When Damyean Dotson became the first Knicks rookie since Patrick Ewing to put up 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game, it sent the fanbase into a frenzy clamoring about our newest ‘steal.’ That raises the question, was this a one time performance or will Dotson continue to perform like a solid NBA Player? When comparing his NBA career to his college career you see that there are things that he’s struggling to adjust into his game; but the signs are promising nonetheless.
Dotson came into the league touted as a spot up shooter with the tools to become a plus defender at the pro level. But in Knicks fashion, he’s had a bad adjustment to the longer arch but still manages to play tenacious defense and rebound the ball spectacularly for a guard. Most criticisms will stem from the fact that he is only shooting 31% from three, but his defense, rebounding and slashing ability have forced it out of focus. Regardless of this, he has a fluid natural stroke and it should only be a matter of repetition until he can consistently knock it down like how he did at Houston. His feel for the game is tremendous, showing the difference between a four year college player and a one and done.
Dotson however, has a propensity to overplay the ball and get beat on defense as well as ball watch. The mental lapses on the defensive end are slightly concerning but should be correctable the more minutes he plays as the adjustment to the NBA game occurs. Shot-creating and ball-handling is still the weak-point of his offensive game. He has a very high dribble and only a few moves to break down the defender, as a result he spends most of his time dribbling going East-West. His time in Westchester has made him more comfortable with the ball in his hands, but he still needs to focus on it in the offseason. All in all, Dotson is a solid ball player. If he can patch up the holes in his game, we could be following him around New York for years to come.
Many people before this season following a strong preseason saw Dotson as a potential 3&D guard similar to Courtney Lee. Based on what I’ve seen from him, it looks like his game will progress the same way, with Dotson being slightly more athletic and having a stronger build. It was a perfect use of the second round pick to grab more shooting and defensive minded players to help our team compete. With a full offseason, Dotson should boast a fuller all around game and be ready to play more minutes next season. If Dotson was never caught up in the scandal at Oregon where he was suspended following the rape claims, his talent plus measurables could have granted him a first round nod. The Knicks got a great young player in the second round.