Last week, I outlined some ideas for the Sacramento Kings’ Donte Greene, a multi-skilled forward who seems to possess all the potential in the world, but who hardly played last season for the worst team in the NBA.
This week, I saw an article about Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s off-season workouts. Mbah a Moute is another player who can benefit from the emergence of hybrid forwards like Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. However, Mbah a Moute differs from Greene.
Mbah a Moute is known for his defense and rebounding. When he left UCLA, NBA scouts felt confident that he could defend the 2 through 4 positions. His value was the potential to develop into a lockdown defender like Bruce Bowen or Shane Battier; the potential to be the guy who can defend Kobe Bryant, James, Paul Pierce and others.
Mbah a Moute started often for the Milwaukee Bucks because of his defense. However, he had many games where he scored in single digits. To earn more minutes, he needs to add more offense to his game, which is what he is attacking in his workouts.
For the time being, though, the Bucks have the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Mbah a Moute on a four-point workout plan in which they would like him to:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Work in the weight room to get his legs and upper body stronger.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Improve his mid-range jump shot, catching-and-shooting as well as off-the-dribble. Mbah a Moute is shooting until he makes 400 shots per day. “He’s not just shooting that many shots, he’s making 400 every day,” Peterson said. “So that takes a good amount of time to do that. He’s getting his form down.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Work on taking contact on layups and finishing better around the rim. “He’s one of those guys that is unique and finds a way to get open around there because he’s slippery,” Peterson said. “He’s not going to explode on anybody so he has to learn to take the contact and finish.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Develop a jump-hook and a better post game so he can take advantage of his length against smaller players.
With Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson, the Bucks do not need Mbah a Moute to be a huge scorer. Instead, he needs to finish shots around the basket when he gets an offensive rebound or when he slashes to the basket.
Also, the Bucks are building his offense slowly. If he can add a little post game and some shot consistency this off-season, next season he’ll be able to expand on these skills and refine the post-up game and add distance to his shooting.
If Mbah a Moute accomplishes these goals in this off-season and then adds the three-point range next off-season before his third year, he will be a coveted free agent after his third year in the NBA, as their are few defensive stoppers who have a little post-game and three-point range. It will take work to develop and refine these skills, but Mbah a Moute has a high ceiling because his defensive ability earns him consistent playing time.