The Tyler Dorsey Experiment


Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons
Tyler Dorsey dribbles the ball (Chris Schwegler/NBAE/Getty Images).

Needing to fill the void at shooting guard that remained after Tim Hardaway, Jr. bolted, the Hawks selected Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey in the second round. Dorsey didn’t immediately receive minutes for the team and he’s spent time with the Erie BayHawks, the Hawks’ G-League affiliate. In one G-League game, Dorsey scored 34 points, and not long after that game, he was brought back up to the Hawks. Recently, Dorsey has started to see more consistent minutes in Atlanta’s rotation, and the results have been promising.

Initially, Dorsey relied heavily on his three point shot, which evidently got lost somewhere along the way between the NCAA tournament and the NBA. More recently, however, Dorsey has started to become more of a slasher who looks for seams in the defense to try to get himself easy opportunities. The ball doesn’t stop moving when he gets it like it used to, and cutting to the rim naturally allows for his 3 point shot to present itself more often.

Dorsey has played for over 10 minutes in three of the last four games, even receiving some crunch time minutes in the MLK Day victory over the Spurs. As we’ve seen throughout Coach Budenholzer’s tenure, a player must be trusted on the defensive end before he is allowed to play consistently. The fact that Dorsey has been playing more shows that one of the league’s best defensive coaches trusts him.

In order to take the next step, Dorsey will need to rediscover his jump shot that he used to propel Oregon to the Final Four last season. He also still has a ways to go on defense, considering that he’s a little undersized for his position. However, Dorsey is in the right place to develop his game, as we’ve seen Coach Budenholzer’s staff develop many no-name NBA players into top tier role players. If he continues to improve defensively and find his footing on offense, he’ll start to look like a solid NBA player sooner rather than later.

Jackson Stone


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