xac12/29/2016 3:58:19 PM
For those of you who haven’t followed Pato in the NBA D League, let me bring you up to date. First, I must say the more I have watched, the less I have become a fan of the league. Pato plays on the Austin Spurs, which is affiliated with the Spurs of the NBA. His current stat line:
11 ppg on 41.6% shooting and 35.2% on 3pt shooting; 1.9 assists; 3.5 rebs; 2.6 TOs (30 minutes a game). His shooting percentages are below the team average on both counts.
Not terrible, but inconsistent. He’s had a game high 24 points, but also 0 point games where he seems to have disappeared. At first, Pato was getting acclimated and actually doing quite well. He had a few very good games and the team was actually winning. Then some things happened that reflect how the league works. The NBA teams frequently “assign” players to the D League, so that that certain players can get some game competition experience. The SA Spurs have been doing this with Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes, and a few other teams (Atlanta Hawks and NO Pelicans) have also sent down players to Austin as well. When these guys come down, it really reduces the minutes of the other players, because they become the priority. Don’t get me wrong-- these guys are physically talented, but they dominate the ball, take a ton of shots, and focus working on their games. Winning the games seems secondary. Pato is a team player first and foremost, which may be to his detriment. Watching him day after day against other players, you can see that he lacks the skills (particularly one-on-one moves) that most of the others possess. It’s hard for him to work and improve on things with a 24 second shot clock, and players more interested in impressing the NBA than winning. Another reflection this is the D League’s “Top Prospect” rankings. In the seven weeks of rankings, Pato has never been ranked in the Top 25, and rarely even received votes:
Right now, I don’t think his prospects are good for getting called up, and maybe he should consider playing in a top European or South American League in the future. Of course, I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see how playing in this league helps him improve his game. If you want to watch him play, you can go to the Austin Spurs team site, where there are links to the games. There's still a ton of games remaining ithis season.