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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1501. JJ1986 Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4137955)
The problem with the Knicks was that they acted like they couldn't possibly pass on Carmelo. He wanted to play in New York anyway; for some reason that made the Knicks position weaker instead of stronger. Instead of negotiating from strength, they gave the Nuggets whatever they asked for. Anthony might be a guy you target, but he is not a guy you absolutely need to have. If you miss on him, you move on to Plan B.

They then blew the amnesty provision on a guy with one year left on his deal and are stuck with Amare for the life of his contract. I don't think it gets better from here.
   1502. Eddo Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4137963)
The Spanglish jerseys are indeed a total abomination. I don't understand how those aren't incredibly offensive to Hispanic people (partial translated broken english?!) among other flaws.

I agree they're an abomination, but I have heard that's actually how the teams are referred to in Spanish. I guess "Bulls" and "Heat" are proper nouns.

I could be misinformed, though.
   1503. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4137965)
Well, the next list is obvious: uniforms.


Best:
1. Lakers — Gold home jerseys FTW
2. Spurs — Understated and classy, just like the rest of the organization
3. Knicks
4. T-Wolves
5. Wizards - I did the retro style and colors. Still needs new logo.

Worst:
1. Bobcats - Jersey by committee
2. Pistons - Nothing going on there
3. Thunder - Does dark blue, light blue, and orange say "thunder" or "oklahoma"? No.
4. Heat
5. Hornets
   1504. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4137971)
And one more time: the key point in this argument is that Portland's failure to draft him was not a market-size issue. They did it because they had Drexler and "needed a center."


Of course, Houston also failed to draft Jordan, but their mistake is mitigated because they ended up with Olajuwon and won two titles.

An interesting thing I learned the other day (while looking up the details of how the Lakers got Magic) is that Jerry West agonized over the decision to draft Magic instead of Sidney Moncrief. The Lakers had a perfectly good 23-year-old point guard in Norm Nixon, who averaged 17 ppg/9 apg.
   1505. JJ1986 Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4137973)
I don't like any of the Heat regular jerseys, but I think the All-Blacks are very cool. Spurs have the best jerseys. I like the dark blue Nuggets alternate. The Bobcats should adopt the teal and purple if the Hornets are done with it.
   1506. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4137974)
The problem with the Knicks was that they acted like they couldn't possibly pass on Carmelo. He wanted to play in New York anyway; for some reason that made the Knicks position weaker instead of stronger. Instead of negotiating from strength, they gave the Nuggets whatever they asked for. Anthony might be a guy you target, but he is not a guy you absolutely need to have. If you miss on him, you move on to Plan B.

They then blew the amnesty provision on a guy with one year left on his deal and are stuck with Amare for the life of his contract. I don't think it gets better from here.


This.

I don't know if they could have pulled it off, but once the Miami trio was off the board maybe they could have made a big trade offer for Dwight Howard, then wait for Carmelo to be a free agent.

It's hard to look at the Knicks and see any big market advantage at all. A lot of their problems are self-inflicted, but their only recipe for building a championship contender in the last 30 years looks exactly like Orlando's:

1. Lose a lot of games
2. Win the #1 pick in the lottery the year a dominant center is available
3. Make 1-2 NBA finals appearances, and lose them.
   1507. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4137983)
Of course, Houston also failed to draft Jordan, but their mistake is mitigated because they ended up with Olajuwon and won two titles.


I wouldn't really call that a "mistake", with or without titles.
   1508. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4137986)
Here's a what if for the draft:

In 2003, instead of picking Darko #2, Pistons take Dwyane Wade. They won the 2004 Finals anyway, lost them the next year, still a 55-60 win team for a few years after that. Put Wade on that team and they might have won 5-6 in a row.
   1509. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4138010)
The Sixers have had so many draft disasters it's too depressing to talk about. I'd start with the fact that they could have had Barkley and Stockton from the same draft.
   1510. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4138019)
Finally, the ref thing is not really a separate topic from this, if you think Portland, Utah, and Sacramento would have had championships if not for the refs.

Well, Portland and Utah I would put as Portland/Indy and Utah/Indy if you keep insisting I address this again, but we already covered all this earlier.

I apologize if this has been covered, but in what season(s) is there a belief that the Pacers got screwed by the refs? I understand and to some extent sympathize with Utah '98, Portland '00, and Sacto '02, yet I can't recall ever hearing anything of note with respect to Indy.
   1511. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4138023)
Indy


Ever heard of "Knick Bavetta? " ;-
   1512. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4138024)
The Sixers have had so many draft disasters it's too depressing to talk about. I'd start with the fact that they could have had Barkley and Stockton from the same draft.

Or 1986, that's a fun one:

Trade Moses and Terry Catledge AND two #1 picks for Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson.
Draft Brad Daugherty....and trade him the same day for Roy Hinson.
   1513. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4138025)
Wait, '98 simply because of the push-off? Geez.
   1514. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4138027)
Wait, '98 simply because of the push-off? Geez.


For some people. Personally, the two shot clock miscalls bothered me a lot more.
   1515. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4138031)
I apologize if this has been covered, but in what season(s) is there a belief that the Pacers got screwed by the refs?


They have an argument in the first few games of the '98 ECF (Bird was pretty vocal about the way they were allowing Pippen to guard Mark Jackson, but I guess that's a coaches job), and an even better argument in the '99 ECF, highlighted by the infamous LJ 4-point play.
   1516. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4138033)
Indy

Ever heard of "Knick Bavetta? " ;-


I thought it was Tim Hardaway and Miami that came up with that nickname?
   1517. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4138034)
Do the Wizards still wear those eyesores with the gold top and the black shorts? Those were vomit inducing.

No. Those are right there with the Memphis Tams throwbacks sported by the Grizz this year as worst unis ever.


I feel like this list needs to include the Hornets' Mardi Gras two-tone getups.
   1518. billyshears Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4138040)
Considering they paid much more than any other team was offering (only team to offer him a non-guaranteed contract), it's more than just a simple overbid. Considering that in only the 2nd year of the deal they're regretting it and he's massively underperforming (perhaps it's injuries, but perhaps those could have been forseen), they perhaps could have found a better way to spend that money. Who says they *had* to sign the best guy left, if overall it could turn into a negative?


Well, they didn't have to sign the best guy left, but my question is really what the Knicks should have done other than "something else". The Knicks had just punted for 2 consecutive years after spending 8 previous years trying to be good and failing. I don't thinking punting indefinitely until a Top 5 player becomes available is a viable option when you don't have any certainty that a Top 5 player will ever become available. I get that you don't sign a guy to a bad contract just for the sake of doing something, but it's harder to convert monetary resources into championship caliber assets in the NBA than it is in any other sport. Some times, you just have to suck it up and acquire talent.

Who cares if Melo didn't want to wait? If he wanted the Knicks - and by all accounts he did - then waiting was exactly the right thing to do. They won exactly as many playoff games last season with him as they would have without him. They held the leverage, and still kept adding more and more players to that deal. So once again, even if I were to grant your point, they overpaid as they weren't really bidding against anyone (once Melo met with the Nets and said he wouldn't sign there, they weren't going to trade for him).


That was a criticism of the deal at the time, but nobody is complaining about the deal at the moment because the Knicks threw in Timofey Mozgov. If the Knicks didn't do the deal, Melo didn't resign with the Nuggets and the Knicks were able to sign Melo in the offseason, thee core is Felton, Chandler, Gallinari, Stat and Melo. Is that better than what they currently have? I'm not sure.

What I'm trying to do is to figure out an alternative Knicks roster based on their viable options after they missed out on Lebron, Wade and Bosh. I understand the "This was a bad move" criticisms, and they're not necessarily invalid, but I haven't seen many present realistic, superior alternatives to what they actually did.
   1519. billyshears Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4138045)
They then blew the amnesty provision on a guy with one year left on his deal and are stuck with Amare for the life of his contract. I don't think it gets better from here.


I think it's a fair question as to whether amnestying Billups was the right move. Though Chandler has worked out well, I think there is a strong argument that the Knicks should have stuck with Billups, amnesty-ed Amare and made a play for Howard/Paul/Williams in the coming offseasons. Of course, none of that is really relevant to the decisions to sign Amare or trade for Carmelo in the first place.
   1520. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4138046)
For some people. Personally, the two shot clock miscalls bothered me a lot more.

That's right. We talked about those, and since I dismissed them, I totally forgot about them.
   1521. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4138052)
Hey guys,

Just got a mildly snarky email either from Abbott himself or someone claiming to be him and using the TrueHoop account. Want me to invite him to swing by the thread? ;-)
   1522. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4138054)
That's right. We talked about those, and since I dismissed them, I totally forgot about them.


If they can now review shot clock related plays between quarters and overturn results, I think the next logical step is to review shot clock violations from games played 14 years ago. :)

Game 7, here we come! And I'm betting my money that my 50 year old Jazz players would beat your 50 year old Bulls any day of the week...
   1523. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4138057)
Just got a mildly snarky email either from Abbott himself or someone claiming to be him and using the TrueHoop account. Want me to invite him to swing by the thread? ;-)

Please do.

And I'm betting my money that my 50 year old Jazz players would beat your 50 year old Bulls any day of the week...

My money is still on Michael.
   1524. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4138060)
Please do.


Really? I actually already answered him and told him Pelton occasionally hangs out here but didn't tell him where to find us. I can, though.
   1525. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4138064)
Pippen looks to be in great shape still, same with Kukoc. Kerr looks like he could still shoot 40% on 3's today. I think Longley surfs all the time in Australia, but last time I saw him he looked...bloated. I haven't see Ron Harper in a while. I bet Rodman would be worthless today. MJ has put on weight, but still can probably hit that fade away all day.

Not sure about the Jazz...
   1526. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4138067)
It'd be fascinating if Abbott joined the thread, but then all this thread would end up being about is Kobe Bryant's crunch time shooting because that's the only thing Abbott ever writes about.
   1527. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4138068)
It'd be fascinating if Abbott joined the thread, but then all this thread would end up being about is Kobe Bryant's crunch time shooting because that's the only thing Abbott ever writes about.

So you already have robin on ignore, I see.
   1528. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4138073)
Doesn't everyone? ;)

(That should have been an email to RR. I reflexively put it here.)
   1529. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 22, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4138077)
Really? I actually already answered him and told him Pelton occasionally hangs out here but didn't tell him where to find us. I can, though.

I would, yeah. I'm just one poster, though.

rr, speaking of email, did you get my new address? I sent you something from it, not sure if you got it.
   1530. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4138095)
Not sure about the Jazz...


Hornacek has gained some weight. Stockton is still thin but looks old and even a little frail. Malone was always big into fitness, and last I saw him I think he could still crash his way through the lane with reckless abandon.
   1531. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4138109)
RE: Bird scoring in college

Thanks for the correction. I was about 10 ppg off. I was thinking he was a 20 PPG guy not a 30 PPG.

RE: Bird and Knight

The Seth Davis biography seems to indicate it was a lot more than just a conflict with Bobby Knight. Bird didn't like the upperclassmen; and had trouble adjusting to being away from home, and by his own admission wasn't playing that well. He had legitimate performance issues at Indiana. Its not a simple case of him showing superstar talent and then just moving on to another program. He was out of basketball with very real thoughts of not returning to basketball.

Re: Bird's evaluation

Bird may have been known, and I certainly don't dispute anyone's contemporaneous evaluation of him in 1978. I was too young to know much of anything except that Jim Spanarkel was the Man and Mike O'Koren was teh suck. :)

Red Auerbach expressly states in later interviews that he didn't think he would be that good, and that he only saw him play once prior to the draft.

Nevertheless, I think this is true of most drafts. Its very rare that anyone projects people to Hall of Fame status from the draft. Even Jordan wasn't expected to be Jordan. In my lifetime, I only remember that buzz about Ewing and Lebron; maybe Sampson; possibly Olajuwan and Robinson. IMHO, even Duncan, Shaq, and Magic were at lower buzz levels. There are contemporary drafts that are more puzzling in retrospect. For instance, take 1998 when Kandi, Bibby, LaFrentz, Jamison, Carter, Tractor Traylor, White Chocolate, and Larry Hughes are taken before Nowitski and Pierce. As I recall, I thought Pierce dropped a bit, but I certainly didn't think much of Nowitski being after White Chocolate.
   1532. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4138114)
IMHO, even Duncan, Shaq, and Magic were at lower buzz levels. There are contemporary drafts that are more puzzling in retrospect. For instance, take 1998 when Kandi, Bibby, LaFrentz, Jamison, Carter, Tractor Traylor, White Chocolate, and Larry Hughes are taken before Nowitski and Pierce. As I recall, I thought Pierce dropped a bit, but I certainly didn't think much of Nowitski being after White Chocolate.
My recollection was that Shaq was expected to be a monster on the Hakeem/Robinson level, but nobody realized it would start from Day One. Dirk was (and again, fuzzy recollection time) thought of as another Don Nelson experiment. Tall, skinny, and Euro back before people trusted Euros to be anything other than soft. What I really don't understand is why Dallas drafted Tractor Traylor instead, then traded him for a guy that got drafted 3 picks later. Anyone remember?

I still can't believe Olowokandi got picked first that year. 20-10 for the University of the Pacific was enough!
   1533. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4138132)
An interesting thing I learned the other day (while looking up the details of how the Lakers got Magic) is that Jerry West agonized over the decision to draft Magic instead of Sidney Moncrief. The Lakers had a perfectly good 23-year-old point guard in Norm Nixon, who averaged 17 ppg/9 apg.

I'm not sure that either contemporaneously or historically that decision would be heavily lamented. Sid the Squid had a very good career. He is probably underrated as a defender in NBA history. If you matched him with the talent that was on those Laker teams, IMHO, they would have still gotten championships. He would also be much more highly regarded than he currently is.

This doesn't mean he would have been Magic or that "showtime" would have still been "showtime". It would not mean that Magic still wasn't/isn't the better pick. Its just that I doubt it would have been indefensable (like if they had taken David Greenwood).
   1534. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4138143)
I'm not sure that either contemporaneously or historically that decision would be heavily lamented. Sid the Squid had a very good career. He is probably underrated as a defender in NBA history. If you matched him with the talent that was on those Laker teams, IMHO, they would have still gotten championships. He would also be much more highly regarded than he currently is.

Moncrief was awesome.

Milwaukee got him because the Pistons traded him on draft day for Michigan State's Greg Kelser, a guy who looked a million times better than he was because he played with Magic. The man who made the trade? Mr. Dick Vitale.

Vitale had three picks in the top 15 that year and parlayed them into Kelser, Phil Hubbard, and Roy Hamilton from UCLA. There's some fine drafting.
   1535. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4138144)
What I really don't understand is why Dallas drafted Tractor Traylor instead, then traded him for a guy that got drafted 3 picks later. Anyone remember?

Traylor was well regarded. He was thought to be versatile, and strong. He averaged a double double for a Big 10 champion. He may have very well been considered the best player available. I think I saw that draft and the commentators were favorable on the pick. When he was traded for Diggler, the Mavs also got Pat Garrity.
   1536. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4138150)
My recollection was that Shaq was expected to be a monster on the Hakeem/Robinson level, but nobody realized it would start from Day One.

That is possible. Having seen Shaq at LSU, I know I was very high on him. Nevertheless, I seem to remember genuine debate on whether to take Shaq or Mourning.
   1537. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4138154)
Moncrief is one of my absolute favorite guys to watch in old NBA tapes. If an 80s Bucks game comes on NBA TV, I will watch it. That is what a younger version of myself wanted Stacey Augmon to become.

---

I do not have a specific bone to pick with Abbott. I have had a pretty easy time ignoring his silly hype/page clicks machine. He picks the most divisive guy in the game and takes strong positions on them that are not very creative or interesting, then beats them into the ground. He is not very different, methodologically, than Sean Hannity or Ed Schultz (who I remember watching do the Fargo local sports casts 20+ years ago). I cannot say that I am obvlivious to slanted media, given my now-and-then anger at Wojnarowski for his Timberwolves screeds. I think there are a couple differences- one is that Woj seems more mean spiritied and less market driven (I dont know why he hates Kahn so much that he blames him for things that didnt even happen). Also, there is the obvious effect of focusing on my team as opposed to more neutral groups.

I guess what I am saying is that I think RR did the right thing by unsubscribing because the punishment fits the crime. Abbott compromised himself as a journalist/analyst to get more page views, and those who are awake enough to notice the ruse should call the emporer out for having no clothes. It is perfectly appropriate, and I hope I would have the awareness to do the same thing.

Telling him to come here, while it might be validting and give us our pound of flesh, isnt going to change his MO. Whether the command to be controversial comes from the higher ups or is just a bit of personal narcissism, we are not going to change that by pointing out that he is being a shitty journalist.
   1538. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4138163)
3. Knicks

No idea where the conversation has gone, but I hate the Knicks' current uniforms. They need to go back to their old school ones which were immaculate.
   1539. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4138169)
I'm not sure that either contemporaneously or historically that decision would be heavily lamented. Sid the Squid had a very good career. He is probably underrated as a defender in NBA history. If you matched him with the talent that was on those Laker teams, IMHO, they would have still gotten championships. He would also be much more highly regarded than he currently is.

This doesn't mean he would have been Magic or that "showtime" would have still been "showtime". It would not mean that Magic still wasn't/isn't the better pick. Its just that I doubt it would have been indefensable (like if they had taken David Greenwood).


Moncrief was outstanding on both ends of the court. He was a legit superstar. Still, I think him being on the Lakers instead of Magic costs them at least 2 and possibly 3 titles. For starters, there's no Magic scoring 42 while playing center.

My recollection was that Shaq was expected to be a monster on the Hakeem/Robinson level, but nobody realized it would start from Day One.


Shaq was a sensation although, yes, no one thought he would be immediately great. For instance, it's laughable to think of it now, but I was arguing that Laettner had no place on the Olympic team over Shaq, and a lot of my friends disagreed. Laettner was definitely thought to be a more advanced basketball player in college than Shaq.
   1540. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4138177)
Abbott answered me, and I emailed him back, inviting him politely to look in on the thread and using Pelton and Szymborski as "references." His reply to my second email was brief and condescending, so I doubt that he will show up or answer me again. I said what I wanted to say.

As to what Andrew said, I appreciate the insight. I suspect that few people have done what I did since Abbott is not, after all, behind the paywall. And in addition to Hollinger, Paine, Pelton, and Doolittle, I also read Law and Szymborski on baseball sometimes. But I am ready to give BaskPro a try (and yes, I know they have a connection to ESPN).
   1541. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4138204)
Laettner was definitely thought to be a more advanced basketball player in college than Shaq.

Shaq fouled a bit in college. While he improved from his freshman year, he still had 5 DQs in his last year. There was frequent criticism that his only shot was the dunk. He didn't have a lot of assists, and many thought his LSU squads underperformed. For a good part of his college career, he played with a talented cast of players in NBAers Chris Jackson, and Gaert Hamminck and All-SECers Wayne Sims, Vernel Singleton and (in Shaq's words) the great Stanley Roberts, and they never really broke through to an elite finish.
   1542. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4138206)
Stockton is still thin but looks old and even a little frail.


You don't really need much strength for nut punches to be effective so he should be fine.
   1543. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4138222)
That's got to be a flagrant 2 on Haslem.
   1544. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4138225)
Those two fouls were pretty similar- pretense of going for a block, then club the guy near the head with your arm(s). I'd say they should be the same either way.
   1545. smileyy Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4138226)
There was frequent criticism that his only shot was the dunk.


When you're that strong and athletic, a lot of times you don't need much more of a shot than that to have value as a #1 overall pick.

I think the post that talked about pre-draft hype underrated Duncan, but I could be wrong. I recall him being considered a can't miss #1 guy that you had to get. But maybe that has something to do with the quality of that draft as well.
   1546. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4138232)
When you're that strong and athletic, a lot of times you don't need much more of a shot than that to have value as a #1 overall pick.


There's some Kobe-style misconflation of aesthetics and value to be sure but I think it's also fair to ask about this type of player in general: in college they just overpower everyone and dunk on them, but is that going to fly in the pros when people are just as tall/big/strong? Of course it turned out that Shaq was still stronger and more athletic but it seems reasonable to wonder if that play style will translate in the abstract.
   1547. smileyy Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4138245)
Of course it turned out that Shaq was still stronger and more athletic


Right -- that's my point about Shaq, and I agree about your other point and think that Michael Olowokandi demonstrates that side of the argument too.
   1548. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4138258)
I only actually saw Shaq play once in college, against Arizona. Sean Rooks was on that team, and LSU lost, but it was obvious even from that game that no one would be able to deal with O'Neal in the NBA. Olson was putting 3-4 guys around him all the time. My recollection is that no one seriously thought Mourning should go #1. I recall an annoymous quote from a scout prior to the draft. It was something like: "Shaq is the kind of guy you don't really need to scout for more than about five minutes. You just draft him and put a uniform on him." Other guys like that Chamberlain, Kareem, Robinson--and James.
   1549. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4138275)
Well, Olowokandi did it against the Big West.
(By the way, for those not familiar with his "recruitment", check out this part of an SI puff piece on him. Presumably the only #1 overall pick to have ever been a walk-on.)

My recollection (which might not be trustworthy, I was more focused on other stuff at the time) was that Shaq was considered a special, special talent - Mourning a legit #1 but not in Shaq's class - and Laettner a low-risk, high caliber guy but nowhere near the ceiling of the other two (still the easy #3 guy and considered a very good get for that spot).

   1550. PJ Martinez Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4138293)
I think the post that talked about pre-draft hype underrated Duncan, but I could be wrong. I recall him being considered a can't miss #1 guy that you had to get. But maybe that has something to do with the quality of that draft as well.

The Celtics are generally thought to have done one of the all-time tank jobs under Pitino in order to get Duncan (only to get the #3 pick, take Chauncey Billups, and give up on him before he developed).
   1551. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4138304)

The Celtics are generally thought to have done one of the all-time tank jobs under Pitino in order to get Duncan (only to get the #3 pick, take Chauncey Billups, and give up on him before he developed).


Not only that but Pitino based his whole decision to go to Boston based on their chances of getting Duncan.
   1552. Srul Itza Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4138315)
in college they just overpower everyone and dunk on them, but is that going to fly in the pros when people are just as tall/big/strong?


My recollection (I was much more into basketball back then) comports with others here -- Shaq was clearly on another level from everyone else. He was recognized as being both and unusually big athletic man, and an unusually athletic big man. Unpolished, yes, but a unique physical specimen.
   1553. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4138326)
Those two fouls were pretty similar- pretense of going for a block, then club the guy near the head with your arm(s). I'd say they should be the same either way.

I *strongly* disagree. Hell, Hansborough actually did get his hand on the ball, he just followed through hitting Wade in the face and then raking him across the eye (which gave him the nice cut that Cheryl Miller was oddly caressing during the post game interview). Haslem was nowhere close to the ball, and the intent was clearly retaliation. It was also a much harder blow. Haslem should have been kicked out (flagrant 2) and should be suspended for the next game; Hansborough's flagrant 1 was correct. Pittman should be suspended multiple games for his targeted elbow at Stevenson; that was another play where the intent was clear and the cameras caught him winking at the Heat bench afterwards.

So that makes 3 retaliation dirty fouls in this series by the Heat (these 2 tonight and the Wade one from the other day) deserving of suspension, and I'll bet only Pittman will get suspended. ####, with all the talk about the bounties with the Saints, I wonder who'll be the first main stream person to ask if the Heat have a bounty program.*

Watching the postgame, I see Kenny and Chuck agree with me, and Shaq is once again embarrassing himself by covering for a former teammate.

*Completely unrelated, but these are not the first dirty plays by the Heat this year in competitive games. We joked last year about the Heat embracing the heel status, maybe they are. It's also rich for the Heat to complain so much about celebrating and Granger's (classless, but ultimately harmless) tough guy act while they're out there trying to injure guys.
   1554. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4138329)
I only actually saw Shaq play once in college, against Arizona. Sean Rooks was on that team, and LSU lost, but it was obvious even from that game that no one would be able to deal with O'Neal in the NBA. Olson was putting 3-4 guys around him all the time.


I'm pretty sure LSU won that game-Arizona had Sean Rooks, Ed Stokes, and Bison Dele, and Shaq dominated them all game, then broke out his "Shaq de Shaq" dance towards the end of the game. That was early in O'Neal's sophomore year and pretty served notice about this Scott Steineresque genetic freak.
   1555. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4138332)
Here's what I remember about the centers drafted #1 overall:

83 Sampson - can't miss HOFer
84 Olajuwon - same
85 Ewing - same
86 Daugherty - nope. Good player, fundamentally sound, but slow and soft.
87 Robinson - Another can't miss
89 Ellison - Offensive game was not on that level. Was highly regarded defensively, with a lot of talk comparing this 6'9 center to Bill Russell.
92 Shaq - Can't miss, A physical freak to the extent that he was expected to change the game. Mourning at #2 would have been #1 almost any other year, he was hyped since his freshman year of college. I don't remember any serious debate about taking him over Shaq though.
97 Tim Duncan - can't miss
98 Olowokandi - not that highly regarded, but sometimes teams feel they need a big and take the best available. I was surprised Vince Carter lasted to #5 since he had the Jordan comparisons. Then again by 1998 people had seen a string of next Jordans come and fail.
2001 - Kwame Brown - don't think anyone knew what to expect, he was a gamble since projecting from high school is tough unless you're Lebron.
2002 - Yao Ming - Another unknown. Might be like Shaq, an unprecedented physical force to change the game. Or might just be the Chinese Shawn Bradley.
2004 - Dwight Howard - I don't think he was considered can't miss, as there was some doubt that comes from never seeing him against college competition.
2005 - Andrew Bogut - not a can't miss talent
2007 - Greg Oden - Can't miss talent. Doubts about his health which were well founded though.
   1556. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4138334)
Diff game. I saw this one, his junior year:

The current Tigers, ranked sixth in the preseason, are in early danger of falling into the latter category. Last Saturday Arizona crushed the Tigers 87-67 to drop them to 2-2. LSU also was blown out by UNLV, and one of its two victories was a lackluster 77-76 defeat of Northeast Louisiana in which the Tigers had to score the last nine points to avoid being embarrassed on their home court.

Brown, who used three different starting lineups in the four games, has been experimenting madly. "We're still trying to fine the right group," says sophomore guard Jamie Brandon "We're looking for one that car get the ball inside to Shaq and hit some outside shots when defenses collapse on him."

The Tigers were supposed to have shored up O'Neal's supporting cast with the addition of Brandon, who was rated by some recruiting experts as the best guard out of Chicago since Isiah Thomas, and the return of guard Maurice Williamson, who missed last season because of poor grades. Steady senior forward Vernel Singleton and junior outside shooter Mike Hansen were set to provide additional help for O'Neal. But against Arizona, LSU gave no indication that it had found what it was looking for. The Tigers had a difficult time getting the ball to the 7-foot O'Neal, and when he was out of the game, the offense often degenerated into a series of mostly unsuccessful one-on-one moves.Last season, in a 92-82 LSU victory in Baton Rouge, O'Neal destroyed the Wildcats with 29 points, 14 rebounds, six blocked shots and one humiliating little jig, which he dubbed the Shaq-de-Shaq. The memory was still vivid for the Wildcats, especially center-forward Sean Rooks, and they made sure O'Neal would not boogie on their floor. At times Arizona had as many as four defenders around O'Neal, and the Wildcats simply dared LSU to beat them with jump shots. The Tigers couldn't do it. Williamson made only one of 10 shots, and forward Harold Boudreaux converted four of 11. All told, the Tigers shot 38% from the floor.


The stuff is from si.com vault.

   1557. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4138335)
I remember Mourning being looked on as what Thabeet was supposed to be: a rebounder/shot blocker with a relatively low offensive ceiling. Nobody expected him to turn into a 20 ppg scorer in the NBA, especially from day one.

Man, I loved those early '90s Hornets teams: 'Zo clogging the lane, Muggsy Bogues-the size of my mother-dishing the rock and being a pest, LJ bringing the Grandmama swagger, and a coach who looked like the reporter from "Die Hard".
   1558. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4138336)
in college they just overpower everyone and dunk on them, but is that going to fly in the pros when people are just as tall/big/strong?

My recollection (I was much more into basketball back then) comports with others here -- Shaq was clearly on another level from everyone else.


My recollection, actually, was that O'Neal was projected to play behind Greg Kite opening the season with Orlando.

I agree with 1549 that O'Neal was viewed at the time as the clear #1 pick, even as everyone openly acknowledged Alonzo's greatness. Orlando picking him was considered a fait accompli.
   1559. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4138344)
Mourning, like Ewing, was not regarded as a huge offensive prospect, which I think had to do with both of them coming from Georgetown. I think the hype over Ewing, Sampson and Shaq was slightly bigger than anyone else; I'd put Olajuwon and Duncan at about the same level.

   1560. Zipperholes Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4138345)
Those two fouls were pretty similar- pretense of going for a block, then club the guy near the head with your arm(s). I'd say they should be the same either way.
Nonsense. Hansbrough went for the ball and hit Wade's head, either recklessly or accidentally. Haslem made no effort for the ball and hit Hansbrough in the face intentionally.
   1561. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4138349)
Yeah, after I saw the first foul again (on tv rather than computer stream), it was clear that hansbrough went for the ball first. I was wrong about that one. Pittman's was the wort by far.
   1562. Zipperholes Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4138350)
I'm not sure about whether the Hansbrough play should be tolerated.

I've been saying for the last two years that opponents should be defending the basket against James and Wade like that, but almost nobody has the balls to. If you attack the basket like that, I'm going to attack the ball even harder. You might get your points, but they'll be at the line. But you don't want to see guys getting clubbed in the head.
   1563. Zipperholes Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4138354)
Yeah, after I saw the first foul again (on tv rather than computer stream), it was clear that hansbrough went for the ball first. I was wrong about that one. Pittman's was the wort by far.
Sorry--didn't mean to be harsh. I actually kind of agree with your earlier sentiment, if Hansbrough's was reckless. I mean, it's pretty easy to "go for the ball" but also have no regard for, or even try to, hit the guy in the head at the same time, and make it look accidental.
   1564. robinred Posted: May 23, 2012 at 02:25 AM (#4138381)
Larry Bird: "I can't believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I'm disappointed. I never thought it would happen
   1565. robinred Posted: May 23, 2012 at 02:54 AM (#4138383)
Unis:

Best:

1. Lakers home gold--glamour and titles
2. Celtics road green--tradition and titles
3. Wizards home white--Big E was here
4. Bulls road red--Real Men Wear Red and MJ was here
5. Suns road purple--a cool design 5. Spurs road black--victories and consistency

Worst:

1. OKC road blue--odd colors, bad lettering, no there there
2. Clippers home white--generic, boring, we are still the JV team in this town even though we are as good as the varsity now
3. Raptors home white--generic and bad lettering; we are a speed bump in this league
4. Heat alternate all-black--our team is nothing but a Frankenstein's monster and a marketing creation
5. Hawks alternate red road with ATL on the front--we are thinking about the airport
   1566. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 23, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4138387)
I'm curious to see what the league does to Pittman. Realistically, what can they do? No amount of suspension will really punish him, the guy doesn't play anyway. I guess they could fine him some big amount? I see no reason to believe this was premeditated by the organization, how would you punish the Heat anyway? I guess fine?
   1567. JC in DC Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4138428)
Those two fouls were pretty similar- pretense of going for a block, then club the guy near the head with your arm(s). I'd say they should be the same either way.

I *strongly* disagree. Hell, Hansborough actually did get his hand on the ball, he just followed through hitting Wade in the face and then raking him across the eye (which gave him the nice cut that Cheryl Miller was oddly caressing during the post game interview). Haslem was nowhere close to the ball, and the intent was clearly retaliation. It was also a much harder blow. Haslem should have been kicked out (flagrant 2) and should be suspended for the next game; Hansborough's flagrant 1 was correct. Pittman should be suspended multiple games for his targeted elbow at Stevenson; that was another play where the intent was clear and the cameras caught him winking at the Heat bench afterwards.

So that makes 3 retaliation dirty fouls in this series by the Heat (these 2 tonight and the Wade one from the other day) deserving of suspension, and I'll bet only Pittman will get suspended. ####, with all the talk about the bounties with the Saints, I wonder who'll be the first main stream person to ask if the Heat have a bounty program.*

Watching the postgame, I see Kenny and Chuck agree with me, and Shaq is once again embarrassing himself by covering for a former teammate.

*Completely unrelated, but these are not the first dirty plays by the Heat this year in competitive games. We joked last year about the Heat embracing the heel status, maybe they are. It's also rich for the Heat to complain so much about celebrating and Granger's (classless, but ultimately harmless) tough guy act while they're out there trying to injure guys.


Completely agree. This is a very unlikeable team.

[Actually, I'll add to this that the league office should upgrade Haslem's shot to a Flagrant 2 when they upgrade Pittman's. Both of those were clear 2s by definition, as even the announcers acknowledged.]
   1568. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4138430)
This is a very unlikeable team.


It's all relative. By the weekend they'll be playing the Celtics, so that makes them about as likeable as can be. But I'd much rather just suspend the whole Eastern Conference and tell San Antonio and OKC they are playing each other for the NBA Finals.
   1569. JC in DC Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4138432)
It's all relative.


Not really. I can dislike them both at the same time. And Stern needs to clean this up. With Bird (rightly) calling his team soft, game 6 looks to be pretty physical.
   1570. Maxwn Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4138437)
I'm curious to see what the league does to Pittman. Realistically, what can they do? No amount of suspension will really punish him, the guy doesn't play anyway. I guess they could fine him some big amount?

This seems wrong to me. I'm fairly certain you lose the game checks when you get suspended - I'm pretty sure this was mentioned when Metta got suspended. Pittman is making 2nd rounder rookie deal money. - he is almost certainly more likely to feel the sting of a suspension then 80% of the league would be.
   1571. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4138443)
This seems wrong to me. I'm fairly certain you lose the game checks when you get suspended - I'm pretty sure this was mentioned when Metta got suspended. Pittman is making 2nd rounder rookie deal money. - he is almost certainly more likely to feel the sting of a suspension then 80% of the league would be.


Though if his wealthier teammates appreciate the hit, they can take away that financial sting. You really can't police that either. Teammates being generous with gifts (expensive watches, cars, etc.) are not exactly unheard of.
   1572. Jimmy P Posted: May 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4138469)
2004 - Dwight Howard - I don't think he was considered can't miss, as there was some doubt that comes from never seeing him against college competition.

There was a lot of debate about him as #1. A lot of people thought Okafor should've gone #1. By this time, high school kids were viewed as very risky.
   1573. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4138477)
Actually, I'll add to this that the league office should upgrade Haslem's shot to a Flagrant 2 when they upgrade Pittman's. Both of those were clear 2s by definition, as even the announcers acknowledged.

Isn't the rule that if the refs call a flagrant 2, they can review it and downgrade it if necessary but that they can't review a flagrant 1? I feel like I saw several instances this year - regular season and playoffs - where it was called the more severe one and downgraded. I have no idea why this crew last night didn't automatically call the harsher version. Especially on the Haslem one, since it was just moments after the hard foul on Wade and was so blatantly obvious a retaliation shot.

Though if his wealthier teammates appreciate the hit, they can take away that financial sting. You really can't police that either. Teammates being generous with gifts (expensive watches, cars, etc.) are not exactly unheard of.

That's why I made my bounty comment. Unless someone snitches, the league won't catch anything (and dare I say, they don't want to catch anything). But why else would Pittman target Stevenson? And why the hell were the Heat so damn sensitive to the choking thing? Juwan Howard went after Lance pregame the other day and now this. The much better response has been what LeBron has done in games 4 and 5. But Maxwn is right, the playoffs count towards the salary for the year so Pittman's going to lose his paycheck for the games he's suspended.

2004 - Dwight Howard - I don't think he was considered can't miss, as there was some doubt that comes from never seeing him against college competition.

There was a lot of debate about him as #1. A lot of people thought Okafor should've gone #1. By this time, high school kids were viewed as very risky.


The Bulls had 2 lottery picks that year, and they were definitely going to take Okafor over Howard (Bulls picked Ben Gordon 3rd). I know they weren't the only team, and as you said, since the Brown/Chandler/Curry class was seen as so busty at this point (in Curry's case, literally), it was seen as a much bigger risk to take Howard. Okafor was a dominant college defender with an ok offensive game, I don't think he was seen as a superstar but he was going to be a starting center for someone for a long time with some possible All Star appearances.

2001 - Kwame Brown - don't think anyone knew what to expect, he was a gamble since projecting from high school is tough unless you're Lebron.

There was also no consensus that he was the guy that should have gone first. Even though Pau went 3rd, I don't remember a lot of talk about him as the top pick (Euros still were soft back then), but it was pretty close between Brown, Chandler (2nd) and Curry (4th).

2002 - Yao Ming - Another unknown. Might be like Shaq, an unprecedented physical force to change the game. Or might just be the Chinese Shawn Bradley.

I think Houston knew they wanted him from the moment they won the lottery, but Jay Williams was seen as a legit alternative as the #1 pick. Once again, I think the Bulls would have picked Williams had they won the lottery (they picked #2), since Chandler and Curry were picked the previous year.

What's the unifying theme in these drafts, by the way? It's that the Bulls had a ton of top 5 picks that they got nothing out of.
   1574. Booey Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4138478)
But I'd much rather just suspend the whole Eastern Conference and tell San Antonio and OKC they are playing each other for the NBA Finals.


Seconded.

And they should retroactively do that for almost every season from 1999-2007 as well. Not because the Eastern champions were dirty or unlikeable or anything, but because most of them were just awful (comparatively) and didn't belong anywhere near the finals in the first place. How many seasons in that span was the WCF NOT better than the NBA finals?
   1575. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4138482)
It's that the Bulls had a ton of top 5 picks that they got nothing out of.


They got good value out of Elton Brand, and Gordon was a solid, if defensively limited, contributor.
   1576. Booey Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4138483)
What's the unifying theme in these drafts, by the way? It's that the Bulls had a ton of top 5 picks that they got nothing out of.


They did alright with Rose a few years later though...
   1577. Jimmy P Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4138486)
What's the unifying theme in these drafts, by the way? It's that the Bulls had a ton of top 5 picks that they got nothing out of.


Well, they did get Chandler and Gordon. They gave Chandler away so they could sign an older, more expensive version of Chandler, and Gordon got a huge ego because he was the best shooter on a terrible offensive team.

2001 - Kwame Brown - don't think anyone knew what to expect, he was a gamble since projecting from high school is tough unless you're Lebron.


Yeah, the revisionist history on this has gotten out of control. Kwame was viewed as an athletic big man that would develop a diverse offensive game. He was the #1 recruit if he would've gone to Florida. He failed for many reasons, being a high school kid wasn't the main reason.
   1578. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4138490)
They got good value out of Elton Brand, and Gordon was a solid, if defensively limited, contributor.

Brand was 99, so he wasn't included in that post (he was traded for the 2001 #2 pick and Chandler). Neither was Fizer (#4 in 2000). Yes, Gordon was by far, the player they picked in the top 5 they got the most out of up until they lucked into Rose (1.7% chance). Deng and Crawford were both top 10, and they got value there too.

The Bulls had a lot of top picks in the 2000s, and they got fewer than half right. Of course, IMO right now, I'm ok with that since they got the most important one right.
   1579. JC in DC Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4138493)
Of course, IMO right now, I'm ok with that since they got the most important one right.


This statement is fraught with paradox. All of them were the most important one. Any one of them "gotten right" would have been the most important one. Making this the most "important one" is that they got the others wrong, which makes them all the most important one. I love it.
   1580. Jimmy P Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4138495)
This statement is fraught with paradox. All of them were the most important one. Any one of them "gotten right" would have been the most important one. Making this the most "important one" is that they got the others wrong, which makes them all the most important one. I love it.


I don't know if I agree. If they would've gotten some of the other ones right, they would've gotten better players but probably not franchise players. And they also wouldn't have been a lottery team to get the one they did get correct.
   1581. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4138498)
Yeah, the revisionist history on this has gotten out of control. Kwame was viewed as an athletic big man that would develop a diverse offensive game. He was the #1 recruit if he would've gone to Florida. He failed for many reasons, being a high school kid wasn't the main reason.


But he's nowhere close to the sure things that Patrick Ewing or Tim Duncan were coming out of the draft, and that's all I was trying to say. While some people might have imagined him becoming a 20-10 guy with 3 blocks a night, being an average big man, or being a Benoit Benjamin/Olowokandi type were strong possibilities.

I never said anything to the effect that coming out of high school is why he busted. More likely if Kwame goes to college his game is exposed a bit and he ends up being picked 7th or something a year or two down the road. There was a lot of debate on whether Kwame was the right pick at #1, it was a bit surprising, and this was definitely not a draft where people see #1 pick as a sure ticket to a new great team, like 1997 or 2003 were.
   1582. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4138506)
This statement is fraught with paradox. All of them were the most important one. Any one of them "gotten right" would have been the most important one. Making this the most "important one" is that they got the others wrong, which makes them all the most important one. I love it.

Kinda like Jimmy says, none of the players they didn't pick turned out to be better than Rose. Had they gotten the top pick in 2004 and picked Okafor instead of Howard, I wouldn't be able to say that. I don't want to use the word luck here, because when you're so bad for so long, it's your own fault. But until the Rose draft, the Bulls were "lucky" in the bad draft lotteries (but got little out of it) and "unlucky" in the good lotteries (notably, 2003). Things would have been different had they held onto Chandler (but he might not be current Chandler had he only played with the Bulls) or picked Gasol instead of Tyson. They would have been different had they kept Aldridge and not traded him for Tyrus Thomas (but like Chandler, I think he develops differently in Chicago). However, even in those scenarios they wouldn't have been a contender. Had they been a playoff team the year before the Rose pick (which if they had Gasol was pretty damn likely and possible with Aldridge), they wouldn't have gotten Rose and still wouldn't be a contender.

This of course, is very tough to talk about with Rose in his current condition. And I am not at all asking for sympathy, especially from Knicks fans (since the Bulls did benefit at their expense through the past decade).
   1583. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4138517)
Of course, this topic is distracting us from talking about how much we all hate the Heat.

And I'm disappointed this ugliness is overshadowing how damn awesome the Heat offense looked like night (without Bosh, and against a good defense).
   1584. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4138519)
My brief modern history of top (American) HS picks in the NBA.

1995 Garnett #5
1996 Kobe #13

While talented, these guys were seen as buying lottery tickets. It was just too hard to know if that talent would translate into NBA greatness. Their rookie seasons were not really productive but showed flashes of brilliance, and they developed quickly and became HOF players. Their success forced teams to re-evaluate the idea of taking HS players early in the draft, and encourage more young players to bypass college.

1997 McGrady #9

Followed the same path as Garnett and Kobe, became a great player though injuries kept him from sustaining it. Tracy also illustrated the downside of HS players: Even if they develop as best as you can dream, why bother if they are free agent eligible after only 3 years?

99 Bender #5
00 Miles #3

And here we have some busts.

2001 Brown #1
Chandler #2
Curry #4
Diop #8

This class really turns you off on the idea of HS players. Chandler eventually became pretty good.

2002 Amare #9

He takes a ton of criticism but has had a fine career for a #9 pick.

2003 Lebron #1

This is probably the only time where a High School player was considered a surething, can't miss, franchise changing player. Luckily for the Cavs they changed the contract rules sometime in there so he wasn't going to leave as a 21 year old free agent like McGrady.

2004 Howard #1
Shaun Livingston #4

While Howard became a top player, I don't think this was considered a sure thing, and there might have been some concern that he'd bust like the top guys in 2001 did, with a possibility that he'd be a very good, but not great player.

2005 Webster #6
Bynum #10

Bynum was the last great player drafted out of high school, as the rules would change after this and make guys like Oden and Durant play at least 1 year in college. And we've come full circle, with the Lakers getting another star on a mid first round pick that was considered a lottery ticket at the time.
   1585. JC in DC Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4138546)
And I'm disappointed this ugliness is overshadowing how damn awesome the Heat offense looked like night (without Bosh, and against a good defense).


Good point, but to my mind the key has been their D. Indiana looked so good early in the series, and the Heat has taken nearly everything away from them. Bastards.

I'm off to light a couple of candles for injuries to KG and DW.
   1586. Jimmy P Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4138571)
Because he won't toot his own horn, Kevin Pelton has an article up on Prospectus looking at the 2007 lottery
   1587. baudib Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4138581)
-- LeBron at 16 looked like an NBA star playing high school kids.

-- My recollection on Kobe was somewhat different. Regional bias at play here but I never heard of anyone in the Philadelphia area who didn't think Kobe would be a huge star. He took Brandy to his senior prom.

-- Kevin Garnett turned out to be the guy people thought Ralph Sampson would be.

   1588. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4138596)
Good point, but to my mind the key has been their D. Indiana looked so good early in the series, and the Heat has taken nearly everything away from them. Bastards.

Right, but they shot 61% last night. As great as their defense was (and usually is), their offense was just as great. To beat OKC/SA, they're going to need good shooting games like last night.
   1589. JC in DC Posted: May 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4138611)
Right, but they shot 61% last night. As great as their defense was (and usually is), their offense was just as great.


Lots of layups off turnovers and stops. Since Q3 of the prior game, they've put the clamps on the Pacers. Hibbert's gotta show up if Indiana has a chance.
   1590. andrewberg Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4138634)
Lots of layups off turnovers and stops. Since Q3 of the prior game, they've put the clamps on the Pacers. Hibbert's gotta show up if Indiana has a chance.


That's at least partially on Vogle. Hibbert is not the kind of big man who you want to force the ball to whether he has position or not. The Heat have been fronting him, and guys like Anthony and Haslem are athletic enough to make it really hard to get the ball in to him when you front him.

They were laughing about something else, but the TNT studio show flashed a tweet from Olden Polynice at halftime that addressed the defensive scheme. He said that as long as the Heat are fronting in the low post, they can't enter from the wings, but have to set up one guy on the high block and flash the other one at the rim. It is more like attacking a zone, which is essentially what Miami is playing when they front so heavily because the weakside baseline defender has to cheat over to hedge against the lob entry. If you get into the high post, you can freeze that guy AND get the angle on a back cut. My only quibble is that you might rather have West take the high post since he has more of a triple threat than Hibbert, who basically has to pass out of it.
   1591. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4138636)
I'm mostly with AROM on Kobe - I don't remember seeing Kobe in anyone's type 5 pre-draft lists. Usenet's mock draft (hardly representative on industry opinion, but bear with me) had him going 13th (as he actually did) and ranked him 3rd among off guards (behind Ray Allen and Kerry Kittles, both actually draft ahead of Kobe).
[For that matter, I know there's a post somewhere on the web I made at the time praising the Hornets for landing Vlade for that pick.]

***

I'd like to vent for a sec. Why does the internet do such a lousy job of figuring out who's an unrestricted v. restricted free agent, who has a team option, etc... All this data is out there, but I'm not aware of any one site that is wholly correct. (Shamsports might be - they're my favorite for this sort of thing, but he's on semi-sabbatical. ESPN looks close. Hoopsworld did a lousy job and a number of other sites seem to use them.)

All this should take is effort and a basic understanding of how this stuff works - is that too much to ask?
   1592. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4138665)
Because he won't toot his own horn, Kevin Pelton has an article up on Prospectus looking at the 2007 lottery


Great article. Makes you wonder about a Celtics lineup of Rondo, 2 guard to be determined, Pierce, Durant, and Jefferson, with Perkins backing up. They definitely don't win in 2008, which means that the networks get the Kobe-Lebron finals matchup that they always wanted and may never get. The team probably becomes serious around 2010, though I don't know if they would have been as likely to upset Cleveland as the veteran team did. My guess it's Lebron-Kobe the rematch in the finals.

Now to 2011, That core would certainly be better and ready to contend. And quite possibly, after leading Cleveland to his 3rd NBA Finals (and probably one championship in 2008 or 2010), Lebron stays in Cleveland. There is no example of the instant superteam in Boston to emulate. There is also no motivation for Lebron and Wade to look at each other and say "we can't beat these Celtics individually, let's join forces."

The Durant Celtics might become the best team in the east starting in 2011-12 and with the potential to rule much longer. Big wildcard is what Wade does faced with free agency and a Heat team with little hope of challenging Lebron or Durant. He can't join Lebron in Cleveland as they don't have the cap room. Does he join Rose in Chicago? Go to the Knicks?
   1593. baudib Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4138675)
BTW a couple of other high school guys:

1974 -- Moses Malone, Hall of Famer, 3-time MVP

1975 -- Darryl Dawkins, shattered some backboards, didn't live up to the hype
   1594. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4138676)
Big wildcard is what Wade does faced with free agency and a Heat team with little hope of challenging Lebron or Durant. He can't join Lebron in Cleveland as they don't have the cap room. Does he join Rose in Chicago? Go to the Knicks?

Yes, I think that punk-ass Wade would have signed with the Bulls, who would be the clear overall NBA favorites.
   1595. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4138680)
AROM - Excellent summary of high schoolers. Also, Jermaine O'Neal: he languished on Portland's bench for years, but eventually gave Indiana some very good years, and turned into an All-Star level player.

EDIT: He was in Kobe's draft class, 1996
   1596. Booey Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4138699)
Now to 2011, That core would certainly be better and ready to contend. And quite possibly, after leading Cleveland to his 3rd NBA Finals (and probably one championship in 2008 or 2010), Lebron stays in Cleveland.


The 2010 Cavs may have had a shot against the Lakers (though I still wouldn't have bet on them), but the 45 win 2008 Cavs would have been shredded to pieces. I'm also not so sure they would've upset the 59 win Pistons in the ECF to get there again just cuz they did the year before.

Does LeBron still stay in Cleveland if he has 2 or 3 finals losses instead of only 1? Especially if 2 of them (2007 and 2008) were completely non-competitive sweeps?
   1597. AROM Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4138701)
Also, Jermaine O'Neal: he languished on Portland's bench for years, but eventually gave Indiana some very good years, and turned into an All-Star level player.


Yeah. He was the #17 pick, I was looking at guys picked in the top half. Jermaine is a good example of terrible draft pick, good player. The Blazers got nothing out of him before he was free agent eligible. Though I see they were able to get Dale Davis in a trade. Don't remember the circumstances, whether that was a pure trade or a sign and trade deal where Portland got a player and O'Neal got a better contract.

In any case, what a string of deals for the Pacers. You've got 31 year old Davis, coming off an NBA finals appearance but in all likelihood just a few useful years left in the NBA. Trade him for a young player who becomes an All-Star. Fast forward 8 years. O'Neal at age 29 drops from 19-10 to a 13-7 player. He's got only a few useful years left, and they trade him for a package that includes ...Roy Hibbert!
   1598. Booey Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4138705)
ESPN has an article up saying that Jerry Sloan is considering the Bobcats open coaching position. Don't do it, Jerry!!! You don't deserve that!!! Come back to us instead!!!!

The Magic are also listed as a possibility, though if they just fired an old-school type coach in SVG cuz he couldn't connect with young guys like Howard, then I'm not sure a hard nosed 70 year old like Sloan would be the right choice for them.

Personally, I think the Clips should fire VDN (sounds like an STD, doesn't it?) and hire Sloan. He's done alright with point guard/power forward duo's in the past. Paul and Griffin could become the next Stockton and Malone or DWill and Boozer (k, they're already on par with the latter).
   1599. Eddo Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4138712)
And they should retroactively do that for almost every season from 1999-2007 as well. Not because the Eastern champions were dirty or unlikeable or anything, but because most of them were just awful (comparatively) and didn't belong anywhere near the finals in the first place. How many seasons in that span was the WCF NOT better than the NBA finals?

Interesting question, and I don't recall it being discussed explicitly on this thread before.

In each year, which was better?
1999: WCF (Spurs-Blazers) (strike year, weird)
2000: WCF (Lakers-Blazers) (great WCF, though the Lakers-Pacers NBA finals is a bit underappreciated, those were good Pacers teams)
2001: WCF (Lakers-Spurs)
2002: WCF (Lakers-Kings) (another great WCF)
2003: WCF (Spurs-Mavericks)
2004: NBA (Pistons-Lakers) (two good conference finals series this year: Pistons-Pacers and Lakers-Wolves)
2005: NBA (Spurs-Pistons) (could argue that the Spurs-Suns WCF was better, though; I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the defending champs)
2006: NBA (Heat-Mavericks) (I hate defending this travesty of a finals)
2007: WCF (Spurs-Jazz) (Cavs-Pistons was ECF; I honestly don't remember the Spurs-Jazz series, but it has to be better than the ass-whooping the Spurs put on the Cavaliers in the NBA finals)
   1600. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4138721)
If we're talking early HS->Pros guys, I'd be remiss to not mention Bill Willoughby (19th pick in the '75 draft ... never more than a rotation piece).

Sloan to Utah - I read that neither party wants that - that "that ship sailed".
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