Category Archives: NBA

2009 NBA Draft Lottery Analysis

  1. 1.    Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma

This pick seems like a no brainer. Griffin is the most explosive and entertaining player in the draft. The Clippers got a superstar in the first overall pick. Grade: A+

  1. 2.    Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn

Thabeet is the most the intimidating defensive presence in the draft. The Grizzlies can center their team around Thabeet. He is not the best scorer and needs to learn to play the post. But, at 7 foot 3, he has the tools to be the next Mutumbo. Grade: A

  1. 3.    Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, G, Arizona State

Harden is a little bit of a reach here, with better guards still available in Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio. Harden does execute the fundamentals better than anyone. He is solid all around, from scoring to defense. Harden will join a young Thunder team that needs another scorer outside of Durant. Will Harden be that scorer? Grade: B

  1. 4.    Sacramento Kings – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis

The Kings got an outstanding scorer in Evans. His talent, believe it or not, is still raw. The Kings need help everywhere, and sleceting a point guard was a great starting point to the rebuilding process. I like Rubio better than Evans because Rubio is more of a pure point. However, Evans is a better scorer and is more tested than Rubio. Grade: B+

  1. 5.    Minnesota Timberwolves – Ricky Rubio, G, Spain

Rubio is the rawest player in the NBA, but could develop into the best. He hasn’t been tested but plays the point extremely well. The Timberwolves can center their team around this player. Rubio is going to need a couple years to develop, but Rubio is upside in the purest sense. Grade: A-

  1. 6.    Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonny Flynn, G, Syracuse

An outstanding point guard, Flynn gets a team involved better than any other. The Timberwolves took Rubio with the pick before, why take another point guard that isn’t the strongest scorer? Great player. Bad Pick. Grade: D+

  1. 7.    Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson

The best pure shooting player in draft is unproven and going to an unproven team. He isn’t the most athletic or durable, but Curry can carry a team. NCAA teams knew that Curry would get the ball and couldn’t stop him. Golden State is the Davidson of the NBA, except they will play teams that have Kobe and Lebron. The Warriors needed a primtime player and they got a matinee player. Grade: C

  1. 8.    New York Knicks – Jordan Hill, F, Arizona

Hill is a great wingman that can score and play defense. He is a solid complementary player, but not the best player to center a team around. The Knicks didn’t get their man in Curry, but Hill is not a bad alternative. Grade: B

  1. 9.    Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan, G, Southern California

DeRozan is inconsistent, but is inexperienced and could develop into a great guard. I see him as the poor mans Tyreke Evans. Raptor fans shouldn’t panic if he struggles his first year or two, because DeRozan needs to grow into the role of an NBA player. Grade: B-

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Brandon Jennings, G, Italy

Who? As a Milwaukee Bucks fan, I am offended by this pick. He is raw, raw, raw talent. Jennings is inexperienced, but could be groomed into a great guard by Michael Redd. Jennings isn’t has great upside, but the Bucks need upside and experience. Good job, Milwaukee. This is why you break my heart every year. Grade: D

11. New Jersey Nets – Terrence Williams, F, Louisville

The now Vince Carter-less nets got a solid wingman in Williams. Williams is athletic and the most fundamentally sound outside James Harden. The Nets selected the player that fit their team best, not the best overall player and that’s why I like this pick. Grade: B+

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke

The Bobcats stay local by selecting the Blue Devil Henderson. Henderson is athletic and fun to watch. He is a little inconsistent, but he is growing into a great scorer. Henderson also plays great in transition and is an above average penetrator. Grade: B

13. Indiana Pacers – Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina

Big Ty is experienced, professional, and a hard worker. Hansbrough can be a great bench or complementary player in the NBA, but is not athletic enough to put a team on his shoulders. He has great character, but not a lot of upside. Hansbrough is a reach at the 13th pick. Grade: C

14. Phoenix Suns – Earl Clark, F, Louisville

The Suns have dealt away Shaq and Amare, and replace him with underrated Earl Clark. He doesn’t play up to his size, which is a reason not to pick him after getting rid of two outstanding big men. Clark is a solid, unflashy player, and not a very sexy pick. Grade: C+


Michael Redd Out For the Season – Bucks Can Actually Be Worse

   The Milwaukee Bucks are cursed. They haven’t made the playoffs since the ’05-’06 season. They haven’t made it to the NBA finals since the ’73-’74 season. They haven’t won an NBA title since the ’70-’71 season. Now, in the ’08-’09, the Bucks have just lost their leading scorer and face of the franchise to a seasonph2009012501329ending ACL/MCL injury. As a Milwaukee native, Redd’s injury is depressing to me, but does not come as a surprise. The Buck’s have, for years, disappointed me. So why should this year be any different?

   I’m not saying that Redd’s injury is the Buck’s fault. And my heart goes out to Redd, he is a stand-up guy and i wish him a speedy recovery. But, I already accepted defeat when the season started. It’s not like the Buck’s don’t have talent. Even without Redd in the rotation, the Buck’s have playmakers. Former number one overall pick Andrew Bogut is a solid center. Forwards Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva add experience and Jefferson is the Buck’s second leading scorer with just over 17 points a game. The Buck’s also have young talent in rookies Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Joe Alexander. However, no matter who is on their team, the Buck’s can’t manage to get anything positive going.

   In a state dominated by football, the Milwaukee Bucks have had some trouble drawing support. They are a small market team that has not had a block-buster player on their roster since Ray Allen nearly a decade ago. And with the loss of Michael Redd this season, the Bucks will be reeling even more for leadership on the court and a reason for fans to come to the game.

   As much as I love the Bucks and the city of Milwaukee (it really is a beautiful city, if you are in the area, I suggest you check it out) the best thing for the franchise may be a move. The Supersonics moved away from Seattle, changed their name (to the Thunder) and settled in Oklahoma City. The Thunder may have the worst record in the league but they have been selling out their stadium and have strong fan base. Perhaps more importantly, the Thunder have stimulated the Oklahoma City economy. If the Bucks can’t turn it around in the next couple seasons, I could see the team being sold again and moved to another small to medium market that does not have a basketball team. St. Louis, Albuquerque, and Pittsburgh are all possible prospects. I hope that doesn’t happen. However, an NBA franchise is a business, and business isn’t good when you are as bad as the Bucks.

How Good Are the Cavs?

   Well, pretty damn good. At the beginning of the NBA season, all the attention was centered on the Boston Celtics. Now, after a rocky January for the Boston Three Party and the Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be the team to beat in the NBA.cavs

   With Lebron James playing MVP-like basketball, the Cavs are a perfect 20-0 at home and are dominating out west, with a record of 11-1 against the Western Conference. But, can they keep it up? Can the Cavs emerge out of the strong Eastern Conference to go to the NBA Finals? If they play like they are in January in June, then absolutely.

   The key to the Cavs, obviously, starts with forward Lebron James. We always knew James was good, but this good? The Man can shoot, play defense, and (unlike most superstars) pass. He is averaging 27.8 points, 7.1 bounds, 6.7 assists, and 2.0 steals a game. He is the team leader in each of those categories (yes, that mean he is averaging more rebounds a game than Big Ben Wallace.) The dude is straight schooling opponents. He is a matchup nightmare and simply electrifying on the court. But, the Cavs are not a one man team by a long shot. Starting big men Ben Wallace and Zyandrus Ilgauskas are currently banged up with injuries, but back-ups Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson have stepped up and have played solid. The Cavs need starting shooting guard Delonte West to come back from that nasty wrist injury he got a couple nights ago, back up Daniel Gibson will see more PT. Mo Williams rounds out the starting line-up at point guard and he always plays solid.

   When healthy, the Cavs are a deep team. Better yet is that the Cavs are a great team, with emphasis on team. The best team wins championships, which is not always the most talented team. However, the Cavs are banged up right now, with three of there starters battling injuries. Superman Lebron James can only keep playing this well for so long. Sooner or later, he is going to need to lean on the rest of his team. So how good are the Cavs really? When healthy, they can compete with any team in the league. But, right now? Well, they still have the best record in the league. There is your answer.