Shot Creator, Stretch Big, Tall Passer

Miles Bridges Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Every team is looking for a Draymond Green these days; a big wing who can not only aid the shot creation process on dribble hand-offs, out of the short roll and handling in the secondary break but also draw opposing big men 25-feet away from the basket and force them to defend big-small pick-and-rolls out in space in a way they are not used to, while simultaneously providing excellent defense from a big position on the other end — whether it is via expert help or providing switch-ability.

That’s obviously a very difficult player to find. Green would be very valuable if he did just one or two of these things but the fact that he does them all is why he’s probably the most special non-volume scorer ever, given the way he unlocks Golden State’s most powerful lineup.

Miles Bridges hasn’t yet materialized into someone who can check all these boxes but there is no other prospect out there who looks like he is on his way to becoming something close to that sort of player down the line. And add to it that the 19-year-old[1] combo forward chose the perfect place to develop a similar skill-set to Green’s in Michigan State.

Bridges had a very productive first year in East Lansing, posting a 22.2 PER and averaging 21.1 points per 40 minutes on 56.3% effective shooting — according to our stats’ database.

He impressed with the versatility of his dribble moves and his passing on the go in instances where he was afforded shot creation opportunities, while also carrying his weight reasonably well when he was needed to spot-up off the ball.

Defensively, the six-foot-seven 230-pounder was not asked to switch onto smaller players all that frequently and operated mostly as a big man whose top responsibilities was defending the interior, impressing not just with the use of his athletic prowess to create events near the basket but also flashing recognition skills in rotations that prevented drives to the rim from happening.

[1] Who only turns 20 next March

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Standard
Shot Creator, Stretch Big, Tall Passer

Miles Bridges Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Miles Bridges has missed seven games while recovering from a high ankle sprain. But his performance over the first eight appearances of the season was very impressive, as he’s averaged 20.5 points on 54.6% effective shooting and 10.8 rebounds per 40 minutes.

After starting the season ranking him 26th, Draft Express currently has the 18-year-old (who will only turn 19 in March) 14th in their 2017 board.

The six-foot-seven combo forward is the exact sort of big wing the NBA is looking for in its stretch fours these days; not just someone who can space the floor all the way to the three-point line but someone who can also make plays off the dribble against a scrambling defense.

Bridges has also shown some potential as a rim protector, suggesting he could develop into the sort of mighty valuable chess piece who can hold up at center in smaller lineups and completely open up the floor for stretches on the other end, like a certain former Michigan State alumni has found success doing.

OFF DRIBBLE GAME

The lefty is not yet a particularly great shooter but his release off the catch seems workable and the ball is going in OK for now, as he’s nailed 15 of his 39 three-point shots so far this season.

As a credible threat from long range, Bridges demands a closeout, which creates opportunities for him to attack off the dribble. He moves very fluidly out of triple-threat position and while his 58.7% finishing at the rim (per hoop-math) is not very impressive, Bridges has flashed the ability to hang in the air, adjust his body and use his length for extended finishes around rim protectors.

But what sets him apart and offers some potential of him developing into a star in the future is his ability to initiate offense and create for others.

Bridges hasn’t yet developed a lot of dribble moves but has a crossover to shake his defender side-to-side and a spin move to get by him in isolation. He can elevate out of two feet to finish with explosiveness in traffic and has shot a decent 41.7% from mid-range when the opponent has kept him from getting to the basket, which is actually encouraging given his shot selection is quite suspect.

Bridges also has very good court vision, not just scanning the defense out of the low post but on the move as well. Michigan State has even put him in position to run some pick-and-rolls from the top against a set defense and Bridges has flashed the ability to make passes across his body to the opposite end of the court, assisting on 14% of the Spartans’ scores when he’s been on the floor – according to basketball-reference.

Having said that, his handle still needs work if he’s going to continue driving through traffic often and he needs to improve his risk assessment, as he’s averaged 4.2 turnovers per 40 minutes.

INTERIOR SCORING

Other than attacking the basket off the bounce, Bridges is a pretty good finisher as he’s proven able to play above the rim as a target for lobs on cuts and a ferocious dunker on putbacks – converting seven of his 15 offensive rebounds into second chance points.

He still needs to develop a more threatening post game in order to prevent opponents from switching against him without consequence, though. His footwork is pretty fluid and he knows how to use an escape dribble to free himself of double-teams but the touch on his hook is so-so and he hasn’t yet shown an up-and-under move or a fade-away jumper.

RIM PROTECTION

Bridges has impressed with his technique defending pick-and-rolls as a big man. He gets in a stance, can wall off dribble penetration with nice position defense and then contest a mid-range jumper effectively. Bridges has also proven able to run the shooter off the three-point line in pick-and-pop defense.

But his most appealing feature is his athleticism at the basket. Bridges can elevate off two feet with some vertical explosion to protect the front of the rim and leap off one foot to block shots coming off the weak-side in help defense, as he’s averaged 1.8 blocks per 40 minutes.

Bridges wasn’t disciplined with his boxout responsibilities in the game against Kentucky but improved in subsequent outings against Saint John’s, Baylor and Duke and has collected 21.5% of opponents’ misses so far this season.

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

Standard
Catch&Score Finisher

Deyonta Davis Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

Davis started the season looking more like a 2017 prospect but flashed, little by little, bits of a tantalizing skill level – to go with a jaw dropping physical profile and this particular year, that’s enough for him to go in the lottery. Davis showed no ounce of consistency and didn’t dominate at all in the college level but he’s 19, so the team that drafts him will be hoping he can get it going a lot more as a pro – with Andre Drummond as a similar precedent.

Davis’ best asset on offense is playing around the basket.

He can play above the rim as a target for lobs; in transition, out of the pick-and-roll and spotting up in the dunker spot. Davis has soft hands to the catch the ball on the move and can explode off the ground, converting 71.3% of his 122 shots at the rim last season – according to hoop-math.

He was also an impact player on the glass, playing with pretty good physicality in pursuit of the ball, collecting 14% of Michigan State’s misses when he was on the floor – according to our stats database. More impressively, Davis proved himself able to elevate with power and transform many of those offensive rebounds into immediate putbacks.

On defense, that explosiveness translates in his ability to play above the rim as a shot blocker, not just coming off the weak-side as a help-defender but also elevating out of two feet protecting the front of the basket – erasing 10% of opponents’ attempts last season.

His biggest impact is defending close to the rim but he’s proven he’s not weakened when drawn away from the lane to defend face-up big men in isolation. Davis is very agile for someone his size, able to bend his knees and move his feet laterally very fluidly.

The problem is he’s not really any sort of an asset from a skill-level perspective at this point of his development.

Davis can get a decent seal in the mid-post area and flashed very appealing footwork for someone his age but struggles when crowded and with his touch when the opponent gets physical with him. That’s also the case on non-dunk finishes against length. And, despite the glimpses, he is not really a real jump-shooting threat as of now and he also hasn’t shown any instincts as a passer.

But more concerning, probably, is how much Davis looks lost in pick-and-roll defense and defending off the ball in general, to the point where it’s questionable how hard he plays on that end. Despite all his physical gifts, Davis collected just 19% of opponents’ misses last season – which is a disappointing mark when you consider the way he looks on the other glass.

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

Standard