Bucks Diary

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yi still struggling with his shot


In the past two Las Vegas NBA Summer League games, Bucks first round draft choice Yi Jianlian is shooting a combined 5-for-25, and is hitting just 30% of his field goal attempts overall. Not too good for a guy whose game doesn't reach out to the three point line.

However, thanks to his prodigious ability to get to the foul line (an outstanding sign) and his ability to knock down foul shots (unlike Bogut), he is still outperforming 3 of the 4 participating rookies who were drafted ahead of him, and he has scored 20+ points in two of the three games he has played.

Yi has an Eff48 of just 13.78, which is very poor, but which is better than Greg Oden (11.75), Jeff Green (7.90), or Kevin Durant (4.50) at this point. Among the aforementioned rookie participants who were selected ahead of Yi, only Mike Conley Jr's Eff48 is better than Yi's (18.39), and his numbers took a steep decline once he had to match up with real NBA guards as opposed to the Team China clunkers (30.28 vs. China; 7.45 vs. Detroit).

Like Yi, all of the top rookies have shown weaknesses. Oden has shown an inability to avoid fouls (he has 19 in two games) and has a very rudimentary offensive game, Durant does nothing but shoot and miss (he is shooting worse than Yi, and is compiling almost no secondary statistics at all), and Green just looks ordinary (although his second game was much better than his first, I still think the Sonics took a real gamble giving up Ray Allen to get him). Of course, this is only the summer league, so you can't read too much into the numbers.

I will say this, however. Kevin Durant's offensive skills look exceptional for a man his size, but I think his lack of strength at this point will mean he will not have the ability to rebound the basketball at the NBA level anywhere close to the way he did in college. Thus, at the outset, he may not provide much of an upgrade, if any, for the Seattle Supersonics over the departed Rashard Lewis.

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