Scouting Ryan Richards vs. Clippers


After playing just three minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in the 2012 Summer RRLeague, San Antonio Spurs 2010 draftee Ryan Richards logged the most minutes of the past three games, as the Spurs fell to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Here’s Richards’ stat line, beginning with minutes: 16:08 minutes, 2 points, 1-3 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 block attempt, 5 personal fouls, 2 turnovers, +/- rating of 0

As has been the case after the Spurs’ last two S.L. games, I’ve been doing a scouting report of each of Richards’ games, which will end with a final analysis next week.

Offensive Strengths

First quarter (1Q): Richards caught the ball at the top of the key, instead of hoisting a 3-pointer, he took the ball inside, posted into the paint and missed a 2-foot left-handed hook shot. Gaining position with his speed is what is important to note of this play.

3Q: Richards’ only points came off this play in the third. Richards set a pick for James Anderson and rolled to the basket. Anderson fed Richards the ball on the cut and Richards finished with a left-handed layup under the basket.

4Q: One of his final plays of the game, Richards received the ball at about 18-feet. He then drove hard into the paint and dished a no-look pass to Eric Dawson who was making a cut to the basket. The basket didn’t count because the Spurs were called for a 24-second violation, but that didn’t have to do with Richards because he received the ball too late.

Offensive weaknesses

1Q: As Richards was running down the floor without the ball, he just pummeled his defender and was called for an offensive foul. After reviewing the play, Richards did indeed see the defender before fouling him, yet I’m still clueless as to why he didn’t slow down or try to avoid the contact?

2Q: On one play, Richards caught the ball near 18-feet, he tried to drive but lost the ball quickly.

3Q: Richards looked lost on one play, as the ball came into his hands and he had it stripped away. Once a teammate recovered the ball and gave it back to him, he was blocked trying to put up the shot.

4Q: In this quarter, I wrote, “looks lost” on several plays. As I’ve written in previous scouting reports, Richards hasn’t had much time to learn the Spurs’ system. He indeed looks lost, but I imagine if I looked at some of the Spurs’ other S.L. players under a microscope, they’d look lost as well on offense.

4Q: When setting a screen, Richards barely makes any contact when screening the defender guarding the ball handler. More screen set practices will be needed for Richards to set an effective screen.

Defensive Strengths

2Q: When one of the Clippers’ players was trying to gain position, they were being too physical. Richards was able to draw the offensive foul by holding his ground until being forced off his position.

2Q: When having to defend a shooter, Richards closed the gap and forced the perimeter-shooter too miss the shot. This is a common theme for Richards, he’s yet to let perimeter shots get scored on him when he’s switched onto a shooter.

4Q: Richards once again showed he has the quickness to play in the full court defense, as he did in the fourth on several sets.

4Q: When switching onto a guard, Richards showed his quickness as he was able to stay with the guard on the perimeter and the guard had to pass elsewhere.

Defensive weaknesses

1Q: Richards fouled a driving Eric Bledsoe. Richards was very late in his reaction time that he didn’t even have a chance to block the shot.

1Q: When defending a pick-and-roll, Richards hedged too much toward the guard, the guard passed the ball to the player Richards was supposed to be defending and Richards arrived late for the block attempt, he was called for a foul.

1Q: When defending another pick-and-roll, Richards was called for another foul by making contact when trying to switch to defend his man.

3Q: While boxing out, Richards was called for a defensive foul for holding his man from claiming the rebound. Richards’ thinner frame will be an issue for him when defending regular NBA frontcourt players.

4Q: As Richards was being posted in the paint, he had little shot at blocking a shot because his body was so thin and the opposing player had more size on him.

4Q: When defending a cutting player to the paint, Richards got called for a foul. It wasn’t just that he fouled the player; it was that his reaction time was so late that he didn’t even have time to put up his hands.

4Q: Fouled a player driving in the open court.

Even with his stat line not looking so good, it’s interesting to see that his +/- rating ended at zero. Yes, Richards had a lot of negatives that need to be looked on, but he also had some positives that are rare from the big men on the Spurs’ bench on this S.L. squad.

The Spurs face the Miami Heat tonight and the Dallas Mavericks Saturday to wrap-up S.L. For Richards, if he receives the minutes, he’ll have to make every second on the court count in these next 48-hours.

Scouting Reports 

1. Atlanta Hawks

2. Los Angeles Lakers

(Photo: Shep McAllister/