|Roundup: Tomic, Finesse on the Court|
March 13, 2008
In other circumstances we might not be writing at all about this player, but since he received some hype early this season, we wanted to share our two cents now that we have managed to acquire some footage on him.
The thing is, on paper he looks like an intriguing guy: heís 6-10, athletic and he can reportedly play the small forward position. Thatís a pretty appealing combination. However, when you actually watch him on the floor, the intrigue soon disappears.
Douglas Nunes is playing in Merida, a Spanish team in LEB Bronze, which is fourth division (a level probably on the range of the weak-to-average second divisions across Europe), and he almost always officiates as a power forward (weíve seen him in three different games, and always has filled that position). It makes sense since at 6-10 playing at that level, heís always one of the tallest players on court, if not the tallest. Anyway, itís not easy to picture him playing on the perimeter, since his athleticism doesnít translate well to his lateral quickness (heís more of a solid leaper than a very quick guy), while his off-the-dribble game looks really limited.
Still, the biggest issue about Nunes is the fact that heís a soft player that often refuses to use his athletic gifts. Heís actually very soft. In some areas of the game, it looks painful, and his skinny body doesnít particularly help him either (his frame is also average). His defense is highly underwhelming. Heís not particularly strong in his lower body, so heís not solid guarding the low post. As mentioned, his lateral quickness is average at best, and he struggles staying with smaller guys whenever he switches defensively. The worst part comes in defensive rotations, as he lacks any kind of aggressiveness, and wouldnít take a charge to save his life. Instead, he will stay passive, use his hands or look for a block, although his timing is not the best around.
It doesnít get much better in the rebounding department. Nunes often forgets to box out his opponents, fuelling his teamís struggles with the defensive rebound, lacking any aggressiveness attacking the ball, and often just refusing to use his leaping ability. At some point, you have the impression that heís afraid of stepping on somebody and hurting his ankle, which did happened in one of the games we saw (by the way, it was odd to see not a single teammate or coaching staff member dropping by to aid him, not even to ask him about his condition, having to limp his way to the bench completely alone).
Offensively, Nunes seems to stick to a big-men repertoire. He shows quite a nice spot-up jumper with range out to the three-point line, and nice form on his release. Indeed, he also looks very reliable from the free-throw line, although heís not that frequent a visitor to the charity stripe (logical given his lack of aggressiveness). He also asks for the ball in the low post in order to release turnaround jumpers or jump-hooks trying to cash in off his superior size. We did see him netting a nice left-handed bank-hook, but his footwork seems limited, and his lack of strength and physical game doesnít help him to produce here with any consistency. A significant source of production for him comes from continuations from the high post or receiving the ball near the basket taking advantage of some defensive rotation. If the zone is clear enough, he can get pretty high to finish with a nice dunk. Finally, you can eventually see him putting the ball on the floor to attack his match-up, showing ability to drive both ways, a decent first step, and long strides on his way to the basket.
In terms of passing game, Douglas never shows anything special. Besides, his hands are a bit suspect, perhaps lacking some strength there.
All in all, he exhibits a general lack of aggressiveness, and itís hard to come out impressed with any of the stuff he delivers on the floor. Heís averaging 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 26 minutes per game. He could do worse statistically speaking, but itís nothing to write home about. In the end, providing his intensity doesnīt suffer a major boost, and his game doesnít improve significantly, I would be pretty much shocked if he ends up being selected in the draft.
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