Stretch Big

Isaiah Hartenstein Scouting Report

Excellent work by Artur Kowis. Everyone is encouraged to check out Artur’s blog ‘BallTrackr‘ and to follow him on twitter @arturkowis.

ball.trackr..

this is part of what originally was a post for go-to-guys.de: http://go-to-guys.de/2015/09/12/isaiah-hartenstein/

  • 2nd highest Usage at 30.2%.
  • 42% of his shots came from beyond the arc (7th highest rate among all players listed either PF or C with significant minutes played)
    • 28% three point shooter, mostly out of pick & pop situations. A fair bunch of tough shots for a disappointing TS% of 49% (even though still somewhat acceptable for a young alent trying to do so much for his team offensively).
    • Unlike some tweeners playing in the frontcourt at this level, Hartenstein has legit big man height at 6’11 with a good frame, length and great hands. However, Hartenstein tries to impact the game from the perimeter, shooting from long distance and driving frequently – probably idolizes Kevin Durant.
  • Drew a very good amount of free throws considering that he’s rarely played under the rim.
    • Shot a disappointing 53%…

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Pure Passer, Shot Creator, Tall Passer

Luka Doncic Scouting Report

(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)

CONTEXT

You have heard of Dragan Bender, Zhou Qi and Thon Maker by now – the next generation of foreign-born phenoms who are about to reach the NBA in the next couple of years, and you will soon be hearing whispers about Luka Doncic as well.

Competing against an older age group, the 16-year-old born in Slovenia led Real Madrid to titles in the Spanish league U18 and the Adidas Next Generation Tournament last season. He already logged 24 minutes with the senior squad in five appearances in the Spanish ACB, to dip his toes in the water, and needed only six seconds to hit his first shot as a pro.

Listed at six-foot-six and 195 pounds, Doncic has a big frame for someone his age and some more playing time as a pro might be in the horizon. Real Madrid currently lists him as part of the senior squad and didn’t sign a third string point guard this summer, which suggests they might be planning on carrying the teenager in the active roster often next season.

PLAYMAKING

Doncic has prototypical size for a wing but his skill-set is perfectly suited to run point. He was responsible with initiating offense for Real Madrid’s junior squad and the one tasked with coming up with something late in the shot clock, after a busted play or off an offensive rebound (which resets the shot clock to 14 in FIBA rules).

Doncic is not very explosive turning the corner to get into the lane out of the pick-and-roll against a set defense on a play-to-play basis. But he might be one of those special passers who doesn’t have to in order to create shots for others. He has excellent court vision – passing ahead in transition, anticipating rotations by the defense in the half-court and hitting teammates cutting to the rim with great timing.

According to the Euroleague’s website, Doncic posted 45 assists in 231 minutes, an average of seven assists per 36 minutes, in two events of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament. According to stats made available by the Spanish federation, Doncic posted 32 assists in 120 minutes in the Spanish league U18, an average of 9.6 assists per 36 minutes.

He is also, however, quite reckless trying to thread the needle with these passes, which makes him turnover prone at this point. Doncic turned it over 29 times in the Adidas Next Generation events (an average of 4.5 turnovers per 36 minutes) and 18 times in the Spanish league U18 (an average of 5.4 turnovers per 36 minutes). These giveaways are mostly bad passes, as his handle is not too loose and he is attentive to dribble the ball low in traffic.

He is more often looking to pass on the move but can create his own shot in isolation against that age group. His first step isn’t all that impressive in these instances and he rarely blows by his man on his way to the basket but Doncic can sustain his balance through contact and is able to go side-to-side to force his opponent into hesitation, managing to get separation and pull-up comfortably from mid-range.

SCORING

Like most players his age, Doncic is at best a capable open-shot shooter at this point. He can make outside shots, both off the bounce and off the catch, when he has time to go through his motion comfortably. With a hand in his face, the consistency is not there yet. Doncic hit 12 of the 39 three-point shots he took in nine appearances at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament but just six of his 21 such attempts in six games of the Spanish league U18.

He gets little elevation off the ground, sometimes even looking like a set shooter, which results in a low point in his release. His mechanics are clean but the shooting motion is a bit methodical.

Doncic can get to the basket on drives against a set defense from time to time but doesn’t attack the rim with any sort of explosiveness and hasn’t shown the ability to hang in the air to finish around length. He has flashed an euro-step to get around rim protection in transition but that hasn’t really been a go-to move of his in the half-court.

DEFENSE

Doncic gets on his stance and plays with effort, which is encouraging for someone his age. Even though he was a year or two younger than most of the opponents he played against, Doncic was a decent defender thanks to his size and has the physical attributes to develop into an impact player on that end.

He sometimes gets caught on screens but has enough foot speed to recover to his man well and make himself a threat to block the shot or shut down the passing lane as a trailer. Doncic has lateral quickness to guard players of that age group in isolation and use the strength in his frame to contain dribble penetration through contact. There is no record of his wingspan but he appears to have good length to contest shots effectively defending on the ball, though his closeouts to spot-up shooters leave something to be desired.

His contribution on the glass does not, though. Doncic was excellent tracking the ball off the rim against that level of competition, using his edge in athleticism to make an impact helping Real Madrid protect the glass. He averaged 10.1 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes in the Adidas Next Generation and 12.3 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes in the Spanish league U18 – incredible marks for any guard.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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7-footer, Stretch Big, Tall Passer

Thon Maker Scouting Report

(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)

CONTEXT

Thon Maker has some of the most impressive highlight clips you will ever find on YouTube. Standing at seven-foot-one, it seems unreal how he is able to crossover opposing big men and hit step-back jump-shots as if he were a true perimeter player.

On the surface, Maker appears to be a revolutionary figure – a true seven-footer with the handles and the mobility of a perimeter player. But a closer look reveals he, just like any other 18-year-old out there, is still far from being someone who can “change the game”.

COORDINATION & STRENGTH

The top issue Maker faces in his development is his lack of coordination. He has soft hands and quite good handles for someone his size but struggles making plays off the dribble. Yes, clips of him crossing over dudes exist but the far more common occurrence is Maker trying to go around an opponent with his long strides but often losing his balance, his momentum charging forward, his pivot foot.

Maker can handle the ball on the break but rarely gets to the rim on drives against a set defense in the half-court, prone to having the ball stripped in traffic, and even struggles attacking closeouts. These issues make it tough to project him as a perimeter player at this point.

His favorite move is flashing to the foul line, turning slowly to face the defender and attempting to blow by him for a short drive. That’s often unsuccessful as Maker doesn’t have an explosive first step, can’t change speeds and struggles to sustain his balance through contact.

When he does manage to stumble his way to the basket, Maker is hardly in a position to elevate and hang in the air or finish around the rim with explosiveness against an opponent contesting him.
From a prototypical big man standpoint, Maker struggled to catch passes on the move and to bring the ball down, gather himself and elevate off two feet at the Hoop Summit. He also hasn’t done well with his back to the basket against a higher level of competition within his age group.

Maker improved his physique since transferring to Canada, listing as a 218-pounder at the Nike Hoop Summit, but that extra weight hasn’t yet translated into strength. He struggles to establish deep position in the low block, often gets pushed off from his spot and couldn’t back down high profile opponents at the Hoop Summit and the Fab 48. He was unable to hold his ground against physical types on the other end as well.

TOUCH

Without a power game and the footwork needed to set up turnaround or running hook attempts, Maker relies on his face-up jump-shot to score from the post. And that’s a legit weapon of his. Maker is not a consistent knockdown shooter just yet but has a beautiful touch on his step-back, fadeaway jumper and should develop this as his top skill moving forward.

He’s a capable catch-and-shoot three-point shooter, with great mechanics on the release (also witnessed in his foul shooting form) but a bit loose and methodical bringing the ball up. With his mobility in open space, the dream would be for Maker to develop into the sort of shooter who can come off side screens or take shots out of the pick-and-pop but that’s just a dream for now, as he is a mere open-shot shooter at this stage of his development.

Another area his touch shines through is his passing. Maker has demonstrated the ability to scan the floor, facing the defense or with his back to the basket in the low post, and assist cutters diving to the rim. As mentioned earlier, he is not an option to run pick-and-rolls or pass on the move out of isolation at all for now and even making plays out of the short roll would probably be a stretch for him. But Maker could absolutely be an asset to help facilitate offense from the elbows or playing above the foul line, with his height putting him at a position of leverage as it permits to see over the defense.

MOTOR

Just about every event he participates, Maker impresses with his activity. While he struggles moving in tight spaces, Maker looks absolutely great on the open floor, sprinting up the court without the ball in transition with a lot of fluidity, able to play above the rim as a target for lobs.

Below the rim, he is a very good offensive rebounder. Maker has ‘second jump-ability’ to keep fighting for 50-50 balls in the air and a seven-foot-three wingspan to rebound outside of his area. He averaged 3.4 offensive rebounds per game at the Under Armor Association circuit this year and even in his poor appearance at the Hoop Summit, he managed to grab five offensive rebounds in just 14 minutes of playing time.

On the defensive glass, Maker does look to box out more often than not but doesn’t tend to get physical with his opponents and has shown only so-so instincts tracking the ball off the rim with a lot of quickness. Most of his boards on that end tend to be uncontested.

He can play above the rim as a shot blocker thanks to his length and ability to get off the ground in a pinch, averaging 2.2 blocks per game at the Under Armor Association. He is also able to contest perimeter shots effectively. But it’s unclear for now whether Maker is the sort of rim protector who only blocks the front of the rim when he is parked inside the lane or a full time rim protector, always focused on coming off the weak-side to be a constant shot blocking threat.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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