With our horrible record and some overdue luck, I’m starting to think the Celtics are going to land in the top 3 of the NBA lottery. That means we should pay extra attention to the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker (please turn pro) and Joel Embiid.
David Nurse, a fairly well known skills development coach, wrote an extensive scouting report on Wiggins. Here are some excerpts:
Andrew Wiggins is a world-class athlete. You would be hard pressed to find too many athletes in the world that can run and jump and make it look as effortless as Wiggins does. It probably does help that his dad Mitchell played in the NBA and his mother Marita was a track star for Canada in the ’84 Olympics. Not too shabby of genes to have passed on if you ask me.
In transition situations alone, Wiggins is finishing at a rate of 62 percent with a 1.30 points per possession. The same video game efficiency is true on the other athlete stat – offensive rebound put-backs. Wiggins is converting 63 percent of the time at a 1.24 points per possession. The stats don’t lie: Wiggins not only is a superior athlete, but he also knows how to translate his athleticism to efficient production on the court, a skill that isn’t as easy as it may seem.
Sweet! So what’s the problem?
However, the main flaws in his game are in what I call the offensive atoms – reading and using screens, playing without the ball, and seeing the next play develop before it happens. These skills are what build the base for the entire offensive repertoire as an atom is the building block for human life. Conquering these skills is what allows a player to dominate without having to continually put points on the board. It’s what separates the Larry Birds from the Carmelo Anthonys.
As the primary ballhandler in an offensive situation, Wiggins is only converting at a 0.79 points per possession and shooting a less than efficient 33.3 percent.
Reading screens in offensive scoring opportunities, he is only slightly better at 38.5 percent. These analytical stats show that Wiggins is not comfortable in these situations. As a wing 2/3 in the NBA, it is very important to be proficient in the offensive atoms of the game.
Sh*t. Can these instincts come with time? The kid is only 18 years old.
What about the killer instinct that Wiggins allegedly lacks?
“For 10 minutes, you will be watching the best player the college game has had to offer in the last 10 years. Then for five minutes, you will forget that he is even on the floor offensively.”
Sounds like this quote fits into the exact label everyone has put on Wiggins, except for this is a direct quote from a top NBA draft scout about Kevin Durant after his freshman year at Texas. Yeah, how’s he doing? Passive? I don’t think so. The public perception is that a player with immense talent at the college level needs to go Adam Morrison/Doug McDermott every game and constantly carry the scoring load.
But the truth of the matter is, those players needed to do so for their respective teams, Wiggins didn’t. In Kansas’ 10 losses, Wiggins averaged 17.7 points per game on 13.3 shots. In KU’s 25 wins, Wiggins averaged 16.8 points on just 11.8 shots. He also attempted almost four more free throws per game in losses as opposed to wins. Those stats don’t line up with a player who lacks an aggressive mentality.
That’s a helluva rebuttal. Maybe Wiggins is the guy for Boston.
What’s the final verdict?
Best case scenario, Andrew Wiggins will have a mix of LeBron-lite and the all the positives of Rudy Gay. Worst case he will be another pogo-stick athlete whose flame burns out quicker than it was lit, a la Darius Miles.
I’m leaning strongly on the first option.
Did he say Darius Miles?
Jabari? Ja-bar-i?? Please come out for the draft!
(Image courtesy BR)