Taking a look to Israel and Turkey, we are evaluating the start of the season for the following three players: DeQuan Jones (Hapoel Holon), Kameron Chatman and Sek Henry (both Pinar Karsiyaka).
DeQuan Jones (’90, Wing) – Hapoel Holon
DeQuan Jones wasn’t known for his 3pt shooting for most of his career, but things have definitely changed by now. 43.3% from beyond the arc last year in the G-League, 45.6% from deep this year – solid numbers for a guy who didn’t even attempt one three pointer per game in his college days. But the striking accuracy from deep isn’t the only thing that stands out about the 28-year old Jones, it’s his athleticism that made him famous and earned him a spot in several dunk contests already. Playing for Hapoel Holon this year in the Israeli League and in the BCL, Jones definitely looks like a guy ready to step up when it matters. After last years G-League stint, where he won ‘Most Improved Player’, Jones had to replace Glen Rice Jr. as the versatile, reliable do-it-all forward on Holon’s roster – certainly not the easiest task for a new player.
But so far Jones hasn’t disappointed, as he’s currently averaging 15.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2 assists per game (3 TO). His passing and playmaking is not on the level of Rice Jr. and he’s not poised to put up a (near) triple double anytime soon, but his contributions in other areas have been noticeable.
-His explosiveness is second to none. NBA-body. Can tear the roof down on one posession and guard the other teams best player on the next posession. Only a few guys overseas posess those raw physical abilities.
-3 point shooting. In his mid-40’s on more than 4 attempts per game. Spot-up weapon, lethal when his feet is set. Can curl around screens or knock down some accasional pullup J’s from deep, but way more accurate when paitently waiting for the pass.
-solid effort, runs back in transition, boxes out. Not a guy who’s giving 100% each and every posession, but he cares.
-able to defend multiple positions. Regularly guards SG’s/SF’s/PF’s, can switch onto almost anyone and stay in front of almost anyone when defending solely one on one.
-plays on/off ball. Spot-up weapon, but also runs pick and roll, isolates a few times a game, can initiate the fastbreak after a grabbed rebound, fills the lane, good in transition. Lacks elite passing and ballhandling skills, but in general really versatile for his height.
-Theoretically guards multiple/all positions, but get’s beaten off the dribble way to often. Bad footwork and recognition, often times way out of position. Close-out defense was a major concern at the start of the season, got a little bit better as time went on, but still far from good.
-relies too much on sheer power and athleticism while driving to the rim. Head is down too often, not really crafty at the rim. Could draw 5FTA per game easily, but isn’t good at selling contact. Tries to float it in on iso drives, but not really all that efficient. Lacks finesse. Prefers straight line drives, but is deadlier when changing pace and direction. Ballhandling ability is limiting him at times. Good, but far from brilliant.
-3 TOs per game. Negative AST/TO ratio. Headless drives, but also high usage. Not a good/great passer. Can deliver the first pass out of the pick and roll but not much more. Solid in that regard.
Kameron Chatman (’96, Big) – Pinar Karsiyaka
Another player with big shoes to fill is Kameron Chatman, 22-year old rookie playing in Turkey for Karsiyaka. Signed as the new stretch four, Chatman hasn’t played up to expectations so far. His hunched posture compared with his length and the fact that he’s a leftie reminds you of Isaiah Hartenstein, but Chatman isn’t looking like an NBA pro right now. Scott Wood, last years sniper for the turkish team netted 46.5% of his attempts from deep, Chatman stands at 26.4% for the season. Not good and clearly not good enough, especially when you consider almost 60% of his field goal attempts come from three point range. Chatman takes a huge amount of jump shots and has to hit them at a high rate to be effective. Right now he’s not. He had a hot stint a couple of weeks ago, where he went 8 of 13 from three in three games, but went cold right after. And in all fairness he’s not giving the team much else production-wise.
-showed in college he is a good shooter from downtown. Maybe it just takes some time for him to adjust.
-Not bulky, but has good size. 2.06m tall, long arms. Mobile, decent athleticism. Can run the fastbreak. Can play the 5 here and there. Really tries to bother shooters with his wingspan.
-not a guy, who defends every position, but can definitely switch on some occasions.
-Chatman may be 2.06m tall, but he’s neither a force at the rim (1 block in 14 games) nor a force on the boards (2.8 rebounds / 18.5 minutes). Struggles with his awareness at times, doesn’t have a nose for rebounds. Not really physical.
-The big leftie isn’t elite at beating closeouts with the dribble on the pro level yet, mostly stopping in the midrange area for a pull-up J or a so-so shot at the rim. Prefers straight line drives to the basket, but obviously doesn’t get it all the time. Length isn’t doing him a favor there. Not drawing fouls with his style of play. Not a face-up ‘4’ a la Raymar Morgan.
-Fairly limited in his role. On paper he looks like a good fit next to Assem Marei, a true bruiser in the paint, but in the end it all stands or falls with Chatman’s ability to knock down threes at a reasonable high rate.
Sek Henry (’87, Ballhandler) – Pinar Karsiyaka
Kameron Chatman isn’t the only Karsiyaka player worth mentioning though. Sek Henry, 31-year old veteran guard had much more success than his teammate so far. Coming off a great year at Maccabi Ashdod, where he averaged 17 and 6 and was named MVP of the league, Henry continues to produce outstanding numbers on the court in Turkey. Playing next to scoring dynamo Erving Walker, Henry doesn’t have to put up 20 points per game to give his team a chance to win.
-great all-around player. Almost has the complete package on offense. Post-up threat, good playmaker, feel for the game. Almost 5 assists per game, only 1.5 TO. Good shooter from deep, gets to his spots. Solid Midrange J. Deadly going to his left.
-good size for a guard. Defends 1-3. Easy to pair him with other (backcourt) players.
-good vision. Accurate skip passes when the defense lets him go to the left side. Under control, not much BS in his game. Controls the pace, doesn’t rush things.
-sometimes a little bit too predictable. Always searches for a way to go to his left. Uses snake dribbles in pick and roll situations a lot. Layups at the rim almost always with his left hand.
-32 years old next season. Could/Should definitely end up on a good team (EC level at least) after this season, but age plays a factor.