Marvin Bagley’s scouting report advertised a young player chock-full of exciting possibilities after his remarkable freshman season. The Duke product scored with reckless abandon, averaging 21 points per game, while knocking down 40% of his shots from deep. He terrorized opposing defenses while in transition as the occasional primary ball-handler and cleaned the glass better than an industrial-sized bottle of Windex, recording 11.1 boards per contest. Those traits, while impressive, are also quite common for top-5 frontcourt prospects, but one unique ability also stood out for the young big man: his legendary second jump. Perhaps his most dramatic collegiate play was the result of a pair of offensive rebounds and a key put-back against the U.N.C. Tar Heels:
His penchant for snatching a board, instantly hopping above the defender, and putting the ball back in the bucket was a huge driver in any discussions surrounding Bagley. After the Kings selected the promising big man, the fan base was inundated with the term “second jump”, which led to a bit of disappointment sweeping through the ranks when Marvin struggled to show that particular skill throughout the Summer Leagues in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
Thankfully, Bagley’s bouncy nature and penchant for gobbling up rebounds returned in preseason and has remained throughout the first four games of the 2018-2019 campaign. No higher crowning achievement exists for his athleticism than when he corrals an offensive board and instantly springs up like a kangaroo on the moon, well before the opposing player has even had a chance to land. It’s comically unfair. Bagley doles out regular punishment to defenders who fail to box out when a Kings player misses a shot or properly defend an errant alley-oop:
Marvin has also displayed the ability to compensate for a rare missed bunny (he’s hit 19/23 shots in the restricted area, good for 8th in the NBA) by grabbing the ball off of the rim and immediately putting it back in the bucket:
Tuesday night, Bagley showcased the next evolution for his renowned second jump: shot-blocking. Our lottery big man recorded five rejections against the Denver Nuggets, including a beautiful recovery even after falling for a Trey Lyles pump fake:
Marvin Bagley isn’t a fully polished NBA player just four games into his career, but there’s no doubt that his famed second jump will translate into a weapon he can wield against opposing teams for years to come.