I read the Fab article on the main page today and saw the phrases "athletically gifted" and "crazy athleticism" used to describe him.
I watched him in summer league and while I thought he was a "decent" athlete for a seven footer, I also thought he looked like a typical seven footer, that is, a little slow, awkward and cumbersome at times.
When I think of athletically gifted 7 footers names like David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan type guys (athleticism only, not talent...) come to mind.
Do you guys look at Melo and think "athletically gifted"?
From what I aw in the preseaon Fab looks just as agile/mobile as Dwight Howard. I honestly don't think Howard is THAT agile overall, he's just agile for a man who's built as tank-like as he is. Obviously he has freakish leaping ability as well.
Fab seems like he's got some leaping ability himself though, just not on Howard's level (obviously). On the few blocks I've seen him get his elevation was pretty darn impressive. Bigs with average athleticism use timing rather then leaping ability to block shots , but he had Sully in his way on one of those preseason blocks and practically jumped OVER him to block the shot. That's impressive hops for a man of his size.
Athletically he reminds me a lot of Ryan Hollins, but is a better rebounder, has a better jump shot and is a MUCH better defender / shotblocker. Hollins was always considered a very good athlete, but just had no real ability.
As for the Chandler comments, I don't see.why Chandler is an unrealistic expectation defensively. Melo is probably as good a shot blocker as Chandler (maybe even better) right now. He's shown flashes of being a solid pick-and-roll defender as well, and we all know he's nowhere near his potential. If the guy wasn't so offensively raw hiabdefensive ability would probably he good enough to keep him on the court. I don't see anything Chandler does on defense that Melo couldn't potentially do just as well after 2 or 3 seasons in the league.
Even offensively Chandler is pure "catch and dunk". That pretty makes up 80% of his offensive game, with the remaining points generally coming from putbacks. He's not a skilled offensive player.