the Wizards might legitimately be one of the best possible destinations for Bradley Beal.
After watching both of his FIBA games I can’t emphasize this enough: Hachimura’s on-ball skills overshadow the fact that he’s a highly intelligent and unselfish off-ball player for a young guy.
Most young bigs - Bryant is a prime example - only set on-ball screens with the intention of slipping to the basket and scoring themselves. Even with vets like Markieff , he is a lazy screen setter unless the play is called for him.
Hachimura sets off-ball screens even when the ball isn’t coming to him, simply so he can free up teammates. It’s beautiful to see from a young player - he intuitively understands the principles of ball movement, timing, and reversing the ball to the other side of the floor . Japan’s coaches and Gonzaga did a great job in that regard to instill Rui with those fundamentals.
Don’t get me wrong he’s a natural scorer and clearly likes when they run plays for him. But when a play is called, he gets that its to create an open shot for his TEAM not just himself.
For ex if he calls for the ball in the post and doesn’t get it (Japan’s guards have poor vision) instead of pouting he will instinctively hustle over to the other side of the floor and set a down screen on someone else’s defender, then direct that teammate to cut off his back and present themselves to the ball. It’s like he was thinking the game two steps ahead of his teammates and telling them where to go. Once he gets to the Wiz and plays with pros who read the game on his wavelength (Brad, Ish, IT, Miles all very high IQ offensive players) I think he’s gonna develop a natural synergy and will be a high “screen assist” guy in the NBA.
After initially reading the scouting reports my biggest worry was that since Rui isn’t yet a floor-spacer , he wouldn’t be a useful offensive player without the ball in his hands. In other words I feared he might be a poor man’s Carmelo or young Rudy Gay. But that isn’t the case at all, he seems to know all the little nuances of how to be impactful off the ball - he just hasn’t had the opportunity to play with really skilled teammates. Once he adds a serviceable 3pt jumper, don’t be surprised if people start mentioning him as an advanced stats darling.