Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Players who shot worse than Kevin Durant last year

October 14, 2008

The rush early last season to label Durant a chucker — which led to the Horford for ROY campaign — always bothered me. Even today someone in Hollinger’s chat derisively called him a “machine gunner.” But he ended the season at 43%, better than:

  • Shane Battier
  • Baron Davis
  • Tracy McGrady
  • James “Cashin’ In” Posey
  • Kirk Hinrich
  • Mike Bibby
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Jerry Stackhouse
  • Stephen Jackson
  • Rafer Alston
  • Malik Rose (sorry, Hengst)

That Josh Childress Video

July 24, 2008

Couple different sites have been passing around this video, which is supposed to show Josh Childress partying in Greece just hours after signing his contract with Olympiacos. But it doesn’t look right to me. Isn’t Childress like 6’8″? Maybe his listed height includes the fro. Or maybe he made some new, really tall friends.

Enter the Hengst: Malik, D-Lee, and The Rise of Small Bigs

July 9, 2008

When it came to writing my first official post for Blogjammin, I found myself choosing a topic that is very dear to my heart: Undersized Power Forwards [The Garbagemen! — ed.].

As far as I’m concerned, hustle is more than a skill, its a habit. Hustle is a way of life. David Banner knows this. So does Rick Ross. But I’ll tell you who really knows this better than anyone in the NBA: Malik Rose. He has the distinction of being one of my favorite players of all time, and his hustle earned him a very un-Spurs like salary of 7 years and $42 million.

Any Spurs fan can tell you, we all thought he deserved it. We were insane for the guy. There were bobble heads and shirts, not to mention the number of Malik jerseys at most games rivaled the starters. When he was traded for Nazr Mohammed (a savvy move, I had to admit), local TV news ran weepy specials. It was like we traded an all-star.

But this is what happens in the NBA. We want the lunchpail guys, the guys we can relate to. During the NBA lockout, Malik was supposedly sleeping on the floor of his mother’s house in a Rugrats sleeping bag. Haven’t we all done that during our own respective professional lockouts?

Today, as Malik rides the pine for the Knicks and imparts Hustle Truisms, one who has probably caught his ear is David Lee. Lee’s value to that often miserable franchise can’t be overstated. Seemingly no one else cares like he does. And for this sole reason, Knick fans are blinded to his real value.

Scan the comments on any Knicks draft story, and you’ll find that New York fans refuse to trade him for anything. Danilo Gallinari was probably booed in relation to his potential to supplant Lee. I can probably admit that Lee is not worth max money or even may not be more than a great sixth man, but as a proud fantasy owner, I say: screw Gallinari.

As long as there are spiritless rosters filled with Starbury’s and Darius Miles-type guys, the fans will always be hungry for their polar opposites. If you check out the top 50 rebounders of last year, you will see plenty of big names like Stoudemire, Howard, KG, and Duncan. But you will also see David Lee, and guys like Nick Collison, Paul Milsap and Chuck Hayes. You can ask Matty what their +/- means to a successful team.

What I have to say is that, fantasy stats or real ones, I celebrate the Hustle Guy, the Energy Guy. They help win championships. Just ask Reid if he remembers Malik’s signature 25 point effort in Game 2 of the ’03 Spurs-Mavs series. Actually, I’m pretty sure that was taped over with the searing memory of Steve Kerr draining three after three. But Kerr never would’ve been in that position without Malik.

Why? WHY???

July 9, 2008

So Baron and Brand both get their contracts and get to go home, and now the Warriors are going to overpay for Maggette, who’s a questionable fit in their system at best, which leaves the Spurs settling for Roger Mason Jr., which in turn means that Brent Barry’s likely gone. On top of it all, no one here in the Bay Area can figure out why you would pay Maggette $10 million per and also throw $4 mil/year at Rony fucking Turiaf, without first offering Josh Smith like $16 mil and seeing if Atlanta has the stones to match. I mean, he’s only a 22-year-old power forward who can defend a little and was built for Nellieball. Better not make a run at him. So not only did I just watch my favorite team miss out on the dynamic fourth scorer they’ve wanted for damn near half a decade, but his snub was the direct result of the team I just bought season tickets for screwing up their roster with a desperation move.

Unless, gracious God willing, there are more trades coming. Please, just bring us Josh Smith. That’s all I ask. Or hell, even Hinrich. I mean the only point guards on the roster are Monta Ellis and CJ Watson. But, hey, Anthony Randolph looks great in practice. Awesome. Actually this is pretty awesome: “Q: Have you spoken to Baron since he left? NELSON: Oh yeah. We spoke several times on the phone. He came over to the office to say good-bye. We had a cigar together, sat in my truck for about two hours and talked.”

Anyways, as you can see, I can’t make shit for sense of all this, but my gut feeling right now is leaning towards unmitigated disaster.

One Uninformed Assessment

June 28, 2008

The rush after the draft to award grades, decide who won and lost, etc., is my least favorite part of the whole process. Franchises spend millions on scouting and analysis and often get it wrong. I really don’t see how a journalist thinks he knows any better.

More useful, for purposes of looking back, is to record how I felt about these prospects going into draft day. So based on a mix of college games I watched, stuff I read, and general NBA consensus, here’s my impression of the 2008 draft class, broken down by categories that are probably similar to how most fans think about these guys (draft position in parentheses):

Franchise Saviors

Potential championship cornerstones

  • Michael Beasley (2)
  • Derrick Rose (1)

Could Be Great

Ceiling seems to be second or third best guy on a really good team

  • Kevin Love (5)
  • DJ Augustin (9) — a personal bias since I watched him so much and think he’s got the PG gene
  • OJ Mayo (3)

Bust Alert

  • Russell Westbrook (4)
  • Eric Gordon (7)
  • Anthony Randolph (14) — as a Warriors fan, this felt like the worst pick of the draft. Any of the bruising post players still available would’ve helped G.S. on the glass. Not this guy.
  • Alexis Ajinca (20)
  • Serge Ibaka (24)
  • D’Andre Jordan (35) — back when he was slotted as a lottery pick

Intriguing But Risky

  • Joe Alexander (8)
  • Danilo Gallinari (6)
  • Marreese Speights (16)

Could Go Either Way / Not Enough Info

  • Jerryd Bayless (11)
  • Kosta Koufos (23)
  • Donte Greene (28)
  • Nicolas Batum (25)

Why Aren’t People Higher on These Guys?

  • CDR (40!)
  • Darrell Arthur (27)

Quality Role Players

  • Brandon Rush (13)
  • Ryan Anderson (21)
  • Courtney Lee (22)
  • Mario Chalmers (34)

Serviceable Big Men

  • Brook Lopez (10)
  • Roy Hibbert (19)

The Giant Mess of 2nd Tier Bigs

  • Jason Thompson (12)
  • JJ Hickson (19)
  • Javale McGee (18)
  • Robin Lopez (15)
  • Ante Tomic (44)

Others of Note

  • Joey Dorsey (33) — seems like a guy this strong and coordinated will find a place in the league
  • George Hill (26) — Another year, another “Who?” pick for the Spurs, but possibly this draft’s Rodney Stuckey. Deserves his own post.

Spurs Feva?

June 26, 2008

From Chad Ford, this is just bizarre:

The Spurs sent an e-mail to every team in the league at 3:30 p.m. saying that they were willing to move the 26th pick. The e-mail asked league executives to “E-mail us your interest and your offers to 26.”

That’s the first time I’ve heard of something like this in all of my years covering the draft. Make your Spurs pitch below in our comments section.

You know what this means, right? We’re not far off from…