Darius Garland: On-Ball Offense
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite.
One of Garland’s key skills, his tight handle enables him to get wherever he wants to on the court. He is a highly advanced pick-and-roll ball handler that possesses an array of dribble moves and counters (inside-out, hesitation, snake dribbles) that enable him to create separation consistently. He has an extremely quick first step, and has displayed the ability to split defenders in the pick-and-roll. On high ball screens he uses his body and quick feet to force the on-ball defender into trail position, setting himself up to use a secondary move on a less athletic big man at the second level. He has a very tight handle and does a good job using his body to protect the ball. He is able to keep the ball on a string even when moving at full speed or dribbling in traffic.
Although not a high volume passer, Garland has displayed impressive flashes of passing ability with a good feel for both the strong and weak sides of the court. He shows a high-level understanding of what angles will open up as the defense reacts to him in the pick-and-roll. He knows how to pass teammates open, and is a good ball mover within the flow of the offense. He is perhaps too willing to attempt difficult passes, resulting in a high turnover rate.
Shooting off the dribble
Garland does a good job using his handle to create space for pull-up jumpers. His quick first step puts defenders on their heels, giving him the opening he needs for a step back jumper. He transitions into his shooting motion quickly and has great balance on his jumper. Good lift and a high release point enable him to get his shot off consistently. In his limited sample he made a clear effort to shoot from beyond the arc rather than a step or two inside the line, with most of his attempts coming from NBA range.
Finishing off the dribble
Garland finishes well with either hand around the rim. He tends to put defenders in jail and turn the corner, effectively sealing them out of the play. He does a good job of using his body to protect the ball while in the air finishing against larger defenders, and has shown the ability to makes shots around the rim at various angles. He left the floor a little early on a couple of occasions, making it more difficult to finish. One concern is that he doesn't have tremendous core strength to absorb contact around the basket and can be bumped off his spot, but he is rarely challenged head-on by defenders.
Finishing in the post
Garland did not post-up once in the four games he played, and his slight frame makes it unlikely that this skill will displayed anytime in the near future.