Evaluating Joshua Obiesie

April 24, 2019

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch s.Oliver Würzburg’s 6-6, 2000-born guard Joshua Obiesie from Germany play in a FIBA Europe Cup basketball game against Z Mobile Prishtina that took place on December 12th, 2018, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via FIBA.  Obiesie is an athletic, skilled combo guard that has recently declared to enter the 2019 NBA Draft, and he is a player that may be slated to go in the second round this year.  I wanted to assess his game in this contest, and he showed some interesting skills despite having a fairly mediocre showing overall.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared on this day, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA.

Joshua Obiesie is an athletic, skilled playmaker that can create his own shot, score on off-ball motion plays, and he also is a solid facilitator that can capably run the point.  In this game, Obiesie did a good job of scoring on hustle plays in this game.  He especially showed a knack for scoring on tip-ins, as he was able to run in to do so off of an offensive rebound early in the second quarter, and he also did so once again later on midway through the fourth quarter.  He also runs the floor well and he would tend to beat his man down the court to get open for transition scoring opportunities, but he would not often get the ball on fast breaks.  He did attempt an open layup in transition, but he went in too out of control, which caused him to miss that time.

He also showed an adequate ability to score on half-court drives to the hoop.  He was able to use a crossover move as he patiently drove to his left to score high off the glass late in this match, and Obiesie showed a knack for drawing fouls when handling the basketball.  However, he also struggled to make jumpers consistently, as he would often miss pull-up mid-range jumpers, and he also missed a couple of spot-up threes.  Sometimes, he would take questionable, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

Obiesie also displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  He is a good passer that plays unselfishly, and he will make the extra pass to set up a wealth of scoring chances for his teammates.  He can find them on the move, and throws solid interior passes.  He also passes well off the dribble, and he has good court vision.  He also is a solid ball handler that may have the skills to capably run the point, but sometimes, he can struggle to protect the basketball, as he had a couple of balls poked away that led him to commit turnovers.  In one possession, he held the ball off of a defensive rebound, but then he got backtapped by an opponent. Another turnover came on a play where he had a ball poked off of his own knee out of bounds.

He also rebounded the ball very well.  He would often leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor.  He was able to cash in off of offensive rebounds to score on quick tip-ins to provide his team with second chance points, and he would also tend to push the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  Though he does seem to be a good athlete, his effort seemed to lag at times, as he would get beat a little too often off the dribble, though he had help, as his teammate would get the stop by blocking shots to force misses.  Obiesie did stay with an opposing ball handler as he fought through a screen once, in which he then contested a pull-up mid-range shot to get the stop, but on another play, he struggled to defend a drive to his right, as he ended up fouling his opponent on that possession.

In general, Joshua Obiesie is an athletic, skilled combo guard that may possess a considerable level of upside as a prospect for this year’s draft.  He will need to improve his jump shot and make more jumpers consistently in games, and right now, he may still be about a year away from being ready to contribute in the NBA.  Still, he is a quick playmaker that can get to the hoop to get scores and assists to help his team on offense.  If he can be a more reliable shooter from beyond the arc and if he can show that he can guard upper tier players on a consistent basis, Obiesie could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

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