limbo wrote:zimpy27 wrote:How do we see a path for him being a superstar if he isn't the prime playmaker or prime defender?
This is a very good point i've been wrestling with myself, and you can add the fact that he's a weak outside shooter to it. In my view, that puts a ceiling on how good he can be offensively without significant improvements in those areas.
I've been impressed with his off-ball movement, offensive awareness and it's evident he's got a soft touch for finishing around the rim (aided tremendously by his insane athleticism and strength), but if the way he's playing so far in the preseason is any indication of the future, it's hard for me to see him having elite impact when he's not even being used as a catalyst offensively.
I like how Gentry's using him in the halfcourt, though. They have him staying on the weakside waiting for a screen and then just run around the screen and attack the basket with momentum. It's very hard to stop him when he has space to drive into the paint and he can make the smart pass from there if he can't finish himself.
That's basically all he did in the halfcourt vs the Bulls, and some improvised cuts to the basket. Good teams will adjust their defense and take that play away, and shooting 12/13 is an anomaly (also it's preseason vs. the Bulls...). Once that is countered, how many tools does Zion have left? He can't shoot. He can't consistently penetrate from the perimeter with his size and weight (+ defense playing him loose because he can't shoot).He makes smart passes but he's not an elite playmaker, he's not a threat to run pick and rolls. He's not really a post player either. He can bully smaller matchups occasionally, but he can't consistently score from the post due to his size and limited arsenal.
Compared to rookie LeBron. Bron was slimmer which meant he had better motor/stamina, was faster and more nimble, thus a more reliable driving threat. Bron was also taller, which means it's harder to contest his shots (Zion is not only guard-sized, but also has a shot that is slow and has a low release point - dude got blocked like three times in Summer League attempting normal shots). LeBron was a better playmaker (although Zion is also impressive, no doubt). And most importantly, LeBron actually had an outside shot. Granted it was very inconsistent but he could still effectively punish teams with it every other game. Zion doesn't even attempt to shoot if he's not completely open for the most part. LeBron's early shooting woes had a lot to due with poor shot selection, other minor kinks. Zion seems to be closer to needing to reconstruct his entire shooting form than anything else. Also, rookie Bron played in an era where 3-pt shots were still taken in moderation with a grain of salt. The league has a better understanding on how to exploit a weak outside shooter than it did in 2004...
I still believe Zion can be relatively efficient and effective if the Pelicans decide to play run and gun basketball. Defenses in the regular season are much more relaxed and indifferent. There's more transition opportunities where Zion is elite. That being said, it will be interesting to see how much the Pels decide to push the tempo and how the core of Zo/Jrue/Zion/Ingram will play off each other. What a set of characters, lmao... Zion can't shoot, Lonzo can't finish and Ingram can't pass the ball to save his life. Should be entertaining to say the least.
I agree on most things but Zion is definitely not guard-sized. 6'6 without shoes is regular height for small forward. How many true 6'6 guards we have in the league? 5%?