QCH Player Preview: Bismack Biyombo « Queen City Hoops

QCH Player Preview: Bismack Biyombo

The frontcourt has added Cody Zeller, Al Jefferson and Anthony Tolliver. Charlotte also resigned Josh McRoberts, but it’s still time for Biz to turn a corner and prove that he’s at least a player that deserves to be in a rotation in this league.

Charlotte has until the end of the month to decide whether or not they’ll pick up the team option on Biz’ rookie deal worth roughly $3.8 million — it’s highly probable that the option will be picked up by the Bobcats, but the fact that the question is even being asked by some is slightly bothersome. And should be. Biz still has value in this league — part because he has a 7’5 wingspan and has the potential to be an elite rim defender in this league. Also, Biz just turned 21 years old in August — plenty of time left to blossom. This somewhat segway’s into my next point: If nothing else, Charlotte will keep persisting through the Biz experiment for another season due to the fact that he certainly still has trade value. Not sure this is a guy who will ever justify being the 7th overall selection, but he still has respectable stock in this league. That being said, I trust that Cho will be smart on capitalizing on his value somehow, whether or not that means Biz playing in Charlotte through his entire rookie deal.

Pessimism –

Well, the obvious. The guy is offensively handicapped. In fact, when Biz tries to catch the ball around the block, many times it resembles what me catching a medicine ball would look like. This is fascinating too, considering how solid he makes his hand-eye coordination look when blocking shots on the defensive end.

To me, Biz plays like a guy who still hasn’t adjusted to the speed of the game in the NBA — offensively, at least. He’s very timid with the ball and is a deer in headlights at the sight of the ball being thrown to him. One shooting stat that sums up a lot with just how stunted his growth is on the offensive end — Among qualified bigs that attempted at least 100 layups last season (via Tom Haberstroh — ESPN Insider), Biz was 2nd worst in the league with a 44.2% mark. Only Roy Hibbert was worse at 43.6%.

– Tom Haberstroh — ESPN Insider

Another important note: Among the hundreds of players in NBA history who played at least 2,000 minutes in their sophomore season, Biyombo had the third-lowest scoring rate per 36 minutes (6.4 points). That says as much about the situation in Charlotte as it does Biyombo’s development, but it’s still not a good sign that Biyombo still can’t buy a bucket. The Bobcats can’t afford to have a top-10 pick turn into a better-rebounding Joel Anthony.

Last season, Biz was a mediocre rebounder at best — his 15.2 rebounding rate was good for 56th in the league among qualified players. He’s not significantly stronger on the offensive or defensive glass either — both need immense improvement.

The most alarming statistic for Biz, to me, is his turnover ratio of 15.6 — this ranked 78th out of 80 qualified power forwards in the league last season. Oh, and to shove your face further in the dirt, consider this — Biz was dead last (80th) in the NBA in usage rate among Power Forwards at 9.2, but he had the 3rd highest turnover ratio. Folks, that defines a player that really shouldn’t be touching the ball. Like, at all.

Optimism —

Two words — Rim Protector. If nothing else in this kids career, he’s always going to have to be way above average in this category. What makes Biz so successful at blocking shots? Two things: 1) He’s got a 7’5 wingspan, and 2) Biz contests shots with both of his hands most of the time, giving the offensive player no angle to adjust and mimicking a motion similar to a standing high jump.

Last season, Biz averaged 2.4 blocks/36 min — best for 24th in the league. Would expect that ranking to be a little bit better, but none the less solid.

Pick-and-roll defense certainly isn’t one of Biz’ strengths, but since I’m in the category of optimism I’ll point out how he can really improve here. For starters, he’s simply got to react quicker to getting out to hedge on the PnR — that’s as simple as recognizing when the action is coming + communication between teammates (which has been awful as a team). Secondly, use your 7’5 wingspan! What a tool his lengthy arms should be in PnR coverage — covering wider area in not allowing ball handler to get around him + taking away air space/passing lanes for with long arms in recovery.

So, unfortunately there’s not a whole lot of extremely positives factors in Biz’ development to this point, but hope is still there. Very young, freaky physical specimen + a great work ethic make for a guy who could still certainly develop into something nice, but there’s a long road ahead.

9 comments to QCH Player Preview: Bismack Biyombo

  • charlottean

    6th in block % though.

    using per 36 numbers, you’re including a lot of outliers surely. which is why you didn’t use that for rebounds.

  • Spencer/SDS

    Well, this commenting issue only lasted for what??? 4 months lol?

  • Justin

    Biyombo is still so young and raw, and he was still giving you 2.5 blocks and 9.6 rebounds a game per 36

    they need to give him the ball more so he will gain confidence

    yeah he only averaged 4.5 points a game last year……but he only took about 4 shots a game as well

    you cant score much if you only take 4 shots a game

  • Spencer/SDS

    lol, last pre-season game and he gets 20 rebounds…how bout that?

  • charlottean

    he only had 3 games of 15 or more rebounds last season (16, 17, 17) and 1 game of 15 as a rookie. 2 games of 20 in 1 preseason has me thinking he could smash that with playing time.

    it IS only preseason, but 13.3 rebounds per 36 over an 8 game stretch (10.6 per game) does mean SOMETHING for the guy. to go along with exactly 2 bpg. and dude just turned 21 in august. still a lot of time left to develop that dude into a beast.

  • connor

    everyone talks about how he’s still a kid and has so much upside…. What if this “kid” is actually like 30?

  • SDS/Smither

    well considering they checked his bones/growth plates within his wrists before they drafted him and that those weren’t fused yet (generally fuse between 17-19 yrs of age) he is probably the exact age he says he is. So yea…look stuff up 1st, then post.

  • charlottean

    I often think about that. Bill Simmons had a joke on his bobcats team preview where he said “happy 32nd birthday to bismack biyombo”……it’s a real fear because of guys in the past specifically in baseball, but even a mutombo or whoever….

    that said……i tend to believe the science they used for age verification pre-draft. in addition to that, correct me if i’m wrong, but he doesn’t come from a background of poverty right? it’s probably a lot harder to hide a kid’s age when your parents are successful and in the public eye. not to mention his siblings are all VERY young and he’s the oldest. it makes it way more believable that he’s 21 and not 31. at his size and athleticism, if he was really 32, he would have had a 10 year professional career somewhere. no way he just sits back and ignores the millions he could have been making in euro-league. his story of going to yemen at age 16 or 17 and then spain for the year when he was 18 before being drafted……fits a more credible timeline.

    let’s all keep in mind that US immigration does thorough background checks for visa and resident applicants. it’s not like it was in the 70′s and 80′s. it’s very rare people get through that process with fake documentation like they used to. that said, it happened this past year to some baseball players but it was like a 2 year age difference.

    i’m trusting the science of the bone density tests or whatever it is they call it……and the fact that cho wouldn’t roll the dice on his first draft if there was any doubt. then again, maybe that’s why he went kemba walker with pick 2 instead of kawhi leonard.

    • Spencer/SDS

      They did testing on his growth plates…which you lose at around the age of 17-19 (max of 21 usually) or they solidify so that they can no longer “grow”. No way would any human being be 30 and still have his growth plates “open” by that age. I said this before in a comment earlier but I guess this website didn’t like it…hopefully it works this time.