Final November, I made the journey to Boston to observe the Celtics face the Bucks in what turned out to be a preview of the Japanese Convention semifinal. . Issues have been completely different on the time. Gordon Hayward began, Kyrie Irving was contemplating signing once more and the Celtics followers weren’t solely optimistic, however assured that the staff was greater than able to compete in one other playoff race. Earlier than the match, I had acquired one of the best and the worst information of my life. The dangerous information: Jaylen Brown was out with an damage. The most effective information: Semi Ojeleye began. It was future. Right here is the abstract and a few highlights:

Semi's most important impediment is the Boston Depth Map, which predictably gives Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's improvement minutes, in addition to maximizing funding in Gordon Hayward. After enjoying 1150 minutes in his rookie season, Semi performed 594 final yr. As is commonly the case with youthful gamers, his effectiveness has elevated as his possibilities have decreased, though I'm undecided it helps his case to play an even bigger function subsequent season. Semi scored solely 9 factors much less in 600 minutes much less, which sounds good on paper, however in all probability doesn’t compensate for having such a decreased workload to start with.

His greatest asset is his protection, which is implausible, however we have now to face the truth ultimately, statistically, it's not horrible. And with small samples, it's exhausting to say what's actual and what's not, however a participant's strengths are largely exaggerated with restricted knowledge moderately than the other (see: Robert Williams 6 , eight blocks for 100 possessions).

To find out Semi's function, let's have a look at what he's doing greatest and have a look at what he can do.

Semi-like a slasher

The acrobatic finishes like this make me marvel why we don’t see extra Semi on the perimeters. The Celtics are typically excellent with opportunistic scoring alternatives, particularly within the transition. Why wouldn’t that translate into half-court? Right here is one other good end result:

And one other:

I'm seeking to discover out if the float over Anthony Davis was extra of a luck than ability, and I cannot ignore how briskly Lopez was fast to present Semi a free technique to basket. Nevertheless it's nonetheless good basketball video games that punish the protection for its errors. By reference to basketball, Semi shot 72% inside three ft of the basket final season, from which 27% of his makes an attempt got here from.


Shot desk from pbpstats.com

I can’t spend an excessive amount of time on his exterior photographs, as that might nearly imply he's getting higher at turning into an everyday participant. To outlive within the NBA with no hit is to have a minimum of one other elite ability, if no more (regardless of all of the grief Ben Simmons feels, he's actually good at nearly each facet of basketball that doesn’t shoot. Semi could not belong to an elite of any class, however including a shot would make it sufficiently full for the elevated variety of factors to compensate for different weaknesses. I hope that it’ll grow to be our subsequent Jae Crowder:

Crowder's lateral quickness didn’t final lengthy in Boston and his perimeter protection was affected due to that. However this primary fast step in the direction of the basket, particularly within the final clip, is one thing that Semi may realistically add to his recreation.

The addition of a mid-range shot may additionally assist develop its function. For instance:

Washington's play space giving the large result in a regular-season common recreation is not going to make sense to me, particularly since Boston's technique is considerably telegraphed for # 39; assault. In concept, giving up a whole lot of mid-range photographs isn’t that nice, however whenever you blow up the doorways of your house, perhaps that space isn’t a very good reply? Regardless of the case could also be, the Celtics often reply to an space protection by blocking somebody within the center, as you see within the clip.

Muscle tissues of fight

With the ability to end contact is extraordinarily underrated and that's one of many causes I used to be so assured about Jaylen Brown in his first yr. There may be a whole lot of steadiness and management of the physique at work, which, for my part, is a powerful indicator of a participant's abilities.

Semi isn’t Jaylen, however I'm holding on to that. That is primarily primarily based alone prejudices, however I contemplate that physique management is a serious asset for a participant to make the subsequent essential step. The window to enter the Boston rotation is commonly fairly small, and Ojeleye is getting into its third season. Except there’s a main soar or an entire participant listing, Ojeleye's greatest alternative may include one other staff. In any case, I nonetheless imagine in him as an NBA participant and I hope he'll get the minutes from this yr to show it.

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