Cody Zeller has the tools to be a serviceable center in the NBA. Standing at 7 feet tall, the Bobcats decided to take the former Indiana Hoosier with the 4th pick in the 2013 NBA draft. The 21 year old center has had an up and down start to his NBA career. In 24 games Zeller has put 5 points and 4 rebounds per contest in 18 minutes. Not good by any means, but hey better than Anthony Bennett, right? His rebounding has been respectable-as he is 4th on the team in rebounds per 36 minutes. He has been a turnover machine-ranking 3rd on the team in turnovers per 36 minutes. Lastly he has also been too aggressive on the defense side, leading the Bobcats in fouls per 36 minutes. The biggest knock on his game at the moment is his offense. He is shooting just 37.7% from the field. That is horrific for a center. Let’s take a look at his shot chart below:
As you can seen there is a lot Zeller needs to work on. Let’s further analyze three areas of his offensive game.
1. Around the Rim
Zeller posses the skill set and athleticism to be a good center in the NBA. The stats so far don’t support my last statement however. He is only shooting 46% under the basket. That is below the league average, as shown in red. Playing around the rim should be his bread and butter, but for some reason he has not been able to convert from down low. The talent is there-as seen in the clip below:
Zeller has the ability to change his shot mid air and drive to the basket. The talent and athleticism is there. The problem at the moment is his strength-or lack of. Zeller is a skinny 7’0” and easily gets bullied around by bigger centers in the NBA. Once he adds some more weight he will able to to showcase his athleticism more often.
2. Mid Range Game
At his ceiling Zeller could be a center that stretches the floor with a good mid range game. He is showing some promise. If you go back to his shot chart you can see that he is in the green on mid range shots on the right. He needs to continue developing this part of his game. Once he has a respectable mid range game defenders would have to start respecting it. This opens the door for pump fakes.
3. Long Range Jumper
I don’t even know why he takes these shots. If you go back to the graphic on the first page you can see he is shooting 25%(11-44) from what is considered a long range jump shot. He needs to avoid these shots as much as possible at this point in his career. Maybe down the road he can start developing a long range j.