Are you watching the NBA Finals right now? Are you watching Daniel Green completely scorch the Miami Heat defense when they trap Parker on high ball screen actions?
Well, that’s what Ryan Reyes is expected to do with Talk ‘N Text. He’s the weakside shooter that Castro/Alapag necessitate on their endless assaults via pick and rolls or isolations. He’s asked to occasionally be a creator on ball reversals. He’s not asked to be a high usage scorer but his scoring, particularly his 3PT shooting, is vital to Talk ‘N Text’s attack.
On defense, he’s asked to be a primary defender. He shares responsibilities with Larry Fonacier in guarding the best perimeter scorer in the league that lists names such as Caguioa, Baguio, David and… fine, James Yap. He slides his feet well and uses his body to make his opponent uncomfortable. He’s not too keen on poking the ball away, instead focusing on keeping his body between his man and the basket and making life a living hell for his opponent.
As I’ve said, he’s a very important piece in Talk ‘N Text’s drive-and-kick system. His 37.1% 3PT% (on 2.9 attempts per game) ranks 12th among players who took at least two 3PT attempts per game and played at least eight games this conference, a list that’s populated by well-known volume shooters such as Lassiter, Salvacion, Maliksi and Hontiveros. He’s the poison that teams will take if they help on Castro’s relentless drives.
He’s also one of Talk ‘N Text’s best transition scorer. When trailing, his ability to stop on a dime and set his feet allows Castro some added wiggle room on those transition opportunities. What’s more, Reyes is a decent defensive rebounder and ballhandler that there are times when he’s the one who leads the break.
Add that (3PT shooting and transition attack) with his selfless attitude on offense and team first attitude and what you get is a near perfect fit with Castro and Alapag. His assist tallies may not be high (AST% of 12.9%) but he makes the extra pass, he’s capable of making cross court passes to the weakside or drop off passes to bigs.
He’s also a plus defender, taking on the PBA’s best perimeter scorers head on. I’m not saying he was successful at preventing all of them but his habits were good and his instincts were still intact.
At times, Reyes was too selfless to the point that he’s not helping his team. It wasn’t about his consistency, it was about his mentality. He was, at times, merely content with standing in the corner and waiting for the pass to get to him instead of floating to open spaces and make him harder to defend when he’s spotting up. That was my biggest gripe with him – he was too selfless. And in most cases, that’s a good thing. But when you’re one of the best spot up shooters (and corner shooters) in the league, you better make the defense pay when they leave you alone. Reyes didn’t do this until later in the season.
There were also times when Reyes was a step too slow on defense. He had the right intention but his body just wouldn’t cooperate.
Those (offensive timidity, defensive lapses) were probably a by-product of a low extremity injury (hamstring) that’s preventing his body to make the decisions Reyes’ brilliant mind is thinking.
Couple his slow-footedness with his physicality and the result is an overly high foul rate. He had the 14th highest fouls per 36 minutes (among players who played at least eight games and 20 minutes), a list that’s populated by mostly big men. Only Abueva, Hontiveros, Macapagal, Denok and Ellis had higher foul rates as perimeter players.
Even in injury, Ryan Reyes was still among the league’s best offensive and defensive player. He registered an offensive rating of 104.6 and a PER of 13.2 (numbers which were not far off from the numbers he put up in the Philippine Cup). That not only speaks to Reyes’ resolve and determination but also to his skill level and basketball IQ. I absolutely love this guy and pray he heals well. I’m going to be rooting for him next conference.
Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters Approval Ratings
|Harvey Carey||Rabeh Al-Hussaini||Ryan Reyes||Kelly Williams||Ranidel De Ocampo|
|Jayson Castro||Jared Dillinger||Jimmy Alapag||Larry Fonacier||Jerome Jordan|