Los Angeles Lakers Get a Defensive Stopper in David Nwaba, Drawing Comparison to Tony Allen

By Joe Bacaron, Posted: 03/20/17 08:52PM EDT
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David Nwaba
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David Nwaba is on his second 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, based on his performance on the floor, whenever he can be given a chance, he just might have earned a full contract from the team.

When you draw comparisons to Tony Allen, who is one of the best defenders in the league, you know you are doing something right. And that is just what analysts are saying about the 24-year-old former D-Leaguer -- his ceiling can be as high as the Memphis Grizzlies guard.

Los Angeles D-Fenders coach Coby Karl was all praises for Nwaba, who he described as "probably the best defender in our league." "Defensively he really puts up a stand against guys. He's just showing that he belongs," he said.

During his stint with the Lakers' D-League affiliate, Nwaba averaged 14.1 points, 6.85 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.35 steals and 1.15 blocks in 28 minutes per game. In terms of physical tools, Nwaba even edges out Allen, considering his amazing 6-foot-11 wingspan to the defensive stopper's 6-foot-9 wingspan. They are both 6-foot-4, which makes them tad undersized for an NBA guard. But they make up for it by their tenacity and nose for the ball.

According to TheJumpball blog, during the recent loss to the Houston Rockets, Nwaba showed his potential when he found himself being isolated against former Laker Lou Williams two times. He stopped him twice and also blocked a three-point try from Tyler Ulis on a closeout.

The ceiling for Nwaba, therefore, would be an Allen with a better three-point shot, which would make him a threat from the outside and allow him to explode to the basket using his athleticism. For his part, Allen has never been a good three-pointer, averaging just 28.3 percent from beyond the arc. In 10 games, Nwaba only attempted once from rainbow country and barely missed the backboard.



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