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22 January 2005

Nobili Nobili

Continuing with player grades...

Manu Ginobili, 6'-6" SG, 27 years old, 15.7 PPG, 3.9 APG, 4.5 RPG, 1.75 SPG and 38.9% 3P% on 29.6 MPG

Where do you start with this guy? He was the penultimate pick of the 1999 draft. I cannot get over that. Granted, 1999 was before the foreign player explosion, but it's not like Manu was the only foreign player drafted that year. Frederick Weis, Kirilenko, Wang Zhi-Zhi and Gordan Giricek were all selected. Here's the ten players picked right before Manu:

Todd MacCulloch
Galen Young
Lari Ketner
Venson Hamilton
Antwain Smith
Roberto Bergersen
Rodney Buford
Melvin Levett
Kris Clack
Tim Young

As far as I know one of those guys is still in the league (Buford). MacCulloch is the only other to get significant playing time.

Let's start with Manu's deficiencies. He occasionally tries to make an impossible pass that results in a turnover. That's pretty much the list. He used to bug me when he would fall away on free throws, but it seems he corrected that in his first NBA offseason (FT% up 6.5%). His smile is sort of crooked, though.

He's a good shooter who can hit both the 18 and 23' foot jumper. He can take the ball to the basket and finish. He can drive and dish. He's willing to take the big shot. He can break people down off the dribble. He can go either way, left hand or right. He's great on the pick and roll. He's great on the fast break.

He's a supreme pest on the defensive end. He gets his hands on tons of passes and he's a good one on one defender. He's also a great team player, willing to come off the bench for most of last season.

He's third in the league in points per shot, a stat typically dominated by big men. He's fifth in FG% amongst shooting guards. He's seventh in the league in steals per game. And Charles Barkley loves him (audio link). And oh yeah, he led his team to the Olympic Gold Medal.

I give him an A. He'd get an A+ if he found a way to shoot more. He needs to get his field goal attempts up to at least 13 per game.

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.