“I'm a playmaker, and I'm going to score. At the end of the day, my job is to put the ball in the basket.” -The Flash, a.k.a. Dwyane Wade
“I Get Buckets,” is a term used far too often by today’s youth. Scoring, is an art form. We have all seen players score at a torrid pace for a short period of time. The few players that can get a basket, regardless of the help defense stacked against them, are special. The “40 Ball,” is chased by many, but attained by few.
Today we start a new feature series called “Running The Wings,” which discusses the the fine art of scoring from the wing spot (or shooting guard, small forward) on the floor. Make no mistake about it, the players in this section, get buckets.
First up is Liberty High wing Julian Strawther. The dynamic scorer plays AAU basketball on the EYBL circuit for the Las Vegas Prospects. Strawther is ranked #10 in the 2020 class in the United States. - By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter.
TheDribbleDrop:We have seen now, more than ever, the use of hybrid forwards that can defend multiple positions. Why do you think that is the case? Is it due to the lack of true centers, or the fact that hybrid forwards provide room for a more versatile offense?
Julian Strawther: I would lean to it being more about being versatile. You’re talking out players that are 6’9 that can shoot the three, handle the ball when needed and defend three different positions on the court. If you can choose between having a shorter quicker guy on the court or a big that can’t run the floor as hard as you would like for long periods of time, having that wing is a better option.
TheDribbleDrop: As a wing, what do you prefer at the point guard spot alongside you: A pure passing point guard that is looking to set guys up and knock down shots, or a pick and roll heavy, ball dominant guard who will hit you in spots to knock down shots?
Julian Strawther: I want to play alongside a point guard that is more like Chris Paul. Having a player like that who can hit you with the ball exactly where and when you need it is pivotal to your success. He can put you in position to score and look better without doing as much. With that being said, you can play with a Westbrook who can get you the ball when needed and can go on his own. That helps you as well. With that being said, I prefer a point guard more like Paul.
TheDribbleDrop: Lets focus on defense real quick. What do you think is harder to deal with: having to switch on pick and rolls and defend point guards or battle a guy down low?
Julian Strawther: Battling down low.
TheDribbleDrop: What is the ideal style of play based on your skill set?
Julian Strawther: I would say more uptempo. A more electric style. Getting up shots quickly on the break. I think playing that style keeps everyone happy when the ball is moving. It also hypes players up to defend harder more.
TheDribbleDrop:When you catch the ball in the half court, what is your ideal, go-to move?
Julian Strawther: A hang dribble, also known as a hesitation, to a pull up jumper. I’m knocking that down in rhythm for sure.
TheDribbleDrop:Tell me one great piece of advice you got from a teammate, coach, or older player you know that gave you a edge in the art of scoring.
Julian Strawther: Don’t ever let anyone spoil your mental on or off the floor. Don’t let anyone say they locked you up. We never let up on the floor.
TheDribbleDrop:A lot of kids do a lot of “Ball watching” nowadays. They know what to do with the ball in their hands, but they don’t know what to do without it. Do you think cutting hard and reading screens properly is a lost art with today’s youth?
Julian Strawther: I think that everyone wants to always go one on one. Everyone wants to show they can handle the ball, but a basket is a basket. I’m cool with giving up the rock, making a hard cut back door for a bucket. I can get two points the easy way instead of taking 15 dribbles to get the two.
TheDribbleDrop: I always talk to kids about the three scoring levels offensively. Which level is it that you use the most right now?
Julian Strawther: I’m known for knocking down threes from the wing. I do like attacking the rim also, but I’m working hard to improve my mid-range game so I don’t have to take all these hard hits. Mastering the mid-range game is very important to me.
TheDribbleDrop: Who are your top five wings in the NBA right now?
Julian Strawther: Paul George, Jayson Tatum is one of my favorite players in the league right now. Jimmy Butler and Lebron, even though I don’t really consider Lebron a pure wing.