Throughout our offseason, I will be posting my thoughts on our players, listing their strengths, weaknesses, areas of improvements, and their future projections. I will be randomly selecting players to choose from. I'll start off with Ryan Gomes.
Continuing from his career at Providence, Ryan Gomes has been a steady producer in his 1st 2 seasons in Boston And though he doesn't have the athleticism of Gerald Green or Tony Allen, or the future star label of Al Jefferson, Gomes continues to be a constant fixture who makes his presence known behind the scenes. Occasionally, he may be the one who comes through with stats that marquee players put up (such as the 21 pt, 17 rebound game vs. MIN or the triple double he put up against CHA). But for the most part, you can always expect Gomes to put up his customary 12 and 6, while providing solid effort on the boards and coming up with a few key loose balls. More and more, Ryan has been finding ways to add value to the team and provide his personal niche. He has raised his value to the point where he should be included into the list of core players.
What has always stood out in Ryan's game is his ability to score near the basket. He's one of the best at converting rebounds into buckets for his size (a tad over 6'7"), even with bigger defenders hovering over him. His knack of coming up with offensive boards is impressive in itself--but his skill at using his left or right hand to get the shot back up off the glass makes him a very effective garbage scorer.
Ryan has been extending his range closer to the three point line this year, but it shouldn't come to anyone's surprise--he had been doing that at Providence 3 years ago. His ability to stay near the line and drain 18 - 20 footers has given his teammates a nice kickout option to look for when defenses collapse on them. Then, as defenses play him to shoot the ball, he uses his veteran savvy to draw trips to the free throw line. He'll do this by bringing the ball low to the ground in front of his man in order to get his man to swipe at it. Then, as his man has his arms in his way, Ryan would quickly bring the ball up in an act of shooting, getting himself purposely tangled up with his defender's arms so that the refs would call the foul. It works every time. Towards the end of the season, he took almost all of his shot attempts from midrange and out, and found success--but I would like to see Ryan mix up his inside/outside game more rather than just being a perimeter player.
Ryan's dribble penetration and post up game are often under-used. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive his way to the basket, as well as turn his back to the basket and back his way in. So far, we haven't seen Ryan do much of this, and that's because so far, Ryan hasn't been asked to score on isolation plays. But in the near future, we should begin to see his offense become more of a factor.
Ryan isn't a high flying athlete, he doesn't have a lot of speed, and his size leaves him a tad shorter than most PF's. For these reasons, his name doesn't often come up as a future starting PF candidate. He's becoming a steady perimeter shooter, but he's not able to execute catch-and-shoots or stop on a dime and hit pull up jumpers. He's a set shooter. Aside from these areas, Ryan doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, thus why he has been a steady contributor.
Areas of improvement
In order for Ryan to have a bigger role on the team, he needs to become a scoring weapon off the bench, and that's exactly what I predict he will become next season. Gomes will be our 6th man next season and he will impact the game with his scoring and rebounding (I predict 16 ppg). As Jefferson and/or Pierce head to the bench for a breather, Ryan will come in and assume the scorer's role and provide the necessary help when they are out. We will see Ryan's value as a scorer rise next season, as he incorporates all his abilities into his role off the bench. This offseason, he needs to refine his post skills, his penetration skills, his ball handling, and sharpen his perimeter shooting.
6th Man; 3rd leading scorer on the team (behind Pierce and Jefferson), league's 6th Man Award Winner