Assessing Josh Giddey in an NBL Game against South East Melbourne

January 21st, 2021

By Alan Lu

I was prepped to finally watch Evan Mobley and USC square off against Stanford.  Instead, with that game having been postponed once again due to COVID-related reasons, I decided to take the opportunity to watch Adelaide’s 6-7 playmaking point forward, Josh Giddey play in a January 17th game against South East Melbourne, as I was able to see this with thanks to NBL’s Twitch stream.

Giddey played well in his team’s road win in double overtime, especially late in this game, as he managed to score 16 points, and had 11 rebounds and 7 assists to help his team get the victory.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Josh Giddey had a sterling showing in Adelaide’s January 17th double OT win, as he scored 16 points, and had 11 rebounds, and 7 assists to help them defeat South East Melbourne.
Mark Brake/Getty Images, via ESPN)

Josh Giddey is an athletic, agile playmaker that excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders by driving hard to the hoop in transition.  He also managed to score on a quick put back after grabbing an offensive rebound.  Late in this game, he chased down a loose ball to get a steal, and drove quickly up the court to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk on the break.

Plus, he did a very good job of scoring in the post.  Giddey has very good footwork in the paint, and he used a jab step and quickly used a spin move to his right to get around his defender to score while drawing an extra free throw afterwards.

Also, he showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  Giddey accelerates well and can change speeds, and he can kick it into a second gear when driving to the hoop off of screens to get to the free throw line.  Plus, he also was able to use a quick step-back move to make a mid-range jumper from outside the right elbow.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to score in traffic, and he didn’t always display a great shooting touch when trying to get all the way to the rim to score.

Giddey also was able to draw three free throws after hoisting up a pull-up three on a controversial call, even though it appeared as if his opponent didn’t actually foul him.  However, Giddey was not able to make a three-point shot, and he was unable to make a long-range jumper off the catch or dribble from beyond the arc.

In addition, he also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Giddey is a skilled, ball-handler that did a good job of throwing interior passes off the dribble, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He has solid court vision that enables him to find cutters, and he also can draw in multiple defenders and then find the open man to get assists.  He also was able to throw a long, accurate outlet pass to a teammate on the break.  Plus, he also set a solid on-ball screen on a dribble handoff to help his teammate score on a jump shot about midway through the third quarter.  Giddey also would often bring the ball up, and every once in a while, he would push the ball up the court.  On the downside, sometimes he would throw ill-advised passes into traffic, as he had some of his passes get intercepted by his defenders.

Giddey also did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He showed a workmanlike effort on the boards, and he did a great job of chasing down loose balls, as he would tip balls to himself to get offensive rebounds.  He also excelled at hauling in defensive rebounds, and he is an energetic, fearless player that would go into crowds to get tough boards in traffic.

Also, he played adequate defense in this game.  Giddey is an active help defender that would use his length and quickness to make plays defensively.  He was able to jump upon a loose ball to get a late game steal.  He also was able to recover to poke a ball off of a drive out of bounds.  He also would use his length and activity to make quick rotations, and he would force opponents to pass out of potential shots.  He also was able to contest jump shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he can tend to space out, which would lead him to allow opponents to score in transition.  Other times, he would struggle to defend quicker opponents off the dribble.  He also would sometimes take bad angles when defending screens, which would lead to scramble situations.

Overall, Josh Giddey is a smart, skilled point forward that played very well in his team’s double overtime win over South East Melbourne, and he looks to be a much more polished player than expected.  He played well in his team’s double overtime win on January 17th, and he is a savvy playmaker that played well in crunch time, made smart plays with the ball in his hands, was aggressive in crashing the glass to get numerous rebounds, and he is a crafty player that change speeds to create ways to score on drives to the basket. He will need to improve his jump shot, and was a bit unfocused defensively early on, but he really was dialed in late in this game, and he made a lot of very solid plays down the stretch.

Right now, Giddey’s strong playmaking and rebounding skills, combined with having better than advertised athleticism could make him a candidate to go in the mid to late first round for the 2021 draft.  It’s early in the NBL season, but so far, he has played very well, and he could even perhaps play his way into the lottery over the next few months.  He has the skills to thrive as a role player at the next level, as he could project to be like a Kyle Anderson-type of player in the NBA.

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