Clippers

Clippers’ Rookies Ready for New Challenge

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With Summer League now over and free agency basically concluded, teams begin to focus on the 2019-2020 season. Summer League was a time for aspiring young players to showcase their talent in an NBA-like setting. This competition allows players to vie for a spot on the team and in the rotation. For rookies Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann of Florida State, this was a time to show the Clippers organization and players what they can bring to the team.

Kabengele and Mann both played significant minutes in multiple games for the summer league team. Kabengele played four out of the five games and averaged 26 minutes. Mann played in three games with an average of 27.3 minutes a game. Both rookies led the team in multiple stat categories with Kabengele having a team-high 17 points per game with 1.5 blocks per game. Mann showed his ability on the court by leading the team in assists with 5.7/game, rebounds with 11.3/game, and a field goal percentage of 60 percent. The draftees showed how their presence could impact the game. Here are some skills that the rookies can bring to Los Angeles:

Kabengele’s Versatility

Kabengele’s versatility is what will set him apart from others of his position. He is a player that can do it all on the court: make threes, make jump shots, rebound, block shots, and dish out assists. He put his versatility into full effect during Summer League.

Kabengele can do it all on the court with nothing holding him back. He is not afraid to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, and he can make those shots. To go along with his wide range of shots is his unselfishness. He can see the open man and pass the ball to help his teammates score. When the ball doesn’t go his team’s way, Kabengele uses his size to attack the rim and get rebounds and putbacks. He is also a hound on the defensive side and can get in the way of someone trying to score and block shots. His ability to do everything on the court combined with his size is what can make him shine in the NBA.

Kabengele’s Paint Presence

Kabengele thrives in the paint. He stands at 6’10” which would make him one of the tallest players on the court at any time. His athleticism and ability to create shots gives him a presence in the paint. This presence comes from the offensive end ad extends all the way to the defensive end. His 7’3″ wingspan helps him stick with the play and block multiple shots per defensive possession. What makes him so effective in the paint is his effort and competitiveness to win every battle. He finished his sophomore campaign at Florida State with allowing 0.605 points per post-up possession on the defensive end and having 1.5 blocks per game which was ninth in the ACC. If he can continue to dominate in the paint on offense and defense, Kabengele can be known as someone you don’t want to guard or be guarded by.

Mann’s Finish Ability

Terance Mann played shooting guard for the majority of Summer League. He usually plays the small forward position. Running at the guard position allowed him to show one of the most reliable parts of his game– his ability to drive and finish. Mann only shot the ball 20 times but still converted 12 shots. 25% of his attempts came from deep. He doesn’t take a lot of perimeter shots and gets most of his points from driving to the basket. Mann doesn’t shoot the ball often, only attempting 7.9 shots/game his senior year. When he does decide to take the game in his own hands, he can shine.

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Mann is a capable scorer when he drives through the lane. He scored 1.272 points per finishing opportunity his final year at Florida State. Driving to the basket is useful, allowing him to control the defense. When he penetrates the lane, it causes the defenders to crash, and that will enable him to challenge the contact, kick the ball out for an open three, or pass for a dunk. Mann welcomes the contact in the paint and uses it to draw fouls for free throws. He can feel the defense on him and knows what moves to make and when. His ability to finish a tight shot through contact is what can elevate him in the NBA.

Mann’s Passing

Mann has a brilliant court vision and basketball IQ. He allowed himself to advance his game by staying all four years at Florida State, becoming a willing passer who strives to make his teammates around him better. His tendency to attack the basket frees up his teammates and gives them open looks. He knows where his teammates are at all times, and he plays to improve his team. If Mann can continue to perfect his passing skills, he can thrive on the offensive end.

Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann had a positive summer league. They showed the Clippers their talents in a game environment and will take their play into the preseason with the rest of the roster. Now they have to prove to themselves, their teammates, and their coaches why they should be in the rotation. It’s going to be a new experience for the rookies, and they will enjoy their home and job in the NBA.

RELATED: Clippers’ Future is Gleaming

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About Jordan Taylor

Los Angeles Clippers Writer. Email: jtfsu@outlook.com | Twitter: @jtfsu98

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