PPG: 1.3 RPG: 1.1 APG: 0.2 SPG: 0.0 BPG: 0.3
FG%: .375 3P%: .000 FT%: .636 TS%: .407 EFG%: .375
PER: 3.4 USG%: 13.8% ORTG: 83 DRTG: 108
OR%: 5.0% DR%: 13.2% TR%: 9.2%
Last Season Summary
In his first season out of Gonzaga, Sacre received a lot of publicity — for his dancing. As the last pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, not much was expected out of Sacre, but he actually flashed some potential to be a serviceable big off the bench, which is about all you can expect from someone picked 60th overall. The numbers obviously aren’t much as he rarely played, but he posted per 36 averages of 7.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Also, in seven starts in the D-League he averaged a respectable 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks.
In all, Sacre did about as well as he could have given the circumstances. He was forced to start a couple of games midway through the year because of injuries, but spent the majority of his time at the end of the bench with a couple D-League stints here and there.
At 7’0 260 pounds, Sacre is a big body and he is active. That size and energy alone make him someone good to have on the roster. He has shown himself to be a willing rebounder and shot blocker on the defensive end. He struggles with pick and roll defense, which is to be expected from a young player, but has the work ethic to improve on that as well. Offensively, he runs the floor well enough for a seven footer and is a decent finisher on the block as long as he isn’t creating anything himself.
He will still need to improve his lateral mobility, especially on the defensive end as so many teams begin to go smaller, Sacre will have to prove he can stay with the new age NBA big man. Offensively he must become a better finisher through contact. He seemed to be easily bothered by bigs challenging his shots even when he’s right at the basket. Playing in Mike D’Antoni’s system he will obviously have to begin expanding his range since he is unable to shoot anything outside of five feet. Additionally he needs to improve his hands and be able to hold on the ball when Nash or Kobe squeezes those passes in. You have to be able to catch the ball cleanly and go up quickly in this day and age.
Expected Role With Team
The main frontcourt rotation is relatively set with Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman set to occupy most of the frontcourt minutes barring injury. Keeping in mind D’Antoni’s preferred style, and the trend of the NBA going smaller in general, Sacre will have to really show the coaches some improvement to gain consistent minutes this season. There is a good chance the Lakers begin favoring some smaller lineups, possibly using the likes of Elias Harris, Shawne Williams, or Ryan Kelly as stretch fours which could severely hinder Sacre’s chance at making a real impact for the Lakers.
Best case scenario for Sacre this season is becoming a good enough defender and rebounder that D’Antoni has to put him out there for 8-10 minutes a game as the fourth big man. More likely, however, is that Sacre shows some slight improvements, but loses minutes in favor of the stretch fours, leading to him spending some extended time either working on his game in the D-League or working on his dance moves at the end of the Laker bench.
This Year’s Expectations
At this point, all you can ask for is continued improvement from Sacre. Getting any contribution from the last pick of a draft is just extra so what Sacre provided last season should be commended. Coming into this season expect Sacre to provide energy, defense, and rebounding for the team when he is in the game. Consistent minutes are unlikely, but as a professional, you are expected to be ready when your number is called and that is what should be expected of him.
Numbers wise, you shouldn’t expect much more than what he gave last season, but numbers aren’t what you’re looking for from Sacre at this point. The preseason will be very important to judge his improvement in several areas in his game. If he is able to play his way on the court that would be great, but more than anything expect to see him continue to grasp the NBA game, and find a niche that can keep him on the team or in the league for years to come.
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