Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scouting Pape Sy at the D-League Showcase, Day One

Pape Sy played just 10 minutes of the Utah Flash's bogus 95-93 overtime loss to the Iowa Energy but he demonstrated one clear skill and one clear limitation in his limited time on court.

Good news first, Sy moves his feet well defensively. With Utah's first-choice point guard Kevin Kruger out injured, Sy played most of his (admittedly few) minutes at the point and kept Curtis Stinson in front of him when guarding Stinson one-on-one. Sy did not look as sound defending the screen-and-roll but, given his inexperience (both recent and lifetime) and the general unfamiliarity of the current Utah players with each other, it shouldn't diminish his overall defensive performance which also included sound transition defense (Sy broke up an Iowa fast break by drawing a charge and stymied a later 2-on-1 fast break through length and good positioning.) which would be welcome in Atlanta.

Unfortunately, it's unclear how Sy could contribute sufficiently on the offensive end to stay on the court and take advantage of his defensive instincts. As in his brief debut in Summer League, Sy does not deal well with ball pressure when bringing the ball up the court. There's no shame in being harassed by Curtis Stinson's quick hands but there's also no value in having your point guard have to back down his defender once he reaches half court. The first of Sy's two turnovers came as a result of trying to feed the post with his back to his teammate due to ball pressure.

Sy's lack of confidence handling the ball negates the value of both his speed and his passing ability (the latter glimpsed on a couple drive-and-kick opportunities when Sy caught the ball on the perimeter without immediate ball pressure and was able to get into the lane). There are reasons the NBA's not populated by 6-7 point guards (nor by grossly inexperienced 23-year-olds) and I suspect that Sy's development would be best served by having him focus on refining his defensive skills and developing his off-the-ball game rather than playing the position that gives him the maximum difficulty presently and seems the least likely for him to play at the highest level.


CRC said...

Random Question:
do you think its at all possible we could package jamal crawford and a first round pick plus whatever else the suns want beside smooth/horford for steve nash? seeing rumors in some places

Bret LaGree said...

The only rumor I've seen (if I've missed some reporting please correct me) was some sourceless speculation from someone I've never heard of on some website I'd never heard of and wasn't impressive in terms of its grasp of grammar or facts.

I don't see a 1st rd pick in the 20s meaning much to the Suns nor are any of Marvin Williams (given their small forward glut), Jeff Teague, or Jordan Crawford a good enough prospect to augment the value of Jamal Crawford's expiring contract to the Suns.

Also, remember that all the Hawks under contract for 2011-12 are due a significant increase on their 2010-11 salary. That extra $1 million due Nash next year would be tough on the budget barring the most optimistic (from ownership's perspective) outcome on the new CBA.

The combination of lack of depth and lack of cap space makes trading difficult for the Hawks.