clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What's Left to See in Sacramento: Andres Nocioni

New, comments

Obviously, I don't watch the Bulls on a day-to-day basis. Matt of Blog-a-Bull does. In light of the trade, he offers this analysis.

Nocioni at his best was when he played as a PF who could use his quickness and range to create a mismatch, while reducing that mismatch advantage for his opponent with toughness and speed. And while his 'toughness' had become a running joke, he does indeed play the game without fear, which means there are cases when even overmatched physically he can hold his own simply by being physical and annoying his opponent so much they stop going at him (or better yet, bait them into bad play or technical fouls).

But in recent years (he's played several offseasons with the Argentine national team) his mobility has been diminished, which has made it harder for him to mitigate his disadvantages. Where he used to be able to rotate and collect bunches of charges, he now merely roams (sometimes with some serious head-turning) and fails to get back to his man. His rebound rate has sunk. His offense has devolved to the point of being mostly a 3-point gunner, so if he's not hitting those he really should be pulled immediately. Unfortunately, coachy coaches fall in love with his hustle, so they rarely follow that plan. It's possible that with a larger role in Sacramento he attacks the rim more, and as a PF he can still get by most (just hope nobody's there to meet him).

As a wing, he's just far too slow to guard anyone. If it's a case where he merely has to mark a stand-still shooter, then that's doable, until he (as mentioned) starts wandering away while staring at the ball...

And depending on your basketball sensibilities, you'll likely not enjoy his flopping and incessant badgering of officials. In his mind he's never commited a foul as a Bull, and I doubt with a new jersey he'll change that attitude.

You all know I'm a numbers guy, but there is something to be said for chemistry and camaraderie. No offense to John Salmons, but he has never struck me as someone who has close friends in the locker room. He's a private person, seriously different at his core than 99% of the NBA.

In a sport like basketball (or football, or hockey) the interactions between teammates count for a lot. Players who know and love each other are more likely to have a positive co-existence than otherwise. It's hard (impossible?) to measure the weight and quality of these on-court relationships. But it can be pretty evident to we who watch this team every night.

We saw Mike Bibby's uneasy on-court relationship with Kevin Martin and Ron Artest. We saw John Salmons and Martin struggle to really turn into a two-headed weapon -- it always seemed like it was one or the other going off or going quiet. Again, you can't measure that. But it's apparent that fit matters.

By anecdote Andres Nocioni is the greatest teammate in the world. In Chicago he has started and come off the bench; played huge minutes and not. You don't hear him complaining much about his minutes or shots. He's got (cover your ears) fire and (one more time) toughness.

He's not the answer. But he could an answer, someone who can help Martin and Shock & Hawes and Beno Udrih. I look forward to seeing him in action.