FanPost

Summer Scout: DJ Strawberry

While doing a team-by-team summary of Summer League, I realized that what I had written on DJ Strawberry was getting a little lengthy. So here's my analysis on him. In short, I think the backup and/or potential heir to Steve Nash is still a huge question mark for Phoenix.

After I posted my initial brief scouting report on Strawberry amidst the Day 7 post, I felt maybe I was a little hard on him. Prior to the 2nd game vs the Knicks where I saw Phoenix play, I had read a link from TrueHoop saying that he probably wasn't going to be the backup point guard, since the Suns were eyeing Tyronne Lue, among others.

Maybe I came into the 2nd game jumping on the bandwagon a bit, but after focusing on his weaknesses, his weaknesses started to really overshadow the fact that he does a lot of things well, just not any one thing spectacular. As such, the best compliment I can give him is he's a smaller version of Scottie Pippen. However, one example where's he's majorly discounted from any comparison to Pippen was a fastbreak in which he had the big 6'9" Wilson Chandler as the only one between DJ and the tin.

Strawberry couldn't get by him, although Chandler did foul him. Strawberry tried to make a step inside on the fastbreak, but DJ's steps are not big steps (he ought to work on a bigger first step). DJ also does not have a quick hesitation lateral dribble. He does not have a quick spin. All of these things, you need from a point guard. I was thinking he could be a defensive stopper at 6'5", but he doesn't bend his knees. I don't think he can do any heavy squat-lifting. He needs to hit the weights in terms of his lower body. A higher vertical would have gotten him over Chandler, who was a bit flat-footed on the play, being sort of in a vulnerable defensive position.

Strawberry should be bending his knees with the ball as well. Worst of all, because he cannot get his body into a torpedo-like position to make a strong first-step past a similarly-sized defender, he tends to shoot himself out of situations. And that shot is not reliable. He did make some jumpshots here and there, but something's just not right about jump and/or the release. I can't put my finger on it. Again, the theme of doing a bunch of things good, but not great.

So I go back to my original assessment. He better find something other than his height to stand out above the noise, otherwise his NBA career will be over soon.

P.S. During one of DJ's free throws, the announcer accidentally reported his name as Darryl Strawberry, but DJ didn't flinch. I remember hearing that the "D" in DJ actually does stand for Darryl, but he distanced himself from the "Darryl" name due to his father being in jail for some time.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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