Even With a Change in Scenery, Jahlil Okafor is Still an Affront to Everything Good and Pure About Basketball

Things were supposed to be different in the past two months for Jahlil Okafor and the Brooklyn Nets.

You remember all the reasons why he would turns things around with the Nets, don’t you? He was the #2 pick in the draft for a reason, right? He changed his diet this year, he’s a vegetarian now! He’s in great shape this year, but the 76ers weren’t giving him a chance to play! He just needed a change of scenery to become great again! It’s not his fault, the 76ers screwed with his head for a season and a half! The 76ers coaching staff didn’t help him become a better player, it was their fault, not his!

Except after 22 games with the Brooklyn Nets, maybe none of those were true at all? Maybe a coaching staff can’t help a lost cause who hasn’t evolved one aspect of his game in three years.

Maybe… just maybe… he’s not a good basketball player.

Maybe he’s simply a huge black hole when he’s on the court, sucking all intelligent basketball and smart decision making into his gravitational pull to be lost forever. Just a big blob of awful defense, turnovers, and the same three post-up moves you’ve seen since his days at Duke.

It’s insane to think that we live in a world where journeyman center Trevor Booker is a more polished and effective player than Okafor. Emeka Okafor has logged more starts in an NBA uniform THIS YEAR than Jahlil Okafor, and Emeka Okafor has only started one game.

You can find a lot of statistical evidence that proves just how ineffective Okafor has been for the Nets since his trade, but two particular stats after the jump are the most striking pieces of evidence for his on-court futility.

That is…. that’s just not good.

In Monday’s loss against the Clippers, Okafor played only 13 minutes but somehow ended up with a -18 plus/minus differential. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!

For comparison, in the entire season Joel Embiid has only had three games with a worse overall plus/minus showing; -23, -19, and -20 stinkers in losses against Cleveland, Toronto and Indiana. He averaged 30 minutes a game in those losses, compared with the 13 minutes Okafor played Monday.

You could potentially point to him playing with the Nets third team for his putrid plus/minus results, but before you do maybe take a look at this recent defensive effort against the Clippers:

Is that not a perfect microcosm of every single criticism of Okafor since his time in the NBA? He’s in the paint for nearly 12-seconds without covering a soul (and why he’s not whistled by the refs for a violation, as the original tweeter points out, is beyond me), basically wandering around as he watches the play unfold in front of him, doesn’t give initial help on the screen, backs way down into the paint before finally recognizing what is happening and weakly fouls the forward for an easy and-1 bucket.

No basketball IQ, no sense of anything unfolding around him, and a poor overall effort.

Well, at least the Nets fan haven’t started turning on him…

Enjoy him, Brooklyn. He’s all yours.

from Crossing Broad http://ift.tt/2Bw7gOu


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