Assessing Ludde Hakanson

May 12, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Movistar Estudiantes’ 6-3, 1996-born point guard, Ludde Hakanson from Sweden, as he has played a substantial number of minutes in the ACB throughout his career, and he has also gained valuable playing time in the Basketball Champions League this year.

I decided to watch a couple of games that he has played in to get an extended look at his skills, as I was able to see him play in a February 6th game against Umana Venezia with thanks to YouTube via Basketball Champions League, and I also saw him play in a November 7th, 2017 game against Medi Bayreuth, also with thanks to YouTube via Basketball Champions League.  Here are my thoughts on how Hakanson fared in both games combined, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA.

Ludde Hakanson is a smart, skilled playmaker that can shoot and pass the basketball.  He possesses a good motor, and he will compete on every possession when he is on the floor.  He also is a fairly agile player that can make hustle plays on both ends of the court.  He showed a very good ability to knock down threes to space the floor for his team.  Hakanson is a crafty ball handler that can use pump fakes and ball handling moves to create separation between him and his defender, and he can knock down a series of pull-up threes, and he also can make quick spot-up threes from well beyond the arc.  Sometimes, he may tend to take difficult jumpers, which can sometimes hurt his shooting percentages, but he will look to get shots up, as he may do so through creative means.

He also showed an adequate ability to get scores on drives to the basket.  On one play, Hakanson pushed the ball up the floor, and he drove right off of a screen to score on a left-handed, acrobatic layup.  He also managed to draw a non-shooting foul another time when dribbling off of a screen.  But there was one occasion where he missed an off-balanced shot when looking to score off of a drive another time.  Hakanson also showed a knack for drawing fouls when dribbling the ball up the floor, as he will sometimes push the pace to create scoring chances for his team.  However, he had trouble trying to knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers, as he wasn’t quite able to get those to fall in either of those games despite having a fairly quick first step to the hoop.

Also, he displayed solid playmaking skills.  Hakanson is a patient player that possesses good court sense, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  On one play, he dribbled up the floor on the break, and he used a nifty shot fake before throwing a quick interior pass to find a teammate around the basket to get the assist.  He also passes well off the dribble, and he can get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways.  He also can push the ball up the floor, as he can score or get assists afterwards.  In addition, he will sometimes look to set screens to help his team.  But every once in a while, he can be careless with his ball handling.  On one play, he over-dribbled, and he ended up losing the ball on the break to an opponent.  Another time, he looked to take it to the rim, but he had the ball poked away from him.  On a separate play, he passed up an open three-point shot, but then threw an entry pass that sailed out of bounds.

Also, Hakanson did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would actively look to get boards to help his team, as he can get an offensive rebound off of a tap out, and he will also leap up to get defensive boards, as he can push the ball up the floor off of them.  Also, he once boxed out an opponent to help a teammate get a defensive rebound.

He also possesses decent defensive skills.  Hakanson is an aggressive defender that will aggressively fight through screens, and on one play, he was able to quickly go under the screen to contest a pull-up, mid-range jumper to force a miss.  He also managed to draw a charge on an opposing ball handler that attempted to make an outlet pass in transition.  Also, Hakanson will look to actively stay with his man on drives, as he did so once to force a pass that ended up being a turnover due to possessing good footwork.  But sometimes, he can be too aggressive on the defensive end, and he may struggle when opponents change directions or set tough screens, which can lead him to commit fouls when defending opposing ball handlers.  Other times, he may occasionally make the wrong rotation, which can cause him to be late to rotate, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

In general, Ludde Hakanson is a skilled playmaker that can help his team in a variety of ways, especially on the offensive end.  He is a player that shoots and passes the ball well, and he is also a deft ball handler that can get to where he needs to go.  On the other hand, his tendency to take difficult shots can be both a strength and a weakness, as it helps him creatively get shots up and space the floor when they’re going in, but a simpler approach could suffice instead when they are not.  Though he is a decent athlete, his lack of elite physical tools may make it tougher for him to guard upper echelon players on the defensive end.  In summary, Hakanson is a smart player that plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he may have the skills to end up being a good find for an NBA team, as he could end up being a quality backup point guard in the association.

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