Scouting Report On Carl Landry

Published: February 23, 2011

With Carl Landry expected to be officially announced as a Hornet any day now, Michael traded Marcus Thornton information with Zach Harper of CowbellKingdom for some insight into Landry’s game. The following is Zach’s excellent scouting report.

“Somewhere along the way between last trade deadline and this trade deadline, the bench force that is Carl Landry lost his way.

When he was in Houston, he was a scoring force of relatively Manu Ginobili-like proportions coming off the bench. He was aggressive. He was succinct in the way he attacked. He was money from the free throw line. Then he got to Sacramento, finished the season strongly with the Kings and came into this season without much of a defined role.

A lot of that has to do with Paul Westphal and his system that has been all over the place this year. A lot of it has to do with Carl Landry just playing bad and inconsistent basketball. When he first came to the Kings in last February, he was immediately thrust into the starting lineup and actually was better in that role than he was with the Rockets in a 6th Man role.

He did less gambling on defense and more rebounding, which was a nice surprise. When he came into his role with the team this season, the Kings offense was so disjointed because of Tyreke struggling to attack effectively (plantar fasciitis and various ankle injuries have slowed him) that they often just used Landry as an isolation safety valve against bigger defenders. It was not a strategy that worked. When they kicked Carl to the bench, he was still lost in the Kings extremely basic and predictable system.

Needless to say, Carl Landry’s value has plummeted from being traded for a borderline All-Star in Kevin Martin to now a borderline starter in Marcus Thornton.

Here is the breakdown of Carl’s game:


I would never want Carl Landry starting for my team. He’s not a strong rebounder, he’s an undersized defender and he’s really best used against second units. But bring him off the bench and put him with a solid point guard, you’ll get efficient scoring for a great price.

The thing about Carl is you have to put him in advantageous positions to score the ball. If not, he’ll creep out to about 18-20 feet and jab step his way into a bad jumper. He’s generally too quick for backup forwards in the NBA and a lot strong inside than you’d give him credit for at first glance. But he still needs to be set up for offense as much as the next big man.

Carl is aggressive on offense when he has it going. He’ll use the jumper to keep the defender off-balance, but ultimately he loves to get points in the paint. He’s aggressive around the rim despite his short stature. He’ll often go for the dunk even though he has a great touch around the rim. If he can get a step on his defender going to the baseline, he’ll usually get a very easy scoring chance. If he goes middle, he’s prone to getting the ball swiped from the help defense before he can get his shot off or pass out of the double.

But again, it’s all about where you put him in position to score the ball. He has a good drop-step in the post. He uses his hips well to get around the defender and into a balanced scoring position. He just has to be more succinct in his attack like he was in Houston. There was a little too much hesitation in Sacramento this season and if he allows the defense to get back into post position, he’s too short to get a great shot off.

But he also is quick to follow his shot. He’s posted very solid-to-good offensive rebounding numbers throughout his time in Sacramento and did a great job of attacking the offensive glass this season.

For some reason, his free throw shooting has dipped considerably in Sacramento. Maybe it’s the stink of a bad free throw shooting team and it got contagious. I’m guessing he’s more likely to revert to his Houston form while playing on a good team than to keep missing freebies.


Defense is not a great strong suit for Carl Landry but he’s not terrible either.

Because of Landry’s quick feet, he’s able to guard players in isolation extremely well. Not often will opponents drive past him. Playing with someone like Okafor, he’ll be able to funnel his opponent into the help defense and keep them occupied while guards rotate and try to swipe the ball away. Offensively, it ended up being a disaster but defensively the pairing of Landry and Dalembert worked well. Since Okafor is a better defender than Sammy, I’d imagine he will be a nice pairing.

Even though Landry is short for a power forward, he still defends the post pretty well. He’s quick and aggressive, which can be a good or bad thing. It’s good when he’s challenging shots and making them tough looks for his opponent. He really loves to try to block shots but doesn’t get to a lot of them. The problem is when he’s overly aggressive and ends up giving his many great offensive rebounding position by going all out for the shot, instead of staying with a good base and boxing out.

Landry’s help defense is still a question. He rotates properly most of the time but he’s way too passive in closing out on shooters. It’s an issue when the defense is out of sorts and he ends up being left with a 3-point shooter. Especially in spot-up situations in which he has to close out, you’re almost always getting a good look from the opposing team.

The biggest gripe I have with Landry on defense isn’t the rotating and help defense but his poor rebounding. For some reason, he doesn’t get after the glass on defense the same way he does on offense. Part of it is being out of rebounding position because he’s challenging shots more intently than he realistically should.


Carl is another good veteran voice for a team. He’s always a helpful teammate and will ride with his guys and block out the other nonsense. He is never concerned with what the rest of the league is doing or looking ahead to the next game. He is focused on the task at hand and wants to help his teammates get better as much as he wants himself to get better.

You’re not going to get a lack of hustle from Carl. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. Remember, he once got carjacked and was shot in the leg. He ran away with a bullet wound. He also got Dirk’s teeth implanted into his arm and barely flinched. Carl doesn’t hem and haw when he gets smacked in the face. He doesn’t really back down from anything. His toughness is never a question because he just goes about doing his job.

The Hornets aren’t getting a great player in Landry. He definitely has his limitations. But they’re getting a great teammate and a very valuable bench player to round out the team and the offense. Look at what Chris Paul did for Jason Smith this season. Now replace Smith with Carl Landry’s ability and you’re going to see a resurgence at the 6th Man position.”


  1. Michael McNamara

    February 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Gread read- thank you Zach.

    And Hornets fans, I returned the favor by giving a report on Marcus. If you want to add onto anything I said or completely refute me, head over to their blog to share your opinion:

    In addition, for any Kings fans reading this, please fel free to share your perspective as well.

  2. Gec

    February 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Nice! Do we have a solid backup pointguard who can put him in a good position to score?

    • CP3nBrees

      February 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Haha I was thinking about the same thing lol

  3. 42

    February 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Nice report. Thanks.

  4. Hornets fan in KC

    February 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    No our back up point guard thinks hes Allen Iverson. Hopefully he is getting packaged too. Wait I forgot he is a friend of Montys. His minutes are safe here.

  5. Brazilian Hornet

    February 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Come back soon, MT5!

  6. CP3 4 MVP

    February 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I think a point that needs to be realized here is that the trading of MT5 marks the official end of the Jeff Bower/George Shinn era in New Orleans. Remember, that besides for the Monty proclaimed “core” of Emeka, Chris, and David, the entire rest of the team was now built by Dell & Monty. I think this is something we hornets fans need to consider, given the fact that we, as an organization, have been “buying in” to the new philosophy. Well, it is officially time to see if it works. I think we all still need to give Jack some time to be the player we know he was in Toronto (everyone knows that Green, JJ, MT5 lineup SUCKED) and see what he can do with a legit scoring big now playing with him. Anyone think JJ was playing like Iverson because he thought he was the only one who could score on the bench?? I’m thinking of turning this into a journal, lemmie know your thoughts.

    • 42

      February 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Don’t forget the Grayt one.

      And Bower was around for Quincy.

  7. Hornets fan in KC

    February 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    There is no doubt in my mind that JJ thinks he is a scorer. He probably also believes he is a starting PG in this league which he is not. He is a turnover machine with a below avg jump shot. He has hard time getting by defenders when driving into the lane. He has about as much chance of making a layup in traffic as getting it blocked or shooting a complete airball because he is trying to avoid the blocked shot. I have never been big on JJ and now that his game has slipped big time since he arrived here he has even less value. I pray someone will take him off of our hands but like I said he is one of Montys buddies so I am pretty certain that is not going to happen.

  8. QueenBee

    February 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Welp, I said wake me after the All-Star break so here I am. 🙂

    Sorry to see Marcus go but looking forward to see what Landry will bring to the team.

  9. Nik

    February 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    chris paul looks like hes back to his old tricks! i saw him RUNNING on a fast break!!! and he even made a post move!! INCREDIBLE

  10. Steve

    February 24, 2011 at 12:50 am

    “He also got Dirk’s teeth implanted into his arm and barely flinched.”

    Other way around. Landry’s teeth went in to Dirk’s arm.

  11. bgalella

    February 24, 2011 at 7:40 am

    He’s a great backup to David West and someone that can dominate the boards and still be counted on for some timely points each night.

  12. TruthBeTold

    February 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    The reason the Hornets have to trade players and absorb unnecessary contracts to compete is because they have poor talent evaluators and player development system. If you inspect the roster, only 3 players exist in which the Hornets drafted (CP3, West, Pondexter). They traded their bench away the past few years (Birdman, JR Smith, Bass) because they don’t have the proper personnel to handle and develop players. Birdman had drug/alcohol issues and Smith attitude issues. But, if you have the right people on your staff to handle these types of players you’ve struck gold! The Saints have acquired players with the same issues in Hargrove (substance abuse) and Shockey (attitude), but have the staff in place to handle these types to bring out the best. The Hornets are doing what the Saints did for years in over paying players to come here cause it’s a small market (Posey and Peja). When the Saints brought in the right staff that was no longer the case, and now players are taking less money to come here as opposed to going to other teams that can’t contend. Until the Hornets correct their internal personnel issues, the team will never become a true contender.

    • 42

      February 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      You are ignoring alot here, including the office and coaching changes. I doubt the Hornets are abnormal in there expected draftee-retention.

  13. JCS

    February 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    “He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. Remember, he once got carjacked and was shot in the leg. He ran away with a bullet wound. He also got Dirk’s teeth implanted into his arm and barely flinched. ”


    Those are two very interesting visuals Joe G. Hopefully, fans won’t have to see that in the future.

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