After 6 days of NBA scrimmages, the most surprising player to emerge from the NBA has to be Bol Bol. With a name that’s just “lob” backwards twice, it shouldn’t be a surprise we are seeing Bol thrive in these scrimmages.
While it is only just that, scrimmages, it should make Oregon & Nuggets fans excited because Bol Bol, the 7’2” giant of a center, put up pretty impressive stat lines for his first few NBA games. He had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 blocks in his first scrimmage that was followed by the NBA’s “random” drug test. He followed that strong performance with 15 points, 2 blocks, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds against the Pelicans and 10 points and 6 rebounds in less than 20 minutes against the Magic.
It might be worth noting that Bol was the 44th player off the board in the 2019 draft. At one point, he was projected to be a top-10 pick, but the concerns of his foot injury overshadowed his talent, causing him to drop all the way to the middle of the second round.
But so far in the scrimmages, it looks like Bol has placed that behind him, as he looks to be one of the more promising young players in the league. Last year, Shaq made a bold statement saying that “he would build a team around … Bol Bol over No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.”
Even though this isn’t what most people would do, it’s an interesting take, as now Bol Bol is finally getting his chance to shine. Like Bol said last year,”I just want to prove everyone wrong.”
Looks like he’s starting to do just that.
The most unfortunate thing about this, however, is that even with his stellar play, Bol might not see many minutes when the NBA bubble’s postseason rolls around because the Nuggets have a saturated frontcourt. The Nuggets have 6 other tall players in the lineup, including Jokic and Porter Jr who aren’t rookies (although, MPJ is technically still in his rookie season after missing 2018-19).
For these reasons, it’s hard to see Nuggets coach Mike Malone let Bol get sizable minutes in the postseason, especially considering he doesn’t have any actual NBA games under his belt just yet; he spent time in the G-league before the NBA season was suspended. But don’t fret—that doesn’t mean we won’t see Bol Bol ever again. On the contrary, it means that he’s at the point where the only thing stopping him from more playing time is experience. And the only way to get that is by just playing more games—games not in the postseason.
With all this being said, one could argue that Bol Bol isn’t just another tall player—he’s much more. At Oregon, he demonstrated that not only could he play great defense like his father, but also handle the rock and shoot it well. He averaged 21 points (52% three point percentage) and 9.6 rebounds a game (almost a double-double!!).
Here’s a perfect clip to sum up his game:
This Bol Bol sequence 😨 pic.twitter.com/u6evNeTIx5— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 22, 2020
He’s more than just Manute Bol’s son. He has his dad’s defensive skills, as well as an offensive game.
So with all this talent, God-given physical attributes, and drive to prove others wrong, Bol Bol has a high ceiling and an already high floor. The only thing he’s missing from his game right now? Experience.
Now enjoy a highlight real of Bol going to work on established NBA players.