Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/12/12

With French guard Nando De Colo preparing to join the San Antonio Spurs for the next two seasons, I was interested in finding out exactly what De Colo would be bringing to the Spurs.

Since I live in the United States and cover the Spurs in San Antonio, I rarely get to see De Colo in action since he’s been playing in Spain over the last few years. 

I wanted to know more about De Colo, so what better way to find out what he can possibly bring to the Spurs than to ask someone who follows De Colo in France?

French writer Vincent Thiollière, editor of the French basketball website InsideBasket.com, agreed to answer five questions for Project Spurs about the skills De Colo could bring to the team, some of De Colo’s strengths and weaknesses, and how he sees De Colo fitting into the Spurs’ system.

Paul: What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of Nando De Colo?

Thiollière: First of all, I would say Nando De Colo is a playmaker. He has an incredible feeling for the game; he is a very talented offensive player, the kind of player who can amaze the crowd with his creativity. He is a terrific passer, he can play both guard positions; play with the ball or far from it. He is a good 3-point shooter (and a great free-throw shooter), has a very efficient pull-up jumper and can create his own shot. To sum up, I would say he is a true combo guard, very skilled offensively, not afraid of the big moments. Plus he has really grown up since the Spurs drafted him in 09.

On the other hand, he never really faced very physical players as we found in the NBA, and I think that is the major doubt we can have. Will he be able to take and make the same shots against a strong athlete? 

He is not known as a very good defender, not really strong either. His lack of athleticism and explosiveness could be a problem. He may need some time to adjust to the NBA intensity-level.

Will De Colo be comfortable playing backup point guard behind Tony Parker?

I really think so. He is a better point guard than Gary Neal who played the backup point guard position during the playoffs. He played a lot in that position in Spain the past three years, and he can run the offense, especially with the type of offense the Spurs play. When Tony was out earlier this summer, he took the starting point-guard spot in the French National Team and showed major improvements and maturity at this position. That is why Coach Vincent Collet decided this year not to bring a real point guard behind Tony Parker. De Colo will be the first back-up of Parker in the Olympics for France.

Offensively, the Spurs run a quick tempo style of offense and execute with pick-and-rolls in the halfcourt. How much will De Colo be able to contribute with this style of offense?

Quick tempo style? That is when he is at his best. Like I said before, he has an incredible feeling for the game. He is an instinctive player, very effective on the fastbreak or in the transition game where his creativity with the ball can express itself.

In the halfcourt, he is a pretty good pick-and-roll player. He can read the defense very quickly and take good decisions. I would say he is a perfect fit in this type of offense. His versatility on the offensive end makes him efficient in many different situations actually.

Defensively, will De Colo be able to keep up with the quick point guards and shooting guards in the NBA? Does he have the physical strength to defend small forwards in mismatch situations?

He is going to need some time to adjust I guess, because we don't find players like Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose in Europe, I mean, players with so much speed and power at the guard position. He is not a very good defender mainly because he is not a strong and athletic player. He probably will be in trouble in mismatches situations against a very physical player. He can be fast on the passing lane though and he is a pretty decent stealer because he is a smart player. But defense will be the main doubt for him to be successful in the NBA.

How much of an impact do you see De Colo having on the Spurs next season even though they have three shooting guards already, and just one point guard? (Question was asked before word of Patty Mills re-signing was announced)

He will probably need some time at the beginning to do the transition between Europe and the NBA, but just as any European player in a first NBA season I guess. For example, Tiago Splitter needed one year before being effective, even if the injuries did not help him. On the other hand, Nando De Colo can bring so many things Danny Green and Gary Neal can't, offensively. He doesn't need much time on the court to be efficient. He knows Tony Parker and Boris Diaw very well of course (they played together in the French national Team for five years now) and this is a good thing for him. He won't be totally lost in the offensive playbook either, the French National Team using some plays from the Spurs.

Plus, I really think he can be a good playmaker when Tony Parker goes out, more than Patty Mills who is a scorer-first point guard. Once again, if he can match the physical play of his opponents quickly, he will bring a solid contribution from the bench for sure.

Once again, a huge thanks goes out to Thiollière for answering the questions for Project Spurs and giving Spurs fans a clearer perspective on what De Colo will bring to the team. Be sure to check out his website InsideBasket.com.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Scottie Pippen: LeBron still hasn’t surpassed Jordan, Kobe

Report: Sherman holds resentment toward Wilson, Carroll

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker