Boston Celtics Semi Ojeleye is approaching his third season. This one is critical for his future.
Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye is about to enter his third season in the NBA – a critical one for his career. His contract is very team-friendly at $1.6 million this year and $1.8 million for 2020-21 with a team option.
A close look at his stats show that even with his minutes cut from 15.8 MPG as a rookie to 10.6 MPG last season, he still showed progress. His points rose from 2.7 PPG to 3.3 PPG (last season), mostly due to better shooting from the field. His rebounding dropped from 2.7 RPG as a rookie to 1.5 RPG as a sophomore. He needs to get better with that.
Semi was an elite defender right out of the gate in his rookie campaign. He was drafted to be a classic 3-and-D guy, but thus far, his offensive production has not blossomed. If he shifted from the 3-and-D mode for which he was drafted to R-and-D – the “R” referring to rebounding – his career in the League could be assured.
For the record, Semi Ojeleye is 6’7″ and can’t dribble, pass, or shoot but… is he a small ball center? https://t.co/tzgRKvhiBJ
— Ryan Bernardoni (@dangercart) August 24, 2019
Flash back to Dennis Rodman. The 5-Time Champion and 2-Time All-Star made his mark with defense and rebounding. Frankly, he was limited in everything else – Only 7.3 points per game and 1.2 APG for his career. But it was his defense (2-Time All-Defensive POY) and rebounding (13.1 RPG, 7-Time NBA rebound Champ) that brought him fame. He shot 52% from the field during his stint in the League, but most of the shots were in close. He only averaged 58% on free throws and 23% on treys.
Now back to Ojeleye. Advanced stats show he went from 472nd in the League in Offensive Rating in 2017-18 to 284th in 2018-19. His Defensive Rating increased from 148th to 45th, and his Net Rating rose from #401 to 78th. Semi’s defense has never been in question, but he needs to rip down more boards to make it in the League. Rebounding is just hard work (as is defense) and dedication to the task. He can do it, but it needs to be done this season. Rodman did it. So can Semi.
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