It was pointed out in a recent Summer League practice that Donte Greene, who has always been tall for his position, is looking even taller, and may have reached the 7 foot mark over the offseason. Most seven footers are expected to have some sort of a post game, but then again Donte Greene isn't your average seven footer. After the Jump we will explore the topic: Does Donte Greene need to develop a post game?
Most of us kings fans believe we have our SF of the future in either Donte Greene or Omri Casspi. I believe it’s too early to tell which player, if any, is our man going forward, but I believe Donte has a higher ceiling, and I worry about him reaching his full potential without developing some sort of a post game. I also believe he will start this season for the reasons mentioned above, and to preserve some of Omri’s energy so he doesn’t slow down again in the second half of the season.
Thus far in his career, Donte has been nothing more than an athletic 3 point shooter. While he has taken some great steps toward improving his shooting from behind the arc (26% to 37% in two years), he is not a good enough shooter to build his career solely behind his ability to knock down the three ball (like a Jason Kapono or a Kyle Korver). While specialized players like Korver certainly have their place in this league, I expect a much more well rounded player from our starting SF.
Now before you get mad at me for comparing Donte to a one-dimensional guy like Korver, take a look at the similarities in their stats per 36 minutes. Donte averages 13.1 points to Korver’s 14.2, 4.9 rebounds to Korver’s 4.3, 1.5 assists to korver’s 2.3. The one place where Donte really outshines Korver is in his athleticism and height. Donte is taller, better, faster, and stronger than Korver. Yes, that’s a reference to Daft punk, not Kanye, and I changed the lyric from harder to taller because it sounds less sexual and I know how you guys love to write TWSS. But I digress…
At a tall 6’11, Donte should be very capable of punishing opposing SFs in the post, but this is not the case. Hoopdata shows that Greene takes just 2.1 shots at the rim and 1.1 shots within ten feet; however he takes 2.4 shots per game from three. Is this reason for concern?
Well, yes and no. At his fully realized potential, Donte should be able to both post regularly and knock down the three. His perimeter game has improved by leaps and bounds but his post game is sorely lacking. And while this hurts everybody on our team, no one is affected more by Donte’s game than Tyreke Evans. Tyreke was basically our entire offense last year, and there were many moments where athletic SFs guarded him and gave him some serious trouble (Players like Salmons instantly come to mind). This would not be that big of a deal, if Tyreke’s supporting cast were able to take advantage of their match-ups. In order to do this, Donte must be able to back down any one or two guard in his way. The future Bucks should fear placing Salmons on Reke because there’s no way a guy like Jennings or Ridinour(assuming he resigns) stops future Donte in the post. He should outmuscle them with ease. But he doesn't have to bully his way down low every time; he could use his post game to get off that sweet turnaround fadeaway jumper previously mastered by former King Peja Stojakovic.
Many have projected Greene as a Rashard Lewis type of player, and I get the comparisons. So here’s an interesting analysis of Lewis’ stats that has, to my knowledge, not yet been pointed out. In each of the past four seasons, the ratio of Lewis’ three point attempts to his attempts from within ten feet has grown (In other words, he has progressively become more of a perimeter player than a post player in each of the past four seasons). Also in each of the past four seasons, his efficiency has progressively dropped, from 20.73 in the 2007 season, to 13.14 this past season. Maybe the two stats aren’t even related, and this means nothing; but then again, maybe this means everything.
Or maybe Lewis is just simply declining with age, and his departure from the post can be easily explained by Howard’s growing dominance down low. If this is the case, maybe the kings don’t need Donte to develop a post game. After all, we are now full of big men (be mature guys), and when Donte is posting, this ties up space where our 4 or 5 would normally be.
And maybe asking Donte to post is like asking Spencer Hawes to bang down low for blocks and boards. Maybe posting just isn’t ever going to be a part of Donte’s game, and asking him to develop into a strong force down low is unreasonable. I don’t really have an answer, so I’m opening this up for discussion in the comments(although it’s not like I have a choice). What do you guys think? Does Donte need to post more, or not? How do you see Donte progressing over the next few seasons?