Monday, March 24, 2014

Throwbackz: Worst NBA Draft Picks of All-Time: 'The Best Is Yet To Come?'

It's pretty well documented how awful rookie forward Anthony Bennett has played this season after being taken 1st overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  But where does his terrible rookie campaign stack up against the most notable big men draft busts of ALL-TIME???  Below I have compiled statistics to illustrate performance (or rather futility) through the first 50 career games of 1st and 2nd overall NBA draft picks that never quite panned out.
All research and statistics compiled on basketball-reference.com


The ball just hasn't bounced Bennett's way this year.



F - Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 1st overall, Cleveland Cavaliers, 2013 (2nd, Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic)

games started: 0
games with less than 10 minutes played: 20
games with 30+ minutes played: 1 (33rd career game, 31:16 vs. New Orleans, L(-11) )
high point total: 19 (40th career game vs. Sacramento, W(+10) )
games played to reach 10+ points scoring:  32
high rebounds total: 11 (42nd career game @ Philadelphia, W(+29) )
double-doubles: 2 (40th and 42nd career game)


C - Greg Oden, Ohio State, 1st overall, Portland Trail Blazers, 2007 (2nd, Kevin Durant, Seattle SuperSonics)


GS: 39
games w/ less than 10 MP: 2
games w/ 30+ MP: 9
high PTS:  24 (35th career game vs. Milwaukee, W(+17), previous high scored 22 points @ Golden State, L(-5), 5th career game)
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 3
high REBS: 15 (twice, 19th and 35th career game)
double-doubles: 16

Even MJ couldn't steer Brown right.
F/C - Kwame Brown, Glynn Academy (GA), 1st overall, Washington Wizards, 2001 (2nd, Tyson Chandler, Los Angeles Clippers)
GS: 3
games w/ less than 10 MP: 21
games w/ 30+ MP: 4
high PTS: 14 (49th career game vs. LA Lakers, L(-21) )
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 2
high REBS: 12 (13th career game vs. San Antonio, L(-15) )
double-doubles: 1 (13th career game)


C - Michael Olowokandi, Pacific, 1st overall, Los Angeles Clippers, 1998 (2nd, Mike Bibby, Vancouver Grizzlies)
*played 45 games, 36 starts
games w/ less than 10 MP: 1
games w/ 30+ MP: 16
high PTS: 17 (twice, 3rd and 17th career game @Vancouver, L(-6) and @Boston, L(-34), respectively)
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 1
high REBS: 17 (37th career game @Vancouver, L(-3) )
double-doubles:  7


F/C - Pervis Ellison, Louisville, 1st overall, Sacramento Kings, 1989 (2nd, Danny Ferry, Los Angeles Clippers)
*played 34 games, 22 starts
games w/ less than 10 MP: 0
games w/ 30+ MP: 13
high PTS: 25 (33rd career game vs. Seattle, L(-12) )
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 9
high REBS: 12 (23rd career game @Indiana, L(-10) )
double-doubles: 4


C - Sam Bowie, Kentucky, 2nd overall, Portland Trail Blazers, 1984 (3rd, Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls)
*not all game logs available
high PTS: 24
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 4
high REBS: 20


C - Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, 2nd overall, Memphis Grizzlies, 2009 (3rd, James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder)
GS: 0
games w/ less than 10 MP: 25
games w/ 30+ MP: 0
high PTS: 10 (28th career game @Phoenix, W(+25) )
GP to reach 10+ PTS: 28
high REBS: 9 (twice)
double-doubles: 0


Melo, Wade, and Bosh were drafted AFTER him...
F/C - Darko Milicic, Serbia, 2nd overall, Detroit Pistons, 2003 (3rd, Carmelo Anthony, Denver
Nuggets)
*played 34 games, 0 starts
games w/ less than 10 MP: 31
games w/ 30+ MP: 0
high PTS: 6
high REBS:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

'The Honey Snatcher'

If Tyrann is the 'Honey Badger'...then Shabbazz is the 'Honey Snatcher.
'I finally made it.  After years of dominating the AAU and prep circuits with rather deft ease, I now get the chance to prove myself as a professional in the National Basketball Association.  Yeah, I had to spend a year at some uppity university in California first, and play with some scrubs not one-fifteenth as good as me, which contributed to my plummeting draft stock.  But that's over with and really doesn't mean anything because I'm here now.  In the League. 

Get me on the court and I'm trouble.  6-foot 8-inches tall with a 7-foot wingspan and a smooth lefty stroke?  Teams that passed on me will PAY.  Just look at how I dominated the summer league.  I got everything going for me.  Plus, I look good doing it.

Only thing standing in my though is this dumbass rookie bootcamp I gotta attend.  Really though, what's with all the goddamn rules???  I mean, I get that there's rules and errythang, but, why should they apply to me?  I've never been in trouble for anything before in my life.  And even when they try to throw something at me, I just duck and dodge it.  Nothing sticks to me...I'm basketball's 'Teflon Don'. 

They're trippin. I'm a baller in every sense of the word, and U.O.E.N.O. it.  I'mma have all types of bottles poppin' and honeys at my hotel on the road when the season starts anyway.  Why I gotta wait for the season to start???  You know what...damn these rules!  They can't get me anyway.  I'm Shabbazz Muhammad.  Made man.  The untouchable honey snatcher.'

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ADEDS 2013 NBA Draft Prospects: 'Getting Defensive?'

Overrated.

Nerlens Noel, Center, Kentucky. & Victor Oladipo, Guard, Indiana.
Noel can block shots but doesn't do much else at this point.
Both of these guys have the potential to be very good if they can ever learn to play offense.  Noel has been slated to be the top pick of this draft for over a year now, but did very little to solidify that in his one year in Lexington, as he struggled to develop any kind of low post game.  Oladipo has drawn the Tony Allen comparisons and rightfully so.  But does that type of player warrant a top five pick as most pundits have him projected as?

Underrated.

Shane Larkin, Guard, Miami (FL).
The primary player involved in the "U" being talked about more in basketball than football last season is ready for prime time.  Larkin is one of the most athletic players in this draft (44-inch vertical leap at 2013 NBA Draft Combine) and orchestrated the Miami offense mostly out of the pick-and-roll.  Strikes defenders with a quick first step and can penetrate to the basket or burry the outside shot using a devastating step back.  Low risk of the spotlight getting to his head as he's had to deal with it his whole life being the son of a guy whose name is in Cooperstown.

Myck Kabongo, Guard, Texas.
Quick, shifty, point guard that can get his own shot fairly easily in isolation   Inconsistent outside shot but always a threat to drive.  Has shown the ability to score in bunches in games, such as Feb. 28 when Texas hosted Oklahoma.  Kabongo led the Longhorns to a 22-point comeback win while scoring a  career-high 31 points with 28 of them coming in the second half and overtime.


We Could Have Something Here.

Len is a big man with coveted low post skills.
Alex Len, Center, Maryland.
Smooth offensively for a player that is still very raw.  Long arms with a slight build but doesn't shy away from contact.  Decent faceup game and can play with his back to the basket but needs to get better as a passer in that capacity.  Could possibly be a Roy Hibbert-type pivot man in the future.

Michael Carter-Williams, Guard, Syracuse.
Big point guards haven't faired well in the NBA in recent years (see Shaun Livingston) but Carter-Williams is trying to end that trend in 2013.  At 6-6 and with long arms, the Hamilton, MA native will be a pest on the defensive end for smaller point guards without question.  If he can develop a consistent jumpshot and take better care of the basketball, we could be looking at Anfernee Hardaway 2.0.



Gotta Have 'Em.

Ben McLemore, Guard, Kansas.
Played inconsistent basketball in his only year at Lawrence but there's no denying the raw ability McLemore owns.  He has top-of-the-square ups and the release on his jumpshot is very reminiscent of 2012 NBA Draft Lottery pick Bradley Beal's.  Has the quickness and strength to guard three positions.  Best case scenario: he's a slightly better version of Paul George.


Otto Porter, Jr., Forward, Georgetown.
Porter is clutch...and clutch is everything.
His stock took a big hit after the Hoyas lost to Florida Gulf Coast in the 1st round (2nd round?) of the NCAA Tournament, when many college basketball experts had him as a frontrunner for Naismith Player of the Year.  Despite not being able to help his team pull out the W that day, Porter is still a player with the potential for NBA stardom.  Learning offense in John Thompson's Princeton-style offense will help Porter transition easily to being a facilitator, but the kid can score if called upon, too.  He scored a career high 33 points against Syracuse Feb. 23.  Porter is also has a knack for coming through in the clutch.  He led Georgetown to a double overtime win over UConn earlier this year while making a play on every key offensive and defensive possession down the stretch. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

'The Sixth Element'

Jack is like thunder to Curry's lightning.
At times, it looks like Jarrett Jack actually enjoys contact.  If he played in the NFL, he'd probably be a wide receiver; the guy you can count on to make the tough catch over the middle on 3rd & long.  Physical guy, but can really handle the rock and hits at around 40-percent from 3-point range.  Best thing that happened to him is playing on the Golden State Warriors, because his hard nosed style compliments backcourt mates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson very well, because those guys are finesse players.

J. R. Smith, he never met a shot he didn't like.  If he crosses the half court line and no one is guarding him, trust and believe he feels like he's wide open.  No pressure playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks either.  Straight fearless shooter that can miss 10 shots in a row and still have the absolute confidence that number 11 will go down pure.  And don't dare challenge him at the rim.  Jadakiss already told us in the song, only he gets higher than J.R. does.

When Crawford is on the floor, no ankles are safe.
The term 'nutmeg' became mainstream when Jamal Crawford put on a Los Angeles Clippers jersey.  Combine Lob City catalysts Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with the sick ball handling ability of Crawford and it's like watching the dopest And 1 mixtape ever made, right there at Staples Center.

If you were in a time capsule for the past five years, then came out and watched highlights of all three of these guys from the 2012-13 NBA season, there's no way that you would think any of them were not starters.  Of course, you would be shocked and amazed to find out that all three guys actually do come off the bench. 

Just to be clear, no one is saying that having a star player come off the bench is a new phenomena in the NBA or anything like that.  Guys in the 1980s like Kevin McHale and Vinnie 'The Microwave' Johnson really popularized the role, while John Starks, Detlef Schrempf, and Manu Ginobili would carry on the tradition in later years. 

Smith can put the team on his shoulders with his scoring ability.
However, this 2013 class of NBA sixth men is the most dynamic we've seen at any point in the history of the game.  Furthermore, the argument can be made that this decade (the 2010s?) has changed the game to the point where teams are opting to have that electrifying type player start the game on the pine; even if he might be well qualified to be in the starting line up. 

James Harden, the 2012 Sixth Man of the Year Award  with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is now the focal point of the Houston Rockets offense as the starting 2-guard.  Jason Terry (2009 SMOY) was huge for the Dallas Mavericks when they won the 2011 NBA Championship.  Nate Robinson does work for the Chicago Bulls.  Even Chris "Birdman" Andersen is receiving huge hype coming off the bench for this year's defending champion Miami Heat, stealing some of the spotlight from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. 

Smith won the award this year, but it wouldn't have been an outcry if Crawford or Jack would've won.  All three guys are about as explosive as it gets in the NBA, and their teams don't mind starting the game without them on the floor...as long as they finish.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ADEDS All-Stars: 'Fernando Rodney and the Magic Platano'

No team has more fun playing the game than DR.
S/O to the World Baseball Classic and the Dominican Republic National Team for playing the game the way it should always be played.  From the bat flips after home run balls to the elaborate group celebrations, the excitement and joy that comes from playing team sports is written all over this team.  In regular MLB baseball all these antics would be frowned upon and looked at as showing up the opponent.  Nevermind all that.  Baseball is a game that most casual sports fans find dull, even during it's most dramatic stretches.  These guys are loose and having fun and that's what makes games fun to watch.  Fernando Rodney is the catalyst of them all.  The Tampa Bay Rays closer -- known for rocking his fitted with a slight sideways lean and for shooting off an imaginary arrow into the sky after the final out in the 9th -- introduced the world to the secret weapon to the DR's success: a magic plantain that speaks to him.  Rodney, the 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year and Delivery Man Award winner, tucked the platano into his beltline for pregame introductions and wielded it for everyone to see when his name was announced.  No one knew what it meant at the time; which only added to the level of hijinks and intrigue.  Purists will call it silly and nonsense but I'm all for it.  Keep doing what your doing DR, because we probably won't be seeing anything like this again until the next WBC...#TATO.