Earlier today @OldSchoolDog1983 noted that I had not actually provided any statements as to Nate does provide value. I’m stunned no one pointed that out sooner, and the reason I didn’t make the points sooner is that the depth I have to go into to make that point. I’ll be posting a series of different posts that have photographic evidence of exactly what point I’m trying to make. I took all of the screenshots from the first half of the Georgetown game, yet it was enough to give me the evidentiary support that I need to demonstrate. I don’t think I can present this case without acknowledging that the people who say that Nate has deficiencies have no shortage of truth to that statement. His hands, rim running, physical strength and power around the basket are not what you would ideally want out of a Big East center. When you struggle with all of those areas you have to be truly elite at something to offer value that allows you to overcome those weaknesses. Nate is elite at digesting what is happening on the floor and inherently understanding how to react to it. There is no flash to this skill, but it undoubtedly yields a better chance to win. Positioning Look at the first picture below. Nate actually gets pushed a little bit too high here. You don’t want to be this far out leaving no one between you and the basket. So how do you respond once you’re in trouble? You do exactly as Nate does, by fronting and sitting on their legs. What this does is that it forces an entry pass to go over the top. This is a very difficult pass to throw with precision while still giving the receiver of the pass a chance to make a move towards the basket. The reason you sit on their legs is that if a pass comes to them, they have to shift their weight and release to catch the ball. Once the weight is released, you now have prevailing leverage and dictate the movement of the offensive player and can force them to a less advantageous spot. In pictures 2 and 3 you see Nate maintain contact throughout Govan’s cut while keeping his eye on the ball. This allows him to feel the offensive player, jam the cut, while still maintain awareness of what is happening on the floor so that he can now dictate what can be done with the ball. In picture 4 you see Nate denying the ball sitting on Govan’s high side hip. If you look at the green line, there is no place to throw the ball that leads Govan to the hoop. This is the position that Nate realized he could not get in the first picture and forced the possession into a reversal pass and to the other side of the floor. While this may seem fundamental, it is much more easily said than done. Nate had to beat Govan to the spot that Govan wanted to get to and get his feet in position to deny. In the last picture you will see Joey Brunk with the ball in the same spot. Brunk is also on the high side hip as was Fowler. Look at the difference in distance from the baseline, however. Brunk is so much higher and actually is similarly distance from the baseline to where Fowler chose to front. Look at the green line on the Brunk comparison, there is a clear entry to Govan’s right hand that takes him to the basket, and with Brunk on the high hip, there is no one that would have been able to stop a dunk had that entry pass been made.