I found some great youtube videos of some of the games from last year where rudy played without Brandon Roy, and i immediately began to try to scout his game, and his flaws. Now I am not a qualified professional expert basketball scout, and certainly no Kevin A, but i still wanted to give this a try, and would love to have others give their two cents...the links to the youtube videos are here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4lje1JdJYE&feature=related (Blazers v Raptors Feb. 24th 2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAvWLHYCY08&feature=related (Blazers v Timberwolves Feb. 27th 2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sYIblDsdRo&feature=related (Blazers v Pacers Mar. 3rd 2010)
Offense with the ball:
Good Consistant Form on HIs Shooting: He has a nice quick release on his shots, and even when fading back, forward, or to the side, his arm and upper body motions stay the same and he does a great job of keeping his body squared to the basket. In this sense he reminds me a lot of Ben Gordon in terms of keeping his body squared towards the rim. Its surprising how bad of a shooting year he had last year, or how great of a rookie shooting season he had (he set the 3pt record for a rookie), but at this point i would say the problem was not with his technique but perhaps the fit of his team in terms of his offense.
Tries to play to his strengths-This is a pretty big plus in my book, as Rudy in all three videos tried to adapt the situations to play to his strengths. His dribbling is deliberate, and he doesnt try to force things. In fact during the videos, everytime i saw him rush a shot was because the shot clock was near expiration and no one on the blazers were trying to move into a position to score. If he gets the ball through a rebound or a steal, he pushes the ball and tries to use jumping ability to finish at the rim. If he is guarded tightly, he tries to take his defender off the dribbler, using hesitations and crossovers to either get past his man, or to gain seperation for a three. Oh, and BaBers will love this, he really tries to take 3pt shots. If he gets a little seperation from a screen or crossover, he will try to jump behind the 3pt line before taking his shots.
Smart Player-While Rudy tries to play to his strengths, he didnt appear in the videos to try to force the offense. If he didnt have a shot or a lane, he passed. If he got to the rim but was highly contested, he dished. He didnt take shots early in the offense, unless he was open for a shot or a layup. One of the best things i saw was his passing ability, he didnt always look for his shot, but tried to find shots for others on his team as well. His assist average is shocking, especially since he seems like a willing passer in the videos. He had plenty of hockey assists as well, hes just a really accurate passer, although sometimes he does force them.
My biggest complaint about Rudy on offense with the ball is his desire to do too much. Some of his passes and layups were extremely risky, and while in the youtube highlights they usually went in, i would imagine in real gameplay footage there would be just as many botched layups, forced passes that cause a need to reset the offense with less than 20 seconds on the shot clock, and a lot of standing. I think you can sort of blame the Blazers for the way their offense is constructed, often times (especially in the pacers game) it seemed like once Rudy had the ball, everyone would sort of stand around, and not in a way so he can iso his defender, but sort of like in the way. There were plays when it looked like he was waiting for a screen that never came and was forced into a tough shot, and fast breaks when players would follow him to a point and then fade away leaving him to try to score a layup while flying underneath the rim.
Off the ball offense-
The good-He has a great motor, does a good job of running tight routes, and has a knack of playing to his strenghts even without the ball. He tries to run off screen for 3pt shots, or for close layups and alley oops, more of which were seen when he played against a good friend in Sergio Rodriguez. He does a good job of reading the defense, and running around to where the defense is the weakest.My favorite thing is fast breaks, he fills the lane quickly, and runs all out keeping up with the ball handler...thats exactly the kind of players the bulls need.
The Bad- His lack of strength hurts him when he sets screens for others. They are usually weak, and he gets shoved around pretty good. I didnt notice him try to pass the ball after catching it off a screen, no touch passes. He either shot or put the ball on the ground, or stood for a few seconds with the ball before making a move.
Doesnt Jump-This is a pretty big thing for me, since defense is my favorite part of the game of basketball, one of my key beliefs is that good defenders try to remain on the floor as long as possible. By jumping for blocks, or gambles for steals, the defender will find himself out of position quickly. Rudy does a great job not jumping. He moves his feet well, and really gets his body into the offensive players path. The best examples of his defense might be against Hedo in the Raptors game. Even though Hedo is much larger than rudy, Rudy cuts him off from going to his left, using his help defenders in the right way.
Help Defense- Rudy keeps his eye on the ball and his assignment really well. If the ball is thrown to an offensive player near him, he reacts really quickly, trying to get a poke in before the ball reaches its target. He is active and keeps his feet moving even if his assignemnt is standing still without the ball.
Physicality-He isnt afraid of contact, he will throw his body in the offensive players path, he moves his feet so he can keep his body against his opponents, he will pester defenders and take the hits from their body while keeping his focus on the ball. Contact just doesnt bother him
The worst thing about Rudy's defense as far as i can tell from these videos was the activity of his hands...like on offense, he tries to do too much. He tries hard to go for steals (not so much blocks it seems) and i can see this leading to fouls. While he does a good job at help defense, he sometimes puts too much contact into his opponent, turning a blatent charge into a blocking foul simply cuz he got too close.
Comments about the Blazers-
One of the things that bothered me was the sudden change of Rudy's affect on games, from xfactor, to no factor. Part of the reason i believe is his team. When Roy wasnt on the team, you could see how lost the Blazers looked. There were several play that show Rudy with the ball while the other players just stand around. Then there was the addition of Andre Miller, vs Sergio Rodriguez. Miller is way more talented than Rodriguez, and has some of those combo guard qualities in being able to score the ball a little like a sg. I think this really took away from Rudys game. He was constantly on the floor with either Brandon Roy, Steve Blake, or Andre Miller, all who are the main ball handlers of almost any lineup on the Blazers team, while also being decent offensive players, more notably shooting. Where Sergio was more likely to try to set rudy for an alleyoop and help rudy play to his strenghts, Miller, Blake, and Roy all tried to get the ball lower near the post while taking up the top of the key where they are best on offense. Basically, the problem it seems isnt so much Rudy's Minutes, but more his role on the Blazers team. The Blazers have three other players who are good at passing shooting and creating their own shots, two of which are point guards (thus the primary ball handlers almost all the time) and the third is the Blazers best player (who has earned the right to dominate the ball)
Comments about adding Rudy to the Bulls-
I imagined alot of the plays with the bulls in mind. Where would rose be, where would boozer post up, some of those fast breaks had rudy running with maybe one other player from his team...while with the bulls he would have noah, rose, and possibly brewer all running with him. I imagined rose driving and then kicking to rose, who can then either shoot the three, drive the lane and either finish or kick it back to a rose who can score off the ball just as well as with. Ultimately Im convinced that Rudy is a great fit for this team,
So thats my take and attempt at scouting. Im sure i did a bleh job, but i think my main goal was to get the rest of you guys thinking about having rudy on this team, and i cerainly hope a kc johnson or some bulls insider reads this and convinces the orgnaization to push hard for rudy. Its really late, and ive filled this post with spelling and grammar mistakes up the wazoo. I guess ill end my post randomly here, and hope a guy like yaopau, scotter, give there take as well as anyone and everyone else. If nothing more i think the vids are worth watching, and its easy to see how well rudy would fit on this team and Thibs defensive structure.
Man i cant wait for monday....