In review: the rapid assimilation of Bismack Biyombo


It wasn’t a normal start for new Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (pronounced bis-MOCK), and it started long before the game.

Since his father’s death in August, Biyombo has stayed away from the game, waiting for the “right situation and the right opportunity”.

Just before the turn to 2022, that “good situation and opportunity” came when the Suns were at the height of an internal COVID-19 outbreak that knocked out the team’s top two centers, a group of positions that in turn knocked out the team’s top two centers. was already missing two due to injury. in Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky.

That final line “A deal could be the prelude to a longer stay this season” didn’t sound like an accident when Woj tossed that tweet, and of course, Biyombo was planning a long term stay. It was announced Thursday morning that he would sign up for the rest of the season, even before his first 10 days are up:

January 2 @ Charlotte Hornets (victory 133-99):

11 points (5-7 FG, 1-1 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 interception, 1 against in 18 min (+19 in 34 victory points)

Biyombo doesn’t have the most versatile offensive package, but that doesn’t stop him from being really good at what he does. This is shown here on that base out of bounds play that gave him the ball just over the restricted area. He’s not the type to force things that aren’t there, so Biyombo pushes him away and pulls away – a crucial move that big dunker spots often fail to do. The ball ends up coming back into his hands for a dunk, since he was available:

It also had its share of highlights, and on a night that included plenty of fireworks from different Phoenix players, Biyombo offered the game’s first poster dunk:

And if fans weren’t feeling well enough after that barn storm in Charlotte, check out this excellent seal after a screen Biyombo gets, offering a window for his bucket. This is the type of movement that neutralizes the little ball:

January 4 @ New Orleans Pelicans (123-110 win):

16 points (6-6 FG, 4-7 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks in 29 min (+8 in 13 victory points)

In the game with his highest total of minutes as a Sun so far, Biyombo had a very strong game on the mark, making his mark felt on both sides. It starts with that pseudo-mobile screen here out of the pick-and-roll to open up the elbow jumper for Chris Paul.

This next game will end up being a very common theme for that first week with the team as well as one of Biz’s most trusted sources where his assists will come from. A nice little game for two with Booker on this game where Biz just has to wait for the right moment to relaunch it. This is the type of play that Deandre Ayton is quite capable of adding to his attacking set in a more consistent way once he returns.

And it wouldn’t be a Biyombo highlight package without a fierce dunk of Paul’s Good Flow. This one comes out of a stacked set of screens where Booker places a tall screen, so the way is wider open for Biz to pull it together and slam it.

January 6 vs Los Angeles Clippers (106-89 win):

0 points (0-2 FG), 3 rebounds, 3 blocks in 13 min (+7 in 17 victory points)

Unfortunately for Biz, his first game as a full-time Sun came when Jalen Smith probably had his best start (which, of course, is Smith’s fourth and possibly last start after I wrote about his three. first starts earlier this week), so most of the minutes Biyombo would have seen in the second half went to Smith, but Biz still found ways to make an impact.

First off, Biz was able to make his defensive presence felt against the generally smaller Clippers team, including this possession, where he blocked Brandon Boston Jr. twice within seconds.

Biyombo’s off-ball activity on the attacking side stood out tonight. He’s constantly trying to find someone to seal off, whether it’s making postal contacts for himself or leading the way for others. Granted, it ends with a turnaround on that possession, it’s really nice to see a lot of work as hard away from the ball as Biz is doing here just to help Booker try to find a piece to work with.

And for good measure, here’s another example. Help always comes in the form of Nic Batum, but Terance Mann is completely out of sight thanks to Biyombo’s physicality:

Biyombo is confident in his ability to quickly adapt to the structure of this team. “It’s basketball, it’s not rocket science… We all have a ball to play with.” This ability to adapt quickly was true during his first appearances as a couple with the team.

And now that we know he’s going to be there for the long haul, Biyombo offers even more depth into the center mold that Ayton and McGee fall into as well, meaning that formations that play these styles will have another big one to use. .

At best, he’s able to offer minutes of survival during the playoffs against bigger teams like the Lakers, Denver or Milwaukee.


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