Film Room: Emmanuel Mudiay takes on the Shandong Flaming Bulls (second half)


Emmanuel Mudiay | YouTube

Emmanuel Mudiay ever so quietly put on a show in the first half against the Shandong Flaming Bulls. He did a formidable job of mixing it up when it came to looking for his own shot and setting up his teammates in their sweet spots. He also knocked down a pair of jump shots, which is a promising sign for his development.

If you missed the first half breakdown, check it out here.

Mudiay had a much quieter second half statistically—it didn’t help that he sat the entirety of the fourth quarter—but his fingerprints were still all over the game. Even though he only scored one basket in the third quarter, he had six impressive passes to his teammates, only two of which wound up being assists.

In the end, the Guangdong Southern Tigers won the game by a final score of 96-85.

Game statistics

10 points, 4-10 FG, 1-2 FT, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal

Third quarter

Mudiay starts the quarter out by wreaking havoc in the open court, as he does so well on a nightly basis.

Mudiay boxes his assignment out and corrals a defensive rebound with one hand. While he is being shadowed by JingYu Li as soon as he puts the ball on the floor, he quickly shakes him off with a simple crossover, followed by a quick burst in speed. With nobody in front of him, Mudiay is able to get all the way to the basket and launches a pass to ShiPeng Wang in the right corner, who draws a foul following a shot fake.

The pass by Mudiay is slightly off target, but it just goes to show how easily he can get into the paint and how well he’s able to survey the court.

Mudiay sets up on the right wing and calls for a pick-and-roll with Chris Daniels. Even though his defender goes underneath the screen in an attempt to cut him off and lure him into settling for a jump shot, Mudiay is able to sneak his way into the paint by using a crafty hop-step to split defenders that gets him from the free throw line to the restricted area.

Being slightly off balance, Mudiay opts to make the simple pass to FangYu Zhu cutting to the basket instead of taking Miroslav Raduljica one-on-one at the rim. It turns out to be the right decision, as Zhu capitalizes on an easy opportunity.

One of the reasons Mudiay struggles at times defensively at this stage of his career is because he’s always looking to attack the opposition in transition. As a result, he gambles and loses sight of his assignment in an attempt to leak out as soon as possible. When the Tigers are able to secure a rebound, however, he can work his magic on the fast break, which usually results in wide open opportunities for either himself or a teammate.

On this play, Mudiay calls for the ball as soon as Zhu pulls down the rebound. Even when Yanguhang Ding tries to slow him down by picking him up at the 3-point line, Mudiay puts his elite ball handling on display with a speedy spin move to break free.

As soon as he gets into the paint, which is being occupied by two retreating defenders, Mudiay makes a one-handed pass to Wang in the corner for an open 3-pointer. While the pass isn’t quite on target, it’s not a bad opportunity for the team’s second best perimeter shooter.

The Tigers run a simple play to free Mudiay up at the top of the perimeter. Once he works his way past three screens, which has his defender haplessly chasing after him, and receives the ball back in his hands, he finds himself open for a midrange shot near the left elbow. While he rises up confidently, he badly misses the shot.

As evident on this play, the biggest issues with Mudiay’s shooting form are twofold:

  1. He releases the ball on the way down and fades to the side.
  2. His arm and forearm isn’t at a 90-degree angle; rather, he brings the ball close to his face.

As a result, Mudiay has a slingshot-like release that is hard to replicate. The first step for him to become a better shooter is to develop a consistent form. It should all start to fall into place from there.

Mudiay isn’t necessarily someone who will power his way over the defense when finishing at the rim, but he’s strong and uses his body well when absorbing contact, as he displays on this drive.

Mudiay dishes the ball off to Zhu on the wing and runs off of a high screen by Peng Zhou. With his defender jumping the screen, Mudiay is able to work himself free and receives the ball just inside the free throw line cutting towards the basket at full speed.

Even with the 6-foot-10 Ke Wu protecting the rim, Mudiay is able to get a layup without taking a dribble by jumping into the center’s body, using his core to maintain control and floating a shot over his outstretched arms. It’s an impressive finish for the 19-year-old.

When Mudiay isn’t guarding the ball he has a tendency to fall asleep on defense, which puts the pressure on his teammates to pick up his slack, often resulting in open shots.

Mudiay lazily closes out on Chenghao Xi on the perimeter and falls far too easily for his pass fake to Liu Guancen in the corner. He gets way out of position and Xi waltzes his way to the rim for an open layup. Luckily for Mudiay and the Tigers, Xi blows the opportunity. (The end result might have been a little different had that been Russell Westbrook or Stephen Curry attacking the basket instead.)

After setting a baseline screen for Zhu, Mudiay curls back out to the perimeter and receives the ball. He immediately puts the ball on the floor and, upon receiving a ball screen by Zhou, turns the corner with a quick burst of speed. He draws a couple of defenders along the way, the defense collapses and Mudiay whips a bullet right into Shang Gao’s shooting pocket on the left wing for a 3-pointer.

Although Gao is unable to knock down the shot—it was mildly contested by Pooh Jeter—it’s another impressive bullet pass by Mudiay.

Time and time again, Mudiay has blown by his defender when pressured beyond the 3-point line. He does a great job of using simple moves to get them off balance, only to then change his speed at the drop of a hat to break down the defense.

Here, Mudiay slowly brings up the ball and gets his defender slightly off balance by bumping into him leading up to a spin move. Once he creates some space, Mudiay attacks the paint head-on and drops off a slick left-handed pass to Daniels when Wu rotates over to stop the ball.

Daniels isn’t able to convert on the opportunity, but he gets fouled when going up for a dunk, sending him to the line for two free throws.

Mudiay, listed at 6-foot-4, has the perfect height for a point guard. He’s able to see over the top of the defense and make passes players at his position might not usually see.

Mudiay’s final assist on the night comes off a high pick-and-roll with Daniels. With Daniels’ defender, Wu, hedging on the pick, Mudiay drives to the middle of the court after two stutter steps to lure him away from the paint. Now that two defenders are guarding Mudiay, Daniels sprints towards the rim for a straight-line drive.

Mudiay gives him the ball in stride to the basket, and Daniels finishes strong at the rim while getting fouled.


Mudiay’s statistics on the night aren’t indicative of how well he played against the Flaming Bulls, especially in comparison to his up and down CBA debut. He made his presence known offensively by constantly putting pressure on the defense. He drove to the basket relentlessly, and his ability to mix it up by looking for his own shot and setting up his teammates shows how well developed his game already is for his age.