Don’t sleep on the undrafted Josh Reaves this season because he brings strong defense and a position-less skill set to the Dallas Mavericks in 2019-20
With three and D players in high demand, the Dallas Mavericks signed undrafted free agent Josh Reaves this summer with little hesitation. Reaves, last year’s NCAA defensive player of the year, hopes that his focus on steals can earn him minutes in the Mavericks rotation.
The era of position-less basketball is here, so the 6’5″ Reaves could be a great addition because of his ability to guard multiple positions. Reaves also has a record setting knack for playing passing lanes for steals which should fit well in the Dallas Mavericks zone heavy defensive scheme. Reaves is a smart defender and a hard worker that hopes to make a name for himself in the NBA.
Like my guy Aristotle said, ” knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. “. One thing I’ve noticed about Josh Reaves is that he knows his strengths on the basketball court. When watching Reaves play, and listening to his interviews it’s apparent that he knows steals for run-out dunks is what makes him special.
Reaves, who set Penn State’s school record With 250 steals, credits his great anticipation to his brother throwing things at him growing up. All the years of training turned Reaves into a defensive stand out in college. As a four year player for Pat Chambers’ Nittany Lions, Reaves lead the team in steals for three straight seasons and was named to two Big 10 all defensive teams averaging 2.5 steals per game as a senior.
After going undrafted, Josh Reaves was signed to a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Reaves played extremely well for the Mavs during summer league averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 23.5 minutes. Decent numbers, but Reaves’ hustle, and understanding of what offenses want to do is what made him stand out.
Reaves seems to always be in the right place. With a 6’7” wingspan, above average athleticism, and elite anticipation, no pass is safe around him. Once Josh makes the steal it’s pretty much light’s out. His speed and quickness off the ground are hard to match. Reaves also displayed great decision making and play making ability with a few pinpoint dime drops over the summer.
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Reaves’ biggest weakness is outside shooting. He’s not Rajon Rondo from three, but it definitely needs work. The problems with Reaves shooting mechanics go from the ground up. Meaning without serious changes to his shot he’ll continue to struggle to shoot consistently from behind the arc. Reaves doesn’t plant his feet well when shooting. Because he fails to set a good base he’s forced to adjust the rest of his shot differently every time .
This might seem like an easy fix, but because so much of your shot is muscle memory, bad habits are hard to break. If Josh Reaves is willing to work as hard on his jumper as he has on being a great defender, the Dallas Mavericks may have found themselves a future all-defensive player. The Mavs are a team full of guys with similar builds to Reaves, which might hinder his development.
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Hopefully he can use his time in the G league to develop a consistent offense so that he can earn the minutes necessary to show off his stellar defense.
- Published on 09/18/2019 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 09/17/2019 at 06:48 AM