Film/Analytics Study: Amari Bailey
Yesterday we broke why Amari Bailey is one of the former five-star prospects that could serve well to put the brakes on any one-off aspirations and return to UCLA. He will likely take on a much larger role in his sophomore year and be able to capitalize on the collectively weaker class of the 2024 draft.
Today, we’re taking a deep dive into his film and his analysis to sort out what we’ve already seen from him this season, as well as areas where he needs to show more growth before taking on the role of main playmaker.
This analysis focuses on the strictly offensive side of the floor, as Bailey’s defense and overall competitiveness are widely considered to be two of his best qualities.
Offensively, when you watch a movie of his goalscoring over the course of the season, you see some clear patterns.
First, his best work comes out in the open air. If he is going to show the game with the ball, then, as a rule, during the transition period. He also has amazing speed and a great sense of when to release the ball or merge during the transition if he realizes that the opponent has no one behind.
Secondly, Bailey has become a very good carver away from basketball. As well as his ability to break through the transition, he also has a good sense of when to dive to the edge. He became a master of the “45 undercut”, which can simply be described as cutting the basket off the wing (creating a 45-degree angle, hence the name), usually when some kind of screening or other action is taking place on the ball. strong side of the floor.
Whether it’s the transition or his ability to cut half the court, Bailey has also proven to be a good finisher. He has amazing agility in terms of his ability to use both hands around the rim, as well as good body control when it comes to maintaining balance both in the air and in contact.
Analytics back up the vision test results as Bailey currently scores 65.5% at the rim, according to Hoop-Math.com.
Where analytics and eye test could potentially conflict is in the mid-range. The tape shows that Bailey is a handy mid-range shooter. He is noticeably more confident and agile both when dribbling and catching at this distance than from behind the arc.
But the numbers are not very good. Although according to Hoop-Math.com, over a third of all field attempts by Bayley come from two-point jumpers, he only makes 34.8% of those shots. Synergy Sports tech allows us to break those numbers down even further – when attempting to catch and shoot, Bayley throws 52.4% when unguarded (which is in the 87th percentile – great), but only 22% of his jump shot. throws “and shoot” (which ranks 10th in the percentile – bad). Without dribbling, he makes 36.8% of his jump shots.
Bayley is shooting 36.8% from behind the arc in 22 games, which is a decent number. However, the fact that he only averages 1.7 attempts per game shows that he is very selective about when he shoots.
The takeaway is that when Bailey is open and in rhythm, he can hit. For NBA purposes, he needs to be more willing to take and score triples. If he’s UCLA’s principal next year, he should be able to hit multiple jump balls at the same time, especially on the lane, at a more decent pace.
Likewise, he will need to show some real growth as a decision maker and passer (or “live passer dribbling” as basketball tweeters like to say). Currently, Bailey’s turnovers exceed his assists (2.3 per game vs. 2.0 per game). What’s more, most of his assists are either on the half court when a read is destined for him, or during the transition period when he shows better intuition, given the benefits of extra space.
His biggest concern is the numbers when he plays off the ball. Between his own record and assists, he averages 0.78 points per possession as a ball handler, according to Synergy. This places him in the 31st percentile not among guards, but among all players.
There’s bound to be an organic spike in those numbers just by turning up the volume, as he’ll only go up through experience, but his ability to read attacks in attack mode, especially when he’s off the balls, will be a huge variable to track. in the coming year.
Overall, I still believe in Bailey. I don’t think he’s getting enough credit for his willingness to buy a support role this year as a freshman, especially with all the hype surrounding him coming out of the Sierra Canyon. I also believe in his mentality and work ethic. So while there are definitely areas of his attacking game that need to be improved, I would bet that he can develop in those areas. I think it’s entirely possible that next year he could be at the center of UCLA’s perimeter offense and eventually become a real offensive threat at the NBA level.
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