Overview:7-footer from the Republic of Congo with a superb physical profile. Incredibly long arms, chiseled frame and excellent athleticism. Started playing basketball very late, after receiving political asylum in Belgium. Was spotted by the Dallas Mavericks at the Reebok Eurocamp in Treviso and eventually signed. Mostly a project player in his first few seasons in the NBA with Dallas, but began to see rotation minutes this year after signing with the Lakers as a free agent. Primarily known for his shot-blocking ability, Mbenga is largely a 3rd string center who can provide energy and athleticism off the bench in addition to six fouls. Hes a black belt in Judo and speaks five languages.
Offense: Not a skilled player by any stretch of the imagination. Will always be his teams 5th option offensively. Can run the floor extremely well, set massive screens, and finish around the basket. Hands are solid, and incredible size, length and explosiveness gives him terrific extension around the basket. Will make an open 12-foot jumper from time to timehas expanded this part of his game considerably. Will blow the open layup occasionally, as his coordination/reflexes offensively are just average, but still seems to be progressing slowly but surely. Has no footwork or post-moves inside, and no left-hand, making him completely reliant on others to create offense for him. Understanding of the game is nothing to write home about, but hes gotten much better.
Defense: Can make a huge impact, thanks to his outstanding physical tools alone. Size, strength and gigantic wingspan make him an imposing hurdle inside. Works hard and really competes on this end of the floor. Can play an enforcer type role on the floor, dishing out pain Has solid timing going after blocked shots, and finds a good deal of success as an intimidator. Recovery speed rotating from the weakside is tremendous. Not quite as good when forced to guard on the perimeter. Quick enough to hedge screens, but awareness of team defense leaves something to be desired. Was incredibly foul prone earlier on his career, has managed to cut down on his blind hacks and biting for pump-fakes, but still runs into problems here at times. All in all not a bad guy to bring off the bench.