10 NBA Players That Need a Go-to Move
The NBA is filled with an insane amount of gifted athletes. That's what makes the NBA players so special.
However, too often these players tend to rely on their athleticism for their entire career—completely overlooking that fact that they don't need to develop any sort of skill offensively. Instead, they are much more willing to simply use their athleticism to score.
For these players, their potential becomes limited. And so if they want to take their game to the next level, they need a go-to move. A maneuver that allows them to score a bucket eight to nine times out of every 10 times they get the ball in that position.
A go-to move would do wonders for these players and push them to the next level.
So without further ado, here we go...
10. Tyrus Thomas
The prototypical athlete in the NBA without any real basketball skills.
Thomas found a way to convince the Chicago Bulls on draft night that his potential was worth trading LaMarcus Aldridge—oops.
More than a few seasons later, Aldridge is a borderline All-Star averaging 22 points and nine rebounds a game, while established himself as one of the best-skilled bigs that the league has to offer.
Thomas on the other hand has posted career averages of about eight points and five rebounds. He's relied on his athleticism to carry himself this far into his career. His shot-blocking ability is the one skill he has potential in, but everything else you see is just pure athleticism.
Thomas could really use a go-to move to establish himself as a post threat. Perhaps a mid-range jumper, which he's tried to establish but has been wildly inconsistent. Thomas would benefit much more from a low-post hook shot or something similar.
Anything really to make his post game relevant, because at this point he's nothing more than just a gifted athlete with no real basketball skills—aka a bust.
9. JaVale McGee
An insanely gifted athlete, McGee is a freak of nature.
This year's dunk contest certainly showcased McGee's athletic abilities and talent. I've never seen a flexible seven-footer quite like McGee. He's an absolute beast on the fast break and should make a great one-two punch with John Wall.
However, if McGee doesn't want to be the next Tyson Chandler, he needs to develop some sort of an offensive game. More notably, a go-to move.
He's got the length of Andrew Bynum and the height of Dwight Howard. He could easily develop a baby hook that would most certainly be impossible to block given McGee's length.
A jump shot seems a bit unrealistic at this point, but if McGee could just consistently score down low with a hook or some sort of post maneuver, he would be a top center in the league.
8. Andre Iguodala
Iguodala has had up to this point a very respectable career. He certainly isn't a franchise-caliber cornerstone, but nonetheless a very talented player.
A poor man's LeBron James, if you will, he's an all-around talent who can fill up the stat sheet considerably well. However, what Iguodala needs at this point in his career is a go-to move to propel his offensive game and boost his value as an NBA player.
He's got a ridiculous amount of athleticism but if he were to just develop a move such as a fadeaway or perhaps even a step-back jumper, hop step or a Euro step, he would be that much more of a lethal weapon.
Currently his scoring is the only thing that separates Iguodala from being an elite-level player. He's got a career average of 15.6 points per game. He's easily capable of 20-plus points a game.
7. David Lee
Lee's gone under the radar ever since his departure from the Big Apple.
Mainly because he's been somewhat of a disappoint in the Bay Area. The Warriors were underwhelmed with Lee's performance last season and saw that he obviously wasn't the low-post scoring threat they were looking for.
Lee has never been a great low-post scorer, but with simply one or two go-to moves, he could give the Warriors a solid low-post option. Currently, he's got a nice 10- to 12-foot jump shot, but nothing more. A couple maneuvers near the basket, maybe an up-and-under here or a jump hook there, and you've got yourself a solid low-post threat.
Lee could really be one of the top PFs in the game if he could just develop a go-to move.
6. Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum can easily be a top-three center if he had a go-to move.
A legit seven-footer in every which way, Bynum had done a great job up until this point in his career to use his length to score over opponents. However, he hasn't expanded his repertoire.
Perhaps it's from a lack of touches or his injuries, but Bynum only managed to scrape together just over 11 points a game last season. That's absurd considering how easily he can score down low. The perfect go-to move for Bynum could be a hook shot a la Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I'm not saying a sky hook but enough of an arc on a hook that opposing bigs wouldn't come close to blocking.
If he became consistent with that hook, he would became a regular as the Western Conference's starting center.
5. Blake Griffin
I'm not worried about BG. It's only his first season—he's absolutely going to improve and the sky is his limit.
However, he's still on this list because he was able to score over 22 points a game without any post game or go-to move. He simply proceeded to use his unworldly athleticism and unleash it on his opponents. Griffin could easily dominate the way he did his rookie season for the next five to six years, but if he really wants to be a lethal player, he needs a go-to move.
The first move that comes to mind is perhaps a move on the low block. But I'd much rather see Griffin develop a jumper from 12-15 feet. He's shown he can hit it occasionally, so there's no reason to see why he can't be consistent with it. I'm thinking a Tim Duncan-like bank shot from 15 feet. He'd be unstoppable with that.
4. Joakim Noah
Earlier this summer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was asked about Noah's potential on "The Waddle & Silvy Show." He stated the following "If [Noah] had an offensive game he would be a monster," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He is a very good player. He is so selfless and would do anything for his team and will do anything for his team. I really admire his character and well, the whole Chicago team."
Abdul-Jabbar was on point. Noah is already a top-five center in the NBA without virtually any offensive game. Imagine if he developed a soft hook or a mid-range jumper. He'd be only behind Dwight in terms of best centers in the game.
Noah has potential for his offensive game. His shot may be awkward but it's highly effective, as Noah shot almost 74 percent from the free-throw line this season. All Noah needs is just one offensive go-to move on the low block and he'll be just what Abdul-Jabbar said—a monster.
3. Kevin Love
Kevin Love broke out in a big way last season.
He earned his first All-Star berth and became the lone bright spot on a terrible Minnesota team.
Love has obviously earned a reputation as the clear-cut best rebounder in the game after putting up a ridiculous average of over 15 rebounds a game. He even had a 30-30 game at one point during the season.
But his offensive game? Underwhelming. He did manage to average 20.2 points per game but that was due to increased shot attempts as the No. 1 offensive option on a bad team and a surprisingly good three-point shot. In terms of low-post moves and an overall offensive game, Love can't compete with the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki.
He needs to develop a nice go-to move to put him in the conversation as one of the best power forwards in the game. His shooting is obviously fine, so Love needs to become more of a threat on the block. A turnaround jumper a la former T'Wolve Kevin Garnett wouldn't hurt.
2. Josh Smith
Josh Smith is one of the most gifted talents in the league.
He's got the whole package minus the offensive game. A terrific shot-blocker and rebounder, he's also a surprisingly decent passer and a monster dunker to say the least.
Smith just doesn't have any offensive game. And it's a shame.
Just think if Smith had an actual jump shot or perhaps some sort of down-on-the-block, low-post game. He would easily be a top-four small forward in the league.
A go-to move is severely needed for Josh Smith to become more than just a shot-blocking dunker in the league.
He needs either a hook shot, a turnaround jumper, a consistent mid-range game, etc. Just anything really that would allow the Hawks to dump it to Smith and let him get a bucket.
1. Dwight Howard
You probably knew it was coming. I mean I practically gave it away by mentioning Howard several times in this article. But nonetheless, here we are.
Dwight Howard needs a go-to move at this point in his career without question.
He's already the best center in the league without a doubt, and he's done it with little to no offensive game. This past season, he showed glimpses of an improved jump shot and a low-post hook, but it's not enough.
There is no reason Howard shouldn't be averaging 30-plus points a game every season. I mean, Shaquille O'Neal was able to accomplish it. In fact, he averaged more points in his rookie season than Howard did last season.
Dwight needs to take a page out of Shaq's playbook and maybe develop a drop step. He can easily overpower guys. Or perhaps develop a similar move to the "Dream Shake." Then there's the sky hook, hop step, up-and-under, spin move, turnaround, fadeaway, finger roll...the list is endless. Just please Dwight, choose any and go for it.
Follow me on Twitter.