Marcin Gortat analysis from a Phoenix Suns fan

Doug Pensinger

Hey guys, here's my take on Marcin Gortat. I can try to answer any questions you have. If this post feels weird ,it's probably because I originally wrote it for Blazer's Edge, but I adapted it for you guys.


This year, Gortat's numbers suffered because we never drew up any plays for him. We gave all his touches to Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson and Luis Scola. He was really hurt by the coaches and his teammates. Our coaching was awful, our offense was built around ISOs, taking long jumpers and playing pick n pop with Scola, none of which Gortat does. We were giving him the ball on the perimeter, but he's not gonna do anything good with it there, so he was forced to take a lot of ranged jump shots. With John Wall's passing, Bradley Beal spreading the floor and Nene being more of a defensive guy, MG will surely get a lot of touches on offense, so he'll be happy and productive.

Gortat isn't a big, powerful center but he's athletic and he is a true center. As a center, he's average or solid at everything (on offense and defense), and he's fantastic at the PnR. Goran Dragic is a great player, but he isn't a very good PnR guard. He's more a pick n' pop guy because he's more athletic than patient. Dragic was mediocre to start the season, but overall him and Gortat were just really bad together. There was a Valley of the Suns article that showed Dragic was clearly better without Gortat than with him (we lost 18 games and only won 3 without him though). It was because Gortat and Dragic both are left handed players and Gortat playing on the left side of the court absolutely crippled Dragic (they occupied the same space).

Notice in the "with Gortat" row and "without Gortat (post-injury)" row, there were clear increases for Dragic after losing Gortat. This is all to show that Gortat and Dragic were horrible fits for each other. Dragic improved, but remember we only went 3-18 without Marcin.

Not only that, but Channing Frye is the best power forward that Marcin has played with in Phoenix. Frye was on IR all year this year, so Marcin had to play with Scola. Scola took over Gortat's role in the offense, played horrible 1-on-1 defense, didn't rebound, didn't box out, didn't block shots and didn't give help defense. Scola was a terrible fit with Gortat. Every single game, there was literally 10-15 points scored where Gortat would have to help Scola, which would leave MG's man wide-open. Also, Scola wouldn't box out and didn't rebound, so MG had to try to get rebounds by himself versus 1-3 players every play. Our wings sucked at perimeter defense and Scola can't block, so Marcin was forced to try to block hundreds of shots by himself. Our team started Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson, Shannon Brown, Markieff Morris and Scola and gave them all significant minutes at one time or another.

Marcin was really in a horrible position and it's not surprising that his stats dropped, but his skills didn't diminish (he actually really improved his shot-blocking). Marcin is athletic, he's a great team defender, he can hedge and guard the PnR.

Our defense was awful last year. There was no plan. On PnR defense, Scola would attack the ball-handler because that was he was taught by Kevin McHale in Houston, and Gortat would sag off the PnR because that was what he was taught in Orlando under Stan Van Gundy. Our new coach, Jeff Hornacek, made a little fun over it and said he didn't know what we were doing schematically on defense.

Physically, Gortat is a finesse, below-the-rim player. He's very athletic, but he just doesn't have explosive leaping ability. He doesn't dunk often, but he converts a very high percentage of shots at the rim. Give him a running start and he'll slam it. Also, he has small hands, which sometimes hurts him receiving passes and trying to dunk. He converts a high percentage but it's just annoying to watch him sometimes fumble perfect passes (first from Nash and then Dragic). His stats say he's good but like I said, his mistakes stick out.

He's a real good rebounder. He should get 10-15 points and at least 10 rebounds every night on any half-decent team. He's dirty on the PnR; he should have a huge resurgence playing with Wall. He'll average at least 1.5 blocks (1.5 last year 1.6 the year before). He'll actually get more if he plays with at least an average starting NBA power forward. Him and Nene should be great with his offense and Nene being more of a defender. He converts a high percentage of shots at the rim.

I saw you guys talk about him "complaining" and stuff, but he's definitely not a cancer. He works hard and he wants to win. Marcin is just VERY honest and frank. He says what's on his mind. This year during training camp, he told reporters that the Suns would "run the sh*t out of the ball." He's a fantastic interview. Like I said, he REALLY wants to win, he's a real pro and he just wants to get to the playoffs/compete for a championship.

He's a decent all around center; he plays offense and defense, good shot-blocker, high percentage finisher, GREAT pick and roll guy, athletic defender ... we're just rebuilding so we value draft picks over veterans. They only vets we like on our team are Dragic and Frye, and that's just because they've done a lot for our team and we're sentimental about them, plus they actually want to stay here and help us rebuild. We would have loved to have Marcin back when we were contending.


Like I said ask away and I'll try to answer any questions you have.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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