Breaking down the Big 3: Wall, Favors, Henry
I'm happy to be joining the draft blog team. Each week I'll be examining players the NBA is evaluating, and I hope to share with you just what makes these players special, or not-so-special, relating to their NBA futures. I'll work to ignore the obvious as much as I can, and try to delineate the little things that separate each guy from the others. This week, in a role I'm familiar with thanks to my NBA Rookie Report, I studied the three top freshmen on most of the NBA draft boards: John Wall, Derrick Favors and Xavier Henry.
Recent rookie point guards have proved that they can come into the league right away and score. Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings and Jonny Flynn were all lottery picks who arrived with the ability to beat their defenders off the dribble and get to the rim, where they were able to finish.
What none of them was able to do, at least compared with veteran point guards, was run a team using a pass-first mentality. With the ball always in their hands, point guards have the responsibility to ease (and sometimes force) their teammates into the flow of the game, while always having the option of "getting theirs" when the situation calls for it. It almost always requires a veteran mindset to do that successfully, while rookies struggle. I believe John Wall can change that trend.
To see exactly why Thorpe believes Wall will excel beyond the high standards of this season's rookie PG class and see similar breakdowns of Derrick Favors and Xavier Henry, you must be an ESPN Insider.