NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- the Point Guards

NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- the Point Guards
Oct 09, 2009, 09:46 pm
In these reports, we take a look at the point guards moving into their fourth year in the NBA. As we found when we identified which players from the 2005 draft were still in the League, the trajectory of a player's career is often unpredictable, which is why we opted to wait until this group was transitioning out of their rookie contracts to gauge their progress.

Sergio Rodriguez
Overview: Spanish point guard whose creativity and passing ability allows him to standout. Possesses nice size for a point guard, but lacks bulk, length and ideal athleticism, which shows up primarily on the defensive end. Fairly fluid and agile, but lacks a degree of explosiveness that hurts him around the rim and makes it difficult for him to create his own shot against more physical defenders. Able to get to the rim by using changes of speed and impressive ball-handling ability, but typically looks to dish off rather than try and score himself. One of the most entertaining passers around. Still needs to develop his outside shot to make up for his lack of athleticism. Wasn’t the most efficient player for Estudiantes in the ACB or Euroleague, but proved to be an exciting prospect due to his masterful court vision. Saw solid minutes on the highest levels of European basketball at a young age. Played some meaningful minutes as a rookie, but saw his playing time fluctuate throughout Portland’s rapid rebuilding process. Traded to Sacramento in a salary dump. Faces a similar situation with two players in front of him. Could easily solidify his spot on the depth chart by improving his consistency from deep and becoming at least an average defender.

Offense: Not an efficient scorer, shooting under 40% from the field the past two years, but is as pure a point guard as you’ll find. Gets nearly half of his offensive opportunities running the pick and roll, with spot ups, isolations, and fast breaks accounting for the rest of his touches. Biggest weakness lies in his lack of a consistent outside shot. Displays passable form, but his consistency is still a work in progress due to somewhat questionable follow through. Leaves a lot of shots short and tends to fade away a bit. Not a great shooter off the dribble. Has improved his ability to catch and shoot from the outside, but still has a ways to go. Not a great finisher at the rim due to a lack of explosiveness. Makes his living as a passer. Always ranks in the top ten of nearly every per-40 minute passing metric. Not the quickest player, but handles the ball extremely well, and gets in the lane using subtle changes of speed and direction. Very deceptive with his first step. Has always had an excellent feel for getting his defender off balance, making a move, and then finding a teammate. Is not going to score a lot around the rim, and doesn’t get to the free throw line much to compensate. Not as flashy as he used to be, allowing him to cut down on his turnovers, though he remains extremely turnover prone on a per-minute basis. Always looking to create an easy look for his teammates, and does a great job putting getting his teammates the ball where they are comfortable on the pick and roll and in drive and dish situations. Most of his turnovers come on drives when he gets deep in the line and isn’t able to locate an outlet. Has half the equation figured out, but needs to dramatically improve his efficiency from the field and be more consistent from the foul line to take his game to the next level. Doesn’t need to score in bunches, just needs to take better advantage of the possessions he already uses.

Defense: Mediocre defender due to his lack of lateral quickness. length and strength. Really lacks the physical tools to not get taken advantage of by the quicker, stronger and more physical point guards of the league. Shows a good stance and moves his feet well when he’s pressuring the ball, knowing what matchups he can play up on and which he can’t. Doesn’t have too much trouble getting through screens despite his lack of strength, but will struggle when teams look to isolate him. Will freelance from time to time looking for a steal, and shows quick hands recovering loose balls and stripping opposing players. Pursues long-rebounds, sometimes putting himself out of position Doesn’t show the great fundamentals closing out shooters, and is often a step late recovering. Size doesn’t help him when contesting shots either. Has made strides under Nate McMillan, but still has a ways to go in order to justify bigger minutes.

Jordan Farmar

Overview: Solid back-up point guard who has issues with efficiency, but brings some things to the table in limited minutes. Possesses nice size, but possesses a slim build and average wingspan for a point guard. Tested out extremely well athletically in the pre-draft process, but doesn’t jump out as a freak athlete on the court, outside of the occasional big dunk. Doesn’t display great lateral explosiveness. Struggles to post efficient numbers due to a lack of consistency around the basket. Decision-making has been an issue at times. Developing into a solid defender. Used to be a much more dynamic offensive player. Former McDonald’s All-American spent only two seasons at UCLA where he posted eerily similar numbers in his only two years on campus. Won the PAC-10 Freshman of the Year Award in 2005. Snuck into the late first round. Has been the Lakers’ back-up point guard ever since, but has seen his playing time fluctuate. Needs to prove that he can maintain his efficiency from season to season.

Offense: An inconsistent offensive player whose efficiency has been problematic since entering the League. Gets about a quarter of his offense from spot-ups, fast breaks, and pick and rolls in the triangle offense. A threat to hit shots from the outside. Doesn’t shoot or make as many threes as he did as a rookie, but displays good form and has decent consistency in catch and shoot situations. Not shy when he is given space, or feels he has an angle. Will fade away a bit when defended, and doesn’t always get consistent elevation, which coupled with his lack of great lateral quickness, limits him off the dribble. Plays with pace, but isn’t explosive enough to create separation without a pick or prove very effective at the rim, unless he has a clear path. Doesn’t go to his floater as often as he did during his time at UCLA. Won’t back down if he has a head of steam, but lacks the strength and leaping ability to finish at the basket with ideal consistency. Doesn’t draw contact at a high rate, and shoots a rather questionable percentage from the line. Displays very good court vision when he’s looking to distribute, but could be more selective with when he shoots and when he passes off the dribble. Runs the pick and roll pretty well, but often appears to be looking to shoot rather than pass. Not terribly turnover prone, since he tends to force midrange jumpers more often than drive into traffic. Likes to push the ball in transition, where his craftiness makes him an effective player. Has his moments operating in the triangle, but his lack of finishing ability hurts his efficiency within that framework, making his inconsistent perimeter repertoire that much more representative in his shooting percentages.

Defense: Lacking great quickness, length, and strength, Farmar is far from an ideal defensive player physically, but possesses a knack for creating turnovers. Actively tries to anticipate passes, allowing him to come up with quite a few steals by virtue of his good awareness and timing. Struggles to get around screens when defending the pick and roll, though he does his best to stay in position. Shows solid, but not great fundamentals, getting caught watching the ball from time to time. Doesn’t always close out under control either, taking himself out of the play in spot up situations. Decent one-on-one defender, moving his feet well and knowing when to give space and when to apply pressure. Won’t match up well with quicker players. Rebounds the ball at a solid rate for a guard nonetheless. Not a high level defender, but is capable.

Kyle Lowry

Overview: A short, but exceptionally athletic point guard who creates all kinds of problems with his excellent speed and quickness. Built and moves like an NFL running back. Extremely quick to take the corner off the dribble. Capable of playing above the rim, which is quite an accomplishment for a player his height. Very good at drawing defenders with his driving ability. Can cause all sorts of problems for his matchup by using his physical tools defensively. Not the most efficient perimeter scorer, which has limited him early in his NBA career. Has become a more efficient player on the whole since entering the League. Spent only two seasons at Villanova, one of which was shortened by an ACL injury. Physical tools and toughness made him a first round pick. Brings some things to the table as a back-up, but still has a ways to go as an all-around player.

Offense: A capable offensive point guard who is held back by some notable weaknesses. Gets about half of his touches as a primary ball handler in pick and roll and transition situations. Sees another quarter in spot up or one-on-one situations. Speed and quickness make him seem like an attractive player to handle the ball in many situations, he doesn’t complement his ability to create for others with a consistent jump shot. Has adequate form on his jumper, though he’ll fadeaway a bit when contested, doesn’t get consistent elevation, and doesn’t appear to have the best touch from three point range. Not a consistent threat from three point range. Doesn’t prove too efficient when he pulls up either due to his lack of size and elevation. Quickness compensates for that somewhat, as he is often able to get into the teeth of the defense or all the way to the rim. Extremely quick initial burst and low center of gravity allow him to turn the corner against most defenders. Gets to the rim at a good rate, and goes to the line with excellent frequency for a point guard. Not the best finisher since he often has to get creative to compensate for his lack of height. Capable of finishing acrobatically, and looks more comfortable when he can shake his man and create a seam than when he has a full head of steam heading to the rim. Could improve his finishing opportunities by forcing defenders to respect his floater or outside shot. Has blossomed as a playmaker. Has moments of absolute brilliance in both half-court and transition settings. Displays excellent vision, and though he will at times attempt some jumpers that may not be the most efficient option, he gets his teammates involved at a high rate. Ability to draw additional defenders is a huge plus, though most of his turnovers come when he turns the corner and finds himself trapped. Isn’t big enough to dish the ball out of traffic when he can’t create a seam. Could cut down on his turnovers by developing a more effective pull up jumper so that he doesn’t have to look to penetrate into traffic. Not a terribly flashy ball handler, proving able to get to where he wants to go with the ball with his physical tools alone. Forces opposing defenders to stay on their toes, and is a consistent jumper away from presenting a dynamic matchup problem for many backup point guards.

Defense: A staunch defensive point guard who is limited by his size, but makes up for that with pure grit and determination. Displays very good lateral explosiveness, gets down in a decent stance, and uses his strength relatively well on the pick and roll. Displays excellent recovery speed, but is susceptible to players who change direction quickly off the bounce, taller players that can hit midrange shots, and effective screens. Lack of size hurts him when defending virtually all catch and shoot situations. Leaping ability helps him a bit, but doesn’t completely compensate for his weaknesses. Could stand to improve his fundamentals, as he gets caught out of position by overcommitting when he decides to help off his man. Makes an impact when he’s focused on pressuring the ball. Comes up with quite a few steals for a player his height. Very quick to the ball when he sees a chance to get a steal. Quality rebounder for his size as well. Always looking for a chance to take possession of the ball and push. Has a tendency to reach in once he’s beat. Not a great defender due to his limitations, but offers some obvious value off the bench thanks to his speed and toughness.

Chris Quinn

Overview: Steady, but unspectacular back-up point guard who sees minutes due to his ability to play low-mistake basketball. Posseses average size and questionable athleticism for an NBA point guard. Lacks great physical tools, but proves to be a very heady, fundamentally sound player, with a microscopic turnover rate. Plays like a veteran, and has since the middle of his rookie year. Very capable outside shooter who doubles as an efficient distributor. Lacks ideal defensive tools. Developed into quite a player during his time at Notre Dame. Really showed off his point guard skills as a senior. Picture perfect shooting mechanics have always been an asset for him. Didn’t wow anyone with what he brought to the table and ultimately went undrafted. Found himself in a perfect situation in Miami. Saw minutes as a rookie and was a key backup in his second year pro. Fits the third point guard mold perfectly with his smart play.

Offense: A consistent playmaker who is smart with the ball, can hit the three, but lacks the versatility and athleticism to be a high level offensive player, particularly inside the arc. Gets about a quarter of his touches as the ball handler in pick and roll situations and roughly forty-percent of his touches in spot-up situations. Very capable jump shooter with excellent form, nice elevation, and great range. Shoots nearly half of his shots from beyond the arc. Doesn’t force too many contested jumpers, and doesn’t change his form at all when he does. Capable of hitting shots moving in either direction coming off of screens. Great catch and shoot threat who isn’t too bad off the dribble either. Doesn’t create enough separation to do much damage around the basket or with his pull up game. Limited by his size, strength, and leaping ability. Won’t go one-on-one unless he knows he’s not at a disadvantage. Improving his floater. An extremely capable point guard who has improved subtly since entering the League. Had a tendency to hold the ball for too long before giving it up in half court sets, but is considerably more decisive now. Has played with the poise of a much older player since his rookie year. Won’t make the tough pass very often, but will almost always make a smart one. Not a flashy ball handler, or one who will dribble himself into trouble. Plays the point guard spot in a low-risk, low reward manner that makes him a nice fit for teams with firepower at other positions. Catch and shoot ability is a nice bonus, since it compensates for what he lacks as a shot-creator.

Defense: Smart defender who whose lack of lateral quickness and size makes him a liability at times. Gets beaten off the dribble frequently, putting pressure on his teammates to help him. Doesn’t get in a great stance, but will give himself a cushion if he knows he’s at a disadvantage. Not going to tip many passes with his length, but will come up with an occasional loose ball due to his ability to anticipate. Shows more effort when his man catches the ball in the midrange, but lacks the length to effectively contest shots and the recovery speed to prevent his man from getting an open lane by running off of screens. Rebounds the ball at a decent rate for a player his size, but doesn’t do any one thing well enough defensively to compensate for the penetration he concedes.

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