2015 NBA DRAFT BREAKDOWN – Kelly Oubre Jr.

Games Watched: v. Kentucky, v. Baylor at Big 12 Championship and v. Wichita State in NCAA Tournament

Age: 19 years old won’t turn 20 till December of rookie year

Measurable: 6’7 203 pounds. 7’2.25” wingspan and 8’6.5” standing reach. No Step Vert 34.5 and Max Vert 37.

Numbers: 21 minutes a game at Kansas. Averaged 9 pts on 7 shots a game. Shot 44% and 36% from three. Grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 1 assist a game. Also had 1 steal a game.

Locke Take: Young long left handed wing player. Plays a smooth game. Has a solid handle and shoots the three comfortably. Doesn’t make a large impact on the game. Large part of this, is how Bill Self uses his wings. Remember how little Andrew Wiggins did last year. However, in the three games I watched I never saw a special athletic play. He never made a play where he was superior talent wise. Nice player with an array of talents. Good show and go game off the three point line and was under control making the next decision. Used mostly as catch and shoot player and hit on an efg of 54% of catch and shoot. Shot just 33% off the bounce. No NBA talent jumped out. Length is his best attribute. Has a nice feel for the game defensively. He shades correctly and understands defensive aspects of the game. Does a good job on the pick and roll guarding the ball handler. Plays too much of the game passively. Never saw him assert himself on a game or a play. Playing hard is a skill he will need to attain. So young needs to and will be much stronger.

College Game Impact: Very rarely played in any space. Had a few chances to handle in the pick and roll. Only ran 42 pick and rolls as the ball handler all season. Anytime he went to the basket it was crowded. Perry Ellis was focus of offense down low and Mason dominated ball on the top.

Will be good pro if .. if his shot can be consistent has nice length to be able to get it off. If he spaces the floor well he will be able to play off the bounce and make plays in the lane with the shot or the dribble. Length will give him chance to be good defensive player and he understands the game and where he is supposed to be on the floor.

Will not have a good career if …. He doesn’t play harder. Was a passive player at Kansas. Needs to get stronger to be able to play with contact and make plays on 50-50 balls. Might not be a good enough athlete. Might not be that good a shooter. On spot up chances in college he hit on just 29 of 81 for (36%). Most of those were threes.

INSIDER – Jazz bigs and how they have played together

Quin Snyder has had the difficult task of dividing 96 minutes a night between 4 good big man, Derrick Favors, Enes Katner, Rudy Gobert and Trevor Booker.   Each player has there strengths and weaknesses and in turn compliment each other differently.

What is striking is how this has changed through the season as the defensive system has evolved for the Utah Jazz.

The following chart is the Jazz big man pair for the first half of the season

playing pair bigs 1st half

 

The much talked about Gorbert and Favors combo was rarely used in the first half of the season.   In the first half of the season each line-up with Enes Kanter was a disaster.

Since Dec 19th the halfway point of the 52 games so  far things have been very different

jazz 2nd half bigs

 

The Favors/Gobert combo has become a much more prominent line-up.  Most interestingly the Kanter and Favors line-up has gone from -5.2 per 100 possessions to a -.3 over 100 possessions.  A great improvement.    In addition, the Favors/Booker that was prominent in the first half of the season and unsuccessful has been reduced to particular circumstances and been much more successful .

All three line-ups with Enes Kanter on the floor area above better than league average defensively.  League average is 103.7 and Kanter/Favors is 101.7 since Dec 18th.  101.7 would rank 11th in NBA for a team.   Kanter/Gobert is 100.4 would rank 9th.

What is most exciting about the above graph is that over the last half of the season every Jazz big man pair, other than Booker and Gobert, is a really strong defensive unit.   They have not figured out how to score yet, but they are all defending very well.

 

BREAKDOWN – The evolution of Derrick Favors into a force

 

Eyes have been glued to every Dante Exum move, Rudy Gobert has become must watch on the defensive end and Gordon Hayward has proven he can be a star in the NBA.  In the midst of all those story lines this year , the quiet kid from Atlanta, Georgia has calmly taken an enormous jump as a player.

In 4 of the last 5 games Derrick Favors has notched a 20 point, 10 rebound game.  He has scored 20 points or more in more games this year than he did the entire year last year.  He is shooting a career high 55.5%. His scoring jump over the last three years is 9.4 to 13.3 to 16.2.   The list continues, career high in assists, free throws attempts, offensive rebounds and lowest turnover per game since his rookie year.

Numerous factors have come together for Favors to make this step.   He is a starter for the 2ndyearbuilding off last year’s 73 starts.  His weight training work with Mark McKown has been consistent and the dividends are showing.     Favors spent hours on end in the off-season working on his mid-range jump.   Finally, the new offensive system has moved where Favors is making his plays on the court.    Put all of these together in the same stew and a star is emerging in Derrick Favors.

The biggest change of all for Favors is where he is getting the basketball.   In the previous offensive system Favors got the ball primarily on the left block.   This year he is playing off the elbows more than he has in the past.  This allows him to attack from the top or in angle right or angle left.

Compare the shot distribution charts of Favors last year compared to this year.

2013-14 SEASON SHOT DISTRIBUTION

favors shot distrubtioon 13-14 2014-15 SHOT DISTRUBUTION

favors shot distrubution 14-15

Notice a year ago Favors used 11% of his possessions on the left block last year and this year it is down to 5.9%.  It is clear where those possessions have gone.  Rather than using 7% of his possession around the free throw line he is using nearly 15% of his possessions from straight away.

By coming from the top Favors has been able to use his quickness rather than his power.  He is able to see more of the floor and from where the defenders are converging on him.  Think of how the Suns used Amare Stoudamire with Steve Nash in Phoenix.

His effectiveness has changed as well.   The strength work has made him a force around the rim.  In the chart below you can see he has jumped from 65.5% at the rim to an impressive 72.2%.  Of players who take 5 shots or more in the restricted area per game, Favors is 4thbest in the NBA behind DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Davis and Tyson Chandler.

favors shooting contrast 13-14 to 14-15

 

Lastly, this summer Favors stayed in Salt Lake City and lived in the gym.  Each day he worked on his jump shot.  He told me the #1 area of focus was balance on this jump shot.  The work has given Favors an element to his game he never had previously.

YEAR Mid Range FG%
14-15 40% (45 fgm)
13-14 31% (54 fgm)
12-13 31% (36 fgm)
11-12 29% (21 fgm)
10-11 29% (21 fgm)

 

More impressive is what Favors is doing from 15 feet and out.

YEAR 15 Feet+ Shooting
14-15 44%  (32 fgm)
13-14 28%  (24 fgm)
12-13 23%   (17 fgm)
11-12 23%  (7 fgm)
10-11 24%  (10 fgm)

At just 23 years old there is likely more to come for Favors.  Each night he is having a larger and larger impact on games.   Who defends him is having less impact on how he performs.   Maybe most importantly, his effort level has become consistent each night.

This is all part of the process.  One of the most commonly heard things from Dennis Lindsey is the Jazz are not going to skip steps. Derrick Favors might be the best example of player going step by step through the development and beginning to come out the other side.

 

BREAKDOWN – How one hustle play changes a game

I just finished re-watching the Jazz and Bulls from last night. Fun night.

I was struck with how one play or one play linked to another can change the entire complexion of the game. With 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Jazz were still down by 15. Alec Burks bounces a tough pass to Favors in traffic. The ball is loose. Noah and Favors poke at it, then Butler joins the mix. Now it’s a 50-50 ball. Favors thinks he has it, but Butler knocks it away again and Favors continues to relentlessly battle. He maintains the possession at the 3-point line, steps forward and hits a 16-foot jumper.

If he doesn’t make this hustle play, the Jazz are down 17 after a Bulls fast break, and they are still deep in the hole and the crowd is dead. Instead, Favors hits the jumper and the Jazz are within 13.

Then the next play, Trey Burke gets a steal on a Pau Gasol pass. Gasol’s pass was a bit loose but a nice play by Trey to step in a passing lane, and then Trey hits the speed dribble up the floor.  On his way up the floor, Favors picks off a Bulls defender at half court and then as Trey hits the lane Kanter screens off Noah and clears the lane for Trey. Wide open layup.

11-point game. Crowd going nuts. All of a sudden a blowout is a ballgame.

What did it take? A hustle play. A correct defensive rotation. Two smart little plays (picks) and the Jazz were on their way.

Little plays matter. The player who doesn’t get that 50-50 ball is indirectly costing you a game. The player who doesn’t set the pick in the opening floor or screen the opposing big costs you games. These are winning plays.