Posted by: Kingsguru21 | August 1, 2009

Is Donte the new mis-match nightmare?

Jason Jones had an interesting piece awhile ago, on the Bee Blog, that quite honestly, needs more examination for a moment: What exactly can Donte do to get on the court?

Elie had this to say:

“That’s going to be some work. This is my first real dose of Donte. He’s still a young player and that’s his thing. A lot of young players have got to understand offense is not going to get you on the court every time. Sometimes it’s doing the little things. Playing defense, making hustle plays and that’s how I got on the court. I got out there and Rudy T (former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich) would tell me ‘Mario, go out there and shut this guy down’ and I had no problem doing that. And Donte’s got to understand sometimes it’s not going to be offense. We may need you to guard (Shawn) Marion, an athletic three. I think he has the capability of doing it. It’s just up to him, the willingness to do it.”

Jones, then mentions this:

Greene’s ability to grow into such a role would be a boost for the Kings on both ends of the court. Being able to defend multiple positions has obvious benefits. But if Greene is defending Pau Gasol, for example, Greene could force Gasol to defend on the perimeter and create a mismatch. The same holds if Greene defended a shooting guard like Brandon Roy. If Greene were able to develop a consistent post game, he’d make Roy have to work on both ends.

What’s interesting is that I’ve already scoffed, and thought very little of this idea. Remember when Brian McCormick suggested this a few months ago? Oh, you didn’t? Here you go:

The Kings have a star: Kevin Martin. The Kings lack consistent play and defense. If I were to advise Greene, that would be the void to fill. Can you imagine the market for an athletic 6′9 forward who can guard players like LeBron James, Rashard Lewis, Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitski and others? Pietrus received the full middle-level exemption (I think) which means a starting salary around $6-million next year – that wouldn’t be a bad salary for a 22-year-old drafted at the end of the 1st Round.

I’ll admit when I first read this, I had a bad attitude about it. Or, to an extent I did. I still think Donte has a ways to go offensively, which I mention, but that he needs to get better defensively. Mostly, I think he’s a potential 2 way player who would be a perfect fit alongside Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes. (I still think that actually.) Summer League, however it did go, and I’ll let you make up your mind on that, makes me believe that Donte Greene still has a spot on the team. It’s just that Westphal and the staff will have to be patient to let Donte develop. Donte Greene is not Gerald Wallace, and Greene is not a young 20 year old trying to get minutes on a championship contender like G-Dub.

So, let’s not make that comparison. (Also, G-Dub isn’t worth the money he’s being paid, and I still think it’s one of Geoff Petrie’s savvier moves to let Wallace walk for nothing.)

What I do think is that even though Summer League didn’t show Donte Greene in his finest light, it did show he’s willing to work at the area’s of his game that he’s currently not as strong in. He wasn’t perfect, but, if you’re going to try and change your style, it’s much harder to do so versus NBA players during the NBA season than it is during Summer League. The more Donte plays on the court, the more he’ll be able to adapt his game. The bottom line bitch of truth here is that you will fail more initially than you will succeed. That’s just part of the deal.

I don’t think Summer League is any great indicator of greatness or anything. (I’m very skeptical that Anthony Randolph will become anything more than Lamar Odom-lite.)

Either way, I do think B-Mac has a great point, and upon further analysis, the best way for Donte to ease himself into the rotation is to be a defensive stopper at the 3. I do agree with that because right now something needs to get Donte on the court. I believe, and always will believe, that Donte has great potential as a 2 way player. But, that means jack diddly shit if he can’t get on the court this season and help the team in any way possible in the interim.

My point? Don’t doubt someone with experience coaching younger individuals. Hats off B-Mac. (This of course doesn’t mean I didn’t think he wasn’t actually qualified to talk from a coaching perspective almost 2 months ago. It just means that I better understand the point he was making on June 8th.)

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Responses

  1. First of all, I love the expression “dose of Donte”.

    Then, I still think that a “true roster player” like JT or Donte were in last VSL who doesn’t show well, could simply mean that he is getting in shape for the regular season instead of focusing on the Summer League (while the rookies, especially the still-unsigned ones, must show everything they got in the SL).

    Donte showed several times in Vegas that he is working very hard on his defense (remember that he went out of one of the worst “defensive” college basketball program in the world), making some Pietrus-esque plays that we’d love to see during the season. If he could become a defensive 2-3-4 with good shooting, he would definitively become a starter in the league


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