DX Profile of the Suns

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Draft Express has been running a series on players of various teams. There is nothing on Dragic, Lopez, Tucker, Strawberry, and Amundson. Overall, there is nothing terribly surprising.

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/NBA-Scouting-Reports,-Pacific-Division--Part-Four--2992/

Phoenix Suns

Leandro Barbosa

Overview: A lightning quick combo guard who is a rather unique commodity. Has good size and length for a point guard, but plays most of his minutes at the 2. An outstanding athlete who may be the fastest player in the NBA. Almost impossible to keep out of the lane once he gets going. Will knock down shots from the perimeter at an excellent rate in addition to being able to get almost anywhere on the floor. Will show some rudimentary playmaking skills from time to time, and is capable of giving his team a few nervous minutes per game at the point. Doesn’t offer much defensively. Played professionally in Brazil until 2003. Has developed significantly since entering the League. Won the NBA Sixth Man Award in 2007. Not a model of consistency, but very good at what he does nonetheless.

Offense: An efficient offensive player who gets most of his shots in spot, transition, and pick and roll situations, and is most comfortable operating in transition. Shows a very quick release and consistent form on his jump shot. Doesn’t get great elevation or have a high release point, making the speed he releases that much more important. Great catch and shoot player. Isn’t bothered by a hand in his face. Very good from three-point range, and relies very heavily on this part of his game, taking about 40% of his attempts from behind the arc. Doesn’t have much of an in-between game--tends to avoid taking midrange shots. Usually either takes 3-pointers or drives the ball all the way to the basket, due to his average ball-handling skills and unorthodox shooting mechanics. Takes some questionable short-range jumpers when met with a defender, since he often doesn’t have the body control to slither his way around him. Will beat most help-side defenders to the rim due to his unreal quickness. Gets out in transition for long outlet passes about as well as any guard in the league. Has one of the League’s most explosive first steps. Proves to be a capable finisher despite his size. Won’t try to dunk on anyone. Knows how to use his body and the rim to shield the ball, but could do a better job initiating contact and drawing fouls. Probably at his best in transition. Will blow by defenders with ease in fast break situations, or set up for outside jump shots. Shows average ball handling ability, and noticeably favors driving left, but isn’t turnover prone at all. Uses his speed, not his handle, to be effective. Often looks out of control by the time he gets to the rim. Doesn’t draw as many free throws as you might expect, but hits the ones he gets at a solid clip. Not the type of player you can isolate at the top of the key and ask to create his own shot by himself. Most comfortable using a screen or operating in space in the open court. Not the most creative player around--won’t bring much to the table as a passer. Can be a decent drive and dish player, but is prone to looking for his own shot. Not a point guard by any means, looks like a bit of a fish out of water when asked to be a primary ball-handler and run a complex half-court offense. Will always be limited by his size and average skill-level, but can put up big numbers (and do so efficiently) due to his speed and shooting ability, particularly playing next to a playmaker like Steve Nash and in an up-tempo system.

Defense: A very poor defensive player, despite having the prototypical physical traits of a ball hawking point guard, due to his poor fundamentals. Often asked to defend taller players, leaving him at a disadvantage. Has great quickness, but is lackadaisical and will get taken off the dribble frequently. Doesn’t get low enough to effectively use his speed defensively and isn’t tall enough to contest the shots of most two guards. Susceptible to being isolated against out on the perimeter—something that every team seems to do once he comes in the game. Seems to stay too high when closing out, making it easier for his man to get to the rim. Will miss a rotation every now and again. Awareness is just average, even when he does try to turn up his intensity. Gets a steal every now and then by virtue of his tremendous foot speed. May be better suited guarding point guards, but isn’t able to playing mostly next to Steve Nash, who is no stopper himself.

Matt Barnes

Overview: A scrappy, experienced combo forward who has found a home in the NBA thanks to the aggressive mentality he brings to the floor. Not afraid to lower his shoulder and dish out contact. A self-made player--bounced around the NBA and D-League early in his career, considered more of an undersized PF in college, but did done some nice things as a Warrior, even if he’s yet to be rewarded for that with a contract. Cutting down on turnovers and improving his jumper have been key for his career, although he tends to fall in love with it excessively these days at times. Has prototypical size for a wing at 6-8. Runs the floor extremely well, and has above average explosiveness. Will put up nice offensive numbers from time to time, although not efficiently. Gives his team toughness and some perimeter shooting ability, even if he’s prone to long bouts of inconsistency from beyond the arc. Plays with energy and can make some plays on the defensive end. A terrific rebounder, possibly Golden State’s best when he was there, despite his size. Still a bit too inconsistent, but he’s still improving. Played four solid years at UCLA, but wasn’t an elite collegiate player. On the gridiron, was one of the top receiver prospects in the nation as a prep.

Offense: Played the 3 and the 4 for Golden State offensively, mostly taking advantage of mismatches. Not what you would call an overly skilled player. Gets the vast majority of his shots from spot ups and fast breaks. Very aggressive with his shot selection—has the utmost confidence in himself. Will take some ill-advised threes when spotting up. Shows a very ugly shooting stroke, shooting the ball on the way down with very little elevation, but he’s managed to somehow make it work with semi-decent results. Uses his arms to get the ball to the rim, which hurts his consistency. Still capable of getting hot from that distance. Used to not be able to shoot at all, but has become passable from distance thanks to hard work, even if he has a tendency to rely on it too heavily now. Ball-handling skills are poor. Rarely gets to the free throw line. Pull-up jumper is not very effective. Gets a little too aggressive at times. Actually has a very nice feel for the game, though. Moves well off the ball, and is a very good passer for his position. Gets some easy looks at the rim by running the floor hard in transition, beating other players down the court with sheer tenacity. Needs to work on his free throw shooting, but isn’t too bad from the stripe. Will crash the glass, especially when he’s following transition plays.

Defense: Solid defender on the perimeter who had a tough time defending the power forward spot when the Warriors use small line ups. Not strong enough to defend true post players, but puts in the effort. Has a tough time keeping them on his back when boxing out. Gives fouls in the paint when he’s beat. Much more apt at defending the perimeter, even though he suffers from a very poor wingspan. Quick feet and size help him deny penetration. Great rebounder considering his size. Capable of anticipating passes and deflecting them. Decent shot blocker as well.

Raja Bell

Overview: A defensive specialist who is able to contribute offensively in an efficient manner. Possesses solid size and average athleticism for an NBA shooting guard. Not overly quick or explosive, but has gotten the most out of his physical assets throughout the years. Developed his offensive game early in his career. Capable shooter with mediocre ball skills. Used to be a liability offensively, but molded himself into a threat. Makes hustle plays on both ends. Native of the Virgin Islands. Played two years at Boston University before finishing his eligibility at Florida International University. Spent time in the CBA to earn a spot in the League. Began to make a significant impact on the NBA level with the Jazz as a fourth year player. Parlayed two good seasons in Utah into his current deal with the Suns. Has continued to perform as a high level, but has seen his numbers decline recently. Still plays with a lot of heart, but has become more and more one-dimensional each season, and may have peaked already. Has a bit of a temper, which is part of the reason he plays with such an edge.

Offense: A self-made offensive player that does most of his damage in catch and shoot situations. Has worked extremely hard to become a threat from the outside, and now takes nearly 60% of his field goal attempts from beyond the arc. Displays a fundamentally sound stroke with great range and solid quickness. Does a great job getting himself into position to show, using very polished perimeter footwork to shoot the same shot every time. Runs the floor well and always makes himself available when his teammates are attacking the rim. Moves well off the ball using screens very effectively. Possesses great range and has become a deadly three point shooter, one of the most prolific in the league. Primarily a catch and shoot player, but has developed a decent pull up jumper. Can knock shots down driving in either direction, but prefers to pull up when going left. Not very effective when driving right. Shows decent ball-handling skills, but isn’t quick enough to use them to get to the rim. Can’t turn the corner. Will have many of his drives cut off. Does a good job attempting to draw fouls with his fakes, but will often jump into the defense leading to bad shots and turnovers when he doesn’t get a call. Gets to the rim at an alarmingly low rate. Doesn’t go to the line at all for that reason, but shoots a tremendous percentage from the stripe. Capable of finishing at the basket, but only when the defense is out of position. Not a very good leaper and thus struggles to finish in traffic. Will get some assists in the flow of the game, but isn’t a playmaking passer. Doesn’t turn the ball over at all thanks to his smarts and risk-free style of play. Has worked hard to become a serviceable scorer, but lacks the athleticism to take advantage of all of his skills.

Defense: A tremendously intense defender that works as hard as any player in the game to keep his man from scoring. Always draws the toughest defensive perimeter assignment. Won’t force many turnovers or block many shots. Isn’t going to take any unnecessary risks or sell out his teammates by gambling. Plays a very sound and physical style of defense. Does a great job working through screens and sticking to his man like glue off the ball. Always knows where his help is. Denies penetration well, but has a hard time defending more athletic players that can turn the corner. Maximizes his physical assets defensively by working hard on every possession. Not afraid to flop in order to get a call. Will play a bit dirty at times, knows how to push the limits with his veteran savvy. Will help out with rebounding duties, but is an asset due to primarily to his man-to-man defense both on and off the ball.

Boris Diaw

Overview: A long, versatile forward who has had his ups and downs production wise, but remains one of the NBA’s most unique role players. A positionless player who sees minutes offensively at the 3, 4 and even the 5 on occasion, but is capable of passing the ball better than many point guards. Guards the 1-5 defensively. Possesses great size for the perimeter and adequate height for a power forward. Doesn’t have ideal bulk for the low post, but is crafty enough that it doesn’t really matter. Would really be well served by improving his outside shot. Not very quick or explosive, but is fluid in the open floor and shows good lateral quickness defensively. An outstanding passer who can act as a catalyst for his teammates offensively. Was a very distinguished player on the junior national level for France. Became a force in the French League as well. Wasn’t an overnight success in the NBA—needed the combination of Mike D’Antoni’s creativity and Steve Nash’s playmaking skills to find his niche in the NBA. Won the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 2006. Made significant strides in his game, but has seen his conditioning drop-off dramatically after he signed his lucrative contract. Criticized for a certain lack of mental toughness. Often too unselfish for his own good, prone to inconsistency and passivity. Losing weight may help improve his relatively average athleticism.

Offense: Gets about one-third of his touches in catch and shoot situations from the midrange, but gets his shots from a plethora of different situations. Shows a decent mid-range jump shot that doesn’t have great range or consistency. Seems to have developed a habit of flicking the ball at the rim rather than using his legs to generate power. This is largely due to the fact that he naturally leans to the left when he shoots. Doesn’t make a lot of threes, which makes him a bit difficult to plug into just any offensive situation. Not a great catch and shoot player, but will make a shot or two on occasion. Nothing that can be relied upon consistently though. Struggles with his pull-up jumper as well. Gets quite a few touches in the post, and might be at his best here. Gets the vast majority of his touches on the left block, turning over his left shoulder for easy baby-hooks. Knows how to use his strong trunk to back his man down, which makes him a pretty solid weapon against certain types of player. Will show an up-and-under move or a full hook periodically. Poses a match up problem for most small forwards on the block due to his size and wingspan. Always keeps his head up for a teammate (usually Amare Stoudemire) flashing into the paint. Has very good ball handling ability for a player his size. Isn’t quick enough to turn the corner, but will dribble his man down into the post and go to work. Won’t be as effective when he has to create his own shot. Takes some bad off-balance short-range shots when he can’t get an open look at the rim. Not the most explosive finisher at the rim, and struggles with contact. Goes to the line at a low rate due to his aversion to contact. Not an awful foul shooter, but not a good one either. Will grab an occasional offensive rebound. Sets decent screens and runs the floor well. Passes the ball wonderfully for a player his size—among the league’s best forwards in this area. Shows great court vision, but is often unselfish to a fault. One of the more versatile offensive players around. Not consistent enough to be a major threat, and not a great matchup against certain teams. Definitely needs to be in the right system to fully utilize his extremely unique skill-set.

Defense: Capable of defending almost any position depending on the matchup, and is often forced to due to Phoenix’s limitations with Steve Nash. Has great length and is extremely crafty on this end of the floor. Doesn’t force many turnovers or block many shots. Has the size to defend the post and the quickness to defend the perimeter. Shows good footwork on the defensive end and will get in a good stance on the ball. Seems to put a good effort in on this end of the court. Won’t get many rebounds, tending to look for transition opportunities rather than help out on the glass. Not a dominant presence, but is useful due to the number of positions he can defend.


Gordan Giricek

Giricek left the NBA to sign with Turkish Euroleague team Fenerbahce

Overview: A veteran shooting guard who can be an asset to a team that needs bench scoring. Good size and bulk for his position. Not incredibly fast or explosive. Leaping ability is suspect. Average athlete overall. Very talented offensive player, extremely aggressive even, but is still limited in some ways. Competes defensively, but will struggle at times due to his lack of athleticism. Continued to play in Croatia, his native country, after being drafted in 1999. Didn’t come to the NBA until 2002. Has become a solid player, but was unable to garner big enough NBA offers to justify passing up huge deals in Europe. Signed with Turkish Euroleague team Fenerbahce-Ulker in August of 2008.

Offense: A very aggressive offensive player who is not afraid to hoist up shots from the perimeter any time he has space. Gets half of his offense off of jumpers off of screens and spot ups. Has a very nice stroke, along with the size and quick release needed to get his shot off effectively. Solid catch and shoot guy, and very effective coming off screens. Not a one-dimensional player. Will put the ball on the floor occasionally to score, but would rather just pull the trigger as soon as he catches. Good pull up shooter. Displays solid consistency from three point range. A threat to score at any given moment. Very aggressive, and comes off the bench ready to get going. Works off the ball intelligently, and knows how to mix up his drives with his jumpers. Not athletic enough to be an effective finisher at the rim. Won’t set up his teammates, but isn’t turnover prone either. An offensive role player due to his ability to put the ball in the basket from the outside—more of a 3 these days due to his limitations defending shooting guards.

Defense: An average defender who is competitive enough to put the effort in, but doesn’t always have the athleticism to defend more physically gifted wing players. Will make some heady plays from time to time, and tries his best to stay in front of his man, as evidenced by his high foul rate. Lacks the lateral quickness to keep ball handlers out of the lane consistently. Does a decent job rotating out on the perimeter and getting a hand up on shooters. Won’t make an effort to contribute on the glass. Better defending small forwards than shooting guards.

Grant Hill

Overview: One of the best players of his generation between the years 1995 and 2000 or so). Was once arguably the most explosive offensive player in the NBA. Was incredibly fluid, agile, and made his fair share of highlight-reel plays above the rim. No longer able to take over a game with his athleticism. Has good size and strength for a small forward. Still athletic for his age, but all those ankle surgeries have slowed him significantly. Overcame a number of major setbacks and remains a very good NBA player. Plays a very savvy offensive game, and still extremely skilled and efficient. Has good versatility on both ends. Not athletic enough to be the defender he once was, but is still solid due to a strong work ethic and great court sense. Won two NCAA Titles during his four years at Duke. Was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year as a senior. Won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1995. Was even more dominant in the NBA than he was in college. Instantly became one of the game’s most promising young talents. Fulfilled his potential to an extent, but was cut down by serious injuries in his prime. Seven time All-Star. A great leader on and off the floor. Offers a great presence in the locker room for younger players to emulate. Shows a very placid demeanor for the most part, but is a fierce competitor. A true professional who could have been one of the all time greats.

Offense: Gets almost one-third of his offense in transition with another third coming in catch and shoot situations. Uses his great experience and savvy to be effective in a variety of different ways, and rarely takes bad shots. Possesses a nice shooting stroke, but doesn’t have great range. Shoots the ball from almost directly in front of his body with good elevation and nice follow through. Has just now in his career started to shoot more NBA 3-pointers, but is exceptionally smart at finding spots in the 16-18 foot range to get his very effective mid-range jumper off. Capable of knocking down pull up jumpers going left or right, although he prefers going right. Finishes plays at the rim at an extremely high rate despite his lack of leaping ability. Shows great touch and works hard to get himself easy opportunities at the basket. Runs the floor well, and will knows what angles to attack to fearlessly get to the rim. Won’t be isolated that much in half court situations, but moves extremely well off the ball, leading to touches inside. Plays off his teammates as well as any player in the League. Fantastic at identifying and taking advantage of opportunities to cut to the rim. More of a smart passer than a playmaker now that he’s not able to rely on his freakish athleticism to draw defenders. Very good solid ball handler, but will turn it over periodically when he gets caught in the lane. Gets to the line at a decent rate and shoots a great percentage. Will help out on the offensive glass. No longer the explosive top-level scorer he once was, but a smart veteran who is extremely efficient and very productive considering how much he’s changed his game over time.

Defense: A capable defender that is smarter than he is talented. Doesn’t have the physical assets to be a lock down defender anymore. Used to get a lot of steals, isn’t able to force turnovers like he used to. Will get in a good stance and try to stay in front of his man, but will get beaten off the dribble by quicker players. Tends to play off his man to avoid getting beat. Won’t miss many rotations. Isn’t an ideal on-ball defender, but maximizes what quickness he does have left with hard work and great anticipation. Grabs quite a few defensive rebounds for a player that does most of his damage in transition. Not an ideal option against elite scorers, but a nice perimeter defender considering his experience-level.

Steve Nash

Overview: Arguably one of the League’s best two or three point guards, but almost certainly its best distributor. Has good size and average strength for pure point guard. Not incredibly explosive. Has an extremely deceptive first step. Able to stop and change directions on a dime. Possesses unbelievable balance and body control. Just as fast in the fourth quarter as he is in the first. Not going to play above the rim, but it doesn’t hurt him in the least. Probably the game’s craftiest and most intelligent point guard. Makes life very easy for his teammates. Will create his own offense consistently as well. Provides almost nothing defensively. Had a nice four year career and Santa Clara, but needed two seasons to emerge as a dominant player. Won the West Coast Conference Player of the Year Award as a junior and senior. Wasn’t an overnight success in the NBA. Spent two decent seasons with Phoenix before leaving for Dallas where he blossomed into a superstar. Found himself the perfect offense for his skills in Phoenix. Six time All-Star. Two time MVP. Extremely well spoken off the floor. Not very vocal and prefers to lead by example. Sets the tone for the Suns in and out of the locker room. The poster boy for how work ethic and a superior feel for the game can compensate for a lack of great natural physical tools.

Offense: The most prolific assist man in the NBA today. Does a great job setting up passing angles and deliver the ball to his teammates. Will make some fancy passes, but knows how to make them within the flow of the game. Possesses great court vision and is very good at taking what the defense gives him. Gets more than two-thirds of his touches in pick and roll situations. Has little trouble turning the corner due to his blend of tremendous quickness and ball handling ability. Shows great decision-making on the pick and roll, passing out when he gets double teamed on the trap or working the ball back into the offense off of a dribble drive. One of the best floor generals the game has ever seen. Especially gifted in transition. Always seems to be in position to get the outlet and attack. Has become a very consistent outside threat. Has always been a great shooter due to his form, but has gotten more efficient as he’s aged, to the point that he’s arguably the league’s best right now. Doesn’t have great elevation, but has a quick trigger and isn’t rattled by a hand in his face. If open, is about as automatic from beyond the arc as any player in the world. Also outstanding shooting off the dribble. Shows great footwork offensively, stepping into shots driving in either direction on the drop of a dime. Prefers to drive to his left. Will use an array of floaters and scoops from the midrange in. Capable of hitting some pretty spectacular shots. Not a great finisher due to his lack of leaping ability, but crafty nonetheless. Gets to the line at a decent rate and is lights out from the charity stripe. Has incredible shooting touch from any distance. Plays with little power, but finesse has always worked for him. Scores extremely efficiently at over 50% from the field and recently as high as 47% from beyond the arc. An extremely dominant ball-handler who is the sole catalyst of Phoenix’s offense. Everything revolves around him, which makes him among the NBA’s league leaders in turnovers per game, as well as assists. His incredible assist to turnover ratio and pure point rating clearly makes up for it.

Defense: Not a factor defensively, to the point that he’s pretty much a liability. Doesn’t have great lateral quickness or the strength to keep his man from turning the corner. Won’t get a low stance unless he knows he needs to make a stop. Does a poor job in help side, getting out of position and sagging into the paint. Isn’t a factor defending shooters due to his lack of size. Has a hard time getting through screens due to his lack of physical strength. Can get posted up by taller point guards. Tends to leak out to the receive outlet passes rather than rebounding, but still collects that at a nice clip. Lack of boxing out is by design more than an indicator of his dedication on the glass. Forces his team to make strange defensive assignments (allowing him to cover the opposing team’s worst player) to minimize his ineffectiveness on this end of the floor.

Shaquille O’Neal

Overview: One of the best centers in the history of the game. Huge, powerful, and at one point, a dynamic leaper with surprising mobility. No man his size could move like he used to. Numerous injuries and old age have slowed him, but his size still makes him an asset. Has struggled with conditioning problems ever since leaving the Orlando Magic. Not the game changing force he used to be, but shows flashes of dominance every now and then. Has been on a steady decline for the last three years now. Was simply unstoppable around the basket throughout most of his career. Could get position and finish with either hand. Dunked everything with authority. Developed some nice passing skills over time. Never had the ability to make things work at the charity stripe. Was an elite rebounder on both ends. Protected the rim about as well as any player the game has ever had to offer. Committed and was the victim of innumerate fouls. Managed to remain effective even after his quickness began to subside. Has played a watered down version of his game in recent seasons due to injuries and general wear and tear starting to catch up with him physically. Was a force as a collegiate at Louisiana State. Unanimously voted a first team All-American as a sophomore and junior before declaring for the draft. Garnered Player of the Year honors in his junior season as well. Won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 with the Magic. Proceeded to play in fourteen All-Star games, win an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, and be named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Won three NBA Championships with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, and 2002 before winning another with the Heat in 2006. His relationships with former teammate Kobe Bryant and current teammate Dwyane Wade have been well publicized. A prominent figure, with a great sense of humor, he is truly one of the most entertaining players in the League off the floor. Always quotable. The type of player that emerges once every few decades.

Offense: Gets roughly three quarters of his offense with his back to the basket in the post. Gets position with ease, and is simply unstoppable when he gets too deep. Displays average foot quickness at this point due to his recent injury problems, but used to have a simply ridiculous spin move that would allow him to get past his man even when he had no space. Still knows how to use his body to get his shot off when he wants it. Doesn’t get as many touches as he used to. Seems to just fire the ball at the rim, but that has always worked for him when he was able to get deeper positioning inside. Worked extremely hard to polish that aspect of the game. Can still catch the ball, turn, and knock down shots when defenders collapse around him. Never found the same success at the stripe, but he may simply not have the physical potential to ever be even a mediocre foul shooter. Has become one of the best passers in the game at his position and still sees double teams at an alarming rate. Doesn’t make as many great passes as he used to, and has a harder time keeping the ball when he goes to make a move. Not the player he used to be, but still able to make a big impact on his better days. Tremendous offensive rebounder. Still draws a lot of attention when he’s on the floor despite his shortcomings.

Defense: Provides an imposing presence from the weakside, but doesn’t have the speed to rotate over and make plays as frequently as he used to. A bit of a liability defending the pick and roll, as he doesn’t have the quickness to get out and hedge a screen, which makes things extremely difficult for his entire team’s defense. Will still block quite a few shots, but at the expense of getting into foul trouble frequently. Gets called for some fouls that wouldn’t be as conspicuous if he wasn’t so strong. Can push his man off the block without much effort. Will lock down his area when rebounding, but won’t go outside of his area to grab boards. Doesn’t have the incredible physical assets that he did when he was a dominant defensive force.

Amare Stoudemire

Overview: One of the NBA’s brightest young stars. Simply tremendous athletically. Has good size and a big frame for a post player. Still has room to add weight as his career progresses should he choose to shift from power forward to center when Shaquille O’Neal moves on. Unbelievably explosive, and benefitted from the Suns’ incredible medical staff when he had to bounce back from his knee surgery. Very quick leaper. Possesses an unreal first step for a player his size. A physical specimen who has rounded out his offensive game. Almost impossible to guard due to the development of his midrange game. Not the most involved defensive player. Was utterly dominant on the high school level. Went from Cypress Creek HS (FL) straight to the NBA and the Rookie of the Year Award. Beginning to hit his stride against after missing his fourth year as a pro due to an injury. Three time All-Star. One of the best young players in the game. Should be a dominant force for a long time, as long as he’s willing to be coached and co-exist within a team structure, which evidently isn’t always the case.

Offense: Gets his touches from a very equal blend of diverse situations including: spot ups, fast breaks, cuts, post ups, isolations, and pick and rolls. Ranks as one of the most efficient offensive players in the game due to the number of open looks he gets at the rim. Is the beneficiary of great guard play and a tremendous supporting cast, but is a tremendous talent as well. Does a great job moving into the open area at the rim when his teammates draw his defender. Runs the floor well, and trails plays straight to the rim looking for putbacks. Makes extremely quick cuts to the rim from the high post. Has no trouble finishing at the rim. Uses his incredible athleticism to weave around defenders for easy lay ins. Blows by his man, even with very limited room to operate. Likes to take a dribble left and use his extremely explosive first step to get his man next to him before using his footwork to seal his man away from the ball. Uses leverage to get to the front of the rim or get position for offensive rebounds. Has become a great catch and shoot player. Has a very high release point on his jumper and nice touch. Capable of turning over either shoulder to score with his back to the basket. Uses incredibly quick up and under moves and drop steps. Goes right at his defender and heads to the line at a very high clip. Shoots a pretty good percentage from the charity stripe. Pretty good on the pick and roll. Good offensive rebounder. Loses the ball periodically when he puts it on the deck around the rim. Simply too explosive to contain for most defenders.

Defense: A nice weakside shot blocker who is starting to improve his defense on a night-to-night basis, but still has a long way to go. Doesn’t maximize his physical tools regularly on defense. Won’t get in a low stance to defend the perimeter or use leverage as effectively as a he does offensively when defending the post. Tends to not hedge the pick and roll despite the fact that he is more than capable of doing it. Won’t commit when he does, leading to easy outlet passes. Likes to stand in the middle of the paint and wait for the play to come to him. Isn’t a very good man-to-man defender, but can be when he makes the effort to force tough shots. Extremely foul prone. Doesn’t grab many defensive rebounds. Has always been paired with a more prolific rebounder. Could stand to work harder on the glass. Needs to dedicate himself on the defensive end to take his team to the next level.
 

YouJustGotSUNSD

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Made significant strides in his game, but has seen his conditioning drop-off dramatically after he signed his lucrative contract. Criticized for a certain lack of mental toughness. Often too unselfish for his own good, prone to inconsistency and passivity. Losing weight may help improve his relatively average athleticism.

$@%!^!$%$!#@$
 
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You can understand why several of us thought having Boris here for workouts this summer was big news. :D

Overall I think this DX evaluation was pretty accurate. The one thing I think they missed is that all signs suggest Shaq is taking his off season work more seriously than ever before. We don't know if it will make a big enough difference, but his tendency to get into conditioning related injuries these last few years may make him look like he CANNOT play at a high level. It's up to him to prove his critics wrong.
 

nowagimp

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According to this report Matt barnes sounds like marion lite.

a terriffic rebounder

very ugly shooting stroke

inconsistent shooter

doesnt get to the foul line(calling out irish here for saying barnes is much better than marion at creating his own shot)

Gets some easy looks at the rim by running the floor hard in transition, beating other players down the court. Hmmm, sounds like his success is small ball based, another marion indicator.

Ball-handling skills are poor, yup, just like shawn

Solid defender on the perimeter who had a tough time defending the power forward spot when the Warriors use small line ups. LOL at the marion comparison there.


the only difference I see is his intangibles of toughness, he is a lesser foul shooter than marion, and that he passes very well while marion was near awful. The passing alone makes me like barnes even more, but thats another small ball skill, one of the ones marion failed at.

I still really like the signing, especially the vet min cost, but I was wondering what planet guys were on when they said he was much better than marion at creating his own shot, never saw that and apparently neither did scouts.
 
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According to this report Matt barnes sounds like marion lite.

a terriffic rebounder

very ugly shooting stroke

inconsistent shooter

doesnt get to the foul line(calling out irish here for saying barnes is much better than marion at creating his own shot)

Gets some easy looks at the rim by running the floor hard in transition, beating other players down the court. Hmmm, sounds like his success is small ball based, another marion indicator.

Ball-handling skills are poor, yup, just like shawn

Solid defender on the perimeter who had a tough time defending the power forward spot when the Warriors use small line ups. LOL at the marion comparison there.


the only difference I see is his intangibles of toughness, he is a lesser foul shooter than marion, and that he passes very well while marion was near awful. The passing alone makes me like barnes even more, but thats another small ball skill, one of the ones marion failed at.

I still really like the signing, especially the vet min cost, but I was wondering what planet guys were on when they said he was much better than marion at creating his own shot, never saw that and apparently neither did scouts.

Barnes is also better at making his own shot and getting to the basket, but overall I drew the same conclusion. His outside shooting worries me, but he should fill the gap that was created when Marion was traded. I don't expect much of the small ball lineup, but there are situations when it really works. The problem with D'Antoni's small ball was that it was all they had.
 

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The problem with D'Antoni's small ball was that it was all they had.

so having a crappy bench didnt figure in huh? Barnes looks like a DA type player is all I was suggesting, a player that plays multiple positions and can beat his man down floor on one end and be undersized at the other. this is how Barnes has had his success, not sure how he will do in the slowdown game. The other part is that barnes gets alot of easy looks at the rim in transition, like marion, but doesnt hit near the percentage. With baron davis and monta ellis, stephen jackson running around the 4th option should not be smothered defensively.
 

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According to this report Matt barnes sounds like marion lite.

a terriffic rebounder

very ugly shooting stroke

inconsistent shooter

doesnt get to the foul line(calling out irish here for saying barnes is much better than marion at creating his own shot)

Gets some easy looks at the rim by running the floor hard in transition, beating other players down the court. Hmmm, sounds like his success is small ball based, another marion indicator.

Ball-handling skills are poor, yup, just like shawn

Solid defender on the perimeter who had a tough time defending the power forward spot when the Warriors use small line ups. LOL at the marion comparison there.


the only difference I see is his intangibles of toughness, he is a lesser foul shooter than marion, and that he passes very well while marion was near awful. The passing alone makes me like barnes even more, but thats another small ball skill, one of the ones marion failed at.

I still really like the signing, especially the vet min cost, but I was wondering what planet guys were on when they said he was much better than marion at creating his own shot, never saw that and apparently neither did scouts.

He doesn't have Marion's athleticism but he plays a more physical style of defense. Marion's defensive ability came as a result of quick hands and feet and excellent hops. This guy plays with a chip on his shoulder.
 

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This article is dead on. Completely unbiased and accurate.

Pretty good except:

The "relatively average athleticism" tag on Diaw is puzzling. The suns say he has the best vertical(40") on the team. WTF is athleticism if not speed and leaping ability. Or perhapos the suns were really talking about shawn marks having that 40" vertical. I'll bet marks would really "suprise some people" then.

the article also paints grant hill as not a good on ball defender, but a smart defender. I tend to agree with this at grants age, he does get beat quite a bit off the dribble by many wings, guards.
 

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Just because Diaw can jump doesn't mean he should be labeled athletic. It's not like he uses that amazing leaping to grab rebounds or block shots. He is also slow. Oh, and he was so out of shape when he came into camp that it was worth reporting.

Great jumping + slow + out of shape = average athlete


p.s. recall a game where Hill was legitimately beat off the dribble and his opponent blew by him.
 
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I doubt there is anybody who has not been beaten off the dribble. IMHO Hill does a decent job on defense, but I expect Barnes will do better.

I don't know how much of Diaw's issues are conditioning or just lack of intensity. I don't think of him as a super athlete but more of a skills guy anyway, but obviously he needs to play harder.
 

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so having a crappy bench didnt figure in huh? Barnes looks like a DA type player is all I was suggesting, a player that plays multiple positions and can beat his man down floor on one end and be undersized at the other. this is how Barnes has had his success, not sure how he will do in the slowdown game. The other part is that barnes gets alot of easy looks at the rim in transition, like marion, but doesnt hit near the percentage. With baron davis and monta ellis, stephen jackson running around the 4th option should not be smothered defensively.

We will NEVER play Barnes at PF, so he won't be undersized any more.

Look at all the players we've chosen over the summer, we added a lot of SIZE.

Dragic, 6-4, very big for PG, though need more muscle.
Robin Lopez, 7, very good for center.
Barnes, 6-7, prototype SF.
Amundson, 6-9, good for PF.
Tucker, 6-6, prototype SG (he wasn't really here last season).

It looks like we'll never play small ball again.

Uptempo != Small. The new guys r all very athletic. We can run really high pace offense with them. While on defence end, r overall good size, even oversized at a few position.

By the way, we'll probably use Hill in half-court set, and Barnes mainly in running game.
 
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We will NEVER play Barnes at PF, so he won't be undersized any more.

I don't expect to see it often, but there are situations when you would like to have four three point shooters and having Barnes at PF might work. But overall, I don't see it happening very often.

It looks like we'll never play small ball again.

Under D'Antoni, it was always small ball. The record is clear that it worked against a lot of teams. But it didn't work against the elite teams which is why they needed to make a change.

Uptempo != Small. The new guys r all very athletic. We can run really high pace offense with them. While on defence end, r overall good size, even oversized at a few position.

This comment is very confusing. IMHO, uptempo does not automatically mean small. The Showtime Lakers were by no means small and they ran all the time.
 

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Sorry Irish. "!=" is a keyword in computer programming world, it means "Not Equal".

It is not well known, I probably shouldn't have used it.
 

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Pretty good except:

The "relatively average athleticism" tag on Diaw is puzzling. The suns say he has the best vertical(40") on the team. WTF is athleticism if not speed and leaping ability.
There is no way that this is accurate.
#1 has to be Alando Tucker
Prob Matt Barnes
Prob Amare even post-micro-fracture
Maybe even Grant Hill at his age
Diaw is 6'8" there is no way that his vertical is 40"
I mean we've all watched the games.....
Hell LeBron is 6'8" IIRC and i'm not even sure his vertical reaches 40"
If the SUNS said that then they're smokin' something.
 
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I get the impression a lot of people confuse verticle with total reach (standing plus verticle). There are tiny guys like Nate Robinson who can leap through the roof, but won't get higher than a a tall guy with long arms but not much jumping skills. Boris has nice standing reach, but IMHO not all that great a hop.
 

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The 40" vert story came from the 06-07 season. Apparently, Amare and Marion were claiming they had the best vert, so they had a competition with that vert stick tool. They kept breaking even, then Diaw came onto the practice court with a croissant*, asked what they were doing, gave it a try, and dominated both of them with a 40 incher.

I seriously doubt he has achieved such a feat in a regular game though.







*he didn't have a croissant
 

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There is no way that this is accurate.
#1 has to be Alando Tucker
Prob Matt Barnes
Prob Amare even post-micro-fracture
Maybe even Grant Hill at his age
Diaw is 6'8" there is no way that his vertical is 40"
I mean we've all watched the games.....
Hell LeBron is 6'8" IIRC and i'm not even sure his vertical reaches 40"
If the SUNS said that then they're smokin' something.

This was reported by the suns and talked about on this site a few years back. Right now, I expect the best jumper is DJ(reportedl;y 40"+), he was better than tucker in college, and he's better now. Amare was about 37-38" in the draft, but he gets there very quickly at 6'11", very quickly. A quick jumper can actually be more effective in bothering shots or finishing at the rim. There are quick jumpers and then there is ultimate vertical. And no george, I dont confuse reach with vertical, I used to have a mid 30's vertical(34-35"), I know what it is. The suns stated that Diaw had a 40" vertical, tested best on the team. The problem with watching him in a game and trying to interpret his leaping ability is that his footwork on offense is never designed to dunk or finish strong(he's a finnese player), his strides are too long for the best takeoff and his footwork going to the tim is not designed for a power finish(ughhh!). He also plays position defense, and is almost never faked into jumping, its a fundamental thing, the best defenders dont try to block their mans shot when pump faked.

Here is a scouting report of diaw, a "superb athlete", not average, ughhh!

from the article:

"An early entry. ... May be best athlete in the draft. ... Has tremendous leaping ability, wingspan and explosive quickness. ... A great passer. ... Quick hands and long arms make him a defensive threat."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/draft/2003-small-forwards.htm

I stand by my criticism on the accuracy of the scouting report. Average athlete, bullcrap, somebody didnt do their homework.
 
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This was reported by the suns and talked about on this site a few years back. Right now, I expect the best jumper is DJ(reportedl;y 40"+), he was better than tucker in college, and he's better now. Amare was about 37-38" in the draft, but he gets there very quickly at 6'11", very quickly. A quick jumper can actually be more effective in bothering shots or finishing at the rim. There are quick jumpers and then there is ultimate vertical. And no george, I dont confuse reach with vertical, I used to have a mid 30's vertical(34-35"), I know what it is. The suns stated that Diaw had a 40" vertical, tested best on the team. The problem with watching him in a game and trying to interpret his leaping ability is that his footwork on offense is never designed to dunk or finish strong(he's a finnese player), his strides are too long for the best takeoff and his footwork going to the tim is not designed for a power finish(ughhh!). He also plays position defense, and is almost never faked into jumping, its a fundamental thing, the best defenders dont try to block their mans shot when pump faked.

Here is a scouting report of diaw, a "superb athlete", not average, ughhh!

from the article:

"An early entry. ... May be best athlete in the draft. ... Has tremendous leaping ability, wingspan and explosive quickness. ... A great passer. ... Quick hands and long arms make him a defensive threat."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/draft/2003-small-forwards.htm

I stand by my criticism on the accuracy of the scouting report. Average athlete, bullcrap, somebody didnt do their homework.

This is why I don't take scout reports very seriously.
 

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I dont appreciate Diaws contract or the suns difficulties in getting him in the right role, but I like him as a player for the suns. He will defend strong SF's like artest and lebron better than anyone on the suns, PG's like tony parker or even tim duncan in a pinch when shaq gets in foul trouble, and he did that much better than skinner did. He SHOULD be complementary with amare, but its the opposite so far. Diaw needs shooters to space the floor so he has the room to take a bigger guy off the dribble from the elbow or a smaller one down on the block. Because he isnt a shooter himself, he needs shooters around him to be effective even more. Hopefully porter can figure it out. The great spurs coaches couldnt figure out how to get Hedo turkoglu into their offense and now hes an all star with a killer outside shot, and he can go to the hoop. They got almost nothing for Hedo when he left because he didnt put up good numbers in their offense. Even good coaching staffs have development problems with the talented euro players its a different game over there, many talented ones have difficulty adapting. Will diaw bust out into a much better contributor under porter? I dunno, porter hasnt developed any euros that I know of. if porter can show a skill in player development, that would be a great start to his tenure in phoenix. As many have stated here DA didnt do much player development, perhaps porter can put diaw in the right situations and train him to be a more potent piece of the rotation. I doubt that will happen if the suns dont shoot the ball well from outside.
 

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This is why I don't take scout reports very seriously.

Diaws father was a high jump champion, its even genetic. Saying he is an average athlete flies in the face of just about every other scouting report. I'll take the numbers and the genetics over "I watched him play". Frankly do you think the suns trainser would say Diaw won the vert jump when amare was competing. the dude is so publicity concious he wouldnt let that statement stand if it weren't true.
 

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If Diaw won the vertical jump I wouldn't be surprised. He is a player that can do some amazing things athletically. I think his versatility has held him back so we do not get to see all his abilities concentrated in a particular endeavor on the court. He almost seems like a player without a true position as he blends into the game. Perhaps if Diaw did only one or two things well and did them aggressively he would really stand out.
 
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Diaw, at least two years ago, was the best leaper on the team as far as total height. That was related on the air by a number of Suns staff, players and employees. Marion's advantage was how fast he was able to get up, come down, and go back up.

Diaw probably has more potential than any other Sun when it comes to physical ability and skill set. The problem is between his ears.

This vid is old but Diaw dunks from behind the FT line, which most NBA players cannot do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47apfuHCgrA
 
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