The Case For Dieng

After reading ziggy's comparison of big men in the draft I find it odd that the concensus for #10 isn't Gorgui Dieng. He ranks favorably as the number three big man according to the extensive statistical analysis. He is ahead of Adams, Len, Muscala, and Gobert. Ziggy also makes the case for how big men make a bigger impact on wins and losses compared to guards.

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Unfortunately Ziggy makes the recommendation to draft Zeller who is ranked second in his comparison. I see Zeller as a power forward in the nba and who knows how that transition will work out. He also did not play his best when matched up against other leading centers in college.

Despite the high skill-level and tremendous versatility Zeller displays, his offensive game is not a cinch to translate seamlessly to the NBA, unless he makes some stark improvement in certain areas. For one, Zeller didn't add all that much weight to his frame between his freshman and sophomore seasons, or at least he didn't maintain the bulk he did put on, as he still gets pushed around quite a bit inside by more physical opponents. Does he have the lower body strength needed to establish position inside the paint and score in the low-post the way he did in college? Opposing teams seemingly recognized that he doesn't love contact and tried to rough him up quite a bit as the year moved on, which he didn't really respond to in the best way, especially in Indiana's biggest games.
From DraftExpress.com

Most importantly Zeller is not a rim protector.

Dieng provides everything the blazers desperately need in a center right now. Interior defensive, pick and roll containment, shot blocking, rebounding, passing ability from high to low post, reliable jump shot, and yes experience. He was in two final fours, he has a ring, and was named defensive player of the year. Most critics want to knock him for his age but, did extra years in college, hurt Roy or Damian. Plus Dieng was still learning the game in college. Other critics say Adams has better potential but Adams is a poor one on one defender and has poor hands.

Even more concerning though is how poor of a finisher he appeared to be around the basket this year. Adams had a difficult time catching the ball cleanly all season long resulting in quite a few turnovers. He bobbles the ball on the catch regularly, as he seems to need to have it thrown to him perfectly so he can get two hands around it, at times using his chest to assist him. Because of his lack of control upon catching it, he tends to either hesitate going up strong for the finish, or just throws the ball up on the rim, seemingly just hoping for the best. The fact that he doesn't get great extension on his moves around the rim makes him fairly predictable and resulted in him getting his shot blocked a fair amount relative to his small number of touches.

With that said, Adams' technique and fundamentals still have a long ways to go, as he tends to give up deep post-position too frequently to stronger opponents, closes out wildly contesting shots on the perimeter, gets lost off the ball, and will make some ill-advised plays stemming from his lack of experience and coaching.

Adams also isn't as good of a defensive rebounder as you might hope, ranking second to last in that category among top-100 collegiate centers. He rarely boxes out opponents, mistimes his jumps, and has a difficult time coming away with loose balls in traffic because of his questionable hands, something he'll need to improve on considering the role he'll be expected to play in the NBA.

From DraftExpress.com

Are the Blazers really in a position to wait on Adams development?
Pick Dieng at 10 and let him do what he has proven at the highest levels in college.

Three big differences in stats between Dieng and Adams.

-Defensive rebounding 6.0 per game for Dieng, 3.5 for Adams

-Free throw shooting, 65% Dieng, 44% Adams

-Assist, 2 per game for Dieng, .6 for Adams

Dieng is a better defensive rebounder, shooter and you can run the offense through Dieng because of his passing.

“Gorgui was the facilitator,” Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said, referring to his role in the offense.

Here is what Dieng's presence does for your perimeter defense:

The Cardinals with their two guards, Peyton Siva and Russ Smith, defend the ball around the perimeter incessantly, not allowing the Orange’s outside shooters any breathing room to even consider pulling the trigger. They could afford to gamble and extend because of Dieng, the conference’s defensive player of the year, who was an intimidating force in the middle. “We dog the basketball and make a frenzy,” Smith said. “When you have a presence like that in the paint, it makes things a lot easier.”

Dieng did many of the little things for Louisville — hustling after loose balls, passing in the middle of Syracuse’s zone, screening for the ball-carriers and bringing down tough rebounds when needed. He finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and a block, -New York Times article after Louisville beat Syracuse in big east championship.

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