After leading Louisville to a Final Four as a junior and a national title as a senior, Peyton Siva will be looking to convince scouts his college success can translate.
However, Siva will encounter some towering obstacles on his road to the NBA.
There are plenty of skeptics, myself included, who question Siva's game with regard to making the transition. He'll have to prove that his size and perimeter stroke won't restrict him at the NBA level.
Siva actually surprised at the NBA combine, measuring in at a solid 6'1'' in sneakers. This was great news for Siva, as it eliminates a potential red flag on his résumé (some believed he was under 6'0'').
He also shined during the athletic testing, getting off the ground for a strong 41.5-inch max vertical leap and finishing just a hair behind Shane Larkin as the second-fastest prospect in the field.
His quickness is big part of his game, as Siva uses it to break down defenses in the half court and quickly get out in transition. He's an awesome athlete who could have probably excelled at whatever sport he chose to play.
Siva has left scouts with fewer questions to ask regarding the physical transition, and he can now focus on proving he has the talent to crack an NBA rotation.
Off the Dribble
Siva has a quick first step and good stop-to-start acceleration. He makes it tough for defenders to stay in front of him.
With the game slowed down, Siva is always a threat to break his man down off the dribble and penetrate the heart of the defense.
Watch him burn his defender with the crossover, hit the gap and finish acrobatically thanks to his top-shelf athleticism (NSFW music):
Finishing at the Rim
Siva has the flexibility, dexterity and athleticism that allow him to finish acrobatically in traffic. He's not the tallest or the longest, but Siva's ability to adjust to the challenge mid-air helps make up for a lack of size and length.
Check out Siva beat his man and both help-defenders before finishing around the shot-blocker:
Change of Direction
Given Siva's handle, shiftiness and quickness, he's capable of hitting the tiniest gaps before weaving through the defense. The ability to change directions on the dime makes him a nightmare to defend on ball screens, as he tends to turn defenders around while he navigates through traffic.
Watch how Siva goes "human joystick" on Connecticut, dribbling east, west, north to northeast on his way for an easy two:
Drive and Dish
Siva's ability to beat his man and break down the defense opens up all sorts of opportunities for his teammates, which is what drives his value as a prospect. Nobody is expecting him to score at the pro level. His responsibilities will include pushing the tempo and creating in the half court.
His dribble penetration gets big men easy buckets and shooters open looks:
Siva's most glaring weakness and obstacle moving forward is his jump shot. He's shot below 29 percent from downtown in three consecutive years. This is a red flag.
He seemed to gain more confidence his senior year, taking 132 threes compared to the 69 he took as a junior, but he didn't show much improvement.
Without a threatening three-ball, Siva is going to allow NBA defenders to take away his strength (dribble penetration) by stepping back and playing off him. If he can't make them pay, he'll have a tough time cracking a rotation.
Siva struggles to create easy shots for himself in the half court. If he's not able to carve through the defense for a layup, he's either taking a three out of his range or a runner. He shot 40 percent from the floor in back-to-back years and never averaged more than 10 points per game in his college career.
If Siva can polish up his jumper off the dribble, he'll become a much bigger threat with the ball in his hands.
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