Writer's Note: This is Part 7 of a 15-part series where I review the 2010-11 season of each of the Cavaliers players. Each player will be titled with one of this summer's movies for a little added fun. I couldn't think of any better order to do this so I'm going alphabetically. Today: Luke Harangody. Up Next: Omri Casspi
There may not have been an easier player to title than Luke Harangody.
Harangody was something of a superhero back in college at Notre Dame, home of the Fighting Irish. For four years he literally made a name for himself by dressing up in green and playing at an elite level despite looking like a guy who'd be more at home on a farm shucking hay than on a court knocking down three-pointers with that ridiculous-looking jumper.
Then, after college he got drafted by the Boston Celtics who wear what color? That's right...green.
Now, I am an unapologetic superhero fan. So it very much pains me to compare Luke Harangody to Green Lantern. But let's face it, the movie was one of the most hyped films of the summer and needed to be included in this series. And there just wasn't any way that I could get past the fact that Harangody does things on the basketball court that don't seem humanly possible...at least not for him.
His numbers on the season were very un-super (combined for both Boston and Cleveland):
49 GP, 0 starts, 13.1 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 2.9 REB, .384 FG%, 10.16 PER.
To say that Harangody is worthless would be a little harsh...but not necessarily untrue.
The fact is that the things that made him a great college player just don't translate to the NBA.
At 6'7", he was a mismatch in college when playing either the power forward or center position since he could step out and knock down perimeter jumpers. And the college game these days just doesn't have the kind of offensive post players who could challenge him defensively.
But the NBA is a game where size, speed and strength matter, which is why finesse players like Harangody and Adam Morrison don't cut it.
Oddly, however, I still kind of like Harangody. There's just something lovable about him in a giant teddy bear sort of way.
And there have been plenty of players who struggled to adjust to the pro game in there rookie season.
At Notre Dame he had reasonable success as a shooter, hitting 45-50 percent throughout his career and even going .368 on three-pointers his junior season.
If he wants to have a prolonged career in the NBA he is going to need similar shooting numbers like that, not the .242 mark from three he put up this past year.
We all saw in the 2011 NBA Fiinals what Brian Cardinal did for the Dallas Mavericks. He would come in for short stretches, bang on defense, rebound like it was his job and drag bigger defenders away from the hoop with his shooting ability.
That's what Harangody should be shooting for with his career aspirations.
It's all about finding your niche in the game and doing that thing well. Just ask Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen.
In closing, I want to leave you with the funniest line I have read that concerns Harangody. It comes from Bill Simmons of Grantland.com and his annual "Trade Value" column this past February:
If you created an Athletic Freak Scale and rated NBA players based on how violently you said "My God, that guy is a FREAK" as you watched them in person, LeBron would be a 10.0. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin would be 9.0s. Russell Westbrook would be an 8.5. Sergeballu LaMu Sayonga Loom Walahas Jonas Hugo Ibaka would be an 8.0. [John] Wall would be somewhere between 8.0 and 9.0. And Luke Harangody would a 0.0.
Until next time...
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