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.”


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