Breaking down Skal Labissiere’s career night

Skal Labissiere had a career-high 32 points in last night’s Kings 107-101 victory against the Phoenix Suns making him the Reno Dodge Power Performer. This is also his first game scoring 15+.

“My teammates did a really good job of finding me, Coach put me in a good situation to succeed, and the rest just came,” Labissiere told reporters after the game.

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Here are some of his highlights broken down and examined:

In this play, guard Tyreke Evans did a great job of forcing the defense on him as he drove to the basket. By doing so, he gave Labissiere a good look at the basket. Notice how his defender went to go block the shot from Evans. Labissiere muscled his way past him as he got grounded, leading to an easy lefty hook.

In this play, it looks as if Labissiere missed this shot on purpose due to the fact that his defender was flying right past him and he could get an easy rebound. However, take note of how easy he can create space and get his shot. He has such a nice touch around the rim.

Ty Lawson had two options on this play: Either attempt to finish on the bigger and stronger defender, or hand it over to Labissiere. Notice how his defender also went to help on the shot block? That gave Labissiere just enough time to get in position for the pass from Lawson.

This was such a great move by Labissiere. Completely tricked his defender into thinking he was going to go straight up and simply took advantage of the situation.

The Kings love to utilize Labissiere’s game around the paint area, as you can tell from the highlights already. Suns forward Jared Dudley assumed that Labissiere, as he has been doing all game, would go to the rim. However, that one spin move from Labissiere threw Dudley off and as a result, earned the basket. Dudley also got back late, resulting in the foul.

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Labissiere is very confident using his left hand. Not many in the NBA can use both hands like the Haitian sensation. Also, on these plays, Labissiere did a great job of shielding his defender.

Notice how Labissiere’s defender was left on an island. He assumed that Garrett Temple would pass it to the screener, Willie Cauley-Stein. With that little second, Labissiere quickly rolled beyond the arc for an easy, wide-open shot.

Over the course of five games, Labissiere is averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and one block per game. With his performance last night, he helped the Kings win their second straight game as they hope to make a late run for the eighth seed. They will be back in uniform Saturday as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2 p.m.

Will Skal become an All-Star? Tune in!

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Mohamed Bah
Special Contributor to Cowbell Kingdom

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