Film Room: Mohamed Bamba Excelling Offensively

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – One of the top storylines early in the preseason – not just in Orlando but throughout the entire league – is Mohamed Bamba’s offensive efficiency.

Through two games and 36 minutes of action, the 20-year-old is 9-of-12 from the field and 4-of-4 from 3-point range.

The knock on Bamba prior to him getting drafted sixth overall in June was that he was unpolished and ultra-raw offensively. While probably unreasonable to come to any legitimate conclusions this soon, the Harlem, N.Y. native is proving doubters and detractors wrong.

We heard (and saw with some behind the scenes footage) that Bamba, who made just 14 threes and shot 27.5 percent from behind the college 3-point line at Texas, reformed his shot over the summer. The ball is sliding off his fingers more naturally, he has lowered his shooting pocket, his landing is softer and the release is quicker, smoother.

FEATHERY TOUCH FROM DISTANCE

The 7-footer has also impressed coach Steve Clifford and his teammates with his high basketball IQ, particularly as it pertains to how he moves around the floor and his recognition of how defenders are choosing to guard him.

FAKE HANDOFF CREATING SPACE

Perhaps the most underrated, and underappreciated, skill of Bamba is his screening, both on the ball and with his flare screens and pindowns. Bamba has made good decisions after setting on-the-ball picks, rolling when the lane is unobstructed and popping back when the defense sags.

ACTIVITY & RECOGNITION

Although not necessarily the most explosive or springy athlete, that NBA record-setting 7-foot-10 wingspan is coming in handy. With those long arms, Bamba should rank high this season in putback dunks.

FEROCIOUS SLAM