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Rooster vs. EJ, the nickname challenged
With the 6th pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected Danilo Gallinari, a 6′10″ forward with a sweet stroke, questionable defensive ability, limited assists, and a health issue. Some experts clamored for Eric Gordon, the 6′3″ guard with a sweet stroke, questionable defensive ability, limited assists, and a health issue. Danilo was 225 pounds and too thin to defend other forwards. Eric was 225 pounds and too heavy to defend other guards.
Statistical gurus like John Hollinger projected bad things for each of them. Danilo’s shot wouldn’t translate to the U.S. Eric Gordon’s game would fall short of NBA standards, considering his poor shooting percentage and abundant turnovers. Of course, his projections didn’t consider Eric Gordon’s injuries or his style of play.
Each player shows tantalizing potential this season, with increased minutes and excellent shooting percentages. Some still claim the Knicks should have gone with Brook Lopez, who would have transformed the Knicks, at least in theory. If he’s such a good defender, why have the Nets been 24th in the league in defense the past two seasons?
There were two other guys the Knicks should have considered drafting or acquiring. Marreese Speights, picked 16th by Philadelphia, has been the statistical stud of the draft so far. Anthony Randolph has received rave reviews down in Golden State.
Yet since they were focused on a three point shooter to spread the floor, who should they have chosen?
Danilo: 22.7 4.PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 APG
- Just scored a career-high 30 points in one game.
- He’s no longer hampered by a back injury.
- Danilo’s on pace to nearly double the record for three pointers in a season.
- His rooster celebration is one of the best in the game.
- He might be able to learn defense from his father, a star European defender in his day.
Eric: 18.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.0 APG
- He has injured his wrist, ankle, and hamstring in the past few years, but appears healthy now.
- This season, he has increased his assists and cut down on turnovers.
- At PG and SG, he outplayed his counterpart (though still allowed a high PER).
- His nickname is EJ. That must be the worst nickname in the league.
- He might have played even better if he wasn’t on the worst team last year.
Maybe it’s too early to tell, since number one pick and last year’s rookie of the year, Derrick Rose, is playing like trash. But that’s what makes projections fun. Also, don’t say nicknames are pointless. Nicknames are marketable, and a team wants to be able to market its players.
Which rising shooter should have been picked sixth in the 2008 draft?