C's pick Aaron Nesmith #14 overall

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
37,233
Melrose, MA
This is a defenders instinctual move when they recognize that they cannot slide to beat your man to the spot. I’ve seen coaches get on players in practice, myself included, during drills to not crossover and the very next rep the player still crosses over. Even if you know what you are supposed to do the body is telling you that you aren’t capable of it.
That makes sense but doesn't really answer my question. Some players learn to do it - how do you distinguis Hauser from those?.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
24,977
That makes sense but doesn't really answer my question. Some players learn to do it - how do you distinguis Hauser from those?.
You mean learn to move their feet or position themselves for better leverage? I was discussing Nesmith’s inability to do either at an NBA level. Hauser doesn’t have great foot quickness by any means but anticipates very well and doesn’t overplay his man to put himself in poor positioning.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
26,712
Where's Iversen when you need him.

It is not unusual guys are great practice shooters and it doesn't transfer. I have a kid I coach right now. In the morning they do 5 or 10 3pt makes from each spot. When it is 5 he almost never takes 7 shots, and rarely does he not throw up multiple 10 in a row. He is not a very good game shooter. And the bigger the moment the more likely he is to miss. Now I hold out hope, but my experience tells me probably not.

I would say his errors on defence, are what has kept him from playing. He plays super hard, and competes on the boards, but he makes mental errors on D, and get lost enough on D he doesn't play. I ma record on not loving Romeo, but Romeo was getting to be pretty good on D, and you could see the guys had confidence in his at the defensive end. If his D gets better he may play enough to break the ice and get going.
I never said he was going to make it in the NBA. The question was, "How do we know he's a good shooter." In terms of the ability to shoot a basketball, we can be reasonably sure that he's a good shooter. His mechanics are good (not perfect); he's demonstrated the ability to shoot in games in college; and I'm sure he's shown the Cs brass that he can shoot in practice sessions.

But you are correct as well. It may never translate into a NBA game. We've spoken a lot about possible reasons - but I think the biggest part is that great shooters have to have a "lack of conscience" and Nesmith seems to be too conscientious. Every time he touches the ball, he seems to be thinking "What should I do on this possession" instead of just playing.

Nesmith has 232 career 3Ps. That's not even 1/2 of season for good 3P shooters. I really believe that more than anything, he needs to be able to play regular NBA minutes and not have to worry about whether he makes or miss. Not sure that opportunity is going to come on the Cs. Maybe this finals run will allow Ime to tell AN that he has six weeks; he's going to get 20-25 mpg no matter what; and he should just go ahead and play.
 

Fishy1

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
4,484
I never said he was going to make it in the NBA. The question was, "How do we know he's a good shooter." In terms of the ability to shoot a basketball, we can be reasonably sure that he's a good shooter. His mechanics are good (not perfect); he's demonstrated the ability to shoot in games in college; and I'm sure he's shown the Cs brass that he can shoot in practice sessions.

But you are correct as well. It may never translate into a NBA game. We've spoken a lot about possible reasons - but I think the biggest part is that great shooters have to have a "lack of conscience" and Nesmith seems to be too conscientious. Every time he touches the ball, he seems to be thinking "What should I do on this possession" instead of just playing.

Nesmith has 232 career 3Ps. That's not even 1/2 of season for good 3P shooters. I really believe that more than anything, he needs to be able to play regular NBA minutes and not have to worry about whether he makes or miss. Not sure that opportunity is going to come on the Cs. Maybe this finals run will allow Ime to tell AN that he has six weeks; he's going to get 20-25 mpg no matter what; and he should just go ahead and play.
I think it might more properly be termed self-consciousness, which was certainly deadly this year. I think the foot-sliding stuff is something he could learn. I think he's so eager to show he's hustling that he gets himself out of position overreacting. We've seen early career guys do this to themselves -- it's just it tends to be athletic bigs who are eager to get blocked shots. I'm not ready to make a determination there.

But the sudden loss of confidence is much more concerning to me. He had a 57% TS his rookie year in obviously limited minutes, showed the ability to slash and hustled like a guy who knew he had to work hard to play in the NBA. He still hustles, but everything else went out the window. It's like the second the ball hits his hands he starts panicking.

A sports psychologist might do him wonders, but I wouldn't bet on it. He's only 22, and while there's no reason he can't overcome this stuff with the right mindset, he also has to do it on the biggest stage imaginable. That's tough for anybody. On the other hand, the guys who hustle and play hard tend to hang around (and also don't like to give up!), even if they're in their head about this or that.

I like Nesmith a lot, just in terms of his personality and grit. I've had the yips before, and overcame it (but on a much smaller stage!), so I have a soft spot for guys like him who work hard but struggle.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
24,977
I like Nesmith a lot, just in terms of his personality and grit. I've had the yips before, and overcame it (but on a much smaller stage!), so I have a soft spot for guys like him who work hard but struggle.
I was all for the pick at the time and was a big fan of his during Vandy’s non-conference schedule but I don’t see any yips here. It was several weeks into the season when a reporter asked Brad about Nesmith and I’ll never forget his response along the lines of, “He’s getting there. He has a long way to go” with a facial expression that didn’t exude confidence. I remember we discussed that here and for the first time I recall thinking, “Uh oh. This doesn’t sound good.” Then when be played he was laps behind everyone else on the floor even in the good games he had.
 

tbb345

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,099
I never said he was going to make it in the NBA. The question was, "How do we know he's a good shooter." In terms of the ability to shoot a basketball, we can be reasonably sure that he's a good shooter. His mechanics are good (not perfect); he's demonstrated the ability to shoot in games in college; and I'm sure he's shown the Cs brass that he can shoot in practice sessions.

But you are correct as well. It may never translate into a NBA game. We've spoken a lot about possible reasons - but I think the biggest part is that great shooters have to have a "lack of conscience" and Nesmith seems to be too conscientious. Every time he touches the ball, he seems to be thinking "What should I do on this possession" instead of just playing.

Nesmith has 232 career 3Ps. That's not even 1/2 of season for good 3P shooters. I really believe that more than anything, he needs to be able to play regular NBA minutes and not have to worry about whether he makes or miss. Not sure that opportunity is going to come on the Cs. Maybe this finals run will allow Ime to tell AN that he has six weeks; he's going to get 20-25 mpg no matter what; and he should just go ahead and play.
With regards to Nesmith’s shooting, isn’t there a member that has season tickets that has said that Nesmith is the best shooter on the entire team pre game?
I know we’ve all seen and heard stories of NBA players lighting it up in practice and not being able to translate to the game but I’ve never heard of or seen anything that drastic. To me, it’s pretty clearly a mental/confidence issue more than a lack of skill

I think Nesmith will end up turning into a rotation player somewhere but I highly doubt that he will do anything of value for the Celtics.

It doesn’t seem like this is the right environment, team or coach for him to flourish.

IMO, he needs to go to a place where he’s not as under the microscope as he is in Boston, where he can play a decent amount and get his confidence (and shot) back without worrying about getting pulled at the slightest mistake.

Based off of some of his press conferences and articles about him, I am not sure Ime is the best coach for a young player struggling with his confidencd
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
22,823
Newton
Primarily his poor technique where he crosses one foot over rather than slide bc he knows he isn’t quick enough to slide to beat his man to the spot. Also, the energy level he exerts to be able to keep his man in front of him, work around screens to close out, that affects his offensive game.

When he’s playing 4Q garbage minutes the flow is much softer, there isn’t as much defensive intensity and he shoots it well during this type of pace. The contrast is really noticeable.
Do we have some video of this? And are we sure it isn’t just poor technique? I’m not doubting you exactly but this feels a little like Bill Frist diagnosing Terry Schiavo on TV without a little more evidence. Even if we do, as @Eddie Jurak says, we’re just inferring that it's a physical limitation as opposed to a learned thing. I mean, Jaylen Brown in his rookie year had what appeared to be a lot of the same problems -- and approached defense in much the same hyperactive/out-of-control way. And I don't think anyone is seriously concerned with his physical limitations these days (if anything the analysis with him is OTT on all of the mental stuff).
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
24,977
Do we have some video of this? And are we sure it isn’t just poor technique? I’m not doubting you exactly but this feels a little like Bill Frist diagnosing Terry Schiavo on TV without a little more evidence. Even if we do, as @Eddie Jurak says, we’re just inferring that it's a physical limitation as opposed to a learned thing. I mean, Jaylen Brown in his rookie year had what appeared to be a lot of the same problems -- and approached defense in much the same hyperactive/out-of-control way. And I don't think anyone is seriously concerned with his physical limitations these days (if anything the analysis with him is OTT on all of the mental stuff).
I don’t know if there is any tape still out there but this was discussed a couple years ago based on the games we saw and the replays at the time when I had the capability to rewind. I’m pretty sure it was in the Cellar.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
26,712
Do we have some video of this? And are we sure it isn’t just poor technique? I’m not doubting you exactly but this feels a little like Bill Frist diagnosing Terry Schiavo on TV without a little more evidence. Even if we do, as @Eddie Jurak says, we’re just inferring that it's a physical limitation as opposed to a learned thing. I mean, Jaylen Brown in his rookie year had what appeared to be a lot of the same problems -- and approached defense in much the same hyperactive/out-of-control way. And I don't think anyone is seriously concerned with his physical limitations these days (if anything the analysis with him is OTT on all of the mental stuff).
I'll agree that we discussed in AN's rookie season how he wasn't sliding his feet when he was on defense; he was crossing over and chasing. I remember watching for this at the time.

I didn't watch for it this last season because AN wasn't playing much, but if he plays in summer league, it's something to look for.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
37,368
I'm pretty sure that was @Deathofthebambino - he said that if you watch AN in warm-ups, he's hitting everything, even when he's talking to another person.
Yep, that's me, and it's not even just talking to another person (usually the very large head of security for the C's at home), he's barely even looking at the rim. His stroke when he's not thinking is just fucking butter. Kind of like the difference between Jaylen with a full head of steam on a fast break, versus Jaylen in the halfcourt trying to dribble through traffic. Nesmith just gets in his head when the lights go on and all of his great mechanics just go out the window.

I've been pleasantly surprised with his defense, athleticism and energy though, and if the guy can figure out how to shoot in games the way he does in practice/warmups, there is most definitely a 7th/8th man role there. I just have no idea if it will happen.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
24,977
I'm pretty sure that was @Deathofthebambino - he said that if you watch AN in warm-ups, he's hitting everything, even when he's talking to another person.
I know I’ve spoken of this much in the past but for others who missed it I’ll share. When Chris Wilcox was working out at our fitness center in Raleigh one summer he had a guy rebounding his FT’s and made like 49 out of 50 with soft touch and perfect rotation. If you didn’t see who was shooting and they told you it was Steph Curry you’d have no reason to doubt it. This came the summer after he shot 56% from the FT line and was a career 64% FT shooter.

Practice speed and game speed require adjustments. Some can slow the game down while others can’t.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
26,720
Saskatoon Canada
I never said he was going to make it in the NBA. The question was, "How do we know he's a good shooter." In terms of the ability to shoot a basketball, we can be reasonably sure that he's a good shooter. His mechanics are good (not perfect); he's demonstrated the ability to shoot in games in college; and I'm sure he's shown the Cs brass that he can shoot in practice sessions.

But you are correct as well. It may never translate into a NBA game. We've spoken a lot about possible reasons - but I think the biggest part is that great shooters have to have a "lack of conscience" and Nesmith seems to be too conscientious. Every time he touches the ball, he seems to be thinking "What should I do on this possession" instead of just playing.

Nesmith has 232 career 3Ps. That's not even 1/2 of season for good 3P shooters. I really believe that more than anything, he needs to be able to play regular NBA minutes and not have to worry about whether he makes or miss. Not sure that opportunity is going to come on the Cs. Maybe this finals run will allow Ime to tell AN that he has six weeks; he's going to get 20-25 mpg no matter what; and he should just go ahead and play.
I am sorry if the AI reference seemed dismissive, but it cracks me up to this day, so do I overuse it. I'm not shoving it aside like it don't mean anything. It's important. I know it's important. I do. I honestly do.

My take from far away is that Nesmith is so wired he can't be calm and make shots. So it could just flip, but as Yogi said it's getting late early out there.
I will repeat Ime is intolerant of defensive screwups and Nesmith seems unable to make the transition from playing crazy hard at one end and making 3s at the other. This is similar to the kid I coach now, where maybe I can calm him down enough he will start going off. I worry a bit about the 2nd scenario where the guy is aware he is missing shots for psych reasons and sabotages himself.