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Knicks Pick Up Jordan Hill at 8, Toney Douglas at 29 and Milicic at the Q.

Last Night at MSG’s WaMU Theatre was filled with excitement and anticipation as days of speculation about the selection order of the NBA draft climaxed into one of the most bizzare drafts in years. The draft was highlighted by the selection of three of the best point guards, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson, in the first round by the Timberwolves who had stockpiled the 5th, 6th 18th and 28th picks. Minnie’s maneuver left the Knicks with either selection option C or D as they picked up big man Jordan Hill with the 8th pick and found a guard in Toney Douglas with the 29th pick which they purchased from the Lakers for 3 Million or so dollars.

Jordan Hill goes to Knicks at 8th Spot

Jordan Hill goes to Knicks at 8th Spot

Jordan Hill averaged a double, double with Arizona his last year.  He is undoubtedly raw, but eventually should be a much better and more defensively imposing option than Jared Jeffries.  According to DXEpress’ situational analysis, the things that stands out about Hill are his upside, energy and size. He is working on everything else and seems to have heart:

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Power Forward Crop
April 23, 2009
Looking over the numbers of our top power forwards, we noticed a number of players who are projected as lottery picks that don’t look the part on paper. Sitting just behind Griffin in our rankings, we find  Jordan Hill, who’s overall Points Per Possession of.94 places him slightly below the mean of .98, not quite what one would expect from a potential top-5 draft pick. Looking deeper, we realize that Hill ranks right around the average in a number of areas. He surprisingly connects on just 63.87% of his finishing opportunities not including post ups, and only scores on 49.6% of his logged possessions –sitting just off the mean in both categories. Much of Hill’s lack of efficiency can be attributed to the fact that he only gets fouled on 10.4% of his possessions and gets very few touches in transition (16th at 1.1 Pos/g) and basket cut situations (15th at 1.8), two scenarios where he’s effective ( 1.33 and 1.43 PPP respectively). The other factor working against Hill is his jumper, which we’ll discuss later.

Clearly teams are valuing Hill’s upside quite a bit. He’s already a productive rebounder and has a lot of potential long-term as a defender, but his offense doesn’t stand out amongst his peers. He’s raw, but some teams see his physical profile and athleticism and assume he will be a player that develops into a bigger threat on the next level.


The Toney Douglas pick put the Knicks far down on their point guard list, but Douglas is a good selection who has the potential to be a solid role player. He is not a true point, not a great passer and does not create his own shot nearly as well as the other guards. However, he can score an he has a defensive mindset. DXExpress has this to say about Douglas:

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop
May 8, 2009
Toney Douglas, was one of the most efficient players on our list, using over 20 possessions per game (20.7). His overall PPP of 1.04 was the second best of all players, while his PPP as a finisher of 1.22 was sixth best. As a jump shooter, he scored 1.41 PPP on unguarded catch and shoot attempts, and 1 PPP on pull ups. A gifted off the ball player who scores 1.23 PPP (5th) shooting off of screens and 1.14 PPP in spot up situations, Douglas is only an average shot creator (.85 Isolation PPP), but he doesn’t turn the ball over in the half court almost at all (9.7%, 2nd), has experience running the pick and roll (5.3 Pos/G, 2nd), is an excellent defender, and seems like an ideal complement to a taller ball-handling guard. His stock has risen in recent months, and will be interesting to how his limitations as a distributor (he ranks dead last in amongst all passing metrics amongst draft-eligible PGs) factor in to where he’s selected on draft day.

The Jordan Hill pick received a mixture of cheers and boos, while the Douglas pick met a slightly more disappointed chorus of boos from fans who thought either Stephen Curry of Rick Rubio would be available after Tyreke Evans was the first guard taken at 4 by the Kings. Still, the buzz around the Garden was that the Knicks were going to be involved in a trade that would bring Rubio to New York.

Knicks Going to the Darko Side

Knicks Going to the Darko Side

In addition, the Knicks picked up another big in Darko Milicic, the disappointing lottery pick turned back-up while getting rid of Quentin Richardson who has been reduced to a role player after back surgery a little over a year ago.

Overall Evaluation and Grade: Incomplete. (Chad Ford says B+) This is one of those situations where a grade is a little more inadequate than usual. The draft has limitations especially when one is relegated to the eighth spot and is outmaneuvered by the likes of the Timberwolves who picked up the 5 spot and two of the best guards in the draft. The picks the Knicks made were considered among the best on the board at the time and they addressed their need for a mobile, defensive big. They also took a stab at getting a serviceable guard with defensive capabilities. These are truly choices which must be viewed over time. On the other hand, it is a little hard to tell whether the Knicks are building a competitive team yet for 2009-2010 or an attractive team for the top free agents in 2010. In Milicic, the Knicks continue to collect other teams undesirables as in Hughes and Harrington. They failed to make a move, yet, to pick up a guard to replace Duhon to run the D’Antoni system. And the big they picked up in Hill is not going to shake up the division in the first year. I would feel comfortable giving Walsh an incomplete until we see what else he does in free agency and with trades into October or perhaps February. But I will note that other teams are clearly improving, while the Knicks not so much, yet.

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Buzzer Beaters . . .

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson.  You were an inspiration to many.  We have a little more MJ on our fantastic playlist. . . .Check out the Fanatics Live Blog of the Draft.  It is fabulous.  The participants, lead by O&B included Peaceman, Bronx in Maryland, DLT Knicks, Post p Prince, Tman, Modi, Paula and Jay Bee.. . . I see you guys didn’t pick up my Tweets in the LBE. I’ll have to show the LBE administrator how to include me next time, but I was tweeting to 46 Twitter followers. Although, my fingers are too big for Blackberry keys and the fans around me wanted to talk shop, I did a fair job of covering the action. . . . Knicks Fanatics hits are growing rapidly — yesterday we hit a high of over 200 hits and we’ve been linked by Fanhouse and other blogs that recognize the energy and quality of the community. . . .Bronx is the man.  At 7:33pm, on the live blog he said “I think they’ll go big with the   8th pick, and get a guard at 29.”. . . I sat in the second row right in front of Mark Jackson, Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson (the camera’s blocked my view of Stuart and David Stern for the most part). . . . Then I went and hung out in the press room (Play by Play) where the press had the hook-up (courtesy of some friends with cred). They had free fruit, brownies, thirst quenchers and lots of big screen TVs, but damn I couldn’t get wifi to work. I will not be quitting my day job(s). . . . I got lousy picks of two tall guys with baseball caps as they walked by me and some security folks near the interview room. They looked like Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry. Actually they were. I tried to tell them to look out for me at the summer league, but they were in a rush. . . . Cleveland trades for Shaq.  Cleveland still in need of more mobile big at the 4.  If Shaq comes to camp in shape, Celtics and Magic beware. . . . Oh yeah, did the Magic screw up by getting Vince Carter or what?. . . . Rubio threatening to go to Europe instead of cold-azz Minnie. . . .O.K., I’m outta pocket for a while because I need to do some real work that will feed Alpha Jr. and make Ms. Alpha not hover over me while I’m on the computer in July. . . . Thanks to IGM for the work on the draft scouting reports. . . .Peace out.

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June 26, 2009 Posted by | Jordan Hill, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, Rick Rubio, Stan Van Gundy, Toney Douglas | , , , , , | 33 Comments

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

ricky-rubio Dribbling6’4″, 180 lbs

10 ppg, 39% fg%, 42.3% 3pfg%, 80.4 ft%, 6.1 apg, 2.2 spg, 3.0 topg

igm-gravatar-copy

IGM ANALYSIS

Sorry Fanatics. Call me an MSM mouthpiece if you want, but I’ve done my homework and I can say without hesitation that Ricky Rubio is the truth. No lie.  Certainly, he has been over-hyped, but we can easily cut through the media generated uber- image and see the real thing.   I offer you 44.5 minutes of game tape below to help you understand that this kid is the real deal with skills that will translate to the NBA.  The problem however is that there are many other questions which cannot be answered until he goes up against the best international competition in an 82-game, 30 to 48-minute per game schedule traveling from American coast to American coast for a full season.   I will go on record now and say that it is not the game that will bother him — he can play this NBA on-court  game — — it is all of the peripheral elements of being an NBA baller that may prove to be his greatest obstacle to excellence.

I took great pains to view all the tape very closely before reading the scouts.  After I wrote my piece, I found that I saw it just about the same as they did.   I will not change my view to be different or exclude their views to avoid repetition.  It is what it is.  This kid, Rubio, is good, O&B.

Make no mistake about it.  Rubio has game, but plenty of room for growth.  Let’s strip away the pin-point, laser accurate, showboat passes and the behind the back, hesitation dribble for a moment and pay attention to his basic skill set.  There are two keys for Rubio — his court vision and his timing.  His court vision will not change once he is in the NBA.  Like Magic Johnson and John Stockton this guy sees the entire court.  Sometimes it seems as if he sees it seconds before a play happens, like he is in a time warp. (Remember the character “Hiro” in “Heroes” the television series, who could control time? Rubio’s not quite there yet. LOL).

I can count the number of players on my right foot  who talked about (and proved) that they could see, while in motion themselves, the game develop seconds before it happened.  Chris Paul, Rubio’s basketball model, sees the game like that.  For those players, the game moves extremely slowly and they are able to anticipate action, shift gears and control the game.  Clyde and Magic are among those who knew exactly where the ball needed to be and when; and had the skills to get it there.

The second element, timing, is a little trickier because Rubio is currently playing on Euroleague time.  In the Euroleague, although the competition has improved significantly, the game does not move as fast as the NBA game.  I am not certain how long it would take Rubio (or any other player from the Euroleague) to adapt to the speed and strength of the NBA game.  He is fast.  His ability to fill lanes and anticipate passes on defense is good, although his man-to-man defense seems to suck (welcome to the Knicks or Kings). He is quick with the ball in his hands.  Perhaps, he will be in charge of how his timing is affected since he will have the ball and control the tempo of the game.  He will also need a good coach to help him adjust.  But, if he can make the adjustment to the “speed” of the NBA game, which I bet he can, he will be fine.

There are certainly several concerns.  It is difficult to tell whether he will be more than just a role player.  But he talks about the need to practice and he plays with great intensity.    Does he have the heart to stick with the ups and downs of playing NBA level competition at this point in his development?

Another concern is his strength and conditioning.  Can he physically handle the NBA for 20 to 36 minutes a night?  The way he plays the game, I would guess, not yet.  He drives to the basket a lot and has a nice ability to score on the drive.  Mostly he is a backboard user.  He swoops, hooks and banks his shots out of a defenders reach.  However, I did not see him subjected to a lot of physicality in those tapes.  He was not banged up in those drives.   In the NBA, especially playoff ball, he will absorb a lot of body shots.   Dedicated players will constantly work to improve their strength and conditioning.  It may take a couple of years, but it does for most ballers.

I am only slightly concerned about the fact Rubio seems to travel (I think they call it “steps” at Rucker ) a helluva lot.  But knowing Stern, it won’t be traveling in  the NBA  since the game is traveling abroad. The NBA will just change the rules again to meet the playing style of his stars.

Rubio’s shooting is only fair for now, but the critical thing is that he can hit from any spot on the floor and he can do it on the move.  His form is fine; he needs to continue practicing. He seems to shoot jumpers with both feet on the ground (that’s a “set shot” at The 4th Street Cage). He barely elevates for his tres.    Now that’s odd for a pro baller.   With his uncommon ability to see the open man and to anticipate defensive moves, he will create a lot of open looks for himself.  Once he hits those with regularity, forget about it, defenses are toast.

Rubio’s defense looks deceptively good in highlights because he gets quite a few steals by anticipating passes in the lane and timing opponent’s dribble.  I especially like the over the back “axe steal” which should be a foul, but he executes it to perfection.  (That’s what I mean about timing).  However, that also means he is a gambler and will leave his teammates exposed and his team defense broken with that type of risky defense.  He also does not seem to put a lot of pressure on the ball.  I’m sure the video below of all the American buckets against Spain in the Beijing Olympics is not fair for judging defense, but it is one of the few videos that isn’t a valentine for Rubio.  In that video, he seemed lax on D and not very strong.  But in all other videos, he seems to hustle quite a bit.

There seems to be an issue about Rubio’s contract, which he has discussed vaguely on TwitterReportedly, Rubio must pay $6.5 million to buy out his current contract with DKV Joventut. According to Rubio’s dad, Esteban, the termination clause in the contract does not reflect Rubio’s actual salary.  He would be paying them more than he actually earns to get out of his contract.  The owner of DKV is attempting to convince Rubio to stay until 2010 at which time he claims he would cut the buyout in half.  He believes the buyout is not unfair and that Rubio may have been young when he signed it, but he had adult advisers.  He says that Rubio benefited greatly from playing for his team and the contract is what it is.

Some fans are upset that Rubio has made it clear that he is not interested in playing for the Grizzlies, who have the 2d pick in the draft.  Fans seem to hate when teams publicly try to muscle other teams into not selecting them (a la Peyton Manning).  They believe the reason is that he would prefer to play for New York, while others say that the real reason is the bad experiences Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro, fellow Spainards, had in Memphis.  The word is out that Memphis is not for Spainard pros for whatever reason.  Rubio did visit Sacramento, but became too ill to show his wares.  At the time of this writing, there are no reports regarding whether Rubio will work out or visit other teams such as OKC.  But, the truth is that he really doesn’t need to workout.  He knows that he will be going in the top 8 and probably the top 4.

Yes, Rubio is hyped, but this guy is not hype.   Put him with some good players and he will do fairly well.  Will he be a star?  I don’t know about that, but I would think of him as one of the top three guards in this draft.  Don’t be mad if the Knicks pick him.  Be pissed if they don’t develop him properly.

(Don’t forget to make your draft choices in our draft selection post “With The Eighth Pick, The New York Knicks Select. . . )

OUTSIDE PRE-DRAFT REPORTS

NBADRAFT.NET

NBA Comparison: Jose Calderon/Steve Nash

Strengths: One of the purest point guards to come around in a while … His vision and ability to deliver precise passes make him the ultimate distributor … Has good size for the position, allowing him to survey the court over top of defenses … A great and natural feel for the game allows him to see plays before they materialize, keeping him one step ahead of the opposition … He is extremely good at maintaining his composure when operating in the pick and roll, he does not panic when the defense converges, but rather shows patience and waits to make his reads … Loves to split the hedge on a high ball screen to get into the paint … Has a wide repertoire of moves off the dribble … Knows how to incorporate head, pass and shot fakes to get defenders off balance and to keep them guessing … Uses change of speed and direction extremely well, always mixing up the moves and staying unpredictable … His shot has come a long way in the last year or so, even to the point where he has become a serious threat from the outside … Defesively, he plays with a lot of energy and puts in a great effort to put pressure on the opposing ball handlers … Quick hands and terrific anticipation allow him to get his hands on a lot of balls … His game is mature beyond his years due to the fact that he has played on the top senior level for a long time … He has been on the draft radar for some years and has been able to maintain a fairly high level of play … Has shown that he can perform on a big stage by being a key member of the Spanish National team in the Olympics …

Weaknesses: Has good speed but lacks the great explosiveness that top tier point guards in the league possesses … He is forced to shoot high amount of attempts in the paint because his marginal leaping ability makes it difficult for him to finish around the basket … Heavily depends on the pick and roll to create his opportunities and does not show a great ability to break down defenders in ISO situations … Has gotten better at taking what’s open, but his pass first mentality still gets him into trouble as he passes up open shots … His jumper is still not a finished product by any means … Because it takes him a bit to get his feet set, and his release point is fairly low he still looks like a set shooter … Has battled some injuries over the last year, which raises the question of durability and whether he will be able to handle the rigors of an 82 game season … His game has been up and down this season after coming back from his injury (Had a better overall season last year) … His performance on the international scene does not guarantee his game will translate well to the NBA … Is also a bit of a risk because of his high buyout and because he has hinted at staying overseas if he doesn’t go to the right team …

Borko Popic – 6/15/2009

Strengths: The problem with Ricky Rubio is: Where to start? He has more skill than anyone in his worldwide age group. Including but not limited to: Defense, anticipation, intelligence, ball handling, PG (vision) creation, rhythm, coordination, ambition, scoring and personality He is practically ambidextrous, has good foot speed (not great) and excellent body control With excellent use of speed/ direction changes he excels both on the open court and the half court game as a set up or assist man Catch and shoot is quick and clean A smart rebounder, he gets optimum position under both boards Voted the best Euro young player for 2007, he has only acceptable shooting %s both from 2 and 3 points. His shooting delivery is consistent with no waste of time or extra movement. Ive thought about it a lot and think the best comparison to past-present NBA players would be the best of both Walt Clyde Frazier and Steve Nash At 17 years old he is already a feared and well respected ACB and Euro-level competitor. He is a warrior and plays all out, all the time. On top of that knows how to flop (with this kid its an art form) Hes also a master at getting to the FT line, where he knocs down a high rate (80%) Adventurous in his passing, he has two skills; Seeing and when necessary, creation of passing lanes. Excellent. Statistically he is a gem and he has personality. He leads. He knows how to win He will become a household name in many more households.

Weaknesses: His outside shooting needs to continue to improve Maturity will bring the necessary leg strength and stability to shoot with better consistency His ratio of Assists/ Turnovers needs improvement, time and experience being the only necessary elements required. Related to this: His youthful inexperience sometimes gets him caught out of control when competing with physically stronger men at the highest Euro level He is thin but will fill out as his frame is good.

Timo Lawrence – 4/29/2008

Weaknesses: Rubio will have trouble guarding point guards in the NBA. His lateral quickness is decent but not great. Against top competition, he does have some mental lapses at times. He often backs off his defender and uses his instincts to play position defense, but in the rare moments when he guesses wrong, he can get beat on simple plays like a back-door cut, or his defender will easily dribble right by him. Some of his height and vision advantage is lost when longer players guard him. He doesnt jump at all on his jump shot and could stand to change his shooting mechanics a little. This will be a problem when playing against elite athletes.

He is a big star at a young age, and already shows signs of having a big ego. He often creates contact and then expects LeBron James-type calls from the referees, and can get frustrated when he doesnt receive them. He has his own warm-up routine, and is often seen off on his own and not with the team, (although there are no reports of him not being a team player). The type of fame and success that hes had at such a young means it will be that much more important for him to continue to working on his game, improve his skills and not settle for just being as talented as he is now.

Joshua Motenko – 8/20/2007

DRAFT EXPRESS.COM

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop

May 8, 2009
Ricky Rubio doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but he’s the youngest prospect on our list playing against by far the strongest competition, and thus isn’t as weak in some areas as people may imagine.

Considering his frail frame, lack of awesome leaping ability, and level of competition, it would be fairly reasonable to expect Rubio to struggle around the basket. Even though European prospects (and veterans for that matter) tend to have a lower PPP than their NCAA and NBA counterparts, Rubio actually falls right around the average of this group as a finisher at 1.11 PPP. His ability to transition that part of his game to the NBA is going to be very important when you consider that he takes under 2.5 jump shots per game, has made only 5 of his 25 logged pull up jumpers, and is still gaining confidence in his improved catch and shoot ability (1.1 Pos/G, 41%, 9/22).

Always better known for his creativity and playmaking ability, it doesn’t come as a shock that Rubio looks good in transition. He is shooting 69% on his transition opportunities on just 13 attempts this season –which is a bit misleading since he doesn’t take many attempts more because he knows when to give the ball up than because he isn’t pushing the tempo. In contrast, his limited isolation possessions are indicative of some issues, as he’s not going to produce a ton in pure one-on-one situations. Fortunately, Rubio, like most European point guard’s we’ve evaluated, is effective on the pick and roll. With 27% of his touches coming from the two-man game, Rubio could have a mutually beneficial relationship with the post players he is teamed with in the NBA, since they’ll likely make his life just as easy as he’ll make theirs.

Obviously our sample size is a bit limited for two reasons: Rubio simply doesn’t use that many possessions as a scorer (9 Pos/G), and he missed a good portion of the season with a wrist injury. We were on hand for one of his first games back in December, and while he’s shaken off some of the rust as the season has continued, his wrist is still limiting his production, but not to the extent that it was initially. Evidence for that can be found in the observation that Rubio drives left nearly 74% of the time he looked to go to the rim, the most of any player on this list by over 5%. His injury is also partially accountable for the fact that he turned the ball over on 28.5% (1st) of his halfcourt possessions. The team that drafts will need to make sure that they get him back on the right track as a shooter and help open up the floor to get him back in the swing of things to make up for all the time he lost this season.
[Read Full Article]

RUBIO’S VIDEO LIBRARY

Child Prodigy Rubio at 14

Ricky Rubio Mix

Born To Be Wild

2008-2009 Euroleague

Rubio On Defense Against USA Sorta Kinda
Spain’s Offense Against US in Beijing Olympics

Kobe on Ricky Rubio

Toby Bailey On Rick Rubio

Brandon Jennings Talking Smack

Brandon Jennings On Rocky Rubio. (Psyyyych or “Just Kidding,” Jennings says later.)  Click here to see video.

Ricky Rubio On Ricky Rubio (Pre-Draft Interview)

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Related Previous Posts:

And With The Eighth Pick, The New York Knicks Select. . .

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jrue Holiday

Is Brandon Jennings Playing Media (and Us) With Rubio Diss?

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Eric Maynor

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Brandon Jennings

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Demar Derozan

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Series Stephen Curry

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Tywon Lawson

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , | 8 Comments

And With The Eighth Pick, the New York Knicks Select . . . .

WHERE YOU ARE THE GM HAPPENS.

Vodpod videos no longer available. Next week the 2009 NBA draft will finally be here. The buildup has been intense and tense. At the draft Donnie Walsh and the Knicks will finally make decisions which may change the fortunes of the organization for years to come.  They dare not blow it, as hard as that would be from the 8th spot this year.

Although, some suggest the draft is not as strong as past drafts, it has proven to be one filled with potential and possibilities.  First, thanks to IGM for educating us on some of the fine points of the point guards. The series was very useful and I understand you may have additional posts on Ricky Rubio and Gerald Henderson. This group of points is very competitive and may provide much drama for the NBA as this becomes a bit more of a guard-oriented league.

But the Knicks options extend beyond finding a guard in the draft to run the D’Antoni offense. It may include a shooting guard such as Jordan Hill or a big such as James Harden. The Knicks may find their leader ready-made in free agency.

At this point the rumors are coming fast, furious and plentiful.  Some of them have a kernel of truth and others are smoke screens by general managers to disguise potential moves and sorta-secret desires.  The only certainty is that Blake Griffin will be drafted by the Clippers.  After that, it’s anyone’s guess. And we’re all guessing.

The selection process became even more complex with the terrific showing in workouts of guards such as Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn. And the potential of players such as Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson, Ricky Rubio, Jeff Teague, Jru Holiday and DeMar Rozan have team executives tossing in their sleep and biting their nails.  No one knows who will be going where, so the GMs must be prepared for almost anything.  They will have their “favored player” list and their “best player on the board” list.  The choices will be tougher as the first round progresses.

At 8, the Knicks seem to have enough choices that they do not need to make any player expenditures to move up in the draft.  However, without making a move forward before their selection, the Knicks are not likely to get their preferred players which seem to be, according to MSM reports, Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings and Jordan Hill.  Still, even if those players are available. Ricky Rubio, a media darling, may fall to eight and make the Knicks choice that much more difficult (or easy).  I guess it depends on how you look at it. But do they take the Euro-star who enters the draft without working out against his major American competition? Do you dare take that gamble? Why not?

So, how do you look at it?  We have provided you, below, with five different scenarios that could arise by the time the Knicks pick at the 8th spot (assuming they do not trade up).  We want you to tell us who you think the Knicks should pick in each circumstance and if you can defend your choice, tell us why in the comment section after you take the polls?    What is the right pick for the Knicks, if as in scenario five, the unlikely occurs: Stephen Curry, Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings are available? Who do we cheer for when the Knicks make that pick? Who do we boo?

You’re on the clock, but first a little inspiration — it can be good again.  Good luck.

The Ultimate Knicks Moment in the NBA Draft

Vodpod videos no longer available.

MOCK DRAFT SCENARIO #1

1. Clippers        Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies       James Harden

3.  Thunder     Hasheem Thabeet

4. Kings            Ricky Rubio

5. Wizards       Stephen Curry

6. Timberwolves   Tyreke Evans

7. Warriors    Jordan Hill

Mock Draft Scenario #2

1. Clippers       Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies      Hasheem Thabett

3. Thunder     Ricky Rubio

4. Kings          Jrue Holiday

5. Wizards    James Harden

6. Wolves     Tyreke Evans

7. Warriors  Johnny Flynn

Mock Draft Scenario #3

1. Clippers       Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies      Jordan Hill

3. Thunder     James Harden

4. Kings          Jrue Holiday

5. Wizards    Brandon Jennings

6. Wolves     DeMar Derozan

7. Warriors  Jonny Flynn

Mock Draft Scenario #4

1. Clippers       Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies      Stephen Curry

3. Thunder     James Harden

4. Kings          Jrue Holiday

5. Wizards    Hasheem Thabeet

6. Wolves     DeMar Derozan

7. Warriors  Ricky Rubio

Mock Draft Scenario #5

1. Clippers       Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies      James Harden

3. Thunder     Hasheem Thabeet

4. Kings          Jordan Hill

5. Wizards    Jrue Holiday

6. Wolves     Jeff Teague

7. Warriors  Jonny Flynn

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Related Previous Posts:

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jrue Holiday

Is Brandon Jennings Playing Media (and Us) With Rubio Diss?

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Eric Maynor

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Brandon Jennings

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Demar Derozan

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report Series Stephen Curry

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Tywon Lawson

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, Donnie Walsh, Jrue Holiday, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, Rick Rubio, Ty Lawson | , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Eric Maynor

6’3″ 164 lbs

35.5 mpg, 22.4ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.2 apg, 1.7 spg, 3.0 TO, 46%fg, 81%ft, 36% 3pt

igm-gravatar-copyIGM ANALYSIS

Man, this is tough.

There is so much to like about Eric Maynor.  So much.  But, the questions remaining are daunting.

I like his size and his ability to get to the rim and score with contact.  That coupled with his superb free throw shooting and his ball-smarts is really special.  He has great energy and is a mature leader.  Some see four years in college as a negative statement on skill level, but you can see a very level-headed and directed young man in Eric Maynor.  He is very confident and has the heart of a winner.  He is not afraid to take over a game at the end.

The problem is his lack of speed and quickness.  He does not have the athleticism of his younger competition.  He does compensate for it with his height, length and dribbling skills.  He operates at several speeds, has a nice cross-over and hesitation dribble.   He moves in unpredictable bursts.  He has a decent first step, good enough that a defender must foul him to get to the ball.  However, he has shown that he can be a turnover machine which is very scary considering the competition in the NBA.

He can score.  His free-throw shooting attests to his ability to shoot.  He tends to go for the high difficulty shot, but he makes them, especially the floaters while he is flying towards the basket.  He seems to have a bit of a mid-range game. 

I did not notice an ability to get horizontal separation on his shot.  He seems more likely to just shoot over or around you.  I am concerned about that tre which looks like a throw from behind the back.  But it goes in at a 36% clip which is not bad considering the other weapons he brings to the table.

This kid is different.  He is not a standout in terms of the athleticism he has, but he has a nice package of weaponry.  I really like his ability and potential for controlling the end of games.  I also like his ability to play man-to-man defense and his willingness to put pressure on his man. 

I don’t know folks.  I’m thinking about taking him before Stephen Curry and definitely before Tywon Lawson.  With the right team (Minnie, OakCity) this player could have a very solid year as an NBA rookie.  What do you think?  Check him out.

Outside Scouting Reports

NBA DRAFT.NET

NBA Comparison: Mark Jackson/Eric Snow

Strengths: Crafty point guard with a winning pedigree … Single-handedly led VCU to national prominence after taking over the PG reigns his sophomore year … Fearless performer in the clutch, stepping up in the biggest moments of the biggest games … Despite being a one man show, rarely settled for quick forced shots or made teammates outcasts … Extremely patient on the offensive end, allowing plays to unfold- no predetermined decisions … Tremendous basketball IQ and understanding of court geometry … Shows good court vision and ability to find the open man, averaging over 6 assists per contest in the 08-09 season … Utilizes the change of pace dribble as well as anyone in this draft class, lulling defenders to sleep and blowing by them … A master of getting into the paint off the bounce, either finishing well at the rim or getting to the FT line where he is very efficient … Shot 82% from the stripe as a Senior, which is efficient … Has an amazing ability to convert difficult shots … Very tricky around the rim, shooting from odd and angles with the ability to adjust in midair … Despite slight frame, shows deceptive strength finishing well through contact … Possesses deep range on jumper (39% as a junior and 36% as a senior.) Has a solid mid-range and step back jumper as well … Excellent hands on defense, averaging 1.7 steals per game his senior season … Considered a high character guy and has the advantage of 4 years of college experience under his belt …

Weaknesses: Not a top level athlete … Foot speed and explosiveness are not optimal … Extremely light at 164 lbs, whether he can add weight is a big question mark … Gives the appearance of being heavy footed, lacking burst on his first step … Was not forced to compete against upper echelon athletes on a regular basis in the mid-major CAA … NBA will be a huge step up in class athletically, as well as size and strength … Turnovers are a concern. Against top competition was very careless with the ball racking up some massive turnover totals (10 at Rhode Island, 7 vs. New Mexico and 8 at Oklahoma) … This could be a product of team quality, as he was forced to supply a large majority of his team’s offense … Gets too fancy with passes at times, looking for the spectacular. Settles for too many jumpers when switched against a big in pick and roll situations … Not a natural shooter. Lacks elevation on jumper, almost shooting a set shot from three … Low release point and slow delivery from behind the arc … Can be lax on the defensive side of the ball – has a tendency to take plays off on defense if his offense isn’t flowing … Will turn 22 in June and improved shooting stroke.

Notes: Scored team’s final 9 points in 2007 CAA Championship game to overcome late 5 point deficit … Hit game winning pull up jumper to defeat Duke in opening round of 2007 NCAA Tournament …
Adam Ganeles – 5/30/2009

Draft Express

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop

May 8, 2009

Eric Maynor falls somewhere in between Stephen Curry and Darren Collison in terms of his numbers, as he was a very high usage point guard, but still was able to remain fairly efficient—which is a very good sign. His 21.2 possessions per game place him 3rd in that category, but his overall PPP of .99 ranks a very respectable 6th. Maynor’s best quality appears to be his short range game, he got to the rim 8 times per game and posted a PPP of 1.12 as a finisher. That’s slightly above average, but few players on this list utilize the same mix of floaters and scoops that Maynor does, and those types of shots have a much greater degree of difficulty than the average layup. Maynor didn’t fall below the average in nearly any category, usually hovering around the middle of the pack, and his isolation PPP of 1.01 stood out amongst this group. The team that drafts Maynor will be getting a player that obviously knows his limitations and can play a number of roles well, but might not stand out in any one area immediately.

[Read Full Article]

Maynor’s Video Library

Introducing Eric Maynor

Eric Maynor (CAA Tourney)

VCU Loss to UCLA in 2009 NCAA Tourney

VCU Rams Tribute Video

Eric Maynor’s Combine Interview

Eric Maynor @ Timberwolves Pre-draft Workout (interview)

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Eric Maynor, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery | , , | 7 Comments

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

6’0″  196lbs

46% FG, 31.7% tre, 78% FT%, 17.4 ppg, 6.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 2.7 rpg, 3.4 tos

igm-gravatar-copyIGM ANALYSIS

Is this baller tall enough to lead a NBA team to the league championship?  Listed at 6’0″, he is 5’11 barefoot in the park.  But he is nice and long with a wingspan of 6’4″ to go along with his excellent speed and quickness.   Nevertheless, based on the videotape and the other scouting reports, I am a bit skeptical about Flynn’s ability to succeed in the D’Antoni all-offense-creates-defense scheme by taking us deep into the playoffs or close enough to the O’Brien Trophy.  We are reminded that the D’Antoni offense boosts everyone’s offensive skills  (even those of offending offensive players like Jared Jeffries’), so Flynn may produce some decent offensive stats but still show flaws that may not transcend (or improve) the offense or overcome the team’s lack of defensive prowess.

As usual, the visual highlights below accentuate the positive.  What is clear is that Flynn has speed and quickness as mentioned above.  He has range on his shot.  He has hops, so he can dunk and he can control his body to make difficult plays in mid-air and on the drive to the basket.  He can pass, often preferring the difficult mid-air pass or variations on the flying no-look or behind the back pass to a teammate in the paint.  He shows a little bit of pull-up shooting ability and he is able to stop and pop.  Flynn is also a showman.

What concerns me is what I don’t see.  I don’t see a real ability to score in the paint against big, long players.  While he can dish out some physicality, most of his drives to the basket don’t show him going up against bruising bodies. He will need to be effective going to the hole in this league.  I am reluctant to bet that he can handle the NBA inside game.

I also don’t see a solid mid-range game which will be essential in order to attract defenders away from the perimeter shooters and to counter the length he wii meet in the paint in the big league.  Of course, a mid-range game can always be developed.  The most recent proof of that is Rajon Rondo and to a lesser extent David Lee.

I don’t see him as a strong defender, which is a fault of these tapes which always focus on offensive highlights.  You can see him fill the lanes and pick off steals a couple of times, but I wonder how he is gong to guard the likes of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose.  Speed and quickness alone won’t cut it.  I also wonder how successfully he will defend the pick and roll.


Offensively, in the NBA, he should benefit from learning the pick and roll.  He is quick and has a nice bounce pass in his repetoire. However, his turnover numbers are a bit off-putting and suggest that either he is careless and does not value possessions or he tires fast and is unable to execute frequently.  Either way, the high TO ratio also reflects poorly on his decision-making and his handle.


Flynn is a nice offensive talent, but if there is a better guard on the free agent market, I recommend taking him.  I like the potential of DeMar Rozan much better and would recommend Ty Lawson over Flynn if I were going to pick up a smallish guard.  I certainly still prefer Curry over Flynn.
 
 

 


OUTSIDE SCOUTING REPORTS

DRAFT EXPRESS

 Analysis:

Point guards like Jonny Flynn earn their paychecks on the court winning games in five on five settings, not in private workouts. Fortunately for Flynn, that was exactly what he was able to do in the month of March, leading his team to the Sweet 16. Regardless of the limitations of this evaluation, there were a couple of specific things we could learn or be reminded about here in Chicago.

As we saw at Syracuse, Flynn is one of the most explosive point guards in this draft, right in the same class as Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson. His shiftiness in the open floor and pure speed getting up and down the court was very impressive, as were his ball-handling skills. While there wasn’t anything to take away from this setting in terms of evaluating his playmaking skills or court vision, it was great to see what a natural leader Flynn is around his cohorts. He looked incredibly focused and professional at all times, and really appears to have the ideal personality you look for at his position, as he’s extremely engaging and charismatic.

From a skills standpoint, Flynn shot the ball just OK in the two days we saw him. His mechanics are fine and there doesn’t appear to be anything ‘broke’ about his shot, but he didn’t seem to be all that consistent with the jumpers we saw him put up. As you’ll see in the interview, he seems to recognize the importance of improving this part of his game, and as long as he puts the work in, he will probably be fine.

The one thing that immediately stands out about Flynn when you first meet him is his size. It will be interesting to see how tall he measures out at the combine and whether that has any influence on his draft stock. He did seem to get getting after it quite a bit in the three on three portion of the workout, which will definitely help his cause on the defensive end.

Flynn has his fans in the lottery right now, and would appear to be in excellent shape one month before the draft.
[Read Full Article]


Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop
May 8, 2009
Jonny Flynn was fast enough to compensate for his size on the NCAA level.
Flynn was a standout in two areas: his ability to get to the rim, and his one-on-one skills. Thankfully for him, those are two skills that the NBA values dearly. Clearly, his productivity is grounded in his first step. Flynn got to the rim 8.8 times per game, which accounted for a lot of his scoring, but his 1.24 PPP in unguarded catch and shoot situations and .94 PPP on pull up jumpers are both very respectable. His 4.3 possessions per game on isolations are amongst the best amongst big-conference players, and his 41% shooting on those plays isn’t awful. Couple those tools with his capacity to drive in both directions and his ability to draw fouls (16.1% SF), and it becomes hard not to think that Flynn could be, at the very least, a high quality backup if he improves his efficiency, especially once he masters the pick and roll (.84 PPP).
[Read Full Article]

NBA DRAFT.NET

NBA Comparison: Damon Stoudamire

Weaknesses: Despite elite athleticism and quickness and good strength, Flynn is still just 6-feet tall. He will have a much tougher time attacking the rim against NBA big men than he did in college … Because of that, Flynn needs to develop a more consistent jumpshot … His lack of size is a concern as it takes a special talent to overcome the size issue … More of a scorer than a distributor. Detractors question his ability to play the point guard position and run a team. Is he a natural point guard? Is he really ready? On the positive side, he’s a heady player who will likely learn as he goes and improve … At this point in his career, he is capable of ocasionally knocking down a long-range shot, but still does most of his damage in the paint … Adding a strong 3-point shot and even a consistent 12-15 foot shot to his game would make Flynn virtually unguardable … Can overdribble at times, but Syracuse’s offense called for him to dominate the ball … Will need to adapt to not having the ball in his hands all the time when he gets to the NBA … Will also have to limit turnovers … Flynn averaged 3.4 TOs per game as a sophomore …

Notes: Flynn, the Big East co-Rookie of the Year (along with DeJuan Blair) in 2008-2009, enjoyed a sensational sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.4 points and 6.7 assists per game. He was arguably the best point guard in the country and, because of his explosiveness, passion and leadership qualities, Flynn projects as a late-lottery pick in this draft.

Kevin Duffy 5/23/09

Strengths: A very quick point guard with tremendous handles, and an uncanny ability to score in bunches … An excellent leaper … Possesses a nice crossover, in-and-out, and hesitation dribbles to blow by his defender … Puts constant pressure on the opposition by probing and attacking gaps as well as pushing the ball in transition at all times … Changes direction on the break with remarkable ease and effectiveness … Great pick and roll player, attacks switches and turns the corner extremely well to get to the hoop … Completes plays around the basket with a variety of strong finishes … Has a well developed mid-range game with pull ups going both ways as well as an effective floater … Great form on his shot; well balanced, high release point and excellent elevation, and can shoot out to NBA range … Very adept at getting his teammates easy hoops by driving and dishing … Good body strength … Great lateral quickness and foot speed could make him a nightmare on the defensive end by pressuring ball handlers … Has a competitive spirit and the intelligence to excel at the point guard position …

Weaknesses: While he is fairly strong, he could still put on some more muscle at 511 or under, is undersized for the next level, and could be a mismatch waiting to happen for bigger guards, luckily he is a very good athlete which helps to overcome his lack of ideal size … Playing strictly in a zone focused program will hurt his development defensively due to lack of experience and knowledge of man to man principles … Can get in trouble by trying to do too much and over-dribbling … Tends to play out of the offense and is known to take some ill-advised shots … Settles too often for shooting contested jump shots instead of using his ability to get in the lane His court vision is decent, but needs to keep developing and become a better decision maker … Keeps the ball too long in transition and gets careless with his passes … Although he has decent assist numbers (5.3 per), needs to get better at setting up his teammates, which will help him become a more complete lead guard …

Borko Popic – 4/2/2008

Strengths: Tremendous athlete who always seems to have the game under control … A real competitor who wants to take the big shots and excels in the clutch. His performance in the 6 OT UConn game (16-16 FT) was a good example … One of the quickest guards in college basketball. Exceptional at getting into the lane and fearless finishing (sometimes dunking) over power forwards and centers … Though he doesn’t look overly muscular, Flynn possesses – and utilizes – great body strength for a 180-pound guard … Can use both hands to finish at the rim. Exhibits great body control and creativity to get his shot off against taller defenders … Can get to the foul line as well as any point guard out there, creating contact at the rim … Is a clutch performer who has knocked countless late-game free throws in his two-year career at Syracuse … Makes the game look easy because of his elite speed and quickness … Lockdown defender on the perimeter. Flynn enjoys playing defense and seems to take pride in shutting down opposing point guards … Displays solid court vision and strong leadership abilities … Has the basketball IQ, focus and skills to excel as a pick-and-roll point guard at the next level. Small but long. Has a 6’4 wingspan at just 5’11 barefoot.

FLYNN VIDEO LIBRARY

In Like Jonny Flynn Mixes

Jonny Flynn Syracuse

Jonny Flynn Workout

Jonny Flynn Interviews

June 6, 2009 Posted by | Jonny Flynn, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report Series: STEPHEN CURRY

Stephen Curry

curry6′ 3″,  185 lbs,

28.6 ppg., 5.6 apg, 3.5 spg, 4.4 rpg, 38,7% 3pt% more stats

igm-gravatar-copyIGM Analysis:

Stephen Curry is a difficult choice for a general manager with point guard needs to fulfill.  His lack of athleticism, body size and weight will lead many front office execs to consider that Curry is not built for the NBA.  Some analysts, like the big colleges that ignored Curry, believe that other talented point guards who are not as refined as shooters, have more upside than Curry.  Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans are seen as three prospects that will be better NBA ballers than Curry.

However, there are still other GMs who would not allow size and weight alone to dictate whether he is a lottery selection. IMHO, Curry’s skill set  is a cross between Ray Allen and Kevin Durant.  He can flat out shoot from anywhere  on the floor.  More importantly, he can do it while on the move and after stopping on a dime.  He has such a quick release that the size of whoever is guarding him is irrelevant especially if he is coming off pick and rolls, pick and pops, curls and the like.  He can also create his own shot off the dribble which gives a team a much needed closer in the mode of Hedo Turkuglo or Ben Gordon.

Questionable is his ability to defend in the NBA because of his body size.  But he certainly has the conditioning, the hand speed and the basketball knowledge to play good team defense and fill in passing lanes and close gaps.  He is listed at a debatable 6’3″ and may possibly grow another inch or two, but he is really considered small and slight.

There is no doubt, however, that Curry could be an effective role player, probably faster than J.J. Reddick whose college career is comparable.

In the final analysis, Curry is a pretty good, safe choice.  He undeniably will at least be a serviceable role player in the NBA.  How he develops depends on the coach, system and team he plays with.  For example, he would probably be a superb supportive 2-guard with a team like the Detroit Pistons,  Cleveland Cavaliers or Los Angeles Lakers.  He could certainly find a role with the offensive minded D’Antoni, but on a poor defensive team probably would make him  an even greater liability.

I am also loving this guy’s commitment and professionalism.  Can professionalism be overrated?  Curry, while at Davidson, was basically playing in his back yard and was under the tutelage and watchful eye of his parents.  He is definitely a young kid who is just starting to get out on his own as he indicated in his new blog, but he knows what to expect from the NBA and has clearly been well prepared to be a shooter in this league.   Check out how he is preparing for the Chicago Combines scheduled for  later this week.

For me, it all starts back with choosing an agent. And that’s a decision I’ve already made. I decided to go with Octagon Sports, a great group of guys who have a great resume, starting with Chris Paul and Rudy Gay, people like that who paved the way for guys like me coming in.

That led me up here to Washington D.C., where I’m working out with Idan Ravin, who’s known as “The Hoops Whisperer” to the guys around the league. He really works one of us hard individually, conditioning-wise and with ball-handling and things like that to prepare us for workouts.

I’m waking up every day at 8:30, eating breakfast and heading over to the gym. And it’s pretty much and hour and a half of grueling work that seems monotonous at times, but I feel like I’m getting better every day.

I’m trying to get stronger and lift. I get in there three or four times a week to work on basketball-related strength exercises. That’s something that most people say I need to work on, so we continue to do that while I’m up here

I also like the fact that Curry is always underrated by the powers that be and he has a hunger and drive to be better than the projections.  He has a real quiet, cocky killer quality about him.  Heck, the kid took his high school to three conference titles and three state playoff appearances before single handily putting Davidson on the NCAA radar because bigger schools did not believe in him.  Heart.  Don’t discount heart.

The Knicks could certainly use a shooter like Curry (not to mention another good organizational representative).  However, this choice would continue to show that D’Antoni has very little commitment to defense.  A Curry-Robinson back court would be one of the most exciting offensive back courts in the game, but they would probably allow as many points as they score over a 30 minute period.  With no shot blocking ability and poor help defensive schemes the Knicks would continue to be an irritating team to watch.  Consider the following rotation:

Curry-Duhon-Chandler-Lee-Harrington to start, followed by Curry-Hughes-Gallinari-Chandler-Wilcox

The second rotation has a good balance of length and outside/inside scoring.  The problem is that there is no true playmaker in the bunch although Hughes, Curry and Gallinari can create their own shots and make decisions off the dribble. Curry is certainly an improvement.

All Stephen Curry Davidson Wildcats Stats and Game Log for 2008-09Stephen can also be found on Facebook and his NBA.com Blog or Twitter @Stephen30.

Between Curry and Lawson, who we have seen thus far, I think the choice is not as simple as we would like it to be.  They both have considerable intangibles, but I give Curry a slight edge because of his fight, hunger and pedigree.  Difficult choice, IMHO.

OTHER SCOUTING REPORTS

NBA DRAFT.NET ANALYSIS

Stevan Petrovic – 12/15/2008

Strengths: Made transition from SG to PG this year, but he is more of a combo guard that makes good decisions than a true PG … Best scorer in the NCAA so far at 31.9 PPG … Puts a lot of pressure on defense with his scoring ability and quickness … Looks fearless on the floor and plays under control … Can get any shot he wants and has great shot efficiency … Teams are completely focusing on him defensively, rotating different players at him, so he’s under pressure at all times and still finds a way to hit difficult shots every game … Very confident shooter, especially when the game is on the line (vs. WV struggled the whole game and was not afraid to take over at the end) … Curry can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot from anywhere on the floor and he doesn’t need much space to get his shot off (he will cross-over, trough the legs dribble, behind the back…) … Gets defenders off balance using pump fakes and uses defenders overeagerness to his advantage … Very difficult to guard because he possesses a quick and consistent release on his shot (on the move or under pressure as well) and has NBA range … Moves well without the ball. Great footwork when coming off screens, always ready to shoot … Curry is good at changing speed and direction and handles the ball well … In the open court he can stop on a dime at full speed, with his feet in perfect position (under control) and separate from his defender for open jump-shot … Great vision while driving to the basket and control with the ball … Defensively Curry is crafty and a smart defender with good hands 2.9 STL (not a lockout defender); moves his feet well on defense and stays in front of his defender without gambling much … Solid lateral quickness. Possesses a great will to win. Excellent free-throw shooter .874 … Doesn’t show too much emotion, even keeled. Has been around the game his entire life which gives him an edge knowing what it takes …

Weaknesses: Far below NBA standard in regard to explosivenes and athleticism … At 6-2, he’s extremely small for the NBA shooting guard position, and it will likely keep him from being much of a defender at the next level … Although he’s playing point guard this year, he’s not a natural point guard that an NBA team can rely on to run a team … Struggles defensively getting around screens … Can overshoot and rush into shots from time to time (vs. WV) … Hasn’t had to deal with getting benched due to poor performance (shooting) which has allowed him to shoot through any slumps. Will have to adjust to not being a volume shooter which could have an effect on his effectiveness … Doesn’t like when defenses are too physical with him … Not a great finisher around the basket due to his size and physical attributes … Makes some silly mistakes at the PG position. Needs to add some muscles to his upper body, but appears as though he’ll always be skinny …

Draft Express.com

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop
May 8, 2009
Stephen Curry had little opportunity to be efficient, since he was doing enough shooting for three people at Davidson.

Curry’s 31.9 possessions per game is highest usage of any player in the draft this season. Its 50% higher than any other point guard not named Lester Hudson. With that in mind, it is important to take his average .94 PPP with a grain of salt, since it is representative of the load he carried and not the role he will play in the NBA. Curry took 5.4 catch and shoot jumpers per game, and his 1.15 PPP with a hand in his face and 1.33 PPP when left open both land him well above average. In terms of his shooting off the dribble, Curry took 11.6 pulls up jumpers per game, more shots than some players took in total.

Projecting him to the next level, Curry is an interesting case. He’s likely to do a lot of his damage in spot up situations in the NBA, but got only 8.9% of his possessions off of spot ups last seasons. He’s not likely to use a lot of one-on-one possessions, but he used 8.6 per game last season (1st). Averaging 8.3 isolations per game (68.3% Left), Curry probably won’t sniff half that number next season. In terms of guard play, his 41% shooting in transition ranks second to last, showing how hard he was pressing to score, but his 1.3 PPP on the pick and roll is excellent—which leaves a lot of room for optimism. He did use 2.6 possessions per game as a jump shooter running off of screens, so he does have a nice base of experience there, but it is notable how far apart Curry’s role in the NCAA was from the role he is likely to play in the NBA.

RealGM.com  Christoper Reina

As a point guard, Curry is far more gifted than he is frequently given credit for. He has a good imagination that is facilitated by an excellent court vision and a natural sense of the movement of the floor. He isn’t the best creator of offense for others in this draft and isn’t a natural passer the way he is a natural shooter, but he is still a very skilled passer, certainly above average, fundamentally sound and sometimes devastatingly brilliant.

He is at his best as a passer when delivering a lead pass over the defense in transition, which of course tantamount to being an effective point guard in the seven seconds or less system. He also is very good at selling the defense on fakes with his dribble or eye contact. Curry is strong with the overhead pass and frequently uses an effective underhand pass with his left.

In terms of converting assists, the difference between Curry’s teammates at Davidson and wherever he ends up playing in the NBA will be more dramatic than any other player in the draft. He didn’t have a single teammate who was capable of going up into the air and getting the ball and they even blew countless easy lay-ups on potential assists. On the other hand, Curry’s teammates are less likely to be so wide open as he faced countless double teams and defensive schemes designed to stop him from scoring. It is a trade Curry will gladly make, however.

Curry’s handle is the ability he must work on the most on the offensive end of the floor. He is pretty good at going east and west, but he lacks the pure explosion and ball control to beat his man past their hip; he usually beats his man when they sell on a fake that he will pull up to shoot or via a savvy change of pace dribble. He shows some good jukes, whether between his legs or more frequently behind the back, but there is always a feeling that he is walking a tightrope when a quick defender gives him a lot of pressure. He very rarely will use his body to protect his dribble, which isn’t too shocking and will evolve along in time.

Stephen Curry Video Report

About Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry Highlights

Curry Highlight Mix

Curry’s Conditioning

Note: Curry averaged 33.7 minutes per game during the 2008-09 season.  A good sign for the Knicks.  D’Antoni is big on conditioning.

The Pedigree or Daddy Day Care

Note: Curry is a child prodigy because his father is a teacher (the same advantage as Mozart).  Curry (and his sharp shooting brother) is a very good and willing student.

NEXT: Brandon Jennings


May 25, 2009 Posted by | NBA Draft | , , | 3 Comments