David Thorpe of ESPN does a great deal to cover the young players in the NBA, specifically first and second year players. He did a great write up on Anthony Bennett that we covered a few weeks back. Now Thorpe has done a quick look through current NBA rookies and who they should model their games after. His post on Bennett (Insider, cost $) showed that he would do well to model is game after one Joakim Noah, you know the guy who doesn’t want to vacation in Cleveland. Here is what Thorpe had to say:
Forget about Bennett’s potential to be a very skilled player. Or that he has to change his body if he wants to be great. Cavs fans would accept him with open arms if he just played with a super-hot motor at all times. Because then we would see him make so many plays simply because of his agility and skill level for a man his size.
Noah impacts every game he enters simply by using his energy, and now his size and talent add a lot more to the bottom line. Imagine a Bennett who played as though his hair was on fire, and practiced that way, too.
I think this comparison is a fair one as Bennett has such a unique skill set that a high motor would put him over the top. He doesn’t have to try as hard at other parts of the game if his motor ran hotter. Another, more close comparison, is Anderson Varejao who was huge in teaching Tristan Thompson some of the benefits of that type of effort.
A talented player like Bennett with a Noah/Andy type motor would be impressive to watch. Using his agility to get to the rim, loose balls and on defense would quickly vault him up the ladder of Cleveland’s favorite players. Yet this could be said about many players, and on the Cavs many fans have said as much about Kyrie Irving. Motor is hard to teach. It can almost be more difficult for a player who has been the best player on his teams for most of his life. That switch being flipped isn’t as easy.
What would a Noah like Bennett look like to you? Do you think he has it in him? Would that make him worth the #1 overall pick? Is there another player you think he should pattern his game after? Are you excited to get him back soon hopefully?