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Explain One Play: Jordan Bell dunk from the JaVale playbook

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Video analysis of how GSW gets JaVale his alley-oops, and how Jordan Bell can do the same. From the Warriors-Pelicans game on Oct 20, 2017.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
enjoying the vacuum of near-zero playing time
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

This is a look at a play run during the Warriors-Pelicans game on Friday.

Sadly, I broke my streak of five straight articles about Jordan Bell, but I’m back on track today.

When we last discussed Mr. Jordan Bell, I said

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.

Well, now we’ve seen him run one of the missing plays, one of JaVale’s two alley-oop plays. Here is a little video breakdown of the play as run by JaVale, and then a quick look at Bell’s version.

Final Thoughts

Here is my most profound (140 character) thought about Bell. You’re welcome.

Zaza Pachulia is slow, can’t contain drives, and can’t block shots. He gives burly effort and boxes out, but his hands are not quick enough to rebound well. On offense, he’s averaging two passes bouncing off his body per game and still finishes poorly when resisted.

JaVale McGee may be slowly growing, but he’s also an erratic rebounder and gets faked off his feet, so he’s not a sturdy large defender.

David West has the mind and playmaking, but he doesn’t seem to be able to play big minutes anymore, and he’s been forcing a lot of passes this year.

So yeah, Jordan Bell is a rookie who is still getting used to game speed, has barely played any pro minutes, got torched by James Harden and Eric Gordon in isolation, missed some rotations like a rookie. And YET, he’s still looking like the best of the bigs right this minute. Not because he’s the Rookie of the Year, but because our current bigs are flawed and in decline. Bell catches balls, finishes well at the rim under pressure, can dunk lobs, can finish straight-line drives to the hoop, can pass with surprising touch, and can read the floor and make plays at NBA speed.

But I really doubt Bell will become a regular starter this year. Pachulia is going to give you a much better 12 minutes a game as the Starter. To bench him now for a random rookie would be a big blow. It’s much like how Harrison Barnes played adequately as a starter and terribly as a bench player. Also rookies famously bonk halfway through the pro year, so expect a falloff from Bell. The future is bright, but this year is a transition year for the Warriors bigs.