Atlanta Hawks: Prospect focus: Syracuse’s Fab Melo and Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli

The league trend is smaller lineups. The Heat’s small lineups defeated the Thunder’s small lineups in the finals–though it helps to have the best player in the world, a guy who can play all five positions.

But the small ball movement seems to be one of circumstance rather than innovation. Remember, Erik Spoelstra resisted it to the point that he tried starting Dexter Pittman in the playoffs.

Teams would use traditional lineups if there were more quality bigs.

“Sometimes the counter to that [small ball] is make teams match up to you,” Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft said. “There are still several big centers in the league. I think there is always going to be a premium on big guys. Anytime you can get size and are convinced they can compete at this level, it’s hard to turn down.”

That brings us to the tonight’s draft, when the Hawks could have the chance to select one of two centers with the No. 23 pick: Syracuse’s Fab Melo and Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli.

Each prospect have good potential as basket defenders. Neither are polished offensively, and their rebounding numbers are weak for their size.

Both players have great size and length and have attributes that could allow them to play significant minutes as a rookie.

“I think Fab with his shot-blocking ability,” Larry Drew said. “He’s pretty mobile. He gets up and down the floor pretty well. Festus, with his size and strength down low.”

I remember watching Melo play as a freshman and not feeling so bad he jilted my Cards at the last minute for Syracuse. He was slow, flabby and looked lost. Once Melo got into legal trouble, I was glad he picked the ‘Cuse.

Then I saw Melo as a sophomore and was concerned about how long he might stick around in college. He was still raw, especially offensively, but he was in much better shape and suddenly sprinting the floor. He was a shot-blocking menace anchoring the ‘Cuze zone. There still was some knucklehead behavior but, basketball-wise, you could see the potential.

Melo moved from Brazil to the U.S. to play for a high school in South Florida. He’s also still young for a big man (22) so there’s room for growth.

“He does a good job moving from block to block,” Drew said. “He’s going to have to get stronger. At this level, playing against centers and power forwards, he doesn’t have that strength. I think he has a chance to get a good NBA career if he continues to work hard.”

Melo’s mobility suggests he eventually could stay on the floor even against small-ball opponents and still be an effective defender. Pendergraft said Melo already has

“We went to a workout in Santa Monica and his footwork was shocking,” Pendergraft said. “It was not like he got a lot of post play at Syracuse. They were more of a slashing, penetrating-and-kick team. He didn’t get a lot of touches on the block. What we saw his footwork and balance were really, really good. Also what we saw in that workout was he could make the 16-, 18-footer consistently.”

Teams will have to evaluate how Melo will fare defensively now that he won’t be able to play in a true zone defense and will be forced to defend lots of screen-rolls.

“You look at his motor skills,” Pendergraft said. “You look at can he move his feet. You look at all the lane agility tests that we put all of our prospects through. How does his time measure up to the other guys? I think his does.

“The hardest thing for him is learning the ‘2.9′ rule where you’ve got to cleanse yourself and guard your man and not camp out in the paint. I worry about does that come natural to him as opposed to if he is laterally quick enough.”

Ezeli measures out an inch shorter than Melo and only about 10 pounds heavier, but he’s much more physically imposing,

“He’s just a very, very powerful kid,” Drew said.

“He’s big as a house and very, very strong,” Pendergraft said.

Ezeli said he suffered a torn MCL during a practice last October.

“By the end of the year it was fine,” he said. “Even when the knee was 100 percent, I was not 100 percent mental. It was tough for me but I got over it.”

Pendergraft said Ezeli looked to be slowed by the injury during the season but not now.

“He’s got his bounce back, he’s got his quickness back, he’s got his power back,” he said.

Ezeli’s size and strength suggest he should have posted better rebounding numbers at Vandy.

“That’s an interesting question,” Pendergraft said. “Someone with that kind of explosiveness, you would think they would get more rebounds per-minute than what he got. You have to pay attention to that and address it by studying film. Could it be injury-related? Maybe. Could it be that they didn’t have, for a really good team, they didn’t have a deep bench and he was a little less aggressive going to the boards, fearful for foul trouble? I don’t know that. It’s something we will really have to look into.”

Ezeli said he’s a “traditional big man” whose strengths are defense.

“I block shots,” he said. “I guard ball screens. That’s all me on defense. The offensive part, that’s an added bonus I’ve been showing.”

Pendergraft: “He has an unbelievable right-handed half hook. That’s his go-to move. That’s NBA-like. He shoots that as well as any NBA 6-10 player. If he gets to his sweep spot on the court and he gets to that shoulder, it’s good. Now, outside of that, he is somewhat limited. I think maybe in time he might develop a 15-footer. Probably needs to get a counter to that right hand first. But he’s not as rough around the edges today through his college years.”

Ezeli (pronounced e-ZEE-li) was born in Nigeria and moved to the Sacramento to live with an uncle when he was 14. The plan was to become a doctor.

“He’s a pediatrician and I wanted to be a doctor,” he said. “So my parents thought it would be a good idea to go and kind of shadow him and live with him and kind of see what the life of a doctor is like.”

He started playing basketball at age 15 and his body filled out. He started off pre-med at Vandy but those plans changed.

“I graduated in economics,” he said. “I kind of changed my mind. Basketball was going well, so I decided to go a different route.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

188 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

FTPB

“If he were tougher, he’d be the “Ben Wallace” that Billy Knight always envisioned for the Hawks.”

Haha. Josh’s “toughness” isn’t what keeps him from playing C. Josh’s 225 pound frame and 6′9″ height are what keep him from playing C. Ben Wallace had an amazingly strong lower body that allowed him to hold his post position and compensate for his lack of ideal C size. Josh doesn’t have that, and if he tried to develop it he would likely lose a lot of the explosiveness that makes him good in the first place.

Once again, players can’t simply wave a magic wand and “step up” to become what they want to be. There are real limitations on what players are capable of doing.

High-sider

June 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

I mean, seriously, questioning Josh’s toughness after he played the last three games against the Celtics with a bum knee matched up against the bigger, taller KG one on one most of the time is just foolish.

High-sider

June 28th, 2012
2:19 pm

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:20 pm

Josh Smith has been the toughest most durable player of the “core”. Not even close.

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:21 pm

Rod, I do not believe at the end of a season that there are 29 losers.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:22 pm

T minus 4:38

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:23 pm

“I do not believe at the end of a season that there are 29 losers.”

But at the start of a season, there are about 22 teams that are guaranteed not to be winners.

The goal should be at least to get in that remaining 8.

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:24 pm

“The problem is that even when people bring empirical evidence stating what everyone WANTS to believe about Pau, they still believe what they want to believe. It doesn’t matter if you post stats, or a youtube clip of a game in which Pau goes up against Boston, or whatever. It simply doesn’t matter to those of you who are flat out against this move.”

This youtube clip says all you need to know about Pau Gasol. Never seen a guy get his soul taken two times by the same guy, in the same game with no retaliation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2WVMxvwr7w

richy

June 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

id draft Ezeli at 23 if the hawks stand pat and dont trade up. Should trade up and try and draft Meyers Leonard.

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

Most durable and toughest from a personal health perspective. Not “tough” in terms of being an enforcer. Jason Collins has done more enforcer things than Josh. :lol:

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

FTPB:

It’s just like the discussion with Josh Smith, and why he hasn’t gotten to that next level as a player. It’s always a “yeah, but . . . .”

- Yeah, but if Josh had better teammates . .
- Yeah, but if Josh had a pass first PG . . .
- Yeah, but if Josh had a stronger coach . . .
- Yeah, but if the coach didn’t put Josh on the outside . . .
- Yeah, but if our ownership was better . . .

It seems like the people who always want to apologize for Josh, blame Josh’s non-advancement into a legit All-Star player on everybody AROUND JOSH, instead of blaming Josh himself.

Josh is simply the modern day version of Antoine Walker and Rasheed Wallace. Those two were immensely talented PFs who refused to play to their strengths as a player. They always played the way THEY wanted to play, not play the way that was best for the team. That was especially the case for Rasheed.

It wasn’t until that their offensive roles on a team were drastically reduced, and were surrounded by players who weren’t going to let them get away with the wild play, that each guy won a championship.

As long as Josh is the strongest personality on the team, and perceived as one of the team’s leaders, his style of play is NOT going to change.

doc

June 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

Melo sounds like solo.

Ezelli sounds like the new coming of twin collins.

Ben Wallace was loaded on ped’s. His body changed once he got his contract and he went off the roid program along with many others. In comparison the nab looks like it had a chick fil a cleanser and we are left with the question of where is the beef?

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

Got to love someone who uses YouTube to refute empirical data.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:27 pm

So should we draft a project or should we draft the most talented prospect?

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

“Rod, I do not believe at the end of a season that there are 29 losers.”

I know you don’t. You have a typical Atlanta fans loser mentality. If you dont win, then you lose. There is a process to become a winner, but that should be the overall goal, not just to compete.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

@ doc! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

doc

June 28th, 2012
2:30 pm

Yup NC, I have made that comparison of sheed to josh but shed flat quit on teams when he decided to, he took his ejection and self righteously walked off the court. Josh doesn’t come close but is the lite version in the new NBA that requires different behavior.

doc

June 28th, 2012
2:32 pm

Auto on the iPad converted Sheed to shed and sheer in one paragaraph. Wish it would make up its mind.

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:32 pm

“Most durable and toughest from a personal health perspective. Not “tough” in terms of being an enforcer. Jason Collins has done more enforcer things than Josh.”

Jason Collins has never affected how a guy attacks the rim. That is the ultimate toughness in the NBA. Players fear Josh in the paint. Change theri shots, go away from him…. Not so much with Jason Collins, Horford, Zaza….. Intimidation is the ultimate toughness in today’s NBA. There are no more enforcers.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:33 pm

FTPB:

Hey doc, I stumbled across some info the other day about how to make liposomal Vitamin C..
Word on the street is energy levels shoot through the roof at any age cause the absorption rate is about[93%] OMG!!

Have you heard bout this?

“How to Make Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most used supplement in the world. There is good reason for this as the science behind the many benefits of vitamin C is solid. Dr. Svent Gyorgi and Dr. Linus Pauling performed innumerable experiments proving that man, unlike most animals, is dependent upon vitamin C for a healthy existence. For decades we have relied upon various ascorbic formulas for our supplemental needs, but now a whole new vista opens up with Liposomal technology.

Increase Absorption Dramatically – Regular vitamin C is absorbed at approximately 19%, the balance remains in the gastrointestinal tract to attract water and loosen the bowels. Nanotechnology, liposomalized vitamin C is absorbed at 93%, measurable in the blood stream. A 390% increase in absorption! Get IV results with oral dosage!

Heat one cup of distilled water in a ceramic coated or stainless steel pan on your stove (do not heat it in a microwave oven) until almost boiling.
Pour the water into your blender and add three level tablespoons of lecithin and blend until all of the lecithin is totally dissolved in the water.
In one cup of cold distilled water, dissolve one level tablespoon of ascorbic acid. Make sure it is totally dissolved, very important!
Add the ascorbic acid mixture to the lecithin mixture and blend well”

Fascinating….

doc

June 28th, 2012
2:34 pm

Actually like the sound of what ezelli brings that of a banger mentality but the lack of bounds concerns me just as it did when twin entered a game.

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

FTPB

“If he were tougher, he’d be the “Ben Wallace” that Billy Knight always envisioned for the Hawks.”

Haha. Josh’s “toughness” isn’t what keeps him from playing C. Josh’s 225 pound frame and 6′9″ height are what keep him from playing C. Ben Wallace had an amazingly strong lower body that allowed him to hold his post position and compensate for his lack of ideal C size. Josh doesn’t have that, and if he tried to develop it he would likely lose a lot of the explosiveness that makes him good in the first place.

Once again, players can’t simply wave a magic wand and “step up” to become what they want to be. There are real limitations on what players are capable of doing.

**********************

Actual game play spits in the face of what you just typed. Josh weighed 235 – 240 ( mainly muscle ) for the past 2 – 3 seasons before this year. He lost the weight this year to become leaner and faster.

Height has nothing to do with Josh not being able to play center, because when called upon, that dude pretty much tries to guard anybody. He plays smart at that position with his ability to draw offensive fouls against guys trying to bully their way to the hole. He also uses his prowess as a shot blocker to compensate for his lack of girth and height.

The Hawks went to a “small” lineup on occasion throughout the year. And like Al Horford, Josh at center was a nighmare for people to guard, when he didn’t settle for the jumper. As long as he was using his speed against them, he played the position very effectively on both ends of the floor.

His offensive numbers are better at Center . . . period. I’ve always said that Josh at Center plays ( or should play offensively ) like a Boris Diaw in Phoenix.

The bottom line with Josh is that if you keep him around the rim, good things will normally happen. If he plays away from the rim, that’s when you’ll most likely get the “Good Josh/Bad Josh” combination.

But go ahead . . argue against the facts, and do like everyone else around here does, and claim that his best position is SF.

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

“Got to love someone who uses YouTube to refute empirical data.”

Yeah, no different than someone who uses fantasy stats for everything and never uses his own eyes. Sometines what you see, is what it is. I saw that Marvin was a bum 5 years ago, no matter what the stats said. Was I right?

The Real cp

June 28th, 2012
2:37 pm

Neither guy rebounds well. The Hawks have enough trouble rebounding as it is. I would pass on both guys. I would just take Kyle O’Quinn in the second round.

KevinM

June 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

Slim, we draft a player who gets us buckets. We were basically pleased with the JC2 pick. He gave us hope off the bench. That is in LD’s history, so he could repeat that thought after bringing Jenkins and Lamb back for a 2nd visit.

We need points, and you know what LD is looking for: athletic and play multiple slots….blah, blah, blah.

I will be okay with anyone but the PF slot. To me, its all about points off the bench. We can find a DeShawn Stevenson(Mr. ATM) or one dimensional big men for defense. Melo and Ezeli are both in this role.

If I see this correctly, we could get the 4th or 5th best SGs in this draft…..Jenkins, Lamb, Barton, Fournier.

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

I mean, seriously, questioning Josh’s toughness after he played the last three games against the Celtics with a bum knee matched up against the bigger, taller KG one on one most of the time is just foolish.

***************

Josh did what he had to do in the playoffs. Playing with injury doesn’t make you a “tough guy”. Joe Johnson isn’t a “tough guy”, and he’s played hurt on numerous occasions.

Playing tough is a mentality that sees you play with a physical intensity. Playing through injury means that you can tolerate the pain and go out and do what you need to do.

Ivan Johnson is a “tough guy”. Much tougher than Josh or anyone else on the team, because he’s not going to shy away from the physical nature of the PF position. If Josh had Ivan’s mentality and toughness, he’d easily be an All-Star.

Shamrock

June 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

Najeh: The goal should be at least to get in that remaining 8.

You sound like Rick Sund and the owners when they said we are a playoff team year in and year out. Make up your mind. Or better yet, go find yourself some 10 year olds to rub on. :)

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:39 pm

Rod, most Championship teams do not play their first playoff series on the road. So in terms of process, having homecourt advantage in the opening round is important. If the end result dismisses everything that came before it, then does a poor 2nd round performance eliminate a good first round performance by an individual player? I’ll hang-up and listen.

BIG DOG

June 28th, 2012
2:40 pm

I told you guys Listen to Big Dog.

Josh is going to Brooklyn with D12 and D William.

Since Josh is going Nets.

Traded Josh for Lopez, This the trade that make since for both team.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:40 pm

lol @ All being a nightmare for defenses to guard..This dude disappears in playoff games on many occasions…

His game is built for the regular season..Playoffs? Now that’s a whole other story……

doc

June 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

Personally slimj, I am a little concerned about nanotechnology as we have no real clue of how it works in or on the body. It may have been brought to market too soon, sort of like Monsanto and the gmo engineering story. Give me a lime or lemon daily in water and I’ll be fine and a legit way to know what isn’t gmo by law on the package.

Lechithin is pretty good for you especially the brain but most of it comes form gmo soybeans I am afraid. Be careful.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:43 pm

“Slim, we draft a player who gets us buckets.” -KevinM-

Brilliant Sir! I cosign!

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:44 pm

Rod from College Park

June 28th, 2012
2:24 pm

“The problem is that even when people bring empirical evidence stating what everyone WANTS to believe about Pau, they still believe what they want to believe. It doesn’t matter if you post stats, or a youtube clip of a game in which Pau goes up against Boston, or whatever. It simply doesn’t matter to those of you who are flat out against this move.”

This youtube clip says all you need to know about Pau Gasol. Never seen a guy get his soul taken two times by the same guy, in the same game with no retaliation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2WVMxvwr7w

******************************

Those two clips also show two offensive fouls being committed by Blake Griffin . . a dunk with him clearly coming over the back of Pau, who had position . . and the 2nd clip of Griffin giving Pau a forearm to the face.

Had Josh Smith done those two plays, there would be two offensive fouls called on Josh. But because the “Dunkenstein” made those plays, the officials swallowed his whistle.

Unlike you, I’ll simply post something REAL about how the dude plays. An actual game tape of what he brings as a player, not a clip of him doing something great or something bad

Gasol vs Celtics

But nope. We couldn’t have used this against them.

Mike

June 28th, 2012
2:45 pm

@Big Dog

Ummm, nope. We are not that stupid, besides I think the Hawks wont trade Josh Smith right now, but they might do it later on unless something big comes around and changes Mr Ferry mind.

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:46 pm

I hear ya doc. This stuff could turn some into Flesh eating Zombies? LMAO!

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

That Griffin dunk on the 7′2″ Gasol was one for the ages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unbelievable?

glenn

June 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

Na . We will draft Andrew Nicholson . It wouldn’t be the Hawks if they didn’t draft a 6′ 10″ forward .

BTW , Fab Melo was beat up pretty bad by the main NBA scout . Guy said he had horrible hands . Bad hands in the NBA won’t cut it . He was however very intrigued by Festus Ezeli . Seems like a pretty exciting draft atleast as far as drafts go .

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

“Josh is simply the modern day version of Antoine Walker and Rasheed Wallace.”

Antoine Walker never made his teammates better like Josh does, and Rasheed Wallace was the missing piece of a championship team.

“It wasn’t until that their offensive roles on a team were drastically reduced, and were surrounded by players who weren’t going to let them get away with the wild play, that each guy won a championship.”

I don’t think anyone thinks Josh should be the focal point of an offense like he is right now. That is a failing of the way the team is constructed, which is why this team needs to be blown up.

By the way, you can say the exact same thing about Gasol. Until his offensive role was reduced and he took a back seat to Kobe on the Lakers, he never won a playoff game.

Bottom line is neither Josh nor Gasol is good enough to be the best player on a championship team. Unfortunately for the Hawks, a Josh for Gasol trade would mean Gasol is the best player here while Josh is the 3rd best player there. In other words, the Lakers would be in prime position to contend with Josh’s role subjugated to where it should be, while the Hawks would continue to be stuck in no man’s land with Gasol assuming a role too large for his ability.

BIG DOG

June 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

If The Hawk trade Josh for Lopez, im all in with Jeffery Taylor being pick #23

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Ray

June 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

@ Rod

Thank you. You can use stats and youtube right now to make Marvin look good, but the reality is he’s not that good at all.

Ray

June 28th, 2012
2:51 pm

Also ESPN says that Danny Ferry isn’t ready to part with Josh Smith just yet according to this article.
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/46890/hawks-resisting-interest-in-smith-for-now

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve visited YouTube. But my guess is that there are video images that contradict other video images. So, yes, stats can be misleading, but should you really use something as clearly subjective as a You Tube clip to refute something as being misleading? Kind of like using a lie to dispute a lie. Silliness.

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

Slimjr

June 28th, 2012
2:40 pm

lol @ All being a nightmare for defenses to guard..This dude disappears in playoff games on many occasions…

His game is built for the regular season..Playoffs? Now that’s a whole other story…

*******************

So is what he did vs the Celtics this year a mirage? Was that an Al hologram that I was seeing out there in the 4th quarter of Game 6, when Josh Smith and Joe Johnson had all but disappeared?

Al may have lost people’s respect in the 2011 playoffs, but he should’ve gained it back in the 2012 playoffs against the best defensive team in the league. Dude came back off of an injury that should’ve had him sidelined the entire playoffs, and played like he wasn’t even hurt.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

“But go ahead . . argue against the facts, and do like everyone else around here does, and claim that his best position is SF.”

I have always said his best position is PF.

“His offensive numbers are better at Center . . . period. I’ve always said that Josh at Center plays ( or should play offensively ) like a Boris Diaw in Phoenix.”

It’s interesting how you NEVER talk about defense when discussing any of these players. If Josh played center full time he would miss half the season with injuries because his body wouldn’t hold up banging against bigger players all season.

KevinM

June 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

790 telling the fan base that Ferry isn’t that motivated in moving Josh….Orlando has inquired about him probably to keep D12 home.

So, I would not expect any Josh talk to go any further, though now is the time to start revamping.

2 things that I don’t want to see on this team next year….

1) Josh shooting long range bombs and trying to break records.
2) Marvin in any role for this team.

And I bet Boston would like Gasol on their team.

Astro Joe

June 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

Rod, so Birdman is/was tough? Ralph Sampson was tough? Again, semantics (I guess) because tough does not equal rim-protector in my world. Maurice Lucas was tough. Rick Mahorn was tough. Heck, Tyrone Hill was a tough SOB. I’m not sure any of those guys had as many blocks in their career as Josh has in a single season. BUt can anyone put Josh and Maurice Lucas in the “tough” category with a straight face?

Najeh Davenpoop

June 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

“Playing tough is a mentality that sees you play with a physical intensity. Playing through injury means that you can tolerate the pain and go out and do what you need to do.”

I guess you can redefine words to mean whatever you want to be. I have always understood toughness to mean playing through injuries, and physicality to mean what you are describing.

Ivan is stronger and less athletic than the average NBA player at his position, so obviously he is going to play the way he does. Josh is more athletic and probably not as strong as the average NBA player at his position, so obviously he is going to play the way he does. KG was built similar to Josh in his prime and he wasn’t exactly throwing his body around like Ivan (which is why his go-to offensive move to this day is a fadeaway jumper). Once again, players can’t just “step up” and change the way they are. That’s not how it works.

random

June 28th, 2012
2:58 pm

@Big Dog

Why not Josh Smith and Marvin Williams for Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace

northcyde

June 28th, 2012
2:59 pm

Najeh . . . I broke down his defensive numbers in the last thread at Center. Those weren’t his defensive numbers at PF, those were his defensive numbers at CENTER. I did that for all of the Hawks players, including Pau Gasol.

Like I said though, even when those stats will show what I state, they’ll still get dismissed by you and the others who act like “stats don’t tell the entire story” ( which they don’t ). What stats do, ( when looked at extensively and from multiple angles ), is give you a complete profile of a player.

But overlook it . . . . unless those same stats back up your position.

Put Gasol on this team, and teams now have to deal with the Hawks from multiple spots, and can’t afford to double team or leave guys wide open.

And to not completely hijack this thread . . . if you add a defensive big body like Melo or Ezeli beside either Horford or Gasol, that gives the team an even bigger look. And it gives the team the heir to Zaza’s backup C spot.