So, LeBryan Nash vs Michael Gilchrist…. Anyone who knows me knows where I stand on this issue. Paul and Dave pretty break this down really well… for the most part. Unfortunately, they have fallen into the same trap as just about every other ESPN “analyst” out there, repeating verbatim what you will read on Scout.com. I will agree LeBryan Nash is far and away the better scorer. He can Shoot the 3 as well as anyone, but also has the athletic ability to play down in the post and finish with some rim-rocking slams. I will also agree Gilchrist is far and away better when it comes to defense and rebounding. However, being able to go inside and out does not make you exceptionally athletic. In fact, it is what I would expect from any elite-level small forward I put on the floor. While Gilchrist may not score like Nash, he does have some amazing athleticism that allows him to score in bunches. He is one of the best defensive players I have ever seen coming out of high school and he has the heart of a lion (or Tiger’s blood if you would prefer that #winning). Gilchrist is also deceivingly agile and fast for his size. In fact, it can be argued athleticism is one of Gilchrist’s biggest strengths as a player.
When I look at a highlight video for a player I look at two things,
1. Difficulty of the highlight. This essentially refers to things such as if the player was being well defended or the overall athleticism of the highlight.
2. Overall impressiveness of the players highlights. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first criteria. I want to put in to perspective how impressive the highlights really were. For instance, did the player get a wide open jump shot, or did he create the space to get a shot up by himself. Was the player the recipient of an amazing pass or did he work well with what he was given to make an amazing play.
When I put my 2 criteria against the highlight videos of Gilchrist and Nash, Gilchrist comes out on top. Nash’s ability to shoot the 3 is impressive, but aside from that he is mainly getting open dunks or cleaning up bad shots in transition against inferior competition. On the other hand, Gilchrist is being well defended in most of his highlights as he creates his own space, takes his defender off the bounce and displays an array of impressive ball handling skills and athletic moves.
I realize a player cannot be fully scouted by using highlight video as this would make it nearly impossible to get a true grasp of what a player is really like in a game. However, highlight reels are very good in determining the potential of a player and discovering their intangibles and overall athleticism. That being said, Gilchrist would get the nod in every area but scoring for me. He will flourish under Calipari next year and will most likely head to the NBA in 2012 as a lottery pick.