Hollinger the scout

I kept the original thread intact to preserve the initial discussion while the Hollinger stuff was getting released. So, despite what the header says these are my words. -Matt

He's not just a numbers guy, and that comes through especially in his player projections. Here are some selections from these write-ups, as I walk the tightrope of content-theft with ESPN.

Luol Deng:

What's amazing about Deng's offensive game is how much more it can be improved. There is little or no trickery when it comes to his offense right now -- he rarely shot fakes and consequently has a very low free-throw rate for a scorer who drives as much as he does...also has almost no post game, which considering his size could be a great weapon in time.

Most similar at age: Ricky Davis

Ben Gordon:

Gordon's jumper is a thing of beauty...must improve creating shots for the other four guys. Although his skills as a scorer aren't in doubt, he doesn't see the court well and he tends to force passes into traffic, resulting in an unusually high turnover ratio for a jump shooter...still shoots predominantly going to his right and from the right side -- his left hand only touches the ball if it's thrown at him.

Most similar at age: Rex Chapman

Kirk Hinrich:

Hinrich made second-team All-Defense last season, which seemed a stretch -- big guards shoot over him quite often and there isn't much he can do about it...Offensively, Hinrich has become much better at finishing around the basket...Hinrich minimizes turnovers and his scoring more than makes up for the minor quibbles about his passing.

Most similar at age: Sam Cassell

Tyrus Thomas:

Thomas' physical skills are something to behold, and he could be an absolutely dominant defensive player in a very short time...As you might expect from a player this young (especially one as cocky as Thomas), he tried to do a lot of things [on offense] he couldn't...a great finisher around the rim but needs to learn to rein in his desire to take opponents off the dribble, a facet of his game on which his skills are decidedly unrefined.

Most similar at age: Shawn Kemp

Thabo Sefolosha:

Sefolosha showed he has miles to go offensively... managed to finish in the bottom-10 at his position in both the rate of 3-point attempts and the rate of free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt -- nearly every player who is bad at one is good at the other, but he's a rare exception...doesn't need to be great because his defense and rebounding are so valuable, but he can't be firing the ball all over the gym and bricking 17-footers the way he did last season.

Most similar at age: Lucious Harris

Andres Nocioni:

when he was healthy, Nocioni was as good as ever, firing more often from 3-point starting to turn into a bit of a black hole...his trigger finger has become increasingly outstanding team defender.

Most similar at age: Mark Alarie

Predictably ('cause I'm a hater, of course), I have a quibble with the idea that Noc is an 'outstanding' team defender, and I'm curious if Hollinger merely used his high volume of charges taken as evidence. I also think Tyrus should attack the basket more than take jumpshots, but Hollinger suggests neither.

And don't freak out over the player comps, those are only the most comparable, there could be other more enticing comps that, while not the best, have a statistically insignificant difference to the best.

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