“He’s got that grit. He’s got that will to perform well. He’s extremely aggressive. That’s what mambas are. He’s definitely got that DNA. Throw it up. Put that ball in the hole.” – Kobe Bryant via the LA Daily Times
Andrew Goudelock is averaging 11.5 points in only 20 minutes of action in the last four games as Derek Fisher’s primary backup. In his limited action, Goudelock has still managed to average 8.5 shots in his last four games. Take a bow Andrew Goudelock. Not only has Kobe dubbed you a mini-Mamba, but you also managed to quiet the whispers of Gilbert Arenas possibly donning the purple and gold. Not a bad week for the second round rookie from the College of Charleston.
Kobe’s quote above pretty much explains Goudelock’s success over the last four games. He’s been aggressive and confident — fearless on the offensive end, willing to stick his nose out on the defensive end. In a time when the Lakers offense struggles to find perimeter scorers other than Kobe, 11.5 points a contest from the backcourt is like found money. Credit Mike Brown for showing confidence in Goudelock’s game. Did Steve Blake just get Wally Pipped?
I should probably slow down. Like a rookie slugger just up from the minors, there is no book on Goudelock…yet. Don’t worry, the book is coming. Does he have the makeup to adjust when advanced scouts get a better handle on his game? According to Kobe and Mike Brown, Goudelock operates with extreme confidence on the court — a necessary trait to play with 24.
So what’s working for Goudelock? According to mysynergysports.com, Goudelock is knocking down the spot-up jumper at an amazing clip, going 11-16, good for 1.5 points per possession. Of those 16 spot up jumpers, 10 have been from long distance. Goudelock has made eight of those 10 spot up three pointers this season. So we know he can shoot.
What I like about Goudelock is at 6-3 he has the quickness to penetrate and body control to put up a decent floater a la Tony Parker. It’s not perfect and again we are talking very limited opportunities here, but if Goudelock can continue to knock down his spot up jumper it will eventually open up a blow by penetration, weakening the defense in the process. Goudelock brings a different dimension to the backcourt, unlike Blake and Fisher who like to roam the perimeter. The question is does Goudelock have the quickness to get to the basket or is he using the floater because he can’t get past additional defenders?
On defense he does everything you would want from a point guard — fight through screens, deny penetration, hands up on the shot. Opponents are shooting 35.3% when guarded by Goudelock according to Synergysports.
Can Goudelock sustain this type of output for 40 more games? That remains to be seen. But for now, the Mini-Mamba is the flavor of the week. With rumors swirling that J.R. Smith is deciding between the Lakers and Knicks, LA may be quietly molding a formidable second unit that can take some of the offensive burden off of Kobe Bryant.