2011 NBA Draft: Bismack Biyombo Could End Up Being the Best Player in the Draft
Of all prospects in the draft, Bismack Biyombo is a wonder—an 18-year-old boy, with a man's heart and demenor. In all the time I've listened to interviews and watched players on film, I've rarely come across a player that sounds as confident as Biyombo, as well as backs it up on the court.
I'm going to let the facts speak for themselves.
Physically, He's a Monster
A freak athlete, one of a kind intensity coupled with a stupid vertical leap. He has the reach of a pterodactyl. His arms literally look like they've been surgically implanted when he's running around. You can be skeptical of a 6'9" center, but you cannot teach reach, and if his wingspan is really in the 7'6" to 7'7" range, he'd probably be able to hold his own. He actually has a good two or three years to grow, and he could be 6'11" by the time he's 21.
Stat Stuffer, Yet Inexperienced
This kid started playing basketball no more than three years ago. He leads the most competitive league in the world outside the NBA in blocked shots and is amongst the league leaders in rebounding per 40 minutes and free throw attempts per 40.
This would explain the rawness of his game, but low usage centers that can rebound, block shots and defend at his age are very rare. Picture Blake Griffin, center style with less skill but grabbing more rebounds with more defensive intensity.
Franchise Center Character
From a June 14 interview with NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper:
So, do you believe you will lead the NBA in blocks?
Will you lead the NBA in blocks?
Can you lead the NBA in rebounding?
"Yes, I will."
You will lead the NBA in rebounding?
"Yes. Of course. Hundred percent.
"I don't care how tough people are over there. I don't care how strong they play over there. I know that I'm strong, too. I know that I'm tough, too. I never let people just beat me easy. They're going after me and I'm going to go after them."
When you consider the fact that Biyombo is 18 years old, the youngest player in the draft, the potential is there to be a game changer. Plenty of analysts and the alike always rave about a players offensive abilities, but as Kobe Bryant says, "no one likes to talk about the defensive end." Bismack Biyombo could end up being one of the better NBA centers in the league five years from now.
A game-changer indeed. For a player that's coming from overseas, he's very vocal and expressive. This translates to the court, and when you have an 18-year-old already displaying leadership qualities and immense confidence, you have to look further down the road. In terms of potential, he has the most in this draft.
He can look horrible in a workout setting now, but you cannot question how good this guy looks in a competitive setting. You can't undervalue emotion and intensity on the basketball court, and Biyombo plays with plenty of it. You can call Biyombo raw all you want, but he possesses a bunch of instincts that aren't seen in many NBA centers or power forwards.
For one, he can block shots with either hand, often keeping the ball inbounds. Taking a charge is more valuable than a blocked shot because it ensures that the other team will get the ball on the next possession, but for Biyombo, with time, he will be able to block the shot right too his teammate. His timing if off the charts; he never appears anxious to get something done. In the paint, he's a jaguar waiting to pounce at the right time.
When you consider all of these factors, and seeing that he has a hard work ethic to be the best, and he voices that he wants to be the best, the sky is the limit for him. It's hard not to like Biyombo, and I have a feeling that whomever picks him will walk away with the best player in the draft in five years.
Whichever team drafts him will have to have quality guard play. Biyombo will probably never be able to generate enough offense on his own, but with his work ethic, anything is possible. I would love to see what the Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale could do with Biyombo. He, after all, trained both Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. It would be interesting to see what kinds of post moves Biyombo could learn with that type of wingspan.
He will need a lot of minutes on the court, so whether a team is willing to be patient in his rookie and sophomore season will heavily determine his development. He will need a good veteran big behind him, and a well known coaching staff for player development. If all that happens, Bismack Biyombo could wind up a legitimate all star.
He is, after all, the most interesting man in the world.
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