Saturday, June 14, 2008

Irish Warriors 2007-2008 Report Card: Marco Bellinelli

See the resemblance?

Whether it was the differences between NBA and European ball, his young age, Don Nelson, or simply the hangover of summer league hype Marco's rookie campaign was a bust. It took 82 games before the Seattle contest showed some of the red hot shooting we knew he was capable off and made him a Summer League star in 07. That said it probably didn't help he was used as a benchwarmer for most of the season Did the final game against the Sonics show he needs time without the pressure of being yanked off the court or if the burst of scoring after a few lesser performances is just proof of his inconsistency. I'm guessing a bit of both

It was pretty obvious from the get go Marco was going to rot on the bench and his body language displayed very little self confidence. In the latter stages his appearances earlier in the season made it difficult for him to fin his rythym. ). I suspect we might have just caught Marco that final evening while he was hot, compared to the few other nights he wasn’t feeling it. On the other hand Marco whilst sitting in the disgruntled section of the Locker room (with Barnes, Pietrus and Harrington) never had the gauge to complain. I actually think he could be a decent 6th 7th man off the bench to help bust zones or shoot in the half-court but at the moment it is impossibly hard to think as him as a starter.

His main weakness is Defensively. There were quite a few ugly moments when he was on the court where smaller, faster players simply faced him and blew right past him. His lateral movement is far from impressive, although his sense of spacing and defensive timing improved as the season continued. Hopefully for next season he can learn Defense isn't about speed from Players like Jackson. By knowing when to commit and when to back off, a defender can minimize certain physical advantages. His hands look incredibly quick which can allow a little more room for error when getting back on Defense. Still, I can’t help but shake the image of an Ellis / Belinelli back-court giving up bucket after bucket as the Warriors’ guards either fail to fight through screens to challenge shooters or get abused by players facing the basket, looking to penetrate. Both are young, so I’m hoping it’s not too late for someone to instill some defensive fundamentals.

That said, like Perovic, he’s cheap, young, and full of potential. If the Warriors have to give him up to get something else bigger done, he could be gone.

Overall Grade: D+

2007-2008 Report Card Archive
Chris Mullin: Grade C+

Kelenna Azubuike Grade C-

Matt Barnes Grade D-

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