The Draft

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The Draft

Wow, what a season! My Lakers got it done like I knew they would. Now we have Artest. We still have to get Odom signed, but now that Ariza is gone, I think it’s become even more of a priority. Artest replaces Ariza but we can’t replace what Odom gives us. A big ballhandler with double-double potential, that’s hard to find. Dirk Nowitzki might be the only other one as skilled in the entire league.

Congratulations guys, let’s do it again next year.

2009 NBA Draft Group Photo

2009 NBA Draft Group Photo

I know it’s been a while since my last entry but I had a lot of catching up to do. One of the biggest disadvantages of living in Germany is the lack of NCAA basketball coverage. Of course I do get info either via internet or magazines about the big shot college players like Griffin, Thabeet and Curry.  I know Ricky Rubio being that I live in Europe and all, but who is James Harden for instance, or Jordan Hill. These are the things that I had to find out. I literally watched hundreds of youtube clips and ESPN highlights. I read the scouting reports of almost every projected first rounder. Upsides, weaknesses, strengths…etc.  Even after the draft, I was online again, listening and reading different expert analysis. Now I feel comfortable enough and knowledgeable enough to put together a list of things I personally like, dislike or am looking forward to seeing.

GriffinWith that said, I guess the best place to start is at number one. Blake Griffin. I had originally hoped that Oklahoma City would win the lottery but the Clippers did and, well, they need it as bad as anyone else. I actually like the Clippers. I know it’s not a surprise, I can see the positive in almost any roster. Whether it pans out to anything or not, that’s up to those that play the game. Ironically Blake Griffin is not my favorite player on the team, that honor would go to my fellow Indiana native Eric Gordon. Yes, I am a bit biased toward Indiana ballers but in this particular situation favoritism has nothing to do with it. He will only be in his second season with fellow sophamore 7′0″ center DeAndre Jordan, the other LA team appears to be well into their rebuilding process.
The Memphis Grizzlies and OKC Thunder also helped themselves tremendously drafting Thabeet and Harden respectively. Thabeet will help Memphis solidify their interior defense for the next 10 years. He’s a bit raw offensively but with the likes of OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay demanding so much attention, he will be able to get ten points easily off of put-backs and drop-offs. I think he will average a double-double from the very fist game he plays. Harden, just like the case of Thabeet, will be a very nice asset for OKC as well. Last year after OKC moved Durant to the small forward spot they had no one who could play consistantly and the shooting guard spot. Eventually they traded Chicago for Sefolosha where he played extremely well. At Chicago he never really got the chance to play any type of meaningful minutes and felt as if he was walking on thin ice. Once he got to OKC and realized that Coach Scott was willing to let him play through his mistakes and learn from them, he relaxed and played rather commendably. I still think he will improve and flourish in OKC into a lock down defender, and he will be a big part of there future, but offensively Harden is a drastic improvement. In all honesty, the best part about the first three draft picks is that none of them were Ricky Rubio.
In fact, if I could put Rubio on any team in the NBA, it would probably be Minnesota. A team that I have absolutely no interest in. Rubio may end up to be one of the best point guards of all times, then again he may never play a day in the NBA in his entire life. I don’t care, his sub-par stats from last season doesn’t scream lottery pick to me. I actually think that Flynn is better…right now, but I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time. Yes, I like Al Jefferson, I like Kevin Love, and I am a big fan of Rodney Carney’s but Minn. just bores me to death. Always have.

Without going through the entire first round, here are a few other rookies that I expect to make to be very good pick ups for their reaspective teams.

Stephen Curry – I almost don’t even want to go there because the majority of you will think Stephen CurryI’m crazy. Stephen Curry is the most talented player in this years draft. I think he will develop wonderfully into a top tier PG. He can shoot light out and is quick enough and smart enough to do damn near anything he wants. With Golden State playing small ball and running so much, even with the Stephen Jackson, Monte Ellis etc., Curry will have plenty of shots and judging by his past will make most of them.

Jordan Hill – How can New Yorkers be disappointed with this pick? He will be this season biggest surprise and just like Curry will benefit immensely from NY’s uptempo style. A lot of NBA big men will find it very difficult to chase him the entire game. He big and active and improving. I really, really like this pick.

Brandon Jennings – Regardless to how he made it to the NBA, he made it and he’s there to stay. Explosive, crafty and athletic or arrogant, cocky and stubborn. I like Kobe and Iverson remember, so the latter is totally irrelevant to me. In fact, I like him for his confidence in his ability. It gives me confidence in his abilities.

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