Who is Kennedy Meeks in the NBA?

Undrafted free agent Kennedy Meeks seems the prototype for NBA players being phased out of the game – lumbering, over-sized power forward, undersized centre (6’9, 277 pounds) without a reliable three point shot (he didn’t make a single three at North Carolina).

I imagine Masai Ujiri was intrigued by the post game and touch around the rim (shot 56% in his senior year at UNC), and his Herculean effort on the glass in the Final Four and National Championship Game, where he grabbed a combined 12 offensive rebounds. I’d like to figure out what the Raptors saw in a seemingly massive project.

On Tuesday the 905 welcomed thousands of screaming children into the ACC for an 11am tip against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The crowd’s deafening shrieks did not seem to energize Meeks, who had trouble guarding on the perimeter, a place he didn’t spend much time in college.

Here Meeks drops well into the key, but his man, spotting up from behind the arc, is a capable three point shooter.

Here Meeks again starts the possession in the paint, and doesn’t close out with enough control to stay in front of his man:

On this sequence Meeks doesn’t do a bad job in terms of positioning on this pick and roll, but he fails to spread his arms to affect the pass, leading to an open three:

Offensively, Meeks went a solid 4-for-9, including a nice face-up jumper, and a strong drive from the elbow.

Another hoop came on this play: Meeks implements the old Moses Malone technique – sneak in from under the basket to get prime put-back position:

Coach Stackhouse has shown a propensity for posting up his big guys, even Bruno when he’s forced to play the five. Aside from the fact that the classic post-up big man is all but extinct in the NBA, if the Raptors see Meeks as a potential post-up option, he’s going to have to refine that part of his game.

Here Meeks catches a bit too far from the hoop than he’d like, then fails to pass out after being cut off on his drive:

On this play Meeks has the chair pulled from underneath him, leading to a travel:

And here Meeks turns down an open short jumper he’s more than capable of making, goes into a difficult post move, and has his shot blocked:

Meeks won’t be using his athleticism to beat guys down low, but his craftiness, and the aforementioned soft touch. So we’ll monitor his post-ups for the next stretch of the season to see if there’s some improvement.

Also, as always, I’m mindful of the one-game-closely-watching sample. Meeks does average 12.3 points and was selected to join Team USA for the FIBA World Cup Qualifier mid-season, so clearly the man has game. We’ll see how it develops.

 

 

 

 

Lorenzo Brown – mostly enticing, somewhat concerning

Two more games to the sample reveal the pros and cons of a scoring machine

With confirmation bias in full effect, I watched Lorenzo Brown’s last two games with great interest. A summary of our previous findings:

-fluid ball handler who can score from anywhere on the floor
-makes his defender play at his pace, not having to speed up his game
-seems a capable passer, but takes undue risks leading to many turnovers
-drifts on defence to inefficient help spots, leading to his man getting open looks or easy blow-by’s on poor closeouts.

November 12 @ Westchester Knicks

This game would be a great test for Brown, as he was primarily matched up against Ron Baker, who played 52 games with the New York Knicks last season. As we gleaned from the home opener, Brown was not going to be intimidated.
Continue reading “Lorenzo Brown – mostly enticing, somewhat concerning”

Raptors 905 Scouting Report – Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo Brown is a born scorer. Courtesy: Getty Images

Wednesday was Ring Night at the Hershey Centre, as the Raptors celebrated their 2017 championship season. But I was there to focus on their starting point guard – Lorenzo Brown.

You might assume a G-Leaguer entering his fifth professional season would force his game, desperately trying to escape the minor-league grind, but there was no one more relaxed on court than Brown.

Continue reading “Raptors 905 Scouting Report – Lorenzo Brown”

Road to the Six, via the 905

You wanna get niche? LET’S GET NICHE!!!

To my loyal dozen of readers – I’m sure you were thrilled when I resurrected the ol’ blog after two full seasons of DNP-rest. We’ll see how often I feel like chiming in on the Raptors Road to the 2nd Round Exit, but full disclosure, I brought the blog back because I’m going to be covering the Road to the Six. If you aren’t familiar with the reference, it’s the Raptors 905 slogan.

The big club’s G-League (formerly D-League) affiliate is starved for attention. Did you know they won the championship last season? Did you know Bruno Caboclo won Finals MVP?

Pro athletes trying to make the top leagues of their respective sports invariably have interesting backgrounds. Rather than just report on the results of the games, I’d like to tell the players’ stories.

Continue reading “Road to the Six, via the 905”

R-E-L-A-X

Raptors fans: there’s no reason to fret over Lowry’s Spurs comments. Courtesy: USA Today Sports

Type “Kyle Lowry Spurs” into the Google machine and you’ll find the same headline from every website – Lowry’s interest in signing with the Spurs was “real”.

So?

Continue reading “R-E-L-A-X”

Support Staff

Can Delon deliver?


Material Arrivals
CJ Miles
OG Anunoby
Serge Ibaka (essentially)
Delon Wright (essentially)

Material Departures
Patrick Patterson
PJ Tucker
Cory Joseph
(Sorry Demarre)

If you fancy yourself a contender in the East you have one goal – assemble a roster that can challenge the Cavs. While losing Cojo’s reliability and the versatility that both Pat Pat and PJ brought seems to hurt, if the team stood pat (pat), there’d be no reason to believe they could achieve said goal.

Continue reading “Support Staff”