FanPost

NBA Draft Prospect: Shane Larkin

*Disclaimer* I'm not the best scout, but I did my absolute best in trying to assess Larkin. DraftExpress hasn't made a video on Larkin yet, but if they do, it may or (most likely) may not resemble what I typed up below.

When you think of Shane Larkin, you have to start thinking "SPLASH", this is a young guard out of Orlando, Florida who's notorious for lighting the court up from all distances in a hurry. His future seems bright, and he'll be expected to be drafted somewhere in the upper 20's.

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Shane Larkin

Position: Point Guard Height: 5'11" Weight: 171 lbs. Age: 20

Larkin spent two years with the Miami Hurricane, receiving decent minutes during his freshman year, but played even bigger minutes during his sophomore year. In fact, Larkin led the ACC in minutes played during his sophomore year at 1311. During his sophomore year Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals shooting 47.9% from the field, and 40.6% from 3-point range.

Offense:

Larkin averaged solid offensive numbers across the board. In the ACC he was ranked 11th in points per game, 6th in total points, 8th in field goal percentage, 10th in free throw percentage, 5th in effective field goal percentage, 10th in field goals made, 6th in 3-pointers made, 4th in assists per game, and 3rd in total assists.

Larkin's bread and butter is his shooting. He enjoys running the pick and roll. Opposing teams have a hard time guarding him because he doesn't need much room to get a good percentage shot off. Defenders can go under screens at their own risk while guarding Larkin because he will make you pay. Even if the defender doesn't go under the screen, if he can't recover fast enough to close out on Larkin, there's a 3-point bomb waiting for him in a couple of seconds.

Even though Larkin is more of a scorer than anything, he has the ability to attack the rim, draw defenders, and kick it out for an open teammate on the perimeter. This is what makes Larkins a difficult cover. He can get into the lane and force the defense to react to him, and at the same time, he has the court vision to make a difficult pass in traffic to an open teammate.

If there's any problem with his offense, it's that sometimes he settles too often. If the defense switches, and a big ends up guarding Larkin, often times he'll shoot it as opposed to either passing it off, or attacking the rim.

Defense:

Larkin had a defensive rating of 95.3 during his sophomore year, which is curious considering how small Larkin is. His height allows him to swipe for the ball, cause turnovers, or at least make bringing up the ball a lot difficult on his opponent. That's why it's no surprise that Larkin leads the ACC in both steals per game, and total steals for the 2012-2013 season.

In some cases, his size may make him a liability if there are too many switches, and he ends up guarding bigger shooting guards, or small forwards. They'll either try to back him down, or shoot over him.

Also due to his size, picks can wipe Larkin off a player, and give his opponent a path to the basket. Larkin doesn't fight over these picks, he just lets the pick take him out, and tries to catch up to his man. His pick and roll defense is going to be something that he'll have to work on in the NBA.

Other times, Larkin simply does not pay attention on d. At times he follows the ball, as opposed to paying attention to where his man is, so he wont see that his man is either trying to make a cut to the basket, or edging further and further away from Larkin, trying to get an uncontested shot.

His transition defense can also be problematic. It looks as if he believes that just because he's back on defense, the opponent will not try to attack the rim. Even if Larkin is back in transition, he gets too comfortable and winds up either getting beat off the dribble, or his opponent will realize that Larkin is too far back, and will pull up for an open jump shot.

Intangibles:

He seems to have a pretty high IQ, he reads defenses pretty well, and passes when he knows that a teammate is making a cut to the basket.

In this clip he sees that his teammate (#23) sets a pick, which causes #8 (on NC) to try and close out on him because he knows that Larkin is a knock-down shooter. In doing so however, it forces #8 to leave his defensive assignment (Durand Scott), and allows Scott to run to the basket where Larkin sees that the defense gave him just enough room to throw a great bounce pass, set up Scott for the lay in, and give Larkin his well earned assist.

Larkin also seems to have the "I'm going to prove you wrong mentality". Which is good and bad in some cases. It forces you to improve on your weaknesses but at the same time, you may not feel the need to improve parts of the game that you're already good at. There's always room for improvement. They say that "practice makes perfect" because perfect doesn't exist, so you're never supposed to stop practicing.

***

Larkin seems like a cool guy, with a good attitude who could possibly spell Rondo for a few minutes, if the Celtics decide to draft him. His problem areas can be fixed with good defensive guards like Bradley and Lee on the team. In addition, being surrounded by a point guard coach in Doc Rivers, a big shot maker in Jason Terry, and a good passer in Rondo, can spell nothing but good news for Larkin (if all players remain Celtics)

What are your thoughts? Should the Celtics draft Larkin?


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