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Explain One Play: Jordan Bell to Patrick McCaw 3

Jordan Bell makes a good un-rookie-like read to find Patrick McCaw for a 3 in the Kings-Warriors game on Oct 13, 2017.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
Kerr loves this pass, trust me
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I know some of you might think it’s a little weird to write every article about a guy Jordan Bell who’s not even in the rotation. And have I mentioned I have an irrationally good feeling about this guy? Anyway, it’s only been four straight articles, so what’s one more?

And last article, 75% of you said this E1P should be about more Jordan Bell and 19% said Patrick McCaw, so we get both tonight.

I knew Bell could jump very high. I knew he could block college shots. I knew he had no jumper but could put back misses. From the start, it was pretty clear that he could run all three plays in the JaVale McGee playbook: there are two alley-oop plays which we haven’t seen him run yet, and this pick and roll we’ll analyze next. I made a little movie describing how much better Bell runs this play already. Because Bell can run a basic 4 v 3 on the short roll, he already makes the play more dangerous than McGee does.

Final Thoughts

Preseason revealed Bell’s great court awareness and feel for the game, but most importantly, the dude can be a playmaker. It’s not just the very constrained reads of the set plays. Throughout the game, veteran players like Nick Young were handing Bell the ball to make a play and the right pass in chaos or when the play broke down.

The awkward truth is that JaVale McGee is blocking Jordan Bell from his natural role as the energy guy at the end of Q1 and Q3. McGee jumps higher than Bell and causes more chaos, but Bell jumps plenty high and maybe chaos isn’t always good. Otherwise, I think Bell is on track to be better than McGee this season.

Similarly, Shaun Livingston is blocking Patrick McCaw from his natural evolutionary path. McCaw doesn’t have Shaun’s turnaround and veteran savvy, but he has a passable 3-point stroke and backup point guard poise.

The staff has a tough needle to thread. The team is championship or bust, but is also trying to develop its two young guys. Sorry, I don’t think Looney is in the long term plans — I think it’s likely his next year option is declined at the end of this month — and Jones is so basic that it’s not clear what he’ll be. If he became Festus Ezeli, people would be ecstatic.

And here’s Coach Steve Kerr implying that Bell’s not really going to be in the rotation until something happens to one of Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, and David West ahead of him in the depth chart.

This is part of the real reason I wrote so much about Bell. He’ll be important in the Warriors future, but in the near future, he’ll probably only be seeing garbage time minutes.


(if you’re reading this on AMP, you’re missing the poll and comments, refresh from!)

Feels like time to revisit this poll.


This season, Jordan Bell will be...

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    glued to the bench
    (30 votes)
  • 8%
    sighted every month in garbage time
    (240 votes)
  • 43%
    seen most games, as frequently as McCaw last year
    (1213 votes)
  • 23%
    a role player as important as JaVale McGee
    (646 votes)
  • 10%
    eventually starting over Zaza
    (308 votes)
  • 4%
    challenging for an All-Star spot and Rookie of the Year
    (123 votes)
  • 8%
    traveling the solar system as a giant Galaxy Brain bringing enlightenment to the outer moons of Saturn
    (248 votes)
2808 votes total Vote Now

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