Friday, October 15, 2010

Alumni Profile: Hasheem Thabeet

Looking Back: Being picked second in the NBA draft leaves fans with a lot of expectations. They saw players throughout the first round that delivered more in their rookie seasons. There was little doubt that Thabeet struggled in his limited play last season. 3.6 boards and 3.1 points a game doesn’t cut it, not for a player with the second pick in the draft. While it wasn’t all bad, he showed improvement towards the end of the year, but he had a humbling experience of being sent down to the D-League where he produced solid numbers, but he never made a significant impact on the Grizzlies.

The Good:
Length. He is intimidating when he can set his feet and play the ball. He is a natural in blocking shots and has a soft touch at the line. While there was some rumblings that he didn’t like the minutes he was playing, he is a coachable player and has the hunger to get better. For a young player, he has a charitable side, taking trips to Africa and China to help in various causes.

The Bad: He is so raw on the offensive side of the ball that he is a liability. 3 points is horrible but it is the rebounds that is most aggravating. He should be flirting with double digits every game with his size and he just hasn’t. He has a hard time of fighting for position to get boards and finds himself blocked out a lot of the times.

Looking Ahead: Thabeet has improved on each and every season that he has played basketball. He should get more minutes then his 13 a game and he needs to produce. While the offense will be lagging behind his defense, he needs to rebound and find ways to get to the line for points. He will always be hindered by his high draft status and the expectations that come with it, but Memphis knew that he was a long term project. He needs to continue to bulk up, work hard, and the rest will fall into place.

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