Not getting the Doncic hype
Here’s his last game. I see a guy who doesnt dribble with his left, doesn’t have elite hops or athleticism, and relies on getting to the line for points. What is all the hype about?
@justanotherfan what do you see here?
@approxinfinity They are projecting he goes b4 Bagley. I don’t understand it, either.
Bilas says he isn’t very athletic, but he is very skilled. He became the youngest euroleague MVP at 19; started playing pro ball at 13 years old. Doncic is supposed to have great court vision as well. I’m not sure of the intangibles, I’ve never seen him play or even watched highlights. Just regurgitating what’s been recently reported about him. I have no opinion.
Wasn’t everyone freaked out on how great Ricky Rubio was, as well?
He has been with the Real Madrid, one of the better teams in Europe, for 4 years and he was the Euro League and Tournament MVP. He is indeed skilled, smart and with good basketball IQ but athletically he is average but he does maximize what he has.
Wow, looks like a poor mans Georges Niang with worse handles. It honestly looks like he has very little athleticism whatsoever and can’t even dribble with his left hand. I wouldn’t draft him if there were 4 rounds, if he gets drafted he better sign whatever he can because he’ll last about as long as a fart in the wind. I would take any KU player on scholarship before him.
Pure stroke. NBA ready body. Only 19. At 6’6 and 220 LBs he can play a stretch 4 and be a mismatch offensively. Has great court vision. Able to finish through contact. Decent rebounded.
I see a guy with a high floor and a low ceiling. But, in today’s NBA, he seems like a great fit for that stretch 4 spot.
First, we have to look at the level he is playing at. He is playing in the top league in Spain, and in the EuroBasket champions league. Basically, that’s the second best league in the world. The level of play there is higher than D1 basketball overall. Most D1 players could not play in the top Spanish league, or in the top level of EuroBasket.
So from a competition standpoint, he grades out high - the things he can do against the competition there will likely translate to the NBA because the competition jump will not be as great as it would be for a player from college to the NBA.
So let’s talk skills. He’s an average athlete by pro standards. He won’t blow you away, but he’s not a poor athlete. Here are some of his top plays from last year.
You can see he’s not going to amaze you with his athleticism as far as speed and leaping ability, but he has great body control and coordination.
His quickness is probably underrated a bit. Check out play #7, at 1:25 in this clip. He shifts gears in the open floor and just leaves his man in the dust, then confronts the defender in the middle of the lane, takes the bump and gets the off hand reverse to go even though he never gets to the left side of the rim. As I observed with Quentin Grimes yesterday, the ability to maintain body control and balance is an underrated part of athleticism.
Similarly play 6 is impressive because it shows him blocking a dunk with his off hand. He’s not a great leaper, but there aren’t many non centers in basketball that can turn away a dunk with their off hand. I don’t think he will be a great defender at the NBA level, but that’s a hell of a play.
He can really shoot it, and his handle is good. His right to left crossover keeps guys off balance, so the deception is effective. He’s also big enough that his shot is difficult to bother.
And then there is the passing. Check out the pass at 4:43 in the clip. That’s a behind the back pocket bounce pass to a rolling big on the move. Hits him in stride for the dunk. There’s a short list of current NBA players that can make that pass against that defense on the money.
His NBA floor is Lonzo Ball, but a better shooter. That’s his floor.
His most likely landing spot is fringe all star - someone on the level of a guy like Steve Smith.
I can’t pinpoint a ceiling for him, because we don’t really have a guard with that size, plus his passing and shooting ability, to compare him to. A better shooting Magic Johnson is absurd, and I hate when people compare every guard above 6-7 with a little passing ability to Magic.
I’m not worried about him defensively like I worry about a guy like Trae Young because he has the size to defend different guys. Young has to deal with PGs or SGs, and he gives up a lot in the post. Doncic won’t. You can’t just switch and back him down because he’s 6-8, 230. He can’t handle the elite quickness of some NBA guards, but that’s a problem for anyone dealing with the John Wall’s, Russell Westbrook’s and Damian Lillard’s of the world.
Doncic can start on a playoff team. I don’t know that he will be a perennial all star, but I do think he will be a perennial good player because he can shoot, he won’t be a complete zero on defense and he is a very good passer.
Excellent summary. People tend to underestimate the top Euro Leagues where players tend to be less athletic than their NBA counterparts but in many ways more skilled precisely because of the lesser athleticism.
Also have to remember that Euro League players are better than most D1 players, even at the Power Conference level. A guy that can start at the high levels in Europe would likely be a dominant player at the D1 level. They may not have the eye popping athleticism, but they are still better overall players than most D1 guys.
It doesn’t ensure stardom. A guy that’s a star over there may be only a bench player in the NBA, but Euro stars are rarely simply unplayable in the NBA. That’s the comfort with Doncic - he played well at the highest level in Europe, so its doubtful he will be a complete bust. Guys coming from college have to jump several more levels, so they are more likely to bust.
@justanotherfan Thanks for the write up. I’m warming up to his play. So I’m guessing you see him as a sure deal to Atlanta, if the Hawks don’t trade down, given their need for guard play.
He looks great but I’ve been fooled before. I will wait and see.
Word from several NBA people is that if the Kings don’t take him at 2 (assuming Ayton goes 1 to Phoenix) there are a host of teams willing to trade up to 3 to get him. If that’s true, he gets taken at 3, but maybe not by Atlanta.
Of course, the Hawks always manage to do the wrong thing on draft day, so its just as likely they have several trades on the table, fail to make a decision, time runs out and the Grizzlies pick Doncic at 4 before the Hawks realize their clock expired.