Thursday, September 30, 2010

By Christmas Mississippi State could be jolly

Mississippi State finally has clarity on the status of their two studs that may be NBA material. Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney  (pictured at right) will miss the opening 16 and 9 games respectively. Bost is a point guard that has terrific speed and vision but his shot selection is suspect. He is probably a long shot for the Association. Sidney is a BIG (6’10” 270+) that will almost assuredly be the NBA when he decides to come (as long as he keeps his weight under control). I know it is a long way away—but circle your calendar for the Bulldogs to suddenly be better to the fifteenth power when Sidney returns to their lineup in mid-December. Bost and Sidney drew the ire of the NCAA for reasons that honestly I don’t care to expand on. I hate that stuff.  (You can read more about why Bost and Sidney were suspended here).

While we are quickly on the topic of college hoops ‘dynamic duos’, here is a quick rundown of our favorite pairs with regard to future NBA success. 1. Duke’s Kyrie Irving (pictured at left) and Kyle Singler. 2. Georgia’s Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins. 3. North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, and Reggie Bullock. 4. Texas’ Tristan Thompson, and Jordan Hamilton. 5. Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn and Perry Jones III. 6. Florida’s Patric Young and Chandler Parsons. 7. BYU’s Jimmer Freddette and Jackson Emery. 8. Marquette’s Jimmy Butler, and Joseph Fulce.

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague has a little brother that may well run Kentucky’s offense in 2010-11. Marquis Teague has tough shoes to fill not only following his big brother in basketball but also being the PG that succeeds John Wall for “big blue”.

Shaquille O’Neal said this of the Miami Heat, “They got a great 1-2.” Apparently The Big Celtic is not a fan of Chris Bosh.

Elton Brand took up cycling during the summer, which coupled with a better diet led to a loss of ten lbs. Brand and the Doug Collins coached Sixers intrigue me. The Sixers made two trades I didn’t like. I’m not a big Spencer Hawes fan, and I thought that newly acquired Craig Brackins was among the most overrated draft picks in June. What I like about the Sixers is their Team USA baller Andre Iguodala (pictured at right), the underrated and still relatively unheralded Lou Williams, and BIG Marreese Speights. Rookie Evan Turner will hopefully look better than he did in Summer League - where he was mostly ineffective.

I thought it was interesting to hear that the Knicks have their players wearing a device that tracks their activity level during practice sessions. The device measures how often you jump, run, jog, sprint, walk, etc… Slacking by vets just got a little tougher to pull off.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let the NBA fun begin!

My basketball hiatus is over. ...I have news that makes me happy. My man Marqus Blakely from Vermont who went undrafted has signed with the Clippers. I think he should have been a first-round pick. I had him listed 29th in the 2010 Draft.

John Lucas III - who I believe should be in the NBA - has apparently landed a gig with Bulls as their third PG behind Derek Rose, and C.J. Watson.

It appears that Lester Hudson, another kid I like a bit - will get a shot to make the Wizards roster.

This is time of year where you find out who took care of their training regimen in the summer. Some players will look bigger in a good way while a few will look bigger in a bad way. For the record I try not to read too much into the whole “he’s in great shape, he’s going to have a monster season” type thing. But I do believe that a healthy mix of relaxation and training during the summer is its own reward. Some players work out too hard in the summer and poop out by Christmas. Others know that you can’t take the whole summer off but you can get away and clear your mind before returning to a maintenance program that ratchets up as training camp nears.

We hear the “in-shape” buzz already on Phoenix Suns multi-purpose wing Jared Dudley (pictured at right) as well as for Sacramento’s multi-faceted Donte Greene. Dudley is said to be leaner by 15 lbs. — while Greene is noticeably bigger in a good way - as he continues to fill out his 6’10” frame. 

In New Orleans, the Hornets have 12 new players among the 18 in their camp.

Said Joey Graham at Cavs media day, “Not taking anything away from LeBron, but this team can stand on its own two feet. We are so underestimated, so underrated.” I’m going to clip and save that quote and revisit it in - say - February. 

In Dallas - they are bored with the Mavs who have yet to win a championship despite having won 50 games or more for ten straight seasons. Take it from a Kings fan; enjoy that “boredom”! The Kings made the playoffs eight years in a row and then the bottom fell out. It happens. A Kings fan would offer his left cowbell for a 50 win season. 

In Minnesota - Jonny Flynn (pictured at left) is still recovering from hip surgery and will miss at least the first two weeks of training camp.

There is a new allocation rule in the D-League. Starting with this season - the three most recently waived players from affiliate NBA teams, prior to the D-League Draft, become the rights of that D League team (so long as the player signs the D-League standard contract).  For example, let’s say the Kings last three training camp cuts are Marcus Landry, Joe Crawford, and Darnell Jackson. Those three - as I understand the rule - would be allocated to the Reno D-League team.

Utah Jazz first round pick and former Butler star, Gordon Hayward went nutso with his first professional check. He went out and bought a Honda Accord.

Two NBA veterans have landed in Memphis for training camp. Kenny Thomas and Damien Wilkins will fight to make the Grizzlies roster. I believe Wilkins, 30, is still capable of being a SF that comes off the bench. Thomas -  still has the athleticism at age 33 but his inability to make a free-throw has killed his game. He used to score AND rebound. People forget that Kenny Thomas averaged 13 points and ten rebounds for the season in Philadelphia in 2003-04. Now he simply is a rebounder, and that is not good enough. It’s as if Thomas caught the Nick Anderson disease where a player loses confidence from the free throw line and because of that—he quits putting himself in scoring positions where a foul may be drawn.