A Second Look at Isaiah Hartenstein

March 8, 2017

By Alan Lu

I decided to see Zalgiris’ 6-11 big man Isaiah Hartenstein play once again, and this time, I decided to see him play in another LKL basketball game.  With thanks to YouTube via LKLTelevizija, I managed to see him play with Zalgiris in a January 2nd match against Kedainiai.  Here is how he fared in that game, and how he may rate as a prospect for the NBA.

Isaiah Hartenstein is a good shooter that can space the floor for his team.  He has great size and solid shooting skills, as he can make spot-up threes off the catch.  Also, he can draw fouls upon the opposition after getting the ball on the block to post up.  Also, he excels at getting scores on the move.  He showed off a good ability to get scores on rolls to the rim as well as in transition, and on one play, he scored on an acrobatic switch of hands shot on the break.  But Hartenstein missed on a drive after attempting a leaner in traffic, and he also missed on a roll another time, as he can play a bit too out of control at times, but he also appeared to display below average playmaking skills.

For the positives, Hartenstein showed a good willingness to find the open man, and he set many screens for his team over the course of this game.  However, he also committed his fair share of turnovers.  He had a tendency to commit traveling violations on drives to the hoop.  Another time, he threw a hasty bounce pass in traffic that ended up getting intercepted.

He also showed off decent rebounding skills.  Hartenstein would leap up to get tough boards in traffic, and he hauled in his fair share of rebounds on both ends of the floor, as he possesses good length, athletic ability, and motor to do so.  He would also tip balls to try to collect others, but sometimes he would not always direct them to his teammates.

Plus, he also showcased an adequate ability to defend on the court.  He is a solid low post defender, as he possesses the length and timing, as well as adequate athleticism to block shots off of drives, as he can make clean rotations in doing so.  Plus, he can hold his ground when defending down low, as he can force misses.

However, he may struggle more when defending out on the perimeter.  For the positives, Hartenstein is adept at collecting steals, and on one play, he raced back to defend his man, and knocked a ball away to get his team a steal.  He will also generally make good rotations, as he can force opponents to commit ball-handling turnovers.  Also, sometimes, he may quickly hedge out on screens on occasion.

On the other hand, he can give his man too much space, which can allow his man to score on drives or to knock down mid-range jumpers.  Hartenstein does not always move his feet well, and sometimes he may commit a reach-in foul in trying to jump passes, as he did so once due to over-aggressiveness.  Also, there were times where he jogged down the court and did not hustle back, as the other team ended up getting fast break scores.

In general, Isaiah Hartenstein is a skilled big man that can really help a team on offense as well as on the boards.  He may need to improve defensively, but he does have the athletic tools to do so considerably.  With his skill set, he could be a good pick for a team in the mid first round range of the 2017 NBA Draft, as he could end up being a solid player in the association.

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