The top two picks in the 2018 NBA Draft should produce a great deal of excitement. Luka Doncic, a 19-year-old out of Real Madrid, is widely considered the best international prospect ever drafted. He is a 6-foot-7 point guard who can play all three positions with great skill. The 6-foot-11, 225-pound Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-11, 230-pound point forward who is an amazing athlete. Antetokounmpo has long been viewed as the keeper of the Greek national team, and he led his team to the FIBA World Cup Final in 2014.
The NBA is full of talented players so it’s no wonder that the annual All-Star game is one of the most popular events of the year. It’s also no surprise that many of those players are some of the biggest names in the league.
The NBA is known for its superstars, and today we get a glimpse at who could become one next season. The four players listed above are all surefire first-round picks and will get their chances to prove themselves on the biggest stage next season. Let’s take a look at the skills of each player.. Read more about espn mlb scores and let us know what you think.
The NBA’s top players are exceptional for a reason. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time MVP of the Milwaukee Bucks, is one of the league’s best two-way players. Luka Doncic, a 22-year-old prodigy for the Dallas Mavericks, is one of the most dangerous players in the world.
Even the greatest may always be improved.
What if Giannis had a leaping ability? How much better would the Bucks’ star be if he could score beyond the paint on a regular basis?
What if Russell Westbrook decided to go with a floater? Will the Los Angeles Lakers star be able to add the shot if his dunk frequency declines?
What if Luka’s already impressive offense was aided by consistent free throw shooting? Is it possible that the rising star is already an MVP candidate?
Can Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns improve his defense and develop into an exceptional two-way player? Towns’ scoring skill is already on pace with Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, but his performance on the defensive end has kept him out of MVP discussions.
Our experts look down the talents these four stars are lacking from their arsenal and how they might improve.
With a jump shot, Giannis Antetokounmpo? Watch out if he can perfect his outside game. Morry Gash/AP Photo
Not only is Antetokounmpo the new NBA Finals MVP, but he is also probably the best player in the world right now. With an amazing two-way virtuoso performance, Antetokounmpo guided the Bucks to the championship. On both ends, he made big plays. He was the only owner of the paint. In terms of scoring, rebounding, and blocks, he topped all Finals players.
He didn’t score any points away from the basket, however.
The bag’s missing component is simple: shooting. Antetokounmpo only hit 19 percent of his 3-pointers and 59 percent of his free throws during Milwaukee’s historic playoff run. Antetokounmpo will emerge as one of the most dominating players this league has ever seen if he can improve his ability to convert jumpers from these distances. That’s all there is to it. He already possesses the most dominating inside force in professional basketball, but if he can develop even a mediocre shooting arsenal, he’ll be terrifying in his peak.
He had already recorded a 50-point masterpiece to finish off a Finals victory at the age of 26. That game showed how good he could be if he improved his free-throw shooting. The Phoenix Suns made 16 of 19 free throws as a team, while he made 17 of 19. As one of the game’s most physical players, Antetokounmpo could use a solid free throw to seek out contact, score easy baskets at the line, and force opposing big men into foul trouble.
A wobbly free throw, on the other hand, not only affects his personal production, but it also becomes a liability at critical times. In the 2019 playoffs against the Toronto Raptors, his struggles at the line cost him a game. During the Bucks’ championship run, he only hit 8 of 14 free throws in a thrilling Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets that came down to Kevin Durant’s toe.
Although shooting is the most essential talent in the game in 2021, Antetokounmpo’s championship run demonstrates that other factors, such as controlling the paint on both ends, are still significant. Even yet, if Antetokounmpo can consistently score outside of the paint, the sky is the limit for him and Milwaukee.
Kirk Goldsberry’s remark
In the NBA, the floater has evolved into a lethal weapon. Should Russell Westbrook use it in his repertoire? Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
It was March of 2011, and Westbrook was in his third season. He’d just been named to his first All-Star squad and was quickly establishing himself as one of the league’s brightest and most daring talents. When he was chosen fourth overall in the 2008 NBA draft, his game, which was based on a mix of anger, power, and persistence, was propelling him to heights no one expected.
He led the league in turnovers as a rookie, finished second to Steve Nash in year two, and was on pace to lead the league once again in his third season. Westbrook was driving down the lane, launching from an insane distance from the hoop, and barreling over a defender for a charge, which accounted for many of the turnovers. As a result, it seemed that a change might be helpful, something to counter opponents who were expecting his high-flying rim attacks.
A reporter suggested that a floater would be a good idea for Westbrook. He could survive in the gap between the restricted area and the free throw line, thanks to his skill set and ability to burn opponents at the moment of attack. Because it was either a pull-up jumper or all the way downhill to the rim at that moment.
Westbrook pondered his answer as he digested the question.
He said, “That is not my concern.” “When I can dunk on you, why would I shoot a floater?”
Scott Brooks, the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time, was also questioned about it. His response was direct and to the point.
“Did you see his floater?” Brooks burst out laughing. “It’s the third time I’ve seen it. It’s not a pleasant sight.”
The NBA season 2021-22 begins in October with two star-studded doubleheaders on ESPN.
Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 20 10 p.m. ET, Nuggets vs. Suns
Friday, Oct. 22 @ 7:30 p.m. ET, Nets at. 76ers 10 p.m. ET, Suns vs. Lakers
The floater has evolved into a potent weapon in the contemporary NBA, with players like Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and others often using it. The floater has become a tool to counter drooping drop coverage schemes as defenders attempt to push shooters into low-efficiency, non-paint 2-pointers.
Westbrook has experimented with a floater on occasion, but he has never completely committed, as defiant as his initial response was. His mentality hasn’t altered much: why settle for a floater when he can go all the way to the basket with two more dribbles?
The reason was apparent in his final two playoff series with the Thunder, when Rudy Gobert sank deep into the lane, forcing midrange shots, and the Portland Trail Blazers shouted from the bench, “Let him shoot it!” when Westbrook had the ball at his elbows the following season. In the Utah Jazz’s following series against the Houston Rockets, Harden twisted Gobert almost every possession, switching between floaters and lobs to Clint Capela as the Rockets won in five games.
Westbrook’s dunk totals are decreasing as he gets older. He scored 69 points in 2015-16, 49 in 2016-17, and 57 in 2017-18. He dunked 33 times in 2018-19, but just 24 times previous season. He’s still an excellent space player who can rip through any defender in a flash. But if he can tap into a floater and commit to it in a manner he hasn’t done in a long time, that might be the key to his game maturing gracefully and effectively.
Royce Young Royce Young
Luka Doncic’s attacking game has already been compared to that of an MVP candidate. What if he could increase the number of points on the stripe? David Getty Images/NBAE/Liam Kyle
Luka Doncic: One fault at the line of scrimmage
At the age of 22, Doncic has amassed an impressive skill set that has allowed the Mavericks’ point guard to establish himself as one of the league’s most potent attacking powers. Doncic sees the court like few others, making even the most difficult passes seem easy. He has the gravitas and deception necessary to manipulate defenders, generating angles for late-developing lobs or crosscourt laser beams to an open corner 3-point shooter. His greatest skill is arguably his passing, which is a bold claim for a superstar who has averaged 33.5 points per game in the playoffs.
Doncic’s handling are outstanding, particularly given his hefty 6-foot-7 size. God Shammgod, the Mavs’ player-development coach, is astounded by how fast he learns complex dribble combo plays. He acquired a reputation as a ballhandling legend while growing up on New York City playgrounds.
This has aided Doncic’s development as a three-level scorer. He isn’t a spectacular leaper, but his mix of skill and power makes him an excellent finisher near the basket (66.2 percent inside five feet last season). Despite a sluggish start beyond the arc, Doncic was able to fire his step-back 3 practically at will last season, ranking 10th in 3s made (192). Last season, Doncic debuted a deadly midrange game that included a one-legged, turnaround jumper like to Dirk Nowitzki’s that he often pops after stopping on a dime and spinning.
Doncic’s attacking game is difficult to fault. Until he’s fouled, that is.
In terms of abilities, the most basic one sticks out as Doncic’s greatest flaw: he is a poor free throw shooter who is prone to slumps.
That’s an issue for a player who has the ball in his hands all the time and attracts contact all the time.
It’s the one aspect of Doncic’s game where he hasn’t shown much improvement since joining the NBA. He has a lifetime free throw percentage of 73.5 percent, and he shot 73.0 percent from the line last season. For a player with such a delicate midrange touch, it shouldn’t be the case. Last season, Doncic was one of nine players who made at least 175 midrange shots and shot 48 percent or higher. His free throw percentage was an anomaly among the group, with seven of the other eight shooting at least 85% from the line and the lone straggler hitting 81.2 percent.
Tim MacMahon (Tim MacMahon)
Karl-Anthony Towns has established himself as one of the NBA’s greatest offensive big men. Improving on the opposite side of the ball may allow you to advance to the next level. USA TODAY Sports’ Mary Holt
Over the last three seasons, Towns has averaged 25.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, statistics that are extremely similar to top big players like Joel Embiid (26.4 PPG, 12.1 RPG) and Anthony Davis (26.4 PPG, 12.1 RPG) (26.1 PPG, 10.3 RPG). Towns, on the other hand, has never gotten a vote in MVP voting, despite the fact that each of the latter two have placed in the top three at least once. Why?
Only one thing comes to mind: defense.
Embiid and Davis are both outstanding defenders who can anchor their teams’ defenses and lead them to victories. Big players that thrive at playing great off-ball defense, assisting teammates, and defending the paint against high-percentage shots are called defensive anchors. While on-ball defense is important for a large guy, his real effect is usually evaluated in off-ball defense.
To put it simply, Towns has struggled as an off-ball defender, especially when defending against screens. According to Second Spectrum, Towns has allowed 1.072 points per straight off-ball screen when his guy sets the pick over the last two seasons. This ranks 335th out of 446 players that have defended 100 screens or more. Towns has allowed 1.183 points per chance and 1.5 points per direct pick when the player he’s guarding is screened off-ball. Both are 333rd out of 333 players who have been screened off-ball at least 100 times in the NBA.
Towns’ defensive difficulties off the field are reflected in his effect on his teams’ defenses. Over the last two seasons, the Timberwolves have placed 28th and 20th in team defensive rating, respectively, with Towns having a negative defensive real plus-minus in each. Towns had the best offensive RPM among centers in the NBA during the 2019-20 season, with a 5.8 that outpaced then-future MVP Nikola Jokic’s 2.5 and Embiid’s 1.81. Towns, on the other hand, placed last among centers with a minus-3.68 DRPM, putting him well below the other top bigs in terms of net score.
Towns’ ability to develop as an off-ball defender and establish himself as a real anchor may propel him into the MVP discussion. With all of Minnesota’s youthful potential, an MVP-caliber defensive anchor like Towns might be the difference between an exciting young Timberwolves team and one that can truly compete for the playoffs and beyond.
The NBA regular season is done and the playoffs are just around the corner, which means fans are eagerly awaiting the start of the NBA Finals. Now that the regular season is over, it is time to look ahead to the playoffs and who will be facing who. If you are interested in knowing the skills that could change the games of four NBA stars, including Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, here are a few.. Read more about giannis stats 2021 and let us know what you think.
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