Romeo Langford performs some rattling good protection for somebody with solely 35 video games of NBA expertise. It sounds apparent, however I’m unsure individuals are understanding how few video games that’s. For reference, Payton Pritchard has already performed 46 profession video games, and it appears like he was drafted simply yesterday. With final season being so elongated with the mid-year pandemic break, it appears like Romeo has been on the Celtics for fairly some time now. The reality is, he’s barely performed in any respect.
Boston’s off-ball protection has been an issue for all of them season. On the ball, I feel they’re fairly properly coated at each place, however when groups power them into rotation, issues get ugly. Equally, Pritchard getting burned within the clip above is a play that may sometimes be arduous to recuperate from even for a powerful rim protector. To not foul on performs like that is practically unattainable with how NBA video games all referred to as immediately. You want good to leap completely straight up and keep that place even whereas blocking the shot to keep away from getting a whistle.
Romeo will get beat right here, however the contest to Graham’s shot after principally sticking to him with out fouling continues to be fairly spectacular. The primary transfer Graham makes to separate himself from Romeo is totally foul bait – that fast arm movement (I can’t inform if it was a push-off or not) will get referred to as on a regular basis when the defender reacts to it by utilizing their very own arm to soak up the contact. Even in his restricted alternatives, these aren’t the primary flashes we’ve seen from Romeo. Earlier than the Covid break final season, the Celtics trusted Romeo to cowl expert guards briefly stints and he didn’t disappoint. With the roster as soon as once more semi-overhauled right into a full blown youth motion, he ought to get much more possibilities because the season progresses.
This stat means mainly nothing given the pattern measurement, however a minimum of it’s one approach to quantify Romeo as a plus-defender in his first three video games. Boston’s finest defenders not named Robert Williams have slumped defensively as they work by accidents and sickness, so the roster has been principally devoid of protection for a couple of weeks. And that’s not a dig on the gamers, that’s simply the fact of such a chaotic season.
On the opposite aspect, Romeo’s capturing mechanic seem a lot smoother in comparison with final season. Right here’s a shot from final 12 months for comparability:
I see two variations:
1) Romeo’s legs keep straighter now. His knees buckled in a bit earlier than.
2) The follow-through is much less of a fast fling and extra of a clean launch.
I don’t assume there’s an objectively right approach to shoot a basketball, or a minimum of I don’t assume the principles of “correct” type are as strict as some individuals make them out to be, however I do assume less complicated is healthier and fewer shifting components results in extra consistency. In different phrases, straighter legs equals extra stability, proper? Extra stability means higher physique management, and physique management is all the pieces.
Romeo linked on 5 out of 27 three-point makes an attempt final season and he’s already hit three of six this season. He’s one for six on two-point makes an attempt, however once more, the pattern sizes hardly imply something. There are some tangible enhancements to his sport on either side, and he occurs to play the precise place the Celtics have been so determined so as to add depth to all season.
Anybody who’s pissed off that Aaron Nesmith hasn’t had an impactful rookie season needs to be much more emphatic about Romeo constantly making successful performs 35 video games into his profession. I can not stress this subsequent half sufficient: Boston’s peak competition timeline continues to be a 12 months or two down the highway and each core piece goes to wish a while to develop. The Celtics aren’t going to have cap area within the foreseeable future, making it particularly essential to offer alternative to house grown expertise. Any calls to explode a crew of 20-25 12 months olds are certifiably insane and I gained’t be entertaining any such buffoonery.