Posted by: Kingsguru21 | September 16, 2009

Jason Thompson’s world: Are you living in it?

If you believe Jason Thompson can be a Center, please raise your hand. Because, among other things, when the Kings drafted JT, they drafted him to be a PF who could play C. As opposed to Spencer Hawes who is a C who can play PF.

The idea of what is a PF and what is a C is a bit far fetched anyway. Many people believe, for instance, that Tim Duncan is a C. It’s not a far fetched belief; after all he was a C at Wake Forest and for many years he did defend 4’s while playing alongside David Robinson.

What do I believe? It doesn’t really matter either way what Duncan is. (I think he’s a PF.) But, by the same token, since Robinson has left the Spurs after the 03 season, the Spurs (not surprisingly) have had difficulty playing another bigger “C” type player next to Duncan. On the other hand, tall PF’s like Fabricio Oberto have been in demand almost solely because they can do many of some (stress on the some) things that Robinson did, and this then allows the more important use of having Duncan is to allow him to do what he does best.

That’s the point here.

I’m not comparing JT to Timmy D, or anything of the sort. I’m saying that when you’re 6’11 250 you’re position probably doesn’t really matter to begin with. JT’s post defense needs to improve. His footwork (and growing into his feet), and post moves need to improve along with the post defense. JT needs to be coached by a man with a plan (literally).

I don’t know if we’ll see a major difference from the JT of last season to the JT of this season. After all, he’s only a year older, and he hasn’t (as far as anybody could tell at the Vegas Summer League) greatly developed any of his weak points.

On the other hand too many people judge a player by what he can’t do. If you’re into evaluating NBA personnel (have to say I am even if my analysis is amateurish), you might actually look at a player to see WHAT a player can do.

Here’s what JT does. He gets Offensive Rebounds. Like, at a really high rate and shit. He likes to run. He can handle the ball really well for a big man. (Mostly because he was a G when he got to Rider as a freshman.) He shoots well from the perimeter in spots.

So what can JT do better this season? Play better defense. Shoot high quality shots. Continue to get O-Boards. Find ways to score in transition. Block more shots if available. (That’s something he could very easily do better.)

The point here is simple: What JT needed to do this summer was get stronger. (He & Donte both.) He did work on that. He did work on post moves; on post defense too. JT is one player who may never be a “real” star, but he may be the perfect player for what the Kings need long term. He fits well with multiple players on the roster (Greene, Casspi, Hawes, Brockman) and can do many things around the court.

Whether JT is the “star” the Kings somewhat hyped him to be when he was drafted is moot. He probably will not be that player. But, being a complementary star in the NBA is just as difficult, and given that JT is definitely a player in that mold, I would be thrilled if JT ended up in Doug Christie category. He has every tool, every bit the personality to do so. JT is a player who can have a 15 year career simply by being solid.

He’s already showing every bit of being solid. He loves the game. He wants to get better. He’s 23. With JT, like many players on this roster, it’s all about time. Thank God. (Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or Buddha. Or Mohammed. Or some other “God” I don’t care about. Pick your poison on that one.)

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