Thabo Sefolosha (07-08 Synopsis)

20 05 2008

Thabo Sefolosha – Chicago Bulls Guard
Measurements: 6’5″ – 215 lbs.
Experience: Second-year, 23 years old
From: Switzerland

2007- 2008 Season Statistics
6.7 points | 42.8% FG| 33.0% 3-pt FG | 3.7 rebounds | 1.9 assists | 20.5 minutes

Season Highs
Points: 22 (2x)
Rebounds: 13 (vs. Detroit)
Assists: 7 (@ Milwaukee)
Steals: 4 (vs. Miami)
Blocks: 4 (@ Minnesota)
Minutes: 44 (vs. Indiana)

What This Year Proved

Thabo Sefolosha can be relied on as a starter. 

In 47 games off the bench, Thabo averaged 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.6 steals.  In 22 games as a starter, Thabo increased his averages to 11.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals.  The increase in productivity can be attributed directly to increased floor time.  But the fact is that this is a young man with a lot of promise.  He’s got the physical tools and they should look to develop him further.

When the Bulls drafted Thabo, they looked at him as a combo-guard.  He could initiate the offense and play on the wings when necessary.  This season proved that he’s not the steadiest hand as he brings the ball up.  Thabo doesn’t turn the ball over at an alarming rate but he doesn’t appear confident as he crosses the timeline. 

Thabo’s a great finisher.  He can finish strong and very, very high.  He’s also surprisingly adept at using the basket to his advantage as he executed a variety of reverse lay-ups in traffic.

Quote Him

“I don’t believe I really chose to play basketball.  I simply ended up playing the game after it chose me.” — Thabo, on how he fell in love with the game.

Can you smell the cheese too?

Looking Forward

Thabo has range but the coaching staff should work on tweaking his shooting stroke.  The practice of changing players’ shooting form used to be frowned upon.  It was the equivalent of an Amish teenager getting a nose-job.  But a lot of teams have been experimenting with it, notably the San Antonio Spurs.  It should be considered because Thabo has a very odd stroke.  It seems like he puts too much wrist into it and he doesn’t seem to release the ball at the top of his jump.  This can certainly help his 33.0% clip from long-range and 42.8% clip overall.

Since Larry Hughes arrived in Chicago, I’ve described Thabo as redundant.  What he will want to do is get a good training camp in and impress the new Bulls coach.  He needs to print the following out and show it to Reinsdorf and the new coach:

Larry Hughes
As a starter:  11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists
Off the bench: 13.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists

While Thabo is clearly better as a starter, his counterpart is arguably better starting the game in his warm-ups.  He should also cite the fact that Larry is nearing 30 and hasn’t played a lick of position defense for the past 3 years.  Thabo, on the other hand, was praised for his defensive savvy by the demanding Scott Skiles and cites his own defense as the single aspect that got him noticed.  Entice them with your potential, Thabo!

Season Grade: C

Thabo was solid.  When the Bulls eliminated themselves from the playoffs, Thabo was an acknowledged bright spot.  The problem is that he didn’t snatch the opportunity and cement himself as an unquestioned rotation player.

 

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8 responses

21 05 2008
Trey

ok, what are your thoughts on Chris Duhon. You speak highly of Thabo and he is basically the same guy as Duhon and they are unfortunately on the same team?

Also, where do you go with the number one pick?

21 05 2008
FeetinthePaint

I thought Duhon was solid but I never liked him. I only speak well of Thabo because I’m tantalized by his youth and athleticism. Which, I guess, is basically what’s wrong with NBA front-office decisions so go figure.

Duhon won’t be back on the Bulls next season and, if I were Paxson, Larry Hughes wouldn’t be in the Windy City either.

I’d go with Beasley. I love Derrick Rose; he’s great. But Beasley is the answer this organization has been waiting for. I almost liken it to the Deron Williams pick by Utah.

Prior to D-Will, the Jazz’s stage was set and all they needed was a great pick in a position of need — at the point. And it revitalized their somewhat dormant franchise on the fringe of something very good. Same situation here. More later though. Thanks for the comment, Trey.

21 05 2008
FeetinthePaint

I didn’t even really address your question. There’s a difference between Duhon and Thabo. Both are enthusiastic defenders and both are willing to swing the ball to teammates.

Duhon is a better ball-handler and makes more diverse (if not better) decisions with the basketball. He’s a slightly better shooter than Thabo. But he’s also not as quick nor as long.

Thabo can play at the top of the key but he’s more suited for wing play. Since he’s only average at initiating the offense, sliding him to the wing automatically makes him a more versatile player within most systems. He’s also able to defend 2 (maybe 3) positions while Duhon can really only guard points. For some reason, they put Duhon on LeBron for a substantial amount of time and I felt like I was watching me back-down some 5-year-old.

21 05 2008
fouledout

I think thabo sefolosha is a good player, but i’m not sure if he’s a starting five material.. give it a year or two maybe then he’ll be ready to be a starter..

21 05 2008
FeetinthePaint

Yeah, I agree. Let me qualify by saying that I don’t think he would start on a great team but he should definitely start over a Larry Hughes.

23 05 2008
khandor

Thabo is most defintely Starter-worthy.

What he needs is a coach who can maximize his individual strengths and minimize his specific weaknesses.

This … and not Thabo’s ability … will be the key to his future success in Chicago.

Most Bulls fans I’ve encountered to this point, on-line, don’t really understand what they have in this young man who, as you’ve said already, can defend (and rebound) multiple positions and is very athletic with a solid frame, good height and length, and a coachable selfless attitude.

PS. Neither do they understand what they had with Chris Duhon. :-)

25 05 2008
fouledout

@ feet in the paint, khandor
he’s not a first five material in any other teams, but he should definitely start over larry hughes..

26 05 2008
khandor

fouledout,

I disagree with your perception of Sefolosha. IMO, depending on who his 4 teammates are, and his coach, Thabo is a starter-calibre player in the NBA.

We can just agree to disagree about this specific item.

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