Malik Hall vs Northwestern Game Report


In a low-scoring contest, Malik Hall was a bright spot, finding an offensive flow and contributing beyond the box score. Hall finished the game with 15 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 turnovers on 6-13 shooting. He stood out Wednesday night thanks to a strong nose for the ball, strong defensive flashes, and shooting over contests off the dribble.

Defensively, Hall thrived against guards, wings, and post players, and did so by defending well both on-ball and off-ball. Hall’s defensive activity set him up for a career rebounding night thanks to guarding all three levels of shot attempts. On top of this, his off-ball defense put him in successful spots, playing some paint defense (first clip), while also smoothly rotating into the next spot. This common ability to rotate smoothly is a strong team-defense trait that scouts love in his game. The first three plays in the clip above all showcase off-ball defense to some extent with rotations and intelligent patience to turn into a change of momentum.

After the off-ball defense comes the rebounding, where Hall recorded the most rebounds in a single game of his career. Notice his motor, constant nose for the ball, and ability to use his size to his advantage on loose balls, while also constantly tipping rebounds out of traffic. For a wing, Hall’s rebounding efforts save the offense multiple possessions each night. 

With his versatility to defend post-ups, drives, and P&Rs, Hall perfectly embodies the modern defensive-minded small forward.

Offensively, Hall’s best trait in this game was his ability to attack off the catch with a strong jab step and the ability to shoot over defenders off the dribble. On the year (heading into 3/7), Hall ranks in the 56th percentile in off the dribble jumpers efficiency and in the 81st percentile of catch & shoot numbers, which help provide a benefit of the doubt to his slightly below average FT% and above average 3P%.

The last four clips of the video showcase his offensive ability, particularly off the dribble shooting and shooting over shot contests. Hall’s footwork also helps him, as he avoids traveling on the catch and as he goes into his driving motion. From there, his pull-up shooting keeps defenses on their toes, which makes him hard to defend given his size.

The last play of these clips is the only worrisome play. The arrows show it clearly and concisely, but while the offensive rebound was impressive with strong hands, the decision to go back up in traffic off of the rebound was an equally opposite negative play. This is a simple read, even with defenders blocking some vision. Hall never looks out to pass, which is the flaw of the process in this play, and something he will need to limit going forward.

Overall, Malik Hall did a great job of winning rebounds by capitalizing on weak box-outs, using his size against smaller players, following the ball every time, and tipping out long rebounds through crowds. Hall’s motor was on display again, and he also showcased promising offensive flashes that teams wanted to see. Look for Malik Hall to be invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), where he could potentially make some noise and ultimately propel himself into an invite to the G League Elite camp in Chicago before the NBA Draft Combine.