Assessing Darel Poirier

May 9, 2019

by Alan Lu

Recently, I took the time to watch 6-11 center Darel Poirier from France play in a G-League basketball game that took place on January 21st between the Capital City Go-Go and the Grand Rapids Drive, with thanks to Facebook via NBA G League. Poirier is an athletic big man that put up fairly good numbers in the G-League this year, so I wanted to get a chance to see him play in a full basketball game.   He also will automatically be in this year’s draft, as he is a 1997-born international player, and he is a big man that can shoot and block shots.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared in this game, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA.

Darel Poirier is an adequate shooter that can knock down spot-up threes to space the floor for his team on offense.  He missed an open three early on, but he was able to knock one down much later in this contest.  He did initially drop the pass before corralling the ball to get it, but he was able to patiently make the three-point shot from beyond the arc.  He also flashed the ability to score in the post as well as on drives to the basket.  Poirier was able to back his man down before using a spin move to score off the glass after posting up once.  He also managed to drive left before spinning to his right to score off the glass another time, but he also tended to miss on layups and floaters, as he can be prone to taking contested shots, and he also missed on an open layup another time in the post after an opponent had fallen down.

When Poirier plays under control, he can excel as a scorer around the basket.  On one play where he was open underneath the basket, Poirier was able to receive the basketball to score on a strong dunk.  However, he also missed on a roll to the rim after using a hop step to create separation away from two defenders on a separate possession.  Poirier sometimes wouldn’t run the floor very hard on either end, but he showed a better motor as the game wore on.

He also displayed average at best playmaking skills.  Poirier can throw solid interior passes, as he was able to throw a sharp pass to find a cutter, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them.  He also was able to set an on-ball screen, which enabled a teammate to score on a jump shot.  However, Poirier did not show great hands, as he tended to drop basketballs, which led to turnovers for his team.  Late in this contest, he also threw an inaccurate inbounds pass that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.

Poirier also did not rebound the ball very well.  He did manage to get two defensive rebounds, but even on his second board, it seemed like an enormous chore for him to get the ball, as he bobbled it before eventually corralling it in to get the basketball.  He also can be too slow to get to balls in his area.  Sometimes he may forget to box out, as he can get beat on moves, which can lead him to allow put back scores.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average in this game.  For the positives, Poirier is an active help defender, as he would rotate to block shots off of drives, and he also can deflect passes to make things difficult for his opponents.  He also will sometimes contest shots in the post as well as off of drives to force misses.  However, he had trouble guarding players out on the perimeter, as he would often get beat off the dribble when switched on quicker opponents off of screens, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also over-helped on a drive another time, as he helped off his man that would eventually get the score around the basket. 

Overall, Darel Poirier has some interesting skills, but he will need to make more shots efficiently, and he will need to improve his rebounding ability and position defense.  Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate for the upcoming draft, and he recently received an invite to the G-League Elite Camp.  If he plays well there and in workouts, he could end up getting selected by an NBA team in this draft.  If he can make significant strides as an overall player, he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA, as he could be like a poor man’s version of Marreese Speights in the association.

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