Monday, May 4, 2009

CAN HASHEEM THABEET GO 2ND?: One scout that the Boston Globe spoke too seems to think so:

"You haven't seen too many Dikembes in this league. If you can get someone on your team like that who can be around the league for 16-17 years, you've got to take a look at that."

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Thabeet is his athleticism. An NBA scout said he would be the most athletic "true center" in the league.

"Dwight [Howard] is a hybrid center who is really a power forward," the scout said. "[Thabeet] is a true center. You're not going to find one in our league more athletic, agile, and coordinated with shot-blocking instincts."
I can get on board with the idea that Thabeet can be the next Mutumbo (I've made that comparison a number of times myself). I also think there is a real possibility of Thabeet going second, especially if a team like the Wizards, who will have plenty of scoring next season and need a player that can provide an immediate impact inside, ends up picking in that spot.

What I disagree with is this scout saying Thabeet will be the most athletic "true center" in the league, and saying that Howard is not a center.


Remember this? Thabeet is a long way from being ready for NBA centers.
(photo credit: Zimbio)

Barkley is 6'5". Was he not a power forward? Magic is 6'9". Was he not a point guard? In my opinion, height should have no bearing on the position you play if you excel at the position. And Dwight Howard excels. What'd he have, 16 points and 22 boards tonight?

It isn't just the critique of Howard. A huge part of "athleticism" is your strength. Thabeet is a long way away from being strong enough to play in the pivot in the league. While he does move up and down the floor pretty well, he gets up off the ground fairly high for someone his size, and his timing and discipline when it comes to blocking shots is amazing, calling him the most athletic center, "true" or "untrue", is a stretch at this point.

Players I would put in that category: Amare, Sam Dalembert, Tyson Chandler, maybe even Andrew Bynum or Greg Oden if they can stay healthy.

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