Alexey Shved: Not a point guard?

Wishing you had more in-depth analysis on the Timberwolves latest acquisition? Searching for YouTube videos that will show you Shved’s strengths, weaknesses, and anything in between? Not to worry, Grantland’s Sebastian Pruiti has you covered.

From Pruiti’s Grantland article:

In isolation, [Shved] always seems to make his decision a little too late. Which means, by the time he picks out a teammate to pass it to or a lane to drive into, it’s usually not open anymore. So even when he makes the right decision to kick out the ball, the defense has usually recovered by the time the pass is made, and that leads to turnovers.

If Shved was coming over to the NBA as a point guard, I’d be worried about his ability to have a positive impact. However, pair him, and his shooting ability, with an elite, pass-first point guard like Ricky Rubio, and you have a player who can do a lot of good things for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Don’t be surprised to see him knocking down a lot of corner 3s next season.

Pruiti’s analysis is really interesting (all backed by Synergy Sports numbers, as is customary with his posts), in part because most Timberwolves fans were thinking that Shved’s signing was partially point guard insurance until Rubio comes back. I, for one, have heard the “Russian Rubio” terminology thrown around quite frequently, which led me to believe that we were about to get an oversized point guard with excellent court vision/instincts and mediocre shooting skills.

Pruiti’s article claims exactly the opposite. He presents videos that show Shved as an excellent catch and shoot wing, but someone who struggles as a ball handler, specifically as a decision maker in the pick and roll. Shved’s numbers in the PnR are disturbing, to be sure. But they are far from fatal, if Pruiti is correct (and he usually is) that Shved can be used as a catch and shoot player, especially from the corners.

I highly recommend that you go read the article and watch the videos. Great stuff, all around.

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