I‘ll admit i didn’t have much a chance to watch college basketball last year. I was able to tune into the conference tourneys and march madness, however. The first time I saw Kentucky play, Kevin Knox was going completely insane. Like just playing lights out.
Another thing I noticed was the savvy and smooth play of the lanky 6’6 point guard that is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He controlled the tempo of the game. Pushing the ball up the court, making the right reads and necessary passes; the kid caught my attention.
Fast forward to the NBA draft, no one was talking about Gilgeous-Alexander. I mean absolutely no one! Just squeaking inside the lottery, the Los Angeles Clippers struck a deal with the Charlotte Hornets who took him at pick 11.
From there, I instantly thought that Shai walked into the perfect situation. The Clippers is in a bit of a rebuild, while at the same time having a roster that can compete night in and night out. As the season began to roll along and I pay close attention to the numbers and highlights Shai is compiling in a bench role, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me. If he gets the starting job, he’s gonna be a 2-way nightmare!
Welp, just recently Doc Rivers promoted Gilgeous-Alexander after a career high 19-point performance last Thursday. Now the whole NBA world needs be put on notice. Do not overlook this guy, He’s the dark skin Shaun Livingston!
Check this play out:
Here, he tries to drive baseline. He’s stopped initially, but made a Shaun Livingston-esque play. He did a reverse dribble to set the defender up, then drove right past to slam it home. Simple, yet effective.
It’s not just his offense I’m interested in. At 6’6, he stands to be a defensive nightmare on a nightly basis in the NBA. Check these plays below:
You can’t teach height, but you can learn to be a great defender. Shai possesses both defensive instincts and unteachable intangibles that will make him a star in no time.
He can pass, shoot, dribble, run the offense and play great defense. It’s only a matter of time until the rest of the league catches on. Watch his highlights from yesterday’s win against the Milwaukee Bucks below and tell us who you think will win Rookie of the Year in the comments.