DCZards wrote:...when you say "this is a big year" for Rui 7-8 times--like you have over the past few weeks--then it does come across as if you're saying this a do or die season for him.
Ah... ok, let me be specific & clear: this is an important season for Rui, as it would be for any young player entering his 3d year in the league. But, it's not a "do or die" season for him in any sense whatever.
One sense of "do or die" might be -- either "do it" (whatever that means in the particular situation) or you're out of the league. That's not the case for Rui. Even if he got worse rather than better he'd have another season to redeem himself. But, there is absolutely no reason to expect him to "get worse rather than better."
Another sense of "do or die" might be something like, "this year determines altogether who you are as a player." I.e. this is the last year for you to define yourself as a player. To some degree that will be true of every player -- year by year a guy defines himself, or it becomes clearer who he is (& concomitantly who he isn't) as a player. But, this is no more true of Rui than any other player.
What is specific to Rui is that he was chosen #9 in the 2019 draft & so far he has underperformed that fact -- without the slightest doubt, he has! -- therefore, year by year, one awaits a significant jump that might make him look like he merited being taken #9 that year.
That doesn't mean "do or die," but it does mean "this is a big year for Rui," & it always will mean that until he really takes that jump. 2019 was a weak draft. Nonetheless, there is a long list of guys taken way later than Rui who have been better than he has been. Cam Johnson, Tyler Herro, Matisse Thybulle, Brandon Clarke, Keldon Johnson, Cody Martin, Eric Paschall, Terance Mann... that would be a list for starters.
But, of course, I didn't mention the most important name, did I? Daniel Gafford went #38 in that draft &, so far, has been a zillion times better player than Rui. As all but the blind can see & all but the deaf & dumb will proclaim. He arrived & all of a sudden instead of being a 17-32 team, we proceeded to go 17-6.
So, yeah, you bet -- this is a big season for Rui. It's not do or die, but it's big. Because there are only so many years before you have established your level as a player, who you are, & so far the level Rui has established is quite low. So far he scores a below average number of points. So far he shoots a below average 2-point %. So far he shoots a below average 3 pt. %. So far he gets to the line at a below average rate. So far he gets a below average number of defensive boards. So far he gets a below average number of offensive boards. So far he gets a below average number of assists. So far he blocks a below average number of shots. So far he gets a below average number of steals. On the plus side, he turns it over less than average, fouls less often than average, & shoots FTs a little better than average.
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.