Isaiah Whitehead, Guard
2016-2017: 22.5 MPG, 7.4 PPG, .40 FG%, 2.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG, .80 FT%, 73 G
Who is Isaiah Whitehead?
If you followed the Nets last season, you know Isaiah Whitehead. With starting point guard Jeremy Lin injured for most of the regular season, Whitehead was thrust into some heavy minutes in his rookie season. While showing signs of promise, he went through his lumps. He had trouble limiting turnovers and sharing the basketball, but that was to be expected. He was a second-round pick, so the organization just wanted to see progression from the beginning of the season, and it did.
He’s a passionate kid with a willingness to learn and mature as his career progresses, and as a homegrown kid, Brooklyn is a pretty good place to do it.
When Lin got hurt, Kenny Atkinson originally turned to Sean Kilpatrick as his starting point guard. Whitehead received an uptick in minutes and he responded with a solid stretch of games. Kilpatrick started to slow down in production and the coaching staff thought it would be no better time to start the rookie point guard. He did not light the league on fire, but his athleticism and passion caused him to be a staple as the years progressed.
He did have some razzle-dazzle plays last season, too. He has something few people in this league have: a go-to move. If people know Whitehead for anything, it’s that tantalizing spin move that leaves defenders on their heels. It’s really a treat to see The Cyclone in action.
You can see Whitehead show more polish in the later part of the season:
What does Isaiah Whitehead bring to the table?
With the acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and the rise of Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Joe Harris, it’s not likely Whitehead sees a lot of the floor barring injury. He didn’t show enough progression in the Summer League and preseason to jump over those guys in the rotation.
He had his opportunities in the preseason to prove he was just as good as the aforementioned guys, but he took too many poor shots, and same goes for Summer League. Whitehead’s biggest problem last year was that he was not as aggressive as one would like him to be, but when we saw him be more aggressive he made bad decisions. As time goes on and he lets the game slow down to a comfortable tempo, there can be an opportunity for him to snag some minutes in the middle portion of the season.
But, he brings some fun moments! He’s an athletic guard with a handle so get ready for some highlights this year. Here are some highlights from last year to get you amped for what he could be again. (Get ready for some spin moves!)
The Bottom Line:
We all want Whitehead to succeed; he’s a Brooklyn native who has the mentality of the city that raised him. It is up to him to correct those mistakes he made last year and capitalize on any chances he gets throughout this season.
The Brooklyn Game Player Previews: