When I recently sat down with Keanau Post --- the Canadian born centre hailing from Victoria British Colombia --- after the Raptors 905 101-81 victory over the Erie Bayhawks, he mentioned something interesting,
“I just want to be a glue guy.”
A glue guy is obviously a role player for their respective team. If hustle and toughness and “doing the little things” were quantifiable every night, the ‘Glue guy’ would be the team leader in those stats. The glue guy is the one who will get into the "dirty" areas and do the "dirty" work a team needs to have a player do to win games.
The question now becomes can Keanau Post be a glue guy? The one thing that is interesting about Post is his mentally towards his role of being the ‘Glue Guy’ is in the right place.
“My role is just being a role player” Post said. “Nothing direct, just really do the right things, at the right time, all the time.”
When doing the ‘eye test’ on Post’s game, he is definitely doing that. Setting hard screens, making the right passes, scoring the easy layups. Even the areas where the Raptors 905 as a team struggle in, such as playing solid transition defense, and turnovers, Keanau Post contributes to that in a positive way. There was one instance where I saw how much the Raptors 905 team needed Post.
When the Raptors 905 battled the Maine Red Claws in the Air Canada Centre, hanging on to a slim 73-70 lead, Post started to limp and favour his leg, immediately subbed off. What happened next was honestly really inexplicable; the Red Claws went on a 7-0 run. While Post came back into the game for about 30 seconds, he would eventually miss the next game against the Westchester Knicks, a game the 905 eventually lost.
But wait? What about stats?
While it is hard to quantify that need for a glue guy into stats, one stat that proves his case as a contributor for this team.
The Raptors 905 are currently 4-8 and Keanau Post has a positive plus/minus rating in 6 of those games. This is impressive when you consider he has played 10 of the 12 games. Here is where it gets weird, Post leads the 905 team in most games with a positive plus/minus differential. It gets even weirder when considering that the Raptors 905 lost both games he did not play in.
When Keanau Post is on the court, good things are happening.
Along with doing the right things, Post has been really efficient, shooting 67.6 percent from the field --- granted, Post is averaging 6 points and 4.8 rebounds a game and obviously any coach would love more volume, but this is where the stats get interesting. Post has scored double-digits in three of his ten appearances, shooting 55% or higher from the field.
“My shots come from my [teammates]. My relocation, their passes lead to good shots for me.”
Cue the applause. Ring the bell. Sound the horn. Anyway you want to say it, Post has figured out something that has made him become effective for the 905. The reason why is because he takes shots that are easy for him to make.
This is something Post has always done in his young career. During his time at the University of Missouri, Post did not score much but was still efficient. In the 2014-2015 season (his senior year), he averaged 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds a game on 57.3% shooting. While that is not eye-popping, the thing that jumps out to me is his improvement from his senior year of college to playing on the Raptors 905 squad, especially in the field goal percentage area. While, Post statistically has been really important, I should stress that Post is not going to fill the stat sheet, his worth is the intangibles and he knows it.
“I’m not looking to be that scorer. I can improve on my rebounding but just the extra stuff, you know. I’m not looking to be that guy.” Post said.
So back to the question, can Keanau Post become a glue guy? To tell you the truth, Post already is a glue guy. Thanks to the D-League and a small window of opportunity, Post has now developed into a solid D-League big man. That is the beauty of the NBA D-League, it is all about development. Even when you do not expect it, like in the case of Keanau Post, players who play in the D-League more often than not get better.
Developing players is the purpose however, seeing what guys do with their opportunity to play in the D-League is a part of the intrigue with the D-League as well.
Photo credit: Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald