Vegas Takeout: Trevon Bluiett

LAS VEGAS — There's nothing even remotely novel about describing Trevon Bluiett as a fantastic shooter.

Anyone who watched, read about or had an active Twitter feet undoubtedly heard all about Trevon Bluiett's exploits this past spring on the EYBL Circuit for the Spiece Indy Heat.

And he proceeded from there, consistently tossing big numbers despite what everyone also could see: He's an average, at best, athlete for the high-major level.

Bluiett now competes for Indiana Elite and was up to his usual tricks on Friday, banging in three-pointers and spearheading a blowout victory for his squad in an opening playoff round.

But the issue here is how he accomplishes this production in light of the fact that he's a little on the slow side. Plenty of 6-5 pure shooters fall well short of a national top-40 ranking, but Bluiett has maintained his performance standard and his reputation even after attaining such lofty status.

Clearly, jump shooting is the oxygen of Bluiett's game. There's no disputing that. He buries open threes more often than not and can hit them at a reasonable percentage even when somewhat contested. The respect he commands on the perimeter enables the rest of his game to blossom, and at all times he's managing the controls.

You can see the limitations in isolated one-on-one situations. Quick athletes can jam him yet also move their feet quickly enough to prevent him from driving, and thus Bluiett is forced to reset.

He compensates for that limitation by using ball screens very effectively, going hard and using a solid screen to set up a long jumper, or else weaving more slowly behind the screen and surprising the defender by suddenly racing to the hoop. He'll never be a dazzling finisher, but his soft touch does enable him to hit shots on the move.

Meanwhile, Bluiett is a fine passer who possesses outstanding court awareness. Bred in arguably the finest high school basketball state in the land, he understands defenses' basic mechanisms and knows immediately where to locate an open teammate. While driving he keeps his head up to shot-fake and set up dunks for others, and he uses his own shooting prowess as a decoy on the outside, faking a three and making the extra pass to a teammate who's more open.

And while Bluiett's defense may pose issues for his teams to varying degrees — pressure man-to-man would prove challenging for him — he does have excellent defensive instincts. His mind is quicker than his feet, and sometimes that's good enough.

Taken on the whole, nothing you've read here contradicts the central idea that he's a specialist. Bluiett definitely is that, but the difference between him and others is that he employs that specialty in such diverse fashion. He uses his jump shot to score with it but also uses it to put air in the offense and to set up occasional drives for himself.

He's one of those guys who likely will always fail the look test and athleticism test, but don't bet against him finding his way into the winner's circle more often than not.


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