Both Teams Played Hard: Kentucky 2012 Debate
Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I wanted to do this the right way. This is not a classic "call-out post" (at least I hope it is not taken that way. Sorry Nbanflguy and Tuck). Basically, I want to address and go over this debate I had with BothTeamsPlayedHard:
Providencefriars released his pre-season rankings, to which BTPH released his as well. I saw his getting props, but was taken aback that he had Kentucky at #7, behind the likes of Louisville and Washington (not to mention Duke, but I was most taken a back by UW). Louisville at 4 ended up being a pretty awesome call, much props and I did not have much of a problem with him ranking them far ahead of where most did in the pre-season. UW ahead of Kentucky was what made me write what I did.
We ended up debating and probably saying things that were not overly constructive to each other. I felt he did not answer the questions I was asking, he probably felt the exact same thing and we went on our way. I felt his comments about them playing AAU ball to win and his not trusting the coaching of John Calipari went a bit too far. The fact is, in college basketball, recruiting can turn someone into a good coach. A good coach can make a decent team good and a good team great (Think Bill Self did that with Kansas). But, having great players can be enough at times.
I do not think I was completely right here, either. I still believed UNC was the best team in the nation, picked them to play UK in the NCAA Tournament finals. I just felt that I had heard him doubting UK and when I finally saw where he had them ranked and some teams he had them ranked behind, I was urged to say something. My question to him now is, What did Kentucky do to surpass your expectations? How did they end up winning the NCAA Tournament when it seemed like they did not have the proper pieces? Also, what do you feel has changed about the abilities and possible pro-prospects of Kentucky's main players in this championship run.
Just curious to know what the thought process was in ranking Kentucky where they were. Would be really interesting to see the breakdown of who met/surpassed/was below expectations in your pre-season breakdown. This also would be a great way to go over some potential draftees and where they are not only in the sphere of the draft, but in their eventual role in the league.
I respect BTPH's opinion and his breakdowns tend to make me think quite a bit. Just think this would be an interesting excercise and a good way to see how things changed over the NCAA season and the different things we learned in the process. Hopefully this is a different method than flat out gloating and might just spark further examination into some prospects in this years draft. BTPH, I definitely would like to know where you feel these guys should be ranked and what they have shown you to come to this conclusion. Sorry if you feel bombarded or if I have dodged simplicity yet again in writing too much, but I just hope this can lead to a solid discussion/debate about the way this current NCAA season went down and what I may mean for the 2012 NBA Draft.
BothTeamsPlayedHard only got into it with you because he hates basketball and LOVES to get under peoples' skin. Seriously, I haven't seen him say anything positive about anything or anyone's posts on here. Just disagrees and that's that.
But do not feel that is the case. He has players he likes and players he dislikes, usually has a pretty legitimate reason for why. Definitely liked Royce White before everyone started talking him up after tearing up UConn and Kentucky in the tournament. Have seen a lot worse antagonistic characters who know a lot less about basketball.
What did Kentucky do to surpass your expectations?
Anthony Davis couldn't guard real big men, but it was a combination of the schedule and creative maneuvering that made it so it didn't really come into play. He was allowed to guard a spot and not a person, which I did not think was going to be the case in an NCAA season with OSU and UNC returning who they did (as well as a physical freak at UConn). UNC fell after Marshall went down and OSU played the second half of the Kansas game like they were watching Kentucky game tape and making finals plans at halftime. It was always my contention that was the bar by which title contenders needed to be judged. Those were the teams with talent, size, and skill. They also got bounced by other teams.
Kentucky had a lousy half court offense. It was often unwatchable. If you go out an look at the percentages of the Kentucky players other than Doron Lamb on anything but layups and dunks, you'd laugh. It was predictable give how they were assembled, but to be fair that was college basketball as a whole this year. Actually, the past few years have been bad. College basketball has gotten worse and worse offensively. Far too often you have teams packing in defenses, and offenses literally not having the ball get inside the three point arc until there is less than ten seconds left on the shot clock. NBA shooters can beat you off side to side swing passes, college shooters need inside-out passes to be effective. This is why NBA coaches can approach zones with the strategy of simply shooting them out of it while colleges cannot. This is why we saw the rise to legendary status of Anthony Davis and elevation of simple giant bodies like Fab Melo and Jeff Withey into people who will get an NBA uniform only to reveal that they can't park themselves under the hoop there. It is bad, poorly aesthetic basketball that worked in college basketball. It is just passable enough so that dumb people who think college basketball is about teamwork, fundamentals, and effort can cling to their nonsense. What did Kentucky do? Force you to shoot, collapse with their athletes, and get out and run. Force you to shoot, rebound the long misses, and get out and run. That or block the shot and run off that. What did Louisville do? Force you to shoot, collapse with their athletes, and get out and run. Syracuse and Kansas were a mix of Kentucky and Louisville. Missouri wasn’t as big or long as Louisville and their shooters made their shots this year (Kuric and Smith were worse than I expected give how they shot it the year prior), but they relied on turning teams over and getting out to run. Take away OSU and UNC, and those were your best teams this past year. Just look at the teams who have won titles prior to 2010: 09 UNC, 08 Kansas, 06-07 Florida, 05 UNC, 04 UConn, 03 Syracuse, 02 Maryland, 01 Duke, and you can keep going back with it, they weren't teams who had any problem in the halfcourt on either end or transition. Duke won a title with three guys taking all their shots, and it was not as if they were LeBron, Wade, and Bosh in doing so. UConn won with their little Kemba Lamb act, and Kentucky won without looking like they could score in the halfcourt and while actively trying to have their defensive player of the year not guard anyone who was a threat on offense. It worked for all three. Good for them. I still don't think that is a blue print for winning titles.
As for Washington, Abdul Gaddy was worse than I expected and Tony Wroten was reckless with the ball early on. He is as talented as they come, but he was a freshman who wasn't playing smart. He got better as the year went on, but never to the point of good. That was a swing and a miss. I was not surprised by the play of CJ Wilcox and Terrence Ross. They did great. They should have gotten even more opportunities than they did. I thought Aziz N'diaye gave them a competent giant. Gant was fine. Desmond Simmons was good for a freshman, and I didn't expect him to be the freshman to emerge to take those minutes, but he did fine in that role as an extra big. They did win the garbage Pac 12 despite it all, but I still think if their two point guards weren't as maddening they could have been great.
I usually feel as I am the only one who doesn't think Anthony Davis is a sure-fire hall of famer. Im interested to know what you think he will be in the NBA....
Yes, I realize that Davis should probably not be a Center. But, my guess is that when he plays against an Ohio State, UNC or even Connecticut, he is not going to be guarding these guys one on one. Defense is not just about shot blocking, and I think that Anthony Davis does more than just that as a defender. He has quick feet and active hands. Marcus Camby was nearly the same size and build as Davis, he did a pretty good job as a post defender. Not saying that Davis is Camby, but I think that he will have an impact down low. Personally, I like his ability to defend the post. I like Kentucky's ability to do that as a team, as they will have some incredible speed on defense to make post players regret putting the ball on the floor.
I agree that for the most part, Davis guarded a spot on the floor. That being said, he was pretty damn good at doing so. Kentucky's team defense was excellent and as I pointed out, the size and speed would be enough to give Davis a major helping hand. Remember when Tyler Zeller got off to a good start in the UNC/Kentucky match-up in Lexington? Than they decided to swarm him every time he touched the ball, which led to turnovers and a major second half drop-off for the ACC Player of the Year. Davis is going to have a much tougher time defending in the NBA, mainly because his personnel will not be on the level that Kentucky's was this season. But, we indeed were talking college basketball and that is where I thought Kentucky would be a really good team.
Is it THE blueprint to win a title? No, but neither was UConn as you pointed out. They were both A blueprint though, they won titles man. Kentucky did not have an incredibly tough schedule and I agree that they were not a great team in the half court. Still, they played to their strengths. Anthony Davis dunked the ball, a lot. They used their speed to kill teams in transition. They ended up losing two basketball games all season and did not look incredibly challenged on their way to the championship. Doron Lamb was absolutely there best All-Around scoring threat, but they also had a match-up problem in waiting with Darius Miller and they shot really well overall. As much as there half court game struggled, taking and making high percentage shots got this team to a high level.
Is Calipari going to do this every year? I do not think so in the least. His current group does not seem to be nearly as talented or as ready as this past years group was. The past two champions on college basketball were definitely not the norm and differed from the usual formula. Still, they won and that is what mattered. It almost sounds like you are excusing them as champions because they did not live up to a standard. The whole "Kentucky was good enough to beat a NBA team" argument was indeed crazy and the names being thrown around with Anthony Davis seem equally mental. But, at the end of the day, this was a talented group and they won on talent. I give them credit for that, as they seemed to work well together as a team.
My question, much like the previous poster is what do you see Anthony Davis' role being in the NBA? I tend to see him as a 4 and a possible All-Star down the line. I think the names being tossed around (Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Russell) are crazy and unfair, but I think he has upside and could turn into one of the better PF's in the league over time. I want to believe in Andre Drummond, but am finding it difficult to know whether he has the attitude to use his obvious physical gifts. Past that, I have Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb and Bradley Beal as prospects I really like. I see your apprehension with Thomas Robinson and think Jared Sullinger is the better player. Nonetheless, I think Sullinger's injury concerns may be real. Plus, I again like Robinson's attitude and will to get better. Just want to know where you stand with everything and if you wanted to give updated rankings, I would be glad to give mine as well.
Lol...half court offense was very good. The purpose of UK half court offense was to get layups and dunks which is why you saw them get ......layups and dunks? Davis guarded his man and spots on the floor. Tere was no zone it was man and that's the way you are supposed to play man not just hug you're guy and not help out you're teammates. He had issue with size of some bigs but guess what, so have other bigs as freshmen. Shaq had issues with Stanly Roberts because of his size and other bigs because of their skill, same with Duncan and every other freshman big man.
Back to the half court offense, there is no set way to score in order for you're half court offense to be good. You're half court offense is good when you are scoring and you are scoring at a good percentage, that's it. Also why can't Davis have the potential of these other great players? Compare what they did as freshmen and compare what Davis did as a freshman. Can anyone come up with a legit reason as to why Davis can't have the potential of a Russell,K.G Duncan? The only thing I can think of is the fact that you all already know how good those players are/were but you fail to look back to what they were when they were the same age as Davis. People for get that Ewing wasn't dropping 20 and 15 as a freshman or that Duncan wasn't killing everyone he faced
Biased Kentucky fan defends how historically amazing Anthony Davis is and claims Kentucky was great in half court? NO WAY!
Did I say great or very good? Well what does the numbers say about their half court offense? And I don't want to hear about,well that was layups and dunks,because last I checked that was part of scoring. Also I said why can't Davis potential be up their. Can you give even one good reason why he can't have that potential. You can say you don't think so all you want but how about having a legit reason, that's the real challenge.
The best team won the national championship. And just like past champions they didn't have the toughest schedule ever but they beat teams that were placed in front of them one of which was just as talented as they were (UNC) and the other was a team who made it to the title game. They won because of very good talent and very good coaching. Who ever picked them as 7 was just wrong plain and simple, no excuses
This next UK is not as good but they could make a run just like the one from last year that actually had less talent than this years team(2012-2013). Whoever said this UK team could beat a NBA team is also kind of crazy. I say kind of because past college teams have beat pro Euro teams when they go on that Euro trip and some of those same euro teams have beaten NBA teams before. If I had to bet though I would bet on the NBA team every time.
- he has no go-to post move
- he is too small to play the 5 in the NBA, and theres really no "game-changing" defensive power forwards in the NBA, except KG (whose built like a center at this point and in his Minnesota days was a 24-14 guy)
- He didn't man on man guard any good big men the whole year
- He has no post game
- His "jump-shooting" is kind of a joke seeing as its so reliable he always hesitated to take it on "key" possessions.
-His ballhandling is overrated, seeing as, he never actually used it to get around college big men
-He went 1-10 in the title game (MVP! MVP!) but everyone overrated him having 5 blocks and made it seem like he had a career defining game, even though Thomas Robinson still managed to dominate, and they won because their guards were on fire.
- The argument that Duncan or KG werent this developed at 19 is absurd, because that was in a day in age where players were developed and actually stayed in college for 4 years. Kevin Durant averaged more PPG his Freshman year than Michael Jordan did his junior year at UNC, does that mean KD is a better pro then Jordan? no. Take 2008 Michael Beasely, and replace Davis with him on this 2012 Kentucky team, and people would have thought he would be Duncan cloned with KG, Dirk, Jordan, Russell, Chamberlain, and God. Hows his NBA career doing?
-Name one thing he brings to the Bobcats next year. 1 minute to go, 90-90, are they passing it into him and clearing out? Who is he going to guard? Blake Griffin? LaMarcus Aldridge? are you kidding me? He is going to be the rich-mans Serge Ibaka. Whoopty f*cking Do.
You might want to look at those big guys when they were freshmen in college, same thing about post game, worst man to man defense,even worst jump shots
And on top of all of that he has only been a big man for a year and a half. Also the no post game is completely wrong. He may have not been consistent on everything (again none of the top bigs were consistent as freshmen in college) but he consistently hit his hook shot. No one knows how good he is going to be or how bad but there is nothing to suggest he doesn't have the potential to be as good as a K.G or who ever plus he is far from a finished product. He did everything that he did as a raw big man and now he will have coach's Hall of fame trainers and Hall of fame bigs teaching him how to play like a big man and teaching him post moves and teaching him to become a better shooter.
No one is a finished product as a freshman in college especially big men
Davis is going to be a PF in the NBA not a center.
Lets see...I said he was going to play PF, so not sure what the point of you saying that again is.
He has no post game. I said it. His "hook" shot, wasn't nearly as consistent as you've made it out to be. He doesn't have the potential to be as good as KG. There, I said it. KG had a post game and a rock-solid mid range game. Again, I get he can get better. But why hasn't Michael Beasely become a 30 PPG scorer at the NBA? Why hasn't OJ Mayo become the player he was at USC in the NBA? Because there is no guaranteed transition. He does some things well, but not nearly enough to make comparisons to Garnett or Duncan, who are two of the best Power Forwards of all-time.
K.G didn't have a consistent post game nor did he have a consistent mid range game. This is what I'm talking about when I say people seem to forget what these stars were as young players. Go check out his mid range shooting percentage (tru shooting percentage) and you will see that K?G wasn't a consistent mid range shoot. Check out the scouting report of K.G as a rookie and you will see that he had no true post game early in his career. He scored from running the floor and out working p,ayers early in his career
I don't recall saying it was a lock for Davis to be that good. My point was that it's foolish to say he for sure he doesn't have the potential to be that good just like its foolish to say he will for sure be that good. His potential to be that good is obviously not debatable since he is a lock to go first and every scout has said he has the potential to be that good. No one though K.G,Duncan or those other guys would be as good as they were as freshmen
Beasley isn't comparable because you have to work hard as well as having the talent. Mayo is in love with just being a jump shooter and stopped working as hard as he used to(coach's and winners have commented on that). And neither were POY who lead their team to a title
And the scary thing is going by you're scouting report of Davis, is he Dominated games,broke records and lead his team to a title while being as bad as you claim, as a freshman who hasn't been a big man long and who has a high motor, work ethic,good athlete, long, and can learn the things that you say he's not good at (jump shot,post moves).
As far as the bobcats. How many rookies do you want in the situation you just named?
He broke blocks records. Thats it. Ask Javele McGee about that life. "Huge Motor" aka, he tries. Congratulations, he tries to be good. Its sad we give guys credit for this. He is long and athletic? No way!?!?! An NBA prospect whose long and athletic. When exactly did he dominate against legitimate competition? Like something along the lines of 20/15/5 blocks against a really good team? Where did this happen?
And most rookies would fail with Charlotte. But he is supposedly the next franchise-changing player.
What kind of numbers do you see Davis putting up next year? What about his prime?
I could see him being an 18 and 12 guy in his prime with added weight.
Kg in his early years show guardlike skills and was a a much better passer something we havent seen from Davis. And his post game wasnt great but it was against nba defenders, Davis struggled sometimes against college level defenders.
Davis i will say hes extremly young so you cant say hes not gonna be the next Kg, or Tim Duncan but he does have weaknesses, and a lot he needs to work on.
He struggled guarding players like Ezeli, and Patrick Young.
He cant really create for himself at all yet.
And he is more of a bpositional defender.
I do think he has a lot of potentiol, i just dont think he is as great as some people hype him up to be.
He wasnt quite as dominant as some people think as a freshman.
Beasley, and Oden were both better than Davis as a freshman.
BUt that doesnt mean he doesnt have a lot of upside but hes still very raw.
The Beasely freshman stuff isn't to say Davis doesn't have more upside than Beasely. The Beasley freshman stuff illustrates that just because TD or KG weren't as good as Davis as at 19, doesn't guarantee he will acquire the skills they both possess that made them hall of fame big men.
I could see Davis topping out in the 18-11 range. That sounds like a fringe all star to me, not a H.O.F.
"Defense is not just about shot blocking, and I think that Anthony Davis does more than just that as a defender. He has quick feet and active hands. Marcus Camby was nearly the same size and build as Davis, he did a pretty good job as a post defender. Not saying that Davis is Camby, but I think that he will have an impact down low."
First off, Marcus Camby didn't guard centers for most of his NBA career, really any of it. There was always Nene, Ewing, Kurt Thomas, Oliver Miller, Sharone Wright, Kaman, Zach Randolph, etc to take the tanks. That is fine. Marcus Camby has had a great career, but he wasn't a post defender. Second, did you ever see him cut off his man when they tried to drive? If you want to say he has quick feet, where is the evidence? I saw Cody Zeller take him off the dribble. I saw the one possession Calipari let him try to guard Royce White before telling his Golden Boy to guard some farmer. He is long and will block shots.
"Is it THE blueprint to win a title? No, but neither was UConn as you pointed out. They were both A blueprint though, they won titles man."
They won titles, but there is this small matter of the NCAA being on a three year run of champions haven't beaten a one seed in their run. Duke, UConn, and Kentucky faced no 1-seeds and one 2-seed each. By the way, it is none of those teams faults the breaks fell their way. It happens, hats off to them they won, but Duke wasn't better because Ali Faroukhmanesh makes a shot against Kansas and Kentucky goes 4-59374 against West Virginia. Kentucky isn’t better because Kendall Marshall got hurt, Fab Melo was dumb, and OSU didn’t show up in the second half against Kansas. If you want to make predictions in November, and base it in how titles have always been won in that sport, then you are going to be subject to the randomness of a one-and-done tournament. If you want to say that is "a blueprint" that is fine, I don’t.
“My question, much like the previous poster is what do you see Anthony Davis' role being in the NBA? I tend to see him as a 4 and a possible All-Star down the line. I think the names being tossed around (Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Russell) are crazy and unfair, but I think he has upside and could turn into one of the better PF's in the league over time. I want to believe in Andre Drummond, but am finding it difficult to know whether he has the attitude to use his obvious physical gifts. Past that, I have Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb and Bradley Beal as prospects I really like. I see your apprehension with Thomas Robinson and think Jared Sullinger is the better player. Nonetheless, I think Sullinger's injury concerns may be real.”
I’m not overly enthralled with this draft. It has guys, but not the kind of players who are ready for the chore of fixing the Bobcats. Anthony Davis still has the problem of being a guy with a power forward’s game, a small forwards body, and coming off a college season of playing center. The level that his offense is at is good for a 6'9 or 6'10 freshman in college. He has no base to handle anyone that is going to body him inside. His footwork is a mess on his jump shots, and he also has a tendency to aim rather than shoot it. It is not good enough for someone who is going to be the face of a historically bad team. I think there is some Kirilenko to him where he is good, valuable, and grow into true versatility, but a notch below elite. It is hard to get a significantly stronger base.
Well, luckily for Davis he at the very least has a chance to be drafted by someone other than the Bobcats. That could definitely do a number to any player asked to turn that franchise around, it would be a process that I do not believe last draft helped with much. I am pretty much on the same page with you about this draft, who do you like behind Davis?
Also, the first thing you talked about was absolutely in reference to college basketball. I definitely believe he has pretty quick feet for a guy his size and while I know Marcus did not guard the "tanks", he indeed guarded centers during his career. However, in reference to college basketball, Marcus definitely guarded centers. Davis was the anchor of the defense. His role was a last line of defense and he played it really well.
I think it would be best for Davis to have someone else to guard the bigger players, but I definitely do not feel he is as slow a foot as you make him out to be. The games he had an issue with foul trouble were usually against the bigger bodies, but the overall fact that he rarely missed minutes due to fouls was impressive. Man, I think that whole rant you went on about Fab Melo is kind of a cop out. It happened. You hated Syracuse anyway (at least at the beginning of the season).
The NCAA tournament can be unpredictable. Did Kansas and Kentucky look a lot better than Duke in 2009? I felt they did, but it is the luck of the draw and THEY LOST. It is their fault, and while you may rank those teams ahead of Duke, winning the championship tends to mean you are the champion. I think North Carolina takes little solace in being possibly better than Kentucky with Kendall Marshall playing. They lost to Kansas. Luck of the draw. I pick a team at the beginning of the year as well and usually run with them. North Carolina was that team.
Still, would I have not felt smarter picking Kentucky? A lot of things factor in, but I knew Kentucky was talented and was trying to say they had a chance. You say the last three have gone against the grid, maybe the selection of a champion should follow the same process. Kentucky may not have looked like the ideal team, they did not beat a #1 seed (who cares?), but they went 38-2 and looked pretty good in the process. Just sounds like a lot of excuses to something you make out to be much more of a certainty than it ever was. North Carolina 2008 was stacked. That is the last time I picked a champion start of the year. Every year I get surprised, but I do not ever think to myself that "the team I picked at the start of the year was the best team, so it is irrelevant who wins the NCAA championship". Your response just seems like a way to still be right even after being wrong. Who am I to be surprised?
“I am pretty much on the same page with you about this draft, who do you like behind Davis?”
It is a mixed bag beyond him. I see too many fourth/fifth options or reserves.
• Andre Drummond was a lousy post scorer this past year. He flashed some potential, but he is going to be a guy who lives off dump offs, lobs, and put backs for at least his first two years in the NBA. That is not to say he cannot or will not develop a quality post game, but that it is not there now. Until he gets there, he needs to be the fifth option. Now, of all the positions for someone to be a fifth option, the prototypically built center is the best. He can have value. If he lands in Portland (Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, a PG-to-be-named later, etc) or Detroit (Knight, Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Jerebko, and Monroe) he can fit in nicely as that guy on the weak side block. I think he has the strength and hands to do better in that role than Sanders and Udoh have in Milwaukee (since the Bogut trade). Conversely, Cleveland cannot pair Drummond with Tristan Thompson. They’d have two guys who play the same role, and together they would allow defenses to clog the paint and make Kyrie Irving’s life a mess.
• Meyers Leonard is not particularly skilled in the post, strong, or willing to battle through adversity. He is incredibly long and athletic, but at his weight and level of skill development is probably a second unit center for the majority of his rookie deal even under the best of circumstances (and by second unit I am not referring to a team starting him in the hopes of losing games ala Jeremy Tyler).
• Tyler Zeller is a functional center who can keep a team from spending half of a decade trying to find a functional center. I do not think his lower body strength is ideal, but he will do fine.
• I still think a team is going to happily take Bernard James in the second round. Not everybody has to have a 10-year career to justify being picked, and certainly the opportunity to take a true NBA sized big man with well taught defensive principles and locking him into a deal where he will make less than $1 million for three or four years is going to appeal to some team.
• Mike Kidd-Gilchrist is a nice player, and for all the praise about how much he cares, works, and tries he has to learn to shoot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think he is very similar to Kawhi Leonard. If he had any chance of going to a good team, I think he would be fine. Life is different on bad teams. Heaven forbid the Bobcats get player who can make a shot.
• Harrison Barnes hit an absolute wall in February and just stopped making shots. To have two beyond nasty slumps is concerning for a top pick. I had zero concerns about him given how he was playing until that point. Now, it is hard not to have some. He has a great natural stroke, but the slumps are concerning as is the fact that Kendall Marshall is the kind of point guard not every bad team has. Landing with Irving would go a long way for him.
• Perry Jones is a jump shooter, and that is all he wants to be. If it was not for the façade of him being a superstar-in-the-making the discussion around him would be more reasonable. He does not utilize his size or athleticism. The guy has no interest in going inside against someone his size. He will sneak in to get an offensive rebound and put back from time to time, but nothing to write home about. The real concern there is that he was not such a great shooter in college. If he was a shooter on the caliber of Andrea Bargnani, it would be issue over. He would justifiably merit being a top five pick. Bargnani does not utilize all that he can be, but he still has value. Then again, Austin Daye and Donte Greene wouldn't be headed towards the fringe of the NBA if they could should to their predraft scouting report.
• Terrence Jones does not score effectively in the post against NBA-sized-4s, cannot shoot from the perimeter, is not exactly a two-handed player, when facing his most difficult guard got worked like a speed bag by Royce White, and it would appear possible that he could measure out at under 6’7 without shoes in Chicago. I think he is a second unit player, which is not the end of the world but not especially valuable in the lottery.
• Speaking of which, Royce White is a guy who I cannot understand how is rated below so many players who simply are not as could and cannot get to be as good. Even if a team is worried about his struggles with anxiety, a team psychiatrist and an patient, understanding flight attendant is much cheaper than your standard issue long, 6’9” athlete who can handle, create, score in the post, pass, rebound, run the floor, defend, and create mismatches. But hey, there are those who may prefer Arnett Moultrie and good for them.
• Moe Harkless is someone who has the length and athleticism to find a way to be helpful and effective, but as is the consistent theme he has to learn to shoot.
• Thomas Robinson is a nice prospect. I think he will have a career, but he is not a great finisher in the post or perimeter. He is not possessing great size. I am not of the belief that an energetic is so hard to find that a team needs address it with a top five pick. I can get Kevin Jones, Draymond Green, Ricardo Ratliffe, or Mike Scott to come in and run through a wall for me for much less than that pick. If my team is bad enough to have that top five pick, I would like to think even if I have an effort issue that I am aware of the far more pressing issues and want to address them first.
• Jared Sullinger had a bad game against Kansas, but it is not as if that one game is any more meaningful that all the other games where he faced a 7-footer and did well. I am concerned somewhat about the fact that Michigan State made his life miserable all four times they met because the consistent strategy made for the flaws to become apparent. The one really concerning takeaway is that he brings the ball down quite a bit. On offensive rebounds, that drives coaches crazy with big men. Also, when he makes a move across the paint, he is susceptible to having it swiped away or otherwise disrupt his move where he takes a more contested shot because of a break in rhythm. That problem is couched a bit by the fact he will not be the focal point of an offense, but still concerning nonetheless.
• I do not see a great deal of difference in Arnett Moultrie and JaJuan Johnson. Being long and athletic is nice, but the same strength limitation that has made Johnson an occasional matchup backup exists for Moultrie as well.
• Henson is another guy who I am not crazy about. He can block shots and rebound, but if I am going to have someone whose main value is to do that also needs to either a) finish effectively at the rim or b) have the strength and intelligence to be an effective post and help defender. I see neither from Henson.
• Before this year, I was a skeptic on Andrew Nicholson, but he won me over. He was always the guy who filled a stat line on a bad A-10 team, but this year the team was good and he got even better. He was getting more offensive rebounds, shooting from deep, making his free throws at an even better clip, and was scoring over both shoulders in the post. Now, I find him intriguing. I still would like assurance he is not 6’ 7” but that will eventually be checked out.
• Jeremy Lamb had a good but not great year. He is a really safe pick because he will be a solid starting shooting guard, though the standard for a lottery pick at that position is higher than solid. He has a good mid-range, good catch-and-shoot, good defender, but just a notch below great.
• I like Doron Lamb as a third guard because of his ability to shoot and create, but the size is concerning for someone who might be a starting shooting guard. I consider him to be much closer in value to Bradley Beal than most. After all, Bradley Beal is a 6’3 shooting guard who did not shoot anywhere close to his reputation. What exactly makes him twenty slots better than Doron Lamb? I simply don’t see it.
• Austin Rivers is someone who better be an insufferable person to be around because otherwise it makes no sense why there would such reluctance to embrace him as an elite shooting guard prospect among this crop. He has better physical traits than Bradley Beal or Doron Lamb, and he had a better year than Beal or Jeremy Lamb.
• Will Buford gets lost in the mix a bit, but he really does not have a ton of negatives about him. He has prototypical size, is a good athlete, can shoot the ball, and defends well. It is hard to see him miss, though it is easy to say that prior to the draft when he is not behind Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller on the Heat depth chart.
• Terrence Ross is an interesting guy because of his size, athleticism, and shooting ability. He is a little bit like Jamal Crawford, but has the same issue of not getting to the line. It is hard to be a big time scorer in the NBA without getting to the line. Ross has the ability to be a great scorer, but it would help if he embraced contact a bit.
• Kendall Marshall really is impressive to me. Running the point is a skill, and he knows how to do it. If there was a major concern with him, it is that while he can run a high functioning offense, he needs to have guys who can score on the floor with him to be effective (i.e. not Charlotte, Washington, or New Orleans though I think everybody in the draft is better off not going to those teams). He cannot be used like Rose or Westbrook, but he can keep everyone happy in spots like Indiana (which would allow them not to overpay Collison), Portland, or in the Stockton-Eisley role in Phoenix (assuming Nash stays).
• The fascination with Lillard as a lottery point guard is beyond me because he has never functioned as a real point guard, has played a DII-caliber schedule for four years, and when he has faced the better teams in DI it is not as if he was so special as to justify taking a Big Sky conference combo guard in the lottery.
• Tony Wroten was a maddening player this season, but it is impossible to overlook his talent. The most likely scenario for him is that someone drafts him as a point guard and ultimately settles him in at the 2 because they cannot live with him running the offense. Once that happens, Wroten will without a doubt need to learn to shoot.
• Marquis Teague is this year’s Reggie Jackson. You can take him knowing that he has upside, but also knowing that he is not going to be much of use right away. The problem with those picks are that the organization has to be in sync enough to be willing to double down on the guy after a rookie year of nothing. A team has to go into drafting Teague with the knowledge that he cannot shoot from the perimeter and does not finish well in the paint either.
“while I know Marcus did not guard the "tanks", he indeed guarded centers during his career.”
Just not the ones that actually need a real center to guard them, which is to say being a center when it matters. Yes, I believe Anthony Davis can guard Joel Anthony, DeSagana Diop, Omer Asik, and Bismack Biyombo. I really do, but by that measure I also think John Henson can "guard centers." If guarding self-guarded big men is the standard, any number of guys have to be reassessed as centers. Now, to be fair, teams with Brandan Wright and Larry Sanders have basically decided to simply use them at center when those opportunities arise knowing that they are much too weak to guard a real center but can fake it in certain matchups. That is fine for backups and maximizing the utility of 6-15 on a roster, but not what a team should be looking to do when assembling its building blocks.
“I think it would be best for Davis to have someone else to guard the bigger players, but I definitely do not feel he is as slow a foot as you make him out to be.”
I didn’t say he was “slow a foot” only that when he was in a position to guard a person as opposed to a spot, he got taken off the dribble and failed to show himself to be a developed defensive player. The NBA is littered with guys who can move there feet, but do not actually move them effectively on the defensive end. Michael Beasley is not slow footed, but he is a turnstile defensively. If you want to talk about someone having quick feet defensively, I want to see him beat his guy to a spot and turn him. That is not was he did. It is not to say he cannot get better and utilize the full nature of his abilities, but if you say you believe he has quick feet then you are choosing to believe something you have not seen.
“Man, I think that whole rant you went on about Fab Melo is kind of a cop out. It happened. You hated Syracuse anyway (at least at the beginning of the season).”
Me not liking trusting Fab Melo and Syracuse because of Melo’s revealed idiocy prior to the year does not change the fact that the team was playing very well during it up until he was found to be academically ineligible. It is not an opinion of mine that two of the top four seeded teams in the NCAA tournament lost starters in March, so I don’t see how you call that a cop out. Like it or not, it was a pair of events that took place, and that is all I pointed out.
"The Beasley freshman stuff illustrates that just because TD or KG weren't as good as Davis as at 19"
I forgot to mention this earlier, but Tim Duncan was a 17-year old freshman (he skipped a grade) who had played basketball for all of four year at Wake Forest in an ACC where well over half the league had big men who went on to play in the NBA. Even with that, he was averaging 18-13-4-2 as an 18-year old sophomore in an ACC with Sheed and Joe Smith where he led bleeping Wake Forest (say hello to star teammates Rusty LaRue and Randolph Childress) to both the regular season and conference tournament title.
every1 should read that novel ^, two posts above.
the one titled "“I am pretty much on the same"........ really nice
That is a read. Did he come up with all that or copied and pasted it ?