The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder appear to have struck gold with Moses Brown, who has been completely dominant over the past couple of weeks.
Oklahoma Metropolis opted to maneuver five-time All-Star and veteran massive Al Horford out of the rotation, leaning on the younger expertise throughout the franchise. Brown, who’s 7-foot-2, is likely one of the gamers to earn a chance for elevated taking part in time.
He has performed nicely within the first unit and even helped the Thunder trot out the youngest beginning lineup to ever win an NBA recreation.
The 21-year-old caught headlines when he notched 21 factors on simply 10 field-goal makes an attempt whereas additionally notching 23 rebounds in opposition to the Boston Celtics on March 27. He had 17 factors and 19 rebounds on the half, recording the second-fastest double-double in franchise historical past.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) March 28, 2021
That’s particularly spectacular when you think about that this is a company that has bragged fixed double-double threats together with the likes of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Steven Adams.
Since getting known as up from the Oklahoma Metropolis Blue, the middle has been a revelation for the Thunder. He has performed 9 video games this month and pulled down 12 or extra rebounds in six of these appearances. Brown has additionally notched not less than 12 or extra factors in 5 video games as nicely.
As our personal Yossi Gozlan predicted, primarily based on his current performances, the group made the choice to signal Brown to a multi-year contract identical to they did with Lu Dort final season.
The Thunder have signed Moses Brown to a multi-year contract.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 28, 2021
Discovering that type of worth with out utilizing any draft picks or commerce capital is how a rebuilding franchise is ready to get itself out of the gutter quicker than anybody will anticipate. However how did they find yourself with such a proficient younger participant and what can he do with the crew transferring ahead?
Brown, a former five-star recruit who was the top-rated participant popping out of New York in 2018, performed only one season at UCLA, which was a comparatively underwhelming marketing campaign.
He went undrafted in 2019 and was then signed to a two-way take care of the Portland Path Blazers in 2019-20, although he obtained minimal taking part in time on the NBA degree.
Whereas these previous few video games have proven arguably the best model of Brown that now we have seen since he was in highschool, his emergence was the logical subsequent step after the collection of enhancements that he has proven.
Moses Brown when requested whether or not he likes scoring or rebounding extra: “I like successful”
— Nick Crain (@CrainNBA) March 28, 2021
Most not too long ago, throughout the 2021 season, the massive man led the G League with 13.9 rebounds per recreation. He stored his crew alive for extra scoring alternatives by averaging a league-high 6.0 offensive rebounds.
For comparability, no different participant was capable of file greater than 5.0 offensive rebounds per recreation and solely two gamers notched greater than 4.0 offensive rebounds per recreation.
Despite the fact that he misses his putbacks extra typically than one would hope, his capability to offer his crew one other alternative to attain with second-chance alternatives is invaluable.
He has continued to play nicely off the boards now that he’s within the NBA. His offensive rebound proportion ranks within the 98th percentile whereas his defensive rebound proportion has him within the 93rd percentile amongst gamers at his place, per Cleansing the Glass.
In 5 begins for OKC this season Moses Brown is averaging 14.2 factors, 15 rebounds and a pair of.2 blocks per recreation.
— Shai Gilgod-Alexander (@Jhickness9) March 28, 2021
As a scorer, he’s a strong inside menace, contemplating solely two gamers averaged extra discipline objectives on the rim (10.1 per 100 possessions) whereas taking part in within the G League bubble. He led all gamers within the bubble for whole photographs made (83) on the basket as nicely.
Practically half of those makes an attempt (47.0 %) have been unassisted, which exhibits he’s able to creating his personal offense. However luckily, regardless of his 7-foot-2 body, he doesn’t rely upon post-ups as one of many main sources of his scoring.
Even when he was matched up in opposition to smaller defenders extra typically within the G League, in response to Synergy, post-ups composed simply 10.7 % of his whole possessions. Now, throughout NBA tenure in 2020-21, post-ups have composed simply 3.3 % of his finishes.
That is encouraging as a result of it suggests that he’s capable of combine extra into the move of a professional offense moderately than attempting to tackle his man one-on-one.
Most notably, he has developed incredible chemistry on his two-man recreation with 7-foot teammate Aleksej Pokusevski. The 2 have persistently defied the widespread science of basketball. This frontcourt pairing accomplished seven big-big pick-and-roll possessions throughout their time within the G League after which 4 extra whereas taking part in on the NBA degree.
level guard Poku @aleksejpokusevs does it once more
he is placing on a passing show on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/J6Js91zdan
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 22, 2021
If that is one thing that may proceed, a duo of 7-footers working the pick-and-roll will likely be one thing extremely laborious for opponents to gameplan in opposition to.
One other optimistic takeaway is that Brown has used his top to throw opponents out of their typical rhythm as they struggled to gradual him down with out making an excessive amount of contact. Brown drew 8.2 fouls per 100 possessions within the G League, together with a league-high mark (5.6 per 100) for taking pictures fouls on 2-pointers.
He’s giving defenders matches within the NBA, too, as he has been fouled on 22.4 % of his whole shot makes an attempt. That ranks within the 93rd percentile amongst all bigs, through Cleansing the Glass.
Throughout his time within the NBA this season, Brown is averaging 1.1 factors per possession throughout his present marketing campaign with the Thunder. That ranks within the 84th percentile amongst all NBA gamers, in response to Synergy.
Because the Thunder march in the direction of a rebuild, it appears to be like like they’ve a formidable middle with a long-term future in Brown.