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Under The Lights: GBL Season 4 Move Rebalance
I won't even tease you any further than that... let's get right into it, with the greatest impacts first....
Executing the Perfect Forward Lunge
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.
- Take a big step forward. Start to shift your weight forward so your heel hits the floor first.
- Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor and... wait a minute, wrong lunge! 🏃
LUNGEBug-Type Charge Move
Energy Req'd: 45
Lowers Opponent Attack -1 Stage
I've seen many calling it an Icy Wind clone, and that is indeed accurate: same damage, same cost, same debuff to the opponent's Attack stat. As an aside, perhaps this is a good sign for the Icy Wind naysayers who remain convinced that IW will get debuffed down the line for being too potent... Niantic just doubled down on it. Huzzah! Because anyone who has faced down a Dewgong or Seaking or Articuno with Icy Wind knows how oppressive it can be. Now we have that for Bugs!
Well, for a couple Bugs, because it will start out only being available on Galvantula and Masquerain. And for fans of that pair, I have some good news: Lunge is a HUGE boon to their prospects.
Before I get into the actual 'mons that stand to benefit, what do Bug-type moves MEAN in Great League play? There aren't a ton that see use, really. Bug damage is resisted by... well, a lot: Fighting, Flying, Steel, Ghost, Poison, Fire, AND Fairy. That's a very long and unfortunate list. BUT what a lot of people miss is what Bug is super effective against: Grasses are the most famous, but also Darks AND Psychics, the only typing in the game that hits Dark AND Psychic super effectively. That was one huge reason why the world champion of the just concluded Season 2 of The Silph Arena won it all on the back of a Bug, Forretress. It doesn't hit a wide number of typings, but it hits several key typings that are very prevalent in Great League. At present, 18 of the 44 Pokémon in the Great League "core meta", as identified on PvPoke.com, are at least one of those three typings. That's 40%. Granted, some of those take neutral damage due to their secondary Poison or Fighting or Flying subtypings, but still. A good Bug is well positioned for success.
So let's start with Galvantula. It burst onto the scene loud and large back in January with its very unique Bug/Electric typing and corresponding good moves, with Discharge and Bug Buzz making it a threat to Waters, Flyers, Psychics, Darks, and Grasses alike. It eventually fell out of favor, but is arguably still a viable open Great League 'mon, with wins over literally every Water that isn't part Ground or Rock, as well as most all Psychics (including Hypno, Cresselia, Medicham, Jirachi, Bronzong, and more), most all Fighters (thanks to resisting Fighting damage), Registeel (resisting Flash Cannon AND Focus Blast), and many Darks and Grasses... though Bug Buzz is a little too slow to consistently beat those things that Bugs should beat.
So how about now, with Lunge as a straight up replacement for Bug Buzz? Well, see for yourself. Now there are very few Darks or Grasses that escape; whereas previously Umbreon, Venusaur, Shiftry, Tropius, Scrafty, Shadow Victreebel, Zweilous, Ferrothorn, and Abomasnow were all normally losses, now they all flip to the win column thanks to a steadier barrage of Bug-type damage, as do Psychics Alolan Raichu and D-Deoxys (JUST barely on DD, but still), and even a couple that defy logic, like Melmetal and Whiscash. (Did YOU know that Galv could tank a Rock Slide, a couple of Mud Bombs, or even a Blizzard? I certainly didn't expect that!) I mean, look at the list again. The only things Galvantula really loses to are HARD counters like Fires, Bastiodon, Swampert, Altaria, the Grounded Stunfisks, and then big neutral damage dealers like Clefable, Wigglytuff, and Haunter (who all resist Lunge damage). To reiterate one more time: that's a 75% win rate against the Great League core meta. That is higher than Azumarill, higher than Registeel, higher than Umbreon, higher than Bastiodon, higher than Skarmory, higher than EVERYTHING else.
It also looks like Galv will surely be one of the very best options in Halloween Cup, which makes sense seeing as how it is also the ONLY Electric type in the entire format, a meta topped by Azumarill and filled with other potent Waters like Tentacruel and Qwilfish, and Flyers like Golbat, Honchkrow, and Drifblim who want NOTHING to do with Galvantula. Whether you intend to use Galv in open Great League play or not, you will SURELY want one for Halloween Cup.
So yeah, the case for Galvantula seems pretty obvious, but it is NOT the only Pokémon being given Lunge. There is also Masquerain, an odd Swiss Army knife of a 'mon. It already has Bug, Flying, Water, and even Ghost moves. Masq HAS had some past success in PvP, within the bounds of The Silph Arena's monthly restricted Cup formats, but that was back when two of its moves--Silver Wind and Ominous Wind--dealt a good deal more damage and made Masq a multi-faceted threat in its own right. Now, sadly, none of its moves besides the truly awful Air Cutter (55 energy for only 60 damage 🤢) deal higher than the 45 damage of the hobbled Wind moves. (For reference, Silver used to deal 70 damage for 45 energy and Ominous was 50 damage for 40 energy, but now both are a putrid 45 damage for 45 energy. 🤮) The only positive for Masq was that it gained Bubble Beam (only 25 damage for 40 energy, but a guaranteed 1 Stage debuff to the opponent's Attack) along the lines, but it still has long sat in obscurity. Can the awesomeness that is Lunge springboard it into GBL?
Well, let's look at Masq's best to this point, with Air Slash as the fast move and Silver Wind and Bubble Beam as the charges. That combo allows to actually beat some decent things: Fighters like Toxicroak and Scrafty and Machamp and Medicham, Grasses like Venusaur and Meganium and Shiftry and Shadow Victreebel and even Tropius, and then Hypno and, with good IVs, even Umbreon. Not bad, really, but very niche. So now let's see what Lunge can do for us, by replacing the mediocre Silver Wind. Happily, Masq keeps all the wins it had already, shoring many of them up, and adds on Shadow Hypno, Sableye, Vigoroth, and multiple varieties of Swampert. It's still not a large number of wins, but at least it gets a little more versatile. Now it's worth actually considering in a niche role as a Fighting/Grass/Dark slayer that can hold the line against some other things as well. Worst case, it can always Bubble Beam debuff something and then swap out for something that can better finish the opponent off.
Or one more option: shed Air Slash and go more Bug-heavy with Infestation instead. You give up most of the Fighters (Machamp and Toxicroak and others, though you keep Scrafty and Medicham due to Bug's continued effectiveness), as well as Sableye, but you turn Masq into a Psychic slayer, adding on wins against Cresselia and Defense Deoxys, and also now beat Zweilous (vulnerable to Bug) and, interestingly, Whiscash. It's good to have options!
Overall, Masquerain holds a support role, but at least it somewhat HAS a role again on the right team.
So what's the verdict? I don't think it's an understatement to say that Galvantula with the new *Lunge** is so good that it's positioned to cause a shift in the entire known meta. It now strikes a good balance between its Electric and Bug halves, two very underrated typings in Great League.* Get one, while the getting is still good. I would also recommend trying to build up a good Masquerain when you're able for a potential support role (one more tweak--perhaps a better fast move?--could make it REALLY take off) or use in The Silph Arena, if you're into that, but it's not nearly as high a priority as Galvantula.
Charge of the... Zebra Brigade?Zebragade, perhaps we can call it?
Anyway, the one non-Bug move that got a buff is Flame Charge, which dropped from 70 damage down to 65 but now comes with a guaranteed self Attack buff of 1 Stage. But the move itself doesn't appear on very much of consequence, appearing only on 'mons that are not fully evolved (Combusken, Pignite, Darumaka, Ponyta, etc.) with just two exceptions, showing up on non-Fire Pokemon Mew and Zebstrika. Now I could write an entire article on Mew with its various movesets (and in fact, I DID long ago, and do mean to get around to updating that one of these days), but for now I'll just saw that, yes, there is definitely some promise there. 👀 This does give Mew its only self-boosting move other than the humbled Ancient Power, and with a Fire typing that has some solid and unique usage in PvP. Tally up one more potential landing spot in the TM roulette that is Mew.
But what I really want to talk about today is the other one: Zebstrika. Now if you look at its body of work in Great League, you likely will not be overly impressed. But look closer at that list of wins. Azumarill. Drifblim. Mantine. Lapras and Dewgong. Skarmory. Well yes yes, you say, it's an Electric. But looking closer... well, let's make it more obvious. Those are all wins that Zeb can get with just Flame Charge. Again, not great in number, but it's VERY interesting that it still beats Mantine and Pelipper without having to debuff itself with Wild Charge. And it torches Steels Skarmory and Melmetal with Flame Charge, as well as Drifblim still, and hey... it's an Electric type that can overcome Ferrothorn. There's something you don't see every day! And look at how close it gets to taking out Lunge Galvantula! Sticking with those good IVs and looking back at the full spread again, note the other somewhat unusual wins over things like Froslass and Sableye and Medicham and Shadow Hypno and even Toxicroak... timed right, you can squeeze in two Wild Charges before Croak can reach its second Electric-killer Mud Bomb.
Perhaps even more surprising--and impressive--is Zebstrika's performance in Ultra League, where it continues to terrorize Waters and Flyers (beating even Dragonite, and of course Togekiss and Drifblim), but also most of the major Grasses, unheard of for an Electric, thanks again to Flame Charge. Note also the wins over things like Scizor and Escavalier for the same reason, and the wins against the other true Fire types. And while it doesn't show up on that initial list, as the sims lean towards Wild Charge, if you stick with straight Flame Charge you also beat Registeel, which is a nice bonus. The strong showing continues in Premier Cup, where you can add things like Magnezone, Gallade, and Toxicroak to the party... and the win column. Those are some quality wins!
So what's the verdict? It's not a performance that stands up and demands to be noticed, but peeling back the layers shows a solid and unique body of work for Zebstrika in Great AND Ultra Leagues. It does the normal Electric things you would expect, but the unique threat of Flame Charge adds a wrinkle that many opponents won't expect until it's too late. An Electric type that can take out things like Ferrothorn, Toxicroak, Abomasnow, Escavalier, and more? Sounds like a fun spice option that could make some waves on a few teams, don't you think? The potential certainly looks to be there. And of course, each use of Flame Charge now is a boost to future performance with that Attack buff. 🔥💪 Also keep in mind that this represents a different way to get important Fire damage out of Mew, this time also buffing it rather than the harsh de-buff that comes attached to Overheat. Something to consider!
Mixed SignalsSo Niantic made a big deal out of Vespiquen getting Signal Beam, and trumped up the fact that the move will now have a chance to debuff the opponent's Attack and Defense. But here's the issue: the changes are limited to that. Signal Beam costs 55 energy for only 75 damage. I mean, that's not awful, but it's not good. For reference, there are a slew of moves (Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Earth Power, Psychic, Energy Ball, Last Resort) that all deal 90 damage for that same cost of 55 energy, and Stone Edge, Shadow Ball, and fellow Bug move Megahorn all deal 100 damage for, again, the same cost. Is that steep drop in damage worth what turns out to be a 1 in 5 chance of debuffing the opposing Pokémon?
Well, to fully answer that, let's look at what has Signal Beam in the first place. Here's the full list of PvP-relevant (or at least fringe) Pokémon that have Signal Beam:
- Vespiquen (just added)
So I guess we'll look at Vespie, then. Currently it typically runs (when used at all) with X-Scissor and Power Gem, for former for baiting and/or persistent Bug-type damage and the latter for a finisher that obviously provides some nice coverage (take THAT, Flyers!). But as you can see by those wins, typically Vespiquen holds a rather specialized role, slaying Grasses, Darks, and some Psychics, and maybe the occasional Fighter or Swampert, but that's about it. Not a BAD role, but rather limited.
And Signal Beam does absolutely nothing to change that. In fact, we can illustrate TWO Bug moves here, as Vespie also already has the other Bug move that got tweaked: Bug Buzz. So let's stack them all side by side, with X-Scissor as the presumed first move for baiting (though you can also use Fell Stinger in that slot instead, if you prefer):
Power Gem vs Signal Beam vs Bug Buzz
So they're all remarkably similar, partly because Vespie mostly just spams super effective X-Scissor to victory over those Grasses and Darks and Psychics. Here are the few differences:
- Signal Beam and Bug Buzz have the killing power to finish off Shadow Hypno, whereas non-super effective Power Gem does not, and Hypno is able to squeeze off its own killing charge move right after. And no, X-Scissor alone is not quite enough either.
- While Vespiquen IS able to take out regular Hypno with just X-Scissor, it's left half a Hypno Confusion from death. Trying to throw Signal Beam or Power Gem means a likely loss instead, but Bug Buzz makes things MUCH more comfortable.
- Bug Buzz alone is able to knock out Sableye. In the same spot, neither Gem nor Beam have enough power to finish the job.
So what's the verdict? Yeah, tacking on a potential debuffing ability to a bad move does not suddenly make it a good move. With or without the debuff, Signal Beam remains a bad move, and does nothing to help Vespiquen's prospects. Where you have the option, Bug Buzz was and remains a better value overall, though both bow down to the new hotness that is Lunge. This does not move the needle on things that have either Signal Beam or Bug Buzz much, if at all, and while I appreciate Niantic's helpful buff to Flame Charge and the badly needed addition of Lunge to the Bug arsenal, the attempted hype with Buzz and Beam are, quite frankly, laughable. Move along, move along....
And that's it! So the real quick TL;DR is:
- Get a Lunge Galvantula. Like, NOW. It has suddenly become a potentially meta-redefining 'mon in GBL, and will be particularly nasty in the upcoming Halloween Cup.
- To a lesser degree, try and build a good Masquerain when you can. Lunge does NOT turn it into a superstar, but it has its uses and is an intriguing team player with Lunge and Bubble Beam both having a 100% chance to debuff the opposition. Duck in, debuff the heck out of something, and then swoop out to clean up with the rest of your team. Takes finesse, but I can see it working out.
- Zebstrika is your rather typical Wild Charger that also packs the unique Flame Charge, which got almost a straight buff in this shakeup. It has uses in Great and Ultra Leagues. And Mew has Flame Charge as well, remember....
- The "buffs" to Signal Beam and Bug Buzz are really much ado about nothing. Nothing that had them got any better, really, and Vespiquen has Signal Beam now but doesn't even want it. Nothing to see here.
For more PvP tidbits, you can find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon with an exclusive Discord you can use to get straight through to me. Or please feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Stay safe out there, Pokéfriends. Thanks again for reading, and catch you next time!
Offseason Blueprint: it’s time for the young/Young Atlanta Hawks to leave the nest and take flight
For their sake, we wanted to look ahead with the next edition of the OFFSEASON BLUEPRINT series. In each, we'll preview some big decisions and make some recommendations for plans of attack along the way. Today, we're looking at the Atlanta Hawks.
Two summers ago, the Atlanta Hawks hired coach Lloyd Pierce on the basis of his defensive reputation. So far, that hasn't translated to the court. Last season, the Hawks ranked 27th in defensive rating. After a year in the system to improve their habits and chemistry, that ranking jumped all the way up to... 27th.
What's wrong here? A few factors, of course.
The one that gets the most attention and the most blame would be the deficiencies of Trae Young. His lack of length and athleticism will always be a problem, but it shouldn't be this bad. ESPN RPM ranks his defensive impact as a -6.2 per 100 possessions, which ranks 520th out of all 520 qualifiers in the NBA. According to that metric, his defense is even worse than Isaiah Thomas (at age 31.)
Isaiah Thomas may be a helpful comparison though, because he does illustrate that one bad defender shouldn't be able to sink a team on his own. In IT's great season in Boston, his individual defense was poor, but the Celtics ranked in the top 5 in defense overall. Clearly, some teams are able to overcome liabilities like that. The Hawks may have to consider hiding Trae Young on defense like he's in the witness protection program. Other lead guards like Allen Iverson defended off the ball often, which is an approach that worked for his team defenses in Philadelphia and Denver.
So what else is wrong here? The second major factor would be a matter of youth. Yes, we have a "Young" and a "young" problem here. Inexperienced players tend to be bad defensively, and the Hawks were one of the youngest teams in the league. Their top 5 players in minutes played (Young, De'Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, John Collins) were all in their age-22 season or younger. There are some college rosters older than that starting five. That aspect should improve in time, especially because some of those young players like Hunter and Reddish project as good defenders.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, another issue with the defense is the offense. The Hawks play fast (top 5 in the NBA in pace), and shoot a bunch of threes (top 10 in three point attempts.) The problem is: they don't make a lot of those threes. As a team, the Hawks shot 33.3% from three, dead last in the NBA. These issues naturally affect their defense. The Hawks are playing fast and missing threes, which tends to lead to transition baskets for their opponents before the Hawks can get back and get set. If the Hawks improve their offense, then their defense should improve by proxy. To do that, they may have to slow down their pace to some degree. Modern teams love to run and gun, but if you're not very good, you're only giving your opponents extra possessions to allow their talent to win out.
The fourth potential issue is a matter of coaching. As mentioned, Lloyd Pierce had a good reputation as an assistant coming over to Atlanta, but we haven't seen that manifest so far. It's a tough job assignment coaching up a young team, but it's a talented group of players. If we don't see tangible improvement in Year 3, then I would presume it's time to fire Pierce and look for another answer. There are a lot of good coaches on the market right now, so Pierce needs to step up his game to avoid getting replaced. Rebuilding teams can afford to be patient, but they can't afford to give their coaches tenure.
The 2020 free agent market is going to be quieter than an indoor mall during COVID quarantine. Hardly any teams have cap space... except for Atlanta. In fact, the Hawks have the most cap space in the entire NBA, committed to only $58M on the books for next year.
This is going to be a bad free agent class, but that's okay. In a sense, the Hawks are like the best looking guy in a dive bar. There may be slim pickings, but at least he gets his pick of the litter.
You don't want to throw your money away foolishly, but you don't want it to burn a hole in your pocket either. Eventually that cap space is going to dry up when you extend your young players, so this may be a great opportunity to "use it before you lose it."
The first option should be to throw a big offer at restricted free agent Brandon Ingram. Ingram has great length for a wing player, and his scoring prowess would make for a -- wait, what was that? The Pelicans just matched my offer in mid sentence? Okay then, let's move on to our next options.
I'd also consider making sizable offers to free agents Bogdan Bogdanovic and/or Jerami Grant. Bogdanovic is a skilled scorer who averaged 18-4-4 per 36 this past season, and has the potential to thrive as a secondary scorer or 6th man. At 27, he also fits the general timeline here. While Bogdanovic may not be the defensive stopper we're looking for, you can never have too many quality wings in today's NBA.
Jerami Grant doesn't have the same shooting ability or skill set, but he's an energetic player and an impact defender. He's 26 now, and should retain his value for the next 3 years. Having Grant as a complementary starter or rotation player would help the team on and off the court; from what I understand, he's a hard worker and a team-first player.
On the lower end, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to punch some lottery tickets and hope they pay off. Josh Jackson (former Suns bust) still has potential at age 23. Chicago SG/SF Denzel Valentine has an intriguing skill set. And fellow Bull Kris Dunn is one of the premier defenders at his position. Dunn would make for a great yin/yang backup to Trae Young.
One of the reasons that the Atlanta Hawks' cap size will dwindle in the future is the potential extension for PF John Collins.
A year or two ago, the team may have thought long and hard about whether or not to commit huge money to Collins. There were some indications that he was a "good stats / bad team" kind of player. He was a tweener who struggled on defense, and didn't stretch the floor reliably on offense.
These days, it's harder to hate on Collins. The raw stats are as good as always (20-10 this year), but he's also playing a more desirable brand of basketball as well. He's worked to improve his range and shotmaking. His three-point shooting went up to 35% in year two, and swelled to 40% in year three. His FT% has also gone up each year, from 72% to 76% to 80%. You appreciate when a young player improves his game, as it indicates a lot more potential still in the tank (as he turns 23 next week.)
Defense is becoming less of a concern for Collins as well. The trend towards smallball allows him to play about 50% of his minutes at center. In turn, that allows Coach Pierce some flexibility. Depending on the matchup, he can go with the traditional bigs like Clint Capela or Dewayne Dedmon, or he can play a smaller, more dynamic 5 in Collins. Collins will never be Kevin Garnett, but if he's at least average on defense, then he's a net positive player.
Going forward, there's no immediate rush or urgency to extend Collins this offseason. The team will have matching rights next summer, so they can wait and see Collins "prove it" over a full regular season before committing to him. Still, if he's willing to sign a reasonable extension this offseason, the Hawks may be able to avoid the headache. Atlanta's a good situation for a young scorer like Collins, so the hope is that he'd be amenable to a reasonable deal that locks him up as part of this core.
The Atlanta Hawks will have the # 6 pick in the draft, giving them the chance to add another young prospect to the team. We had been concerned about too much youth on this roster, but it's not worth giving up that pick for a veteran because we're not in "win now" mode yet. The team may as well keep collecting youngsters like they're pokemon.
With that top pick, they should keep that mindset, and not fall victim to the desire to find the right "fit" (hence the Tetris analogy.) Best available player. That's a good philosophy when you're drafting in the top 10 regardless, but it applies to this team more than most. The team needs to get a lot better, but there are no glaring issues in terms of positions or rotations. Trae Young will have PG on lockdown. Kevin Huerter will have a role as a wing. Better still, Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter are the types of BIG wings that can fit across several positions. The frontcourt should be fine as well between John Collins and Clint Capela. Given that, almost any position would be fine for the Hawks to select.
At PG, the top prospects (according to ESPN) are LaMelo Ball (N.Z.) and Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State). Both players would be fine picks for the team, because both have the size and length to guard 1s or 2s and can play alongside Trae Young in that regard. Offensively, LaMelo and Trae may fight for the ball, but both have dynamic scoring potential that would make a tag-team dangerous. Haliburton would be an even easier fit, as he's had experience playing off the ball.
At SG/SF, the top prospect is Anthony Edwards (Georgia), who is likely to be off the board. I'm also a fan of Devin Vassell (Florida State), who projects as a good 3+D player that could soak up minutes at SG and SF for this team. He's one of the safer prospects in the class to me. I also like Deni Avdija (Israel), a ball moving forward with the size to play either SF or PF.
The hardest debate may be whether to select a big man that falls to them, be it James Wiseman (Memphis) or Onyeka Okongwu (USC). After acquiring Clint Capela (and potentially ponying up for a John Collins extension), the team may not want to invest much more into the position. Still, I'd hold firm to my "best player available" idea. Wiseman and Okongwu have major potential as defenders, which has been a problem area as discussed. It could be worth bringing them in and seeing how they develop. If they turn out to be the real deal, then it's perfectly fine to trade Capela or even Collins after the fact.
I'd have a harder time justifying the selection of two other top prospects: Killian Hayes (France) feels like too much of a pure point guard to me, and Obi Toppin feels like too much of a duplication to John Collins. Still, we've discussed 7 prospects that I've already given the "greenlight" to draft, which means at least 2 of those should be available when the Hawks are on the clock.
We've harped a lot on the youth of this team already. Usually, that's seen as a positive. Rebuilding teams are supposed to be young, right? Sure. But there's some danger there of going overboard. If you're too young, and too inexperienced, then it's hard for the young pups to learn from those around them. It's hard to hold them accountable if there's no one else around to play their minutes. We can't have the blind leading the blind here.
Oftentimes, teams try to solve this issue by adding older veteran mentors to the locker room. The Hawks found the MOST veteran of them all by adding Vince Carter (age 43.) In theory, that's exactly what we're talking about. Wise old sages like Carter can help the kids grow up and learn to be professionals.
Still, I'm not sure that's enough. As respected as an old vet like Vince Carter may be, there's only so much influence he can have on a team if he's not playing. There's only so much influence he can have on a kid's habits if they're not in the same peer group. It's unlikely that 20-21 year olds are hanging out with guys in their mid to late 30s. They're in different stages in life, and probably have different interests and lifestyles.
Given that, I believe there should be more of a priority placed on "big brother" teammates in addition to older mentors. What do I mean by big brothers? I mean veterans who have good work ethic and character, but aren't over the hill. Young vets (ages 25-27 or so) who can still contribute on the court, and can still act as friends and peers to the kids. True role models. Consider this: who influenced your behavior more in high school: Your teachers? Or your friends? We need friends / big brothers that will spend more time with our kids, and teach them through osmosis if not outright lectures.
Consciously or not, the Memphis Grizzlies showed the value of this principle with their current season. They surrounded their rookies and sophomores with "big brother" vets like Tyus Jones (age 24) and Kyle Anderson (age 26.) Those guys happen to be high-IQ players and high-character teammates, but they're still young and good enough to play 20+ minutes a night. When you're checking all those boxes, you can influence the young players on your roster more effectively than the salty old dog who's basically an assistant coach.
It's hard for me to give recommendations for "big brothers" because I don't know these players behind the scenes outside of public reputation, but the idea would be to add smart, hard-working veterans in that 25-27 age range. We want vets who play unselfishly on offense, and play hard and disciplined on defense. Even if they're not great, they can help instill good habits with the team, on and off the court.
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