Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sixth Man of the Year Award: Donnell Beverly

Beverly earned the sixth man of year award with solid play backing up Kemba Walker at the point, but it also shows the lack of depth on the bench. There was little offensive output by much of the so called bench players. Sure Gavin Edwards and Oriakhi didn’t start for much of the year, but they couldn’t truly be considered bench players, not with averaging the amount of minutes they were. Beverly was as consistent as any player that came off the pine, but that was because he wasn’t asked to do much other then taking care of the basketball and running half court sets.

Players like Coombs-McDaniel and Majok are more offensive oriented players and showed promise in stretches of ballgames, but they couldn’t put together a string of games in which they were effective. Okwandu also showed games in which he would be effective in three minute stretches, but he was so foul prone that it limited his aggressiveness. Smith was erratic with his play on both ends of the floor. He never showed the ability to hit a jumper, but does have a quickness to his game, but he never settled into a role and when he was on the floor, he was rushing and got into trouble.

Beverly showed a flash of his offensive capability with a spectacular baseline move and a breakaway dunk this year, but he wasn’t comfortable with taking shots away from Dyson or Walker. At times he looked like he was thinking about whether to shoot it or not and when he did, his game suffered. When he went right up with his shot without thinking, he had good shooting games.

On defense, Beverly was solid. He doesn’t have a quick step but does a good job of not getting beat off the dribble. He fights hard through screens and plays the man-to-man defense adequately. He isn’t going to gamble, so he isn’t likely to get a ton of steals, but he has the size to be good rebounder for a point guard.

Next year will be a telling sign for Beverly. He will be looking to lock down the back up position but Smith will be nipping on his heels for minutes. If he can get into the lane and knock down a mid-ranged jumper consistently then he should keep Smith at bay, but the bench will need to show a lot more next year, because points are going to be needed from all areas with much of the scoring leaving.

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