Early NBA Rookie of the Year candidates

  • Page Views 449
  • As the NBA continues its evolution towards the perimeter, talented forwards who were without a position in the previous back-to-the-basket era and seemingly without a role in the current pace-and-space era have emerged as the league’s newest super-subs.

    These forwards are the antithesis of the modern NBA big man: They post up fewer than five times a game, attempt fewer than two three-pointers a night and aren’t true rim protectors.

    Yet Julius Randle, Domantas Sabonis and Montrezl Harrell are all front-runners for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Another forward playing a similar role, Marvin Bagley, will most-likely be a First Team All-Rookie performer, too.

    In the past if a power forward didn’t have a traditional low-post game or size or couldn’t stretch the defense from the three-point line, then more often than not, that guy couldn’t stay on the court — no matter how talented and athletic he was.

    There were occasionally those who did carve out a role, such as Corliss Williamson and Thad Young, but for every one of them, there are probably twice as many guys, such as Ike Diogu, Derrick Williams, Earl Clark and Anthony Randolph, who were out of the league before turning 30.

    Meaning Randle, Sabonis, Harrell and Bagley are simply outliers? Or are they pioneers for a new age, star sixth man — an alternate to the score-first, Lou Williams-type guard off the bench?

    After examining these super-subs’ respective games, it appears that teams have gotten smarter about exploiting mismatches against other teams’ second units by bringing these talented forwards off the bench and playing to their respective strengths.

    Each of these players has a unique game with certain high-level attributes. For Randle, they are his powerful drives to the basket and his ability to finish through contact. For Sabonis, they are his screening and touch inside the paint. For Harrell, they are his smart cutting and relentless finishing at the rim. And for Bagley, they are his speed in the open court and vertical athleticism on lobs and offensive rebounds.

    Did you know that only four non-guards have won Sixth Man of the Year this century? Or that the last non-guard to win was Lamar Odom in 2011? The sixth man du jour around the NBA is ripe for change, and these aforementioned niche forwards seem ready to take the mantle from the heat check combo guards.

    If this trend continues, look for the Lakers to ultimately test this role out with Kyle Kuzma, or better yet, Brandon Ingram. If Jabari Parker can recommit himself to the game, he would seem like an ideal candidate for this role as well.

    Same goes for guys such as Dario Saric, Jonathan Isaac or even Michael Porter Jr. when he gets healthy. Any forward who has an obvious set of skills but doesn’t have a true position can potentially thrive in this role.

    By EDDIE G. ALINEA

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 22 March 2019
      1 day ago No comment

      Angel still queen as ‘General’s Daughter’ of primetime; As ‘Kadenang Ginto’ smashes own record thrice in one week

      “The General’s Daughter” remained the far-and-away No. 1 program in its time slot despite a new rival, cementing the status of lead star Angel Locsin as the current queen of primetime. The Dreamscape production scored a nationwide rating of 34% on March 18. That’s more than double the viewership ...

    • 22 March 2019
      1 day ago No comment

      Greta (PG)

      Ordeal! Loss of a parent can hit children hard. A young woman coming to terms with the loss of her mom gets quite the awakening In Greta. Smart studios typically release horror films or suspense laden thrillers towards the fall. In a brilliant bit of counter programming Universal Studios ...

    • 22 March 2019
      1 day ago No comment

      Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada’s Economy

      Kagawaran ng Pananalapi ng Canada Noong 2015, ang mga masisipag na Canadians ay nagpatunay na pag gusto nating lumakas ang ekonomiya, ang unang dapat gawin ay palakasin natin ang middle class. Ang mga kababayan natin ay pinili ang gobyerno na ito upang bigyang-puhunan ang mga middle class at sa ...

    • 22 March 2019
      1 day ago No comment

      FOX makes first Filipino film

      FOX Networks Group (FNG) Philippines produces its very first film, the horror-thriller Maledicto, which rolls into cinemas nationwide on May 1 Philippines — FOX, home to hit series and Hollywood movies, makes its first foray into the Filipino movie-making industry. FOX Networks Group (FNG) Philippines produces its very first ...

    • 22 March 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Movie Review: ‘One Great Love’

      It is more than possible to realize that the love of your life has been there all along. Perhaps the one you have been looking for to complete you has been around for so long and much closer to you than you had thought. “One Great Love” from Regal ...

    %d bloggers like this: