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Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat
Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards
Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Offense: An efficient offensive player who gets most of his shots in spot, transition, and pick and roll situations, and is most comfortable operating in transition. Shows a very quick release and consistent form on his jump shot. Doesnt get great elevation or have a high release point, making the speed he releases that much more important. Great catch and shoot player. Isnt bothered by a hand in his face. Very good from three-point range, and relies very heavily on this part of his game, taking about 40% of his attempts from behind the arc. Doesnt have much of an in-between game--tends to avoid taking midrange shots. Usually either takes 3-pointers or drives the ball all the way to the basket, due to his average ball-handling skills and unorthodox shooting mechanics. Takes some questionable short-range jumpers when met with a defender, since he often doesnt have the body control to slither his way around him. Will beat most help-side defenders to the rim due to his unreal quickness. Gets out in transition for long outlet passes about as well as any guard in the league. Has one of the Leagues most explosive first steps. Proves to be a capable finisher despite his size. Wont try to dunk on anyone. Knows how to use his body and the rim to shield the ball, but could do a better job initiating contact and drawing fouls. Probably at his best in transition. Will blow by defenders with ease in fast break situations, or set up for outside jump shots. Shows average ball handling ability, and noticeably favors driving left, but isnt turnover prone at all. Uses his speed, not his handle, to be effective. Often looks out of control by the time he gets to the rim. Doesnt draw as many free throws as you might expect, but hits the ones he gets at a solid clip. Not the type of player you can isolate at the top of the key and ask to create his own shot by himself. Most comfortable using a screen or operating in space in the open court. Not the most creative player around--wont bring much to the table as a passer. Can be a decent drive and dish player, but is prone to looking for his own shot. Not a point guard by any means, looks like a bit of a fish out of water when asked to be a primary ball-handler and run a complex half-court offense. Will always be limited by his size and average skill-level, but can put up big numbers (and do so efficiently) due to his speed and shooting ability, particularly playing next to a playmaker like Steve Nash and in an up-tempo system.
Defense: A very poor defensive player, despite having the prototypical physical traits of a ball hawking point guard, due to his poor fundamentals. Often asked to defend taller players, leaving him at a disadvantage. Has great quickness, but is lackadaisical and will get taken off the dribble frequently. Doesnt get low enough to effectively use his speed defensively and isnt tall enough to contest the shots of most two guards. Susceptible to being isolated against out on the perimetersomething that every team seems to do once he comes in the game. Seems to stay too high when closing out, making it easier for his man to get to the rim. Will miss a rotation every now and again. Awareness is just average, even when he does try to turn up his intensity. Gets a steal every now and then by virtue of his tremendous foot speed. May be better suited guarding point guards, but isnt able to playing mostly next to Steve Nash, who is no stopper himself.
Offense: Played the 3 and the 4 for Golden State offensively, mostly taking advantage of mismatches. Not what you would call an overly skilled player. Gets the vast majority of his shots from spot ups and fast breaks. Very aggressive with his shot selectionhas the utmost confidence in himself. Will take some ill-advised threes when spotting up. Shows a very ugly shooting stroke, shooting the ball on the way down with very little elevation, but hes managed to somehow make it work with semi-decent results. Uses his arms to get the ball to the rim, which hurts his consistency. Still capable of getting hot from that distance. Used to not be able to shoot at all, but has become passable from distance thanks to hard work, even if he has a tendency to rely on it too heavily now. Ball-handling skills are poor. Rarely gets to the free throw line. Pull-up jumper is not very effective. Gets a little too aggressive at times. Actually has a very nice feel for the game, though. Moves well off the ball, and is a very good passer for his position. Gets some easy looks at the rim by running the floor hard in transition, beating other players down the court with sheer tenacity. Needs to work on his free throw shooting, but isnt too bad from the stripe. Will crash the glass, especially when hes following transition plays.
Defense: Solid defender on the perimeter who had a tough time defending the power forward spot when the Warriors use small line ups. Not strong enough to defend true post players, but puts in the effort. Has a tough time keeping them on his back when boxing out. Gives fouls in the paint when hes beat. Much more apt at defending the perimeter, even though he suffers from a very poor wingspan. Quick feet and size help him deny penetration. Great rebounder considering his size. Capable of anticipating passes and deflecting them. Decent shot blocker as well.
Offense: A self-made offensive player that does most of his damage in catch and shoot situations. Has worked extremely hard to become a threat from the outside, and now takes nearly 60% of his field goal attempts from beyond the arc. Displays a fundamentally sound stroke with great range and solid quickness. Does a great job getting himself into position to show, using very polished perimeter footwork to shoot the same shot every time. Runs the floor well and always makes himself available when his teammates are attacking the rim. Moves well off the ball using screens very effectively. Possesses great range and has become a deadly three point shooter, one of the most prolific in the league. Primarily a catch and shoot player, but has developed a decent pull up jumper. Can knock shots down driving in either direction, but prefers to pull up when going left. Not very effective when driving right. Shows decent ball-handling skills, but isnt quick enough to use them to get to the rim. Cant turn the corner. Will have many of his drives cut off. Does a good job attempting to draw fouls with his fakes, but will often jump into the defense leading to bad shots and turnovers when he doesnt get a call. Gets to the rim at an alarmingly low rate. Doesnt go to the line at all for that reason, but shoots a tremendous percentage from the stripe. Capable of finishing at the basket, but only when the defense is out of position. Not a very good leaper and thus struggles to finish in traffic. Will get some assists in the flow of the game, but isnt a playmaking passer. Doesnt turn the ball over at all thanks to his smarts and risk-free style of play. Has worked hard to become a serviceable scorer, but lacks the athleticism to take advantage of all of his skills.
Defense: A tremendously intense defender that works as hard as any player in the game to keep his man from scoring. Always draws the toughest defensive perimeter assignment. Wont force many turnovers or block many shots. Isnt going to take any unnecessary risks or sell out his teammates by gambling. Plays a very sound and physical style of defense. Does a great job working through screens and sticking to his man like glue off the ball. Always knows where his help is. Denies penetration well, but has a hard time defending more athletic players that can turn the corner. Maximizes his physical assets defensively by working hard on every possession. Not afraid to flop in order to get a call. Will play a bit dirty at times, knows how to push the limits with his veteran savvy. Will help out with rebounding duties, but is an asset due to primarily to his man-to-man defense both on and off the ball.
Offense: Gets about one-third of his touches in catch and shoot situations from the midrange, but gets his shots from a plethora of different situations. Shows a decent mid-range jump shot that doesnt have great range or consistency. Seems to have developed a habit of flicking the ball at the rim rather than using his legs to generate power. This is largely due to the fact that he naturally leans to the left when he shoots. Doesnt make a lot of threes, which makes him a bit difficult to plug into just any offensive situation. Not a great catch and shoot player, but will make a shot or two on occasion. Nothing that can be relied upon consistently though. Struggles with his pull-up jumper as well. Gets quite a few touches in the post, and might be at his best here. Gets the vast majority of his touches on the left block, turning over his left shoulder for easy baby-hooks. Knows how to use his strong trunk to back his man down, which makes him a pretty solid weapon against certain types of player. Will show an up-and-under move or a full hook periodically. Poses a match up problem for most small forwards on the block due to his size and wingspan. Always keeps his head up for a teammate (usually Amare Stoudemire) flashing into the paint. Has very good ball handling ability for a player his size. Isnt quick enough to turn the corner, but will dribble his man down into the post and go to work. Wont be as effective when he has to create his own shot. Takes some bad off-balance short-range shots when he cant get an open look at the rim. Not the most explosive finisher at the rim, and struggles with contact. Goes to the line at a low rate due to his aversion to contact. Not an awful foul shooter, but not a good one either. Will grab an occasional offensive rebound. Sets decent screens and runs the floor well. Passes the ball wonderfully for a player his sizeamong the leagues best forwards in this area. Shows great court vision, but is often unselfish to a fault. One of the more versatile offensive players around. Not consistent enough to be a major threat, and not a great matchup against certain teams. Definitely needs to be in the right system to fully utilize his extremely unique skill-set.
Defense: Capable of defending almost any position depending on the matchup, and is often forced to due to Phoenixs limitations with Steve Nash. Has great length and is extremely crafty on this end of the floor. Doesnt force many turnovers or block many shots. Has the size to defend the post and the quickness to defend the perimeter. Shows good footwork on the defensive end and will get in a good stance on the ball. Seems to put a good effort in on this end of the court. Wont get many rebounds, tending to look for transition opportunities rather than help out on the glass. Not a dominant presence, but is useful due to the number of positions he can defend.
Giricek left the NBA to sign with Turkish Euroleague team Fenerbahce
Offense: A very aggressive offensive player who is not afraid to hoist up shots from the perimeter any time he has space. Gets half of his offense off of jumpers off of screens and spot ups. Has a very nice stroke, along with the size and quick release needed to get his shot off effectively. Solid catch and shoot guy, and very effective coming off screens. Not a one-dimensional player. Will put the ball on the floor occasionally to score, but would rather just pull the trigger as soon as he catches. Good pull up shooter. Displays solid consistency from three point range. A threat to score at any given moment. Very aggressive, and comes off the bench ready to get going. Works off the ball intelligently, and knows how to mix up his drives with his jumpers. Not athletic enough to be an effective finisher at the rim. Wont set up his teammates, but isnt turnover prone either. An offensive role player due to his ability to put the ball in the basket from the outsidemore of a 3 these days due to his limitations defending shooting guards.
Defense: An average defender who is competitive enough to put the effort in, but doesnt always have the athleticism to defend more physically gifted wing players. Will make some heady plays from time to time, and tries his best to stay in front of his man, as evidenced by his high foul rate. Lacks the lateral quickness to keep ball handlers out of the lane consistently. Does a decent job rotating out on the perimeter and getting a hand up on shooters. Wont make an effort to contribute on the glass. Better defending small forwards than shooting guards.
Offense: Gets almost one-third of his offense in transition with another third coming in catch and shoot situations. Uses his great experience and savvy to be effective in a variety of different ways, and rarely takes bad shots. Possesses a nice shooting stroke, but doesnt have great range. Shoots the ball from almost directly in front of his body with good elevation and nice follow through. Has just now in his career started to shoot more NBA 3-pointers, but is exceptionally smart at finding spots in the 16-18 foot range to get his very effective mid-range jumper off. Capable of knocking down pull up jumpers going left or right, although he prefers going right. Finishes plays at the rim at an extremely high rate despite his lack of leaping ability. Shows great touch and works hard to get himself easy opportunities at the basket. Runs the floor well, and will knows what angles to attack to fearlessly get to the rim. Wont be isolated that much in half court situations, but moves extremely well off the ball, leading to touches inside. Plays off his teammates as well as any player in the League. Fantastic at identifying and taking advantage of opportunities to cut to the rim. More of a smart passer than a playmaker now that hes not able to rely on his freakish athleticism to draw defenders. Very good solid ball handler, but will turn it over periodically when he gets caught in the lane. Gets to the line at a decent rate and shoots a great percentage. Will help out on the offensive glass. No longer the explosive top-level scorer he once was, but a smart veteran who is extremely efficient and very productive considering how much hes changed his game over time.
Defense: A capable defender that is smarter than he is talented. Doesnt have the physical assets to be a lock down defender anymore. Used to get a lot of steals, isnt able to force turnovers like he used to. Will get in a good stance and try to stay in front of his man, but will get beaten off the dribble by quicker players. Tends to play off his man to avoid getting beat. Wont miss many rotations. Isnt an ideal on-ball defender, but maximizes what quickness he does have left with hard work and great anticipation. Grabs quite a few defensive rebounds for a player that does most of his damage in transition. Not an ideal option against elite scorers, but a nice perimeter defender considering his experience-level.
Offense: The most prolific assist man in the NBA today. Does a great job setting up passing angles and deliver the ball to his teammates. Will make some fancy passes, but knows how to make them within the flow of the game. Possesses great court vision and is very good at taking what the defense gives him. Gets more than two-thirds of his touches in pick and roll situations. Has little trouble turning the corner due to his blend of tremendous quickness and ball handling ability. Shows great decision-making on the pick and roll, passing out when he gets double teamed on the trap or working the ball back into the offense off of a dribble drive. One of the best floor generals the game has ever seen. Especially gifted in transition. Always seems to be in position to get the outlet and attack. Has become a very consistent outside threat. Has always been a great shooter due to his form, but has gotten more efficient as hes aged, to the point that hes arguably the leagues best right now. Doesnt have great elevation, but has a quick trigger and isnt rattled by a hand in his face. If open, is about as automatic from beyond the arc as any player in the world. Also outstanding shooting off the dribble. Shows great footwork offensively, stepping into shots driving in either direction on the drop of a dime. Prefers to drive to his left. Will use an array of floaters and scoops from the midrange in. Capable of hitting some pretty spectacular shots. Not a great finisher due to his lack of leaping ability, but crafty nonetheless. Gets to the line at a decent rate and is lights out from the charity stripe. Has incredible shooting touch from any distance. Plays with little power, but finesse has always worked for him. Scores extremely efficiently at over 50% from the field and recently as high as 47% from beyond the arc. An extremely dominant ball-handler who is the sole catalyst of Phoenixs offense. Everything revolves around him, which makes him among the NBAs league leaders in turnovers per game, as well as assists. His incredible assist to turnover ratio and pure point rating clearly makes up for it.
Defense: Not a factor defensively, to the point that hes pretty much a liability. Doesnt have great lateral quickness or the strength to keep his man from turning the corner. Wont get a low stance unless he knows he needs to make a stop. Does a poor job in help side, getting out of position and sagging into the paint. Isnt a factor defending shooters due to his lack of size. Has a hard time getting through screens due to his lack of physical strength. Can get posted up by taller point guards. Tends to leak out to the receive outlet passes rather than rebounding, but still collects that at a nice clip. Lack of boxing out is by design more than an indicator of his dedication on the glass. Forces his team to make strange defensive assignments (allowing him to cover the opposing teams worst player) to minimize his ineffectiveness on this end of the floor.
Offense: Gets roughly three quarters of his offense with his back to the basket in the post. Gets position with ease, and is simply unstoppable when he gets too deep. Displays average foot quickness at this point due to his recent injury problems, but used to have a simply ridiculous spin move that would allow him to get past his man even when he had no space. Still knows how to use his body to get his shot off when he wants it. Doesnt get as many touches as he used to. Seems to just fire the ball at the rim, but that has always worked for him when he was able to get deeper positioning inside. Worked extremely hard to polish that aspect of the game. Can still catch the ball, turn, and knock down shots when defenders collapse around him. Never found the same success at the stripe, but he may simply not have the physical potential to ever be even a mediocre foul shooter. Has become one of the best passers in the game at his position and still sees double teams at an alarming rate. Doesnt make as many great passes as he used to, and has a harder time keeping the ball when he goes to make a move. Not the player he used to be, but still able to make a big impact on his better days. Tremendous offensive rebounder. Still draws a lot of attention when hes on the floor despite his shortcomings.
Defense: Provides an imposing presence from the weakside, but doesnt have the speed to rotate over and make plays as frequently as he used to. A bit of a liability defending the pick and roll, as he doesnt have the quickness to get out and hedge a screen, which makes things extremely difficult for his entire teams defense. Will still block quite a few shots, but at the expense of getting into foul trouble frequently. Gets called for some fouls that wouldnt be as conspicuous if he wasnt so strong. Can push his man off the block without much effort. Will lock down his area when rebounding, but wont go outside of his area to grab boards. Doesnt have the incredible physical assets that he did when he was a dominant defensive force.
Offense: Gets his touches from a very equal blend of diverse situations including: spot ups, fast breaks, cuts, post ups, isolations, and pick and rolls. Ranks as one of the most efficient offensive players in the game due to the number of open looks he gets at the rim. Is the beneficiary of great guard play and a tremendous supporting cast, but is a tremendous talent as well. Does a great job moving into the open area at the rim when his teammates draw his defender. Runs the floor well, and trails plays straight to the rim looking for putbacks. Makes extremely quick cuts to the rim from the high post. Has no trouble finishing at the rim. Uses his incredible athleticism to weave around defenders for easy lay ins. Blows by his man, even with very limited room to operate. Likes to take a dribble left and use his extremely explosive first step to get his man next to him before using his footwork to seal his man away from the ball. Uses leverage to get to the front of the rim or get position for offensive rebounds. Has become a great catch and shoot player. Has a very high release point on his jumper and nice touch. Capable of turning over either shoulder to score with his back to the basket. Uses incredibly quick up and under moves and drop steps. Goes right at his defender and heads to the line at a very high clip. Shoots a pretty good percentage from the charity stripe. Pretty good on the pick and roll. Good offensive rebounder. Loses the ball periodically when he puts it on the deck around the rim. Simply too explosive to contain for most defenders.
Defense: A nice weakside shot blocker who is starting to improve his defense on a night-to-night basis, but still has a long way to go. Doesnt maximize his physical tools regularly on defense. Wont get in a low stance to defend the perimeter or use leverage as effectively as a he does offensively when defending the post. Tends to not hedge the pick and roll despite the fact that he is more than capable of doing it. Wont commit when he does, leading to easy outlet passes. Likes to stand in the middle of the paint and wait for the play to come to him. Isnt a very good man-to-man defender, but can be when he makes the effort to force tough shots. Extremely foul prone. Doesnt grab many defensive rebounds. Has always been paired with a more prolific rebounder. Could stand to work harder on the glass. Needs to dedicate himself on the defensive end to take his team to the next level.