PG – 6’2, 177lbs – Born 22nd January 1993
The Spurs acquired Trice from the Wisconsin Herd for Nick Johnson two thirds of the way through the season, and in so doing, they got themselves a lead guard.
Because of his size, Trice cannot play or guard any position other than the one spot. He is small (the 6’2 listing, which like all listings in this Manifesto is taken from the NBA’s official numbers, seems generous), with no great wingspan or strength to compensate. To survive defensively, then, Trice has to utilise his speed and put on as much pressure as he can with footwork and energy alone, staying in front and contesting cleanly. And notwithstanding the permanent disadvantages he has, particularly on any kind of switch, he does that.
Trice applies that speed offensively too to be a dynamic lead guard who exploits the in-between game well and often. Shooting a lot of pull-up jumpers, Trice pairs that by utilising hesitations, stutter-steps and the like to get to the rim, and although he struggles to finish there with inefficient floaters, the fact that he is prepared to try means having to defend him accordingly. This in turn makes the step-back especially deadly, because defenders really must track back as if he is going to go the whole way to the bucket. Trice’s ability to stop on a dime when running at high speed and then shoot has become the defining characteristic of his game as a pro, and it is an impressive feat whenever a player so undersized can create for themselves an unblockable shot. Passing off of that threat when appropriate, and being shoot-first while being unselfish, makes for quite the half-court primary playmaker.
From an NBA point of view, Trice’s size will always mean having to overcome the odds defensively. He can make plays on anyone, yet he cannot stop them, and putting forward better defensive effort than, say, Quinn Cook will not necessarily yield better results. He’s close, though.
– 20th June, 2019
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