USA TODAY Sports
I posted this in the other thread about Jan Vesely (if it did end up posting, it was taking forever), but I figured that it was so long and in depth, that I would just create a whole fan post about it. I don't know if ya'll see it the same way as me, but here it is:
Yes, he fouls a lot. Yes, he got 10 fouls in a summer league game and fouled out. Yes, he's capable of attaining 6 fouls in 6 seconds. But.
Not very, but fixable. That aspect of the game is one of the least fixable of them all. Sure, it'll take some work. It'll take someone, not just a coach, to really bond with him and help him develop and mature, and help him not have a natural instinct to foul. He CAN fix that.
As far as him game away from the fouls....... He can be VERY good, I believe. I'm not sure if ya'll have seen what I've seen, but I've seen flashes. When he doesn't foul so much that Wittman isn't forced to take him out of the game, and he gets quality minutes (yes, I know that's rare), you can really see good things out of this kid. Here's the thing with him: I truly believe that it takes him a minute or two to really "get the hang of things," if you know what I mean. It takes a moment for him to get settled, for him to get "comfortable with the situation". However, once he's been in for a couple of minutes, and I've seen it a couple of times when he's been able to be in there for multiple minutes at the time, his game really starts to pick up. He's comfortable with the floor, with the ball, with his opponent. I've seen some great dumpoffs from him in the lane, I've seen some pretty good defense from him when he's not fouling, and of course, we've all seen some pretty good dunks by him as well.
He's not perfect, he's got work to do, sure. On defense, obviously he has to stop fouling. That's a thing that has consciously be stopped, and that's going to be a challenge. Other than that, I think he can be a great defender. On offense, obviously we know he's a dunker. I also pointed out that he has some great dumpoffs under the rim and in the lane. From what I've seen, he's not a great shooter or much of a jump hook guy. That's something that he can work on if he so chooses, but I really don't seen where he's really going to try to majorly improve those aspects of his game other than POSSIBLY work on the short jump hook a little bit.
I said that he's fixable and that he could have the potential to be a really good basketball player, and this seemed like a really optimistic post, but quite frankly, I don't think his game is GOING to be fixed and therefore he WON'T turn out to be anything on the Wizards or in the NBA in general.
Would I love to see him work on his fouls, his shot, and his jump hook? Absolutely. Will it happen? No. Don't get me wrong, I love the kid, from an off the court standpoint, and he seems like a really cool, goofy, fun guy, but he's not a great basketball player, and he never deserved to be 6th overall in the Draft to begin with. He has the tools to be a good starter, but he has so many flaws that it would be overwhelming to fix them all, and, by the way, once they all were fixed, it would just be too late in his career, and he would definitely be gone from the Wizards.
He may turn out to be a good player, EVENTUALLY, towards the end of his career (if he stays that long), but he wouldn't be on the Wizards. This stuff takes too long, and particularly I'm speaking of the foul troubles. A shot, which concerns me a whole lot less, could take only a couple of offseasons. A good jump hook with feel, that could really be developed in a couple of days.
It's the fouls that concern me. That's a mental problem. Basketball is equally as much, if not more, of a mental game than it is physical. Setting up a good play, finding the right man to pass it to, thinking of a good way to get one up on your assignment, yeah, those can all be considered mental. But I'm talking about things such as confidence and natural instincts.
Well, being a consistent fouler (especially one that commits such bad fouls like Vesely) falls into that realm of confidence and natural instincts. He doesn't have the confidence to go up against his assignments, so his natural instinct is then to do something like wrap the guy up or reach in, or whatever the foul may be. This is going to take work, and lots of it to fix. And then here's something that isn't given: someone to help him along the way. I think that would be one of the most important factors to make this thing work. Someone, not just a coach, but a peer, needs to help boost his confidence up and try to slowly work his way out of just having that natural instinct to foul.
I'm going to give you guys a perfect example: the game of golf, and the golf swing. It's one thing to know what's wrong with your swing in golf. My problem has always been having the instinct to slide my hips instead of rotating, and that affects the direction that the club head faces. I know that. I work on it, I use techniques to try to get my body into the habit of rotating and not sliding before I actually go up to hit the ball. And then, I go up to the ball, and I don't have the CONFIDENCE that I'm going to swing correctly, and guess what? My natural instinct kicks in and there I am, sliding my hips instead of rotating. I'm slowly but surely actually improving in this aspect of my game, and that's been through the help of family and buddies that I go play with, boosting my confidence for that.
Same exact thing with Jan Vesely. Substitute a golf swing and hips with basketball and fouls. I guarantee you that Jan Vesely knows about his foul problem, and he tries desperately not to do it. But once his assignment slips past him or goes up in the air, or whatever, then he relies on his natural instincts. He doesn't have the confidence in himself not to foul.
This can take years upon years for him to develop the type of confidence that he needs for his game to progress and for him not to rely on his natural instincts. And, back to the point, that's why I don't think he'll turn out to be any good, on the Wizards at least. By the time that he would have developed the confidence, we would have already gotten tired of him, and would have gotten rid of him. Heck, I don't even know what his rookie contract is like or anything, because I'm never good with those types of things, but if at all possible, I wouldn't be surprised if we waived or traded (most likely waivers) him this offseason.
Why I don't think he'll be any good ever in the NBA is simply because of the inconsistency in his teams. He won't have that one teammate with him all the time along on the ride boosting his confidence, so he'll never be able to build that confidence consistently, unless he has a mentor or something of the like in his home country.
Could be great, but won't be.