Who in the east should really be a candidate? … plus finishing the west.
why of my four teams, the Nets are the most likely to get replaced.
Another one very well done, but I won’t mess around and will rank them.
- Clippers – Olowokandi, could have had Kyrie, just every time they have hope a rival gets good (Warriors the recent example, plus Paul/Blake injuries last year), top picks are usually in bad drafts. Benoit and Darius Miles picks look bad but otherwise made the “smart pick” Ferry, Manning, Cummings and still didn’t work out.
- Kings – sure their picks have not been great, but they guys they didn’t pick (like Steph Curry were not sure things), no top 3 since 1991 despite how few playoff appearances? What?!?!?! Rigged 2002.
- Timberwolves – should be good now AND with Kevin Love, KG won elsewhere, in the tough west. Worst winning percentage of all-time despite less stupid picks than the two teams above. Lose points for the Rubio/Flynn stupidity, Wesley Johnson, JR Rider. Other can be forgiven, Donyell Marshall should have been Rasheed Jr, Marbury more physically gifted than Ray Allen, how is Derrick Williams not better based on pure physical ability? Despite the most athletic young team in the NBA, still suck now.
- Orlando (other than 3 lottery wins or else would be higher), Shaq leaves town, Penny gets hurt, Dwight Howard attitude problems. T-Mac and Grant Hill best signings ever in one season (other than LeBron/Bosh) with no injury history. Everyone else with that many lottery wins has won a title (I think).
- Denver – David Thompson/ Alex English deserved better, McDyess injury, Melo not practicing like the others. Just always seeming to be a young rebuilding franchise. K-Mart trade much like Pierce/Garnett was one that made sense at the time. Great fan base.
- Charlotte Hornets 1/ Pelicans – did not win Shaq draft lottery and got ‘Zo who defected, Paul defected also. LJ didn’t reach expectations. Traded Kobe for Divac because ‘Zo left. (seemed ok at the time) Team skips town and then all the guys around Anthony Davis don’t pan out. Baron Davis never becomes Wade or Westbrook level (save a playoff series with another team).
Not on the list and why
- Nets – you draft the original Boogie (Derrick Coleman), keep Kenny Anderson over Mookie Blaylock?, draft Kerry Kittles fearing a Kobe holdout which we find was a smokescreen, your center shoots someone (Jayson Williams), the Pierce/Garnett was your own doing, and you traded Dr. J, you lose! And they did make 2 finals.
- Knicks – Did win two titles, traded for Charles Smith, injuries to guys who were injury prone or old (McDyess, Ewing, Doc, LJ, Houston, Bernard King – sort of), stupid trades Steve Francis, Marbury, Eddy Curry, etc. Just too many quick fix fails.
- Warriors – pathetic drafting and titles in 2 eras. Many teams never won one. Hitting on Curry, Klay, and Draymond is a little lucky. Had Run TMC then Webber and couldn’t capitalize.
- Portland, covered in luckiest high all time winning percentage. Traded Moses! Did everything but win a title in 80s, 90s, 00s other than ’77.
- Rockets – Dwight Howard your fault, you had the #1 pick and got Sampson, Yao, AND Hakeem. and won 2 titles. And you had Moses Malone once.
While watching the Warriors and Pelicans on ESPN after seeing Brooklyn knock off Indiana, I was re-amazed by Kevin Durant’s effortless mid-range game. The pull up jumper has begun to fade in today’s game with all the stat people explaining the game theory pay off of getting to the rim for ticky-tack AND 1 fouls or kicking it out for 3 pointers. As a result of this, defenses often surrender open mid range shots to avoid the upside and of momentum changing three pointers and dunks. This trend actually began in my memory as a fan in the 1990s as Duke rose to prominence under Mike Krzyzewski, their undoing in the ’99 title game against one of the most automatic pull up shooters ever, Rip Hamilton who took advantage.
And after re-watching TNT’s all-time draft, it got me thinking, who would be considered the greatest mid-range or pull up shooter in American basketball history? If these GMs are really looking for scoring off their bench who probably won’t be at risk for being ice cold, that can hit shots without trying to challenge the Kareems, Wilt, Russell, Shaq, Olajuwons etc at the rim, who would that be?
The first thoughts i had were players who were primarily known as mid-range shooters, Alex English and “The Iceman”, George Gervin. In NBA history, English ranks 18th in points while Gervin when combining ABA/NBA ranks 16th. More interestingly, English ranks 9th all-time in two point field goals. And despite being a great leaper as a young player, like Gervin, I’d venture to believe all the guys in front of him had significantly more dunks in their respective careers.
A great interview by a young Michael Jordan with Gervin. And if you didn’t know, they were actually teammates briefly in Chicago.
Next time we’ll take a different paradigm at the same question.
General manager Billy King settled into his chair at the head of a conference table in the media room at the Brooklyn Nets’ practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey to brief reporters on the new, scaled-down expectations for his team.
The key in this article is that they need to avoid the horrific seasons that crush your brand, “like the Knicks had last year.”
Much to follow on this team that is doing the opposite of what every other NBA team is doing.
Nets GM Billy King mortgaged the future to build a team to win now around Johnson, Williams, and Brook Lopez. Despite making the playoffs each of the last 3 years, it is viewed as a disappointment for Brooklyn fans.
Injuries slowed them(shocking on a team of old guys of course), but the culture of the team the last 3 years became more of a concern, especially as the playoffs began this year and Paul Pierce commented about how during his one year with Brooklyn, the Nets didn’t like to practice (shades of Allen Iverson) and some players, Williams particularly, didn’t even enjoy playing games.
Williams being the Nets cornerstone player set the mood on the team and it’s second and third perceived best players (Lopez and Johnson) are quiet guys who usually just go about their business. King, who never misses an opportunity to add proven veterans, acquired Pierce and Garnett (at a very high price) to bring that love of the game and fire. It got a playoff series win at least highlighted by 2 game winning plays by Pierce. The Nets then fell short against 2 time defending champion Miami as Lopez could not play due to injury and exploit Miami’s only weakness (paint patrol). Brooklyn swept Miami in the regular season punctuated by Plumlee’s last second rejection of LeBron, but was overcome in the playoffs.
Pierce skipped town, Garnett was flipped for Thaddeus Young, and now Williams is gone too. There’s no excuse for lack of effort at ones job, but those of us that are not professional athletes just don’t get caught in the public eye for such sentiments. The NBA season is long, some would argue way too long, and takes a toll on the players/staff due to it’s ridiculous travel schedule. Greg Poppovich is a master at resting players which works when your team can easily make the playoffs every year and you have the respect of fans, whereas other teams cannot. (unless the league gets ticked)
Hopefully the Nets can strike gold with a diamond in the rough or at least squeak into the playoffs with Lopez and co. until they actually control their first round draft pick again (2019?). Even though our friends at bleacher report don’t think so.
The NBA trade deadline is at 3 pm EST today.
So far the rumor mill has been pretty quiet with one notable exception: Goran Dragic.
The Suns have too many small guards: Dragic, Thomas, and Bledsoe. Bledsoe and Thomas were just re-signed which leaves Dragic wondering about his future as he will become a free agent.
The Kings seemed like a possible destination as well, but Yahoo! reports that has cooled. The Kings had previously floated the idea of a trade with the Nets for Deron Williams plus Mason Plumlee. Little is known about George Karl, the recently hired coach’s opinion.
The Pistons expressed interest in Joe Johnson for Brandon Jennings and the Wolves in Kevin Garnett for Thaddeus Young, but the Nets have not committed yet. Garnett has a full no trade clause and does not want to uproot his family midseason.
We shall see what happens.
In Bay Area sports radio, there are two stations. 680 is more San Francisco centered and has come to symbolize more traditional sports radio while 95.7 “The Game” is newer trying to appeal to a larger audience (larger age range and level of fan-ness).
On my way to work yesterday, possibly the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard on sports radio was made about the Mecca of basketball on one of these stations. It’s so embarrassing I won’t even say which morning anchor it was on which station because both have been roughing it lately now that they can’t just pop off about the 49ers QB of the present or coach of the past 3 years.
He was saying he thinks of Oakland as the basketball Mecca, with Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, and Bill Russell.
“New York is not the Mecca of basketball, like who really came out of there?” “And the Knicks have been bad for a while, no titles since 1973.” (Luckily his co-anchor pointed out the Warriors have 1 title and sucked for 20 years also.) And what college basketball do they play over there? (So clearly he never heard of the NIT, matinee doubleheaders at the Garden, and considers Oakland U better than NY area teams since clearly this does not extend outside the city limits).
West coast bias?