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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

WALSH SPEAKS ON THE UPCOMING DRAFT

Donnie Walsh Transcript

compiled by Ricky Henne, NYKnicks.com


Posted Jun 22 2009 3:oo p.m.


Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh addressed the media on Monday, just three days before the 2009 NBA Draft. Below is a transcript of what Walsh had to say regarding the draft, the Knicks and the NBA in general.

Question: Why would you have (Jrue) Holiday in twice?

Donnie Walsh: I just wanted to take a final look at him, because I’ve seen him but I wanted to make sure everybody saw him, scouts and coaches.

Question: How much of a fear is it, I mean obviously there have been a lot of guys who have gone from being freshman to being good NBA players, but is that something also for guys like him that are in that same boat?

Walsh: Yeah, but there’s a lot of them. So is it a fear? No, not if you think that he can project into being a good NBA player. So in the case of most of the guys that are in this draft, that’s what is being done. But it is a jump of faith to try to predict a guy into a certain level, because you are going on what is his potential and if you feel good that he is going to reach it.

Question: Is there something you didn’t see from Holiday the first time that you wanted to?

Walsh: No. I saw him play in the regular season so I have a good feel for him. But going into the draft, you start watching the way the draft can go and you want to make sure. So there wasn’t anything earth shattering, it was like, well, why not let him come in again. And his agent said fine. Most of these kids are going to go to the NBA Draft, so they are on their way anyway.

Question: Are you aware of the smokescreens that are out there now, and the teams ahead of you? I mean, Washington is talking about seven players…

Walsh: Yeah I know.

Question: So do you see games being played, especially because there is a lot of parity in this draft?

Walsh: Yeah, I think that’s true. The only player right now is (Blake) Griffin. You know where he’s going and after that, all the way down past us, you have no idea who is taking who. And I think its to a degree because there is parity. There’s also at this point most teams got a guy that they want to take, and they don’t want anyone else to kind of figure it out. And we have a few teams that are traditionally like that at the top of the draft, and have been for a while.

Question: So do you have to have a plan A, B, C, D…

Walsh: Yes, of course. That’s what we’ll do.

Question: Is that what looking at Holiday a second time is?

Walsh: That’s part of it, but I think we also have until Thursday night and we need to spend it exactly on that to be sure that if this, this and this happens, where are we?

Question: When he talks about smokescreens, is that what people talking about (Hasheem) Thabeet and (Ricky) Rubio falling out of the top four is? Or are you pretty confident that they won’t be around when you pick eighth?

Walsh: No, I’m not.

Question: So you are confident or you aren’t that they will be available?

Walsh: I’m not confident that they will be in the top four.

Question: So they could slide down your way?

Walsh: Yea, they could. I mean, it’s possible. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but you are hearing all this stuff and reading all this stuff. It could happen.

Question: Is this the most in flux a draft has been that you can recall?

Walsh: Not really. I mean, I think they are all like this. People are afraid of teams jumping ahead of them. They figure out, ‘Oh, ok if I want this guy he’s going to stop at four, then I have to get three” and then a trade at the last minute (could happen).

Question: Do you understand why Rubio might slip? Is it because of his situation with the buyout, he hasn’t worked out for anyone…

Walsh: I think it’s effected (Brandon) Jennings as well. They are not here, you don’t hear a lot about them, in Rubio’s case he didn’t work out, so you either really have to want him, because he is not in the news so to speak as much as the other players. And I think Jennings was that way too. That’s why he’s working out a lot. I’m sure he’s impressing some teams.

Question: Did you ask or want Rubio to come in?

Walsh: Probably back, but not now. We are down to it, and we know he’s a good player.

Question: But earlier in the process…

Walsh: Well when we started, I probably wanted to get him in.

Question: So you won’t meet with him?

Walsh: I don’t need to.

Question: Is he still number one on top of the board in terms of point guards?

Walsh: I don’t know. You have to ask the guy whose got two. (laughs)

Question: So on draft night you will have a scenario of someone trying to get up to number two…

Walsh: Yeah, those things happen in the draft. I’m not saying you don’t talk about them now. It’s also in the draft, you might get a call five minutes before you pick or five minutes before they pick.

Question: Do you think there will be any less of that because of the parity?

Walsh: I think there’ll be more than that.

Question: Given the depth of the draft at point guard, do you think it’s likely that’s where you end up?

Walsh: No, I don’t. The players that are at our pick, and the player we think is best for us, that’s who we’ll pick. We haven’t picked out a position that we need to get in this particular draft.

Question:Are you thinking that (Stephen) Curry and Tyreke (Evans) just might not be there at eight?

Walsh: I think that there are a lot of guys that might not be there so I have to be ready for who is there and what we’re looking for. There are good players.

Question: The player that you draft, could he impact the free agents, particularly the top free agents that you have?

Walsh: It depends who it is to be honest. There are some guys that are ready to play right now, and there are some that are very young and need time. The draft isn’t something you can grade the next day. You have to wait to see how you do. There is LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but in most cases, players need time.

Question: Last year, it was the first time working with Mike (D’Antoni). His system isn’t traditional. Do you look at that when you are picking?

Walsh: Yeah, I think you always do that. You always have a coach who has a style, so you try to pick for that style, but not 100-percent. If the guy is good enough, you figure he’ll fit in to his style.

Question: Do you want another number one pick because you don’t have one next year?

Walsh: I’d love to have one but people aren’t running around offering.

Question: Are you shopping for one, or even a two?

Walsh: Yeah I mean you always ask, but people are very reluctant to do that because they don’t know how they are going to be next year.

Question: There is talk with the way economy is, teams might be selling off picks. Have you seen any of that?

Walsh: No. I haven’t seen anything like that. We kind of talked to some people we thought would, and they haven’t yet.

Question: How far down in the draft would you go if you got a pick for next year to make it worthwhile?

Walsh: This year, I think you will be able to pick players 20-30, who while they haven’t got the cache of some of the players that are picked before that, so I think once we get the draft down and we are pretty close to it, you might be able to get a really good player at 20-30 if you get the right pick.

Question: Is there a market for your players? I mean a good market?

Walsh: I’m not sure. Because I probably value them more than other people.

Question: You’ve been asked about your players I presume.

Walsh: Yeah, there are some who do and some who don’t.

Question: When you talk about what you need and talk about point guards, it seems you like a scoring point guard?

Walsh: That’s not true.

Question: So what do you feel like you need from that position right now.

Walsh: I think a guy that can play a fast tempo. And I’d like a guy who can defend too, so those things. But someone who can play a fast tempo, because that’s what we want to play.

Question: Some say after that the players after one, they all seem kind of the same. Is this not a mediocre draft? Are you saying it is a decent draft?

Walsh: Well I think there are good players in the draft, so in that regard, there will be good players where we are so in that sense it is a good draft. You know, you have to wait two or three years to find out how really good it was. There are some years you go in thinking it’s not a really good draft, and you wake up two years later and these guys are starting, one through 20, and you think ‘Wow, that was a good draft.’

Question: When you evaluated Curry and he talked so much about wanting to be here, how much of a factor is that to you? Just the fact that he’s talking about it, what do you think of it?

Walsh: Well I’ve heard that from a lot of players, and so I like that. I like it better than someone who says he doesn’t want to be here. (laughs)

Question: How different is it this year in New York compared to your first year in the draft?

Walsh: It’s the same. I mean, I’ve told you guys I think you’ve got to get good players when you have this kind of opportunity. So that’s what I think. We have to pick the right guy.

Question: Have you seen Rubio play in person?

Walsh: No. I saw him on TV and all that, and I’ve watched a lot of film on him. A lot.

Question: But your people have.

Walsh: Yeah, I’ve got a European scout who is from people. We have people.

Question: How much do you blame the player or the agent when he decides he doesn’t want to work out?

Walsh: I don’t blame the player. Usually it’s the agents strategy and it either works or it doesn’t.

Question: What’s the strategy?

Walsh: The strategy is to get him picked by the teams the guy wants him to get picked by.

Question: Do you think New York is one of those teams that people wouldn’t mind…

Walsh: Well because we are at eight, not at the beginning but maybe at the end. Who knows? I’m not part of that strategy.

Question: What is your opinion about the one-and-done rule? Would you like to see high school kids be able to come out?

Walsh: I’m probably at the other end of the stick. I thought we had a great farm system. And it was free. But it is what it is now. The NCAA.

Question: Do you think there would be less scandals…

Walsh: Well I’m not going to comment on that because I am not in that world anymore. I just think that when guys went to college for four years, when they came out, they were ready to go to the pros. They receive great coaching, they receive a college degree. So when they come into this world they were ready. We as teams now, we have to make up for that when they get here. We’re doing the best we can. We’re fasting getting to a point where we can do it well, but it wasn’t traditionally so what an NBA team did when it started.

Question: Being that you want to compete sooner than later, are you more apt to go with a player who can contribute right now than a player who might be a project and might take a year?

Walsh: It depends who it is. It really depends on how good I think he can be eventually. And that can be an older guy or a younger guy. You have to look at that.

Question: There are a few small point guards in this league. How important is height as a fact for point guards?

Walsh: Well I would like them to be bigger than smaller, but there are obviously some smaller point guards who are making an impact on the league. I think a lot of that has to do with the rules on the perimeter, so they are not counted out just because they are smaller anymore.

Question: Do you think it’s easier for them to get along in today’s NBA than it used to be?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I think the floor has opened up a lot. It’s very hard to guard some of the quickness that’s coming into the league particularly with smaller guards, without putting your hand on them and that’s a foul now. Back when I started they could pick you up with one hand and that wasn’t a foul. (laughs) But yeah, I think its better.

Question: Is this your last lottery pick in New York?

Walsh: I hope. Well I’ll say this, whether I was in New York or Indiana, I hope this is my last lottery pick. I never like being in the lottery.

Question: As the Celtics and the Lakers have proven the last couple of years, if you take on salary, there are big time players available if you want to make a trade. Do you think that will happen again this year given how many teams are trying to cut costs?

Walsh: Yeah, I think the guys you think can make a difference to take you from a losing team to a winning team, people will make the investment. But if its close, they might night.

Question: Do you think there are teams that are willing to take on salary anymore?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I mean, I think there will be, if they see its going to push them up into a winning team. Because if you have a winning team, then you fill the stands and you make a lot more money. And I think that’s the way those teams think. And they want a chance to win the playoffs.

Question: Do you have a better feeling about the David Lee situation today than you did when the season ended?

Walsh: Absolutely not, because I’m not allowed to talk to him or his agent. I mean, I can say hello and that kind of stuff, but no I don’t. I won’t know that until July 1.

Question: How is (Danilo) Gallinari’s recovery?

Walsh: Good, from what I’m told. He went to a photo shoot for the league I think, so I haven’t seen him in about a week. But all the reports I’m getting back is that the operation was a success, and whatever remains to be done is more rehab, and then I have to talk to him to know exactly, but it doesn’t seem to be a big obstacle for him. The doctor is at the point where she’ll let him go play now. But I haven’t talked to her. But he’s close.

Question: Can any pick you make be influenced by what you might possibly want to do later in the summer in free agency or trades or whatever?

Walsh: Well, you are always influenced by what you need and what you might do. So yes, those things could come into it. I’m at a stage now though where I’m trying to see who is the best player for the team, and I’m assuming if you do that, then those things will be there.

Question: Any sense of what the chances are you are going to stay at eight at this point?

Walsh: No, I mean, how many trades get done in the draft? Whatever that percentage is, that’s what it is. Everyone wants to move up all the time.

Question: How confident are you after this offseason ends that you can make the playoffs?

Walsh: Well look, that’s what we want to do. Confident? Well I won’t be confident until we do it. I mean, we’ve got to go out and do it. You can go out and talk about it all you want, but the idea is to try to get to that. And I talked on my first day here, that the most difficult thing will be last year and this year because you’ve got to be very careful with what you’re doing if you have a strategy, like trying to stay under the cap?

Question: How’s Eddy Curry?

Walsh: He’s doing well, from everything I’ve heard. I did see him one day on the day of the Chicago thing, I went up to Detroit and watched him work out. And he’s working very hard, he’s losing weight, and he’s starting to get his body to look like an athlete’s body again. I have to give him credit for working as hard as he can work to try to do it.

Question: When you watch the Finals and you see how the playoffs shook out, bigs are valuable. You have one that a couple of years ago was in the conversation to be an all-star…

Walsh: Yeah, and bigs are valuable in the playoffs. That’s when they are at their best and you really need them, because they can distort the game. And he’s a low post player. Now, at the four and sometimes at the five, you get guys who are standing outside shooting. But when you get to the playoffs, that isn’t as dramatic as having a guy they have to double-team and have to worry about all the time. So you always want that.

Question:What about Jonny Flynn?

Walsh: He’s a guy, who even in college, if you catch him on the right day, even in these workouts, this guy, if teams want a certain type of point guard, then you go for him.

Question: What about Sacramento and all the talk about them and what they might do?

Walsh: Well they are the eye of the storm right now. Everyone is trying to figure out what they are going to do, and it will be different tomorrow.

Question: Hypothetically, if Rubio is sitting there are eight, is it a slam dunk that you would take him?

Walsh: It depends who he is with. I can’t predict who he will be with. But I think there are other players who are on his level. He has experience, a great game, flair – but like most players in the draft he’s got some things he does better than most NBA players and he some things that he doesn’t do. And I can’t think of anybody in this draft that doesn’t fit into that category. That’s where he is. He’s like 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5. That’s a big guard.

Question: Is that what you like most about Holiday, that he is a two-way player?

Walsh: Yeah. I mean, he’s a good player. And he is good defensively, yeah.

Question: Of the guards, is Evans the most explosive going to the basket?

Walsh: Well, he is one of them because he is powerful and he has a great handle. If he gets kind of an opening, he is very strong so he gets there. There are a couple who get there one quickness, he gets there because of that. And he can pass too. If you help off on him, which you are probably going to have to do, he will get the open guy.

Question: Is he a combo guy? Is he more of a two in your mind?

Walsh: No. I think he can play both, but he will be a point guard eventually in the NBA. You can post him. I think he weighs 215.

Question: Does he have to work on his shot a little bit?

Walsh: Yeah, but I didn’t see – all these guys that I heard couldn’t shoot, that would be the quote, I didn’t think they were that far away. So I think all these guys they are saying that about, they will get better in the NBA because most players once the concentrate on being a pro and are shooting all the time, they get better. And their form, these guys forms at this point, they are not bad. I mean, he shot it well when he was here. He was hitting threes. He shot it very well.

Question: Are there questions about Stephen Curry defensively?

Walsh: Well, I think you have to have a system for all these players, and to me, a guy like Curry is smart enough to figure it out and learn how to play in the NBA defensively.
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Related Previous Posts:

Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

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 22, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, Donnie Walsh, Jrue Holiday, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , , | 21 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: Jrue Holiday

6’4″, 207lbs

8.5 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.6 spg 45% (FG%), 52.8% (2pt%), 30% (3Pt%)

igm-gravatar-copy

IGM ANALYSIS

Jru Holiday did not withdraw from the draft, so he may be the reason Rubio drops to the 8th spot. He will be picking an agent soon since his stock rose considerably during workouts in Sacramento, New York, Milwaukee, Golden State and Phoenix.

If he was without a promise of a top five position, his advisers (he has no agent but IMG and Don Fegan popped up in rumors) would probably advise him to go back to UCLA and re-enter the draft next year. UCLA Coach Ben Howland promised Holiday that he would have the ball in his hands next season if he decided to return to school. Another year would have allowed him to erase the bad freshman year from recent memory and to strengthen his reputation for a higher slot and more money next year.  However, his workouts, during which he played his natural position (point guard), seems to have impressed the Kings who have the 4th spot and had him in workouts twice.  According to one reporter, Holiday’s defensive skills did not match Jennings’ speed but Jennings did not prove he could run a team in the part of the workout open to reporters.   He is also being considered to run alongside Stephen Jackson and Monte Ellis in Golden State which has the 7th pick.

Holiday has the physical tools. He  seems to have a nice emotional and intellectual demeanor. Holiday says that he tries to model his game after Chauncey Billups and Deron Williams. His major problem is those weak freshman year stats he’s carrying around with him.  8.5 points per game .  Everyone understands, however, that his freshman year was not optimal for showcasing his true skills because he played the 2 spot, instead of his natural position, next to senior point guard Nick Collison.  The positive from the experience was that Jrue learned to deal with adversity and spent a lot of time playing off the ball which is not a bad skill to develop.

The videotape is not spectacular, but his skills are very solid.  He clearly needs to learn to shoot better, but he can hit from anywhere on the floor.  He has a nice pull-up jumper.  He can drive to the hoop with strength and absorb the contact.   He certainly needs to improve on his woeful shooting (he knows that) from the arc and 72.6% from the free throw line for someone who can create a shot on the drive does not get one excited.  He also admits a need to work on  his ballhandling.  I did not see a problem there and he only averaged 2.0 TOs in 27 minutes per game, so I think he should be fine there.What gets you excited though is his defensive ability and overall tenacity.  This guy plays both sides of the ball with intensity.  I love it.

Draft Depot Profile

Player Biography: A highly rated point guard (#2 Rivals.com; #4 Scout.com) from North Hollywood, California, Holiday averaged 25.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 4.8 steals as a senior for Campbell Hall. Holiday, the 2008 Gatorade National Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American, led Campbell Hall to three championships in four years before committing to UCLA. Playing alongside senior Darren Collison, Holiday made an immediate impact for the Bruins, excelling defensively and solidifying himself as a top point guard prospect for the NBA Draft.

Strengths:

• Decision making

• Basketball IQ

• On-ball defense

• Off-ball defense

• Versatility

• Pick and roll skills

• Work ethic

• Finishing ability

• Strength/size

• Court vision

Weaknesses:

• Perimeter shooting

• Combo guard?

• Lacks scorer’s mentality

• Limited collegiate production

• Upside

NBA DRAFT.NET

Strengths: Long and wiry combo guard … A crafty ballhandler that knows how to get defenders off balance with the dribble … Has a good repertoire of moves and mixes them up well to keep the defense guessing … He has a deceptive 1st step and shifty quickness making him difficult to contain on the perimeter … Is adept using both hands, either when attacking or finishing … Uses his body as well as his length to finish around the basket … Utilizes a variety of floaters and runners in the lane … Likes to pull up from the midrange where he shoots with balance and good rhythm … Shows good speed in the open court and the ability to manoeuvre through traffic with the dribble while going full speed … Puts in a good effort defensively, where he enjoys being aggressive and pressuring ballhandlers … Has good hands, anticipates well and uses his wingspan to get many deflections … He is unselfish and possesses good court vision and has shown glimpses of being able to run a team full time …

Weaknesses: Had a very disappointing season in terms of the hype he had coming in from highschool … Played out of position for the majority of the season, and struggled finding his comfort zone … Battled inconsistency with his shot all year and it threw the rest of his offensive game off balance … Defenses showed very little respect for his outside shot, daring him to shoot and taking away his driving lanes … His form is a big issue as it throws his stroke off and makes his release inconsistent … He shoots off the side of his head with the shooting elbow way out, as a result his shot is all over the place …He does not have the superb athleticism or strength like many other combo guards … Tends to waste dribbles on the perimeter, killing the flow of the offense because he can be a ball stopper at times … Gets into trouble by over penetrating and then trying to make the spectacular play while in traffic and under pressure … Settles for contested jumpshots from outside and takes a lot of fading and offbalance attempts inside … Leaves his feet to make passes and gets caught with no options … Is stuck between positions because he has not proven that he can be a consistent scorer or that his decision making will translate to the next level …

Borko Popic – 6/2/2009

Strengths: Talented combo guard with a very smooth all around game … Makes the game look easy, very focused, steps up his level of play in big situations … Very determined, competitive player who takes over when it counts … A scoring point, but has enough pg skills to play the position on the NBA level … Very quick, athletic and explosive, gets by his man and to the rim with ease … Shoots the ball well out to college three … Very good in the full court game, able to find teammates on the break with great vision … Great competitor, very composed, intelligent decision maker … Gives good effort on the defensive end of the floor … Quality kid with a strong work ethic … Advanced offensively with the ability to pull up off the dribble and he also attacks the rim aggressively … Plays very mature, under control, doesn’t make unnecessary risks to dazzle …Weaknesses: Not a true point, more of a combo … Must continue to develop his point guard skills … Can learn to become a better floor general, distributing the ball, setting everyone up … Needs to gain experience … Must get stronger physically, to be able to finish off drives as well as shoot with more consistency … His ball handling ability is solid, but can improve …

Aran Smith – 7/24/2007

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JRUE’S VIDEO LIBRARY

Jrue Holiday Mixes

Jrue Holiday UCLA Highlights

Draft Preview: Jrue Holiday

NBA draft prospect Jrue Holiday’s college highlights – Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Jrue Holiday v. DeMar Derozan

Jrue Holiday Plays Defense

Jrue Holiday Workout With Sacramento Kings

Jrue Holiday Interviews

Ben Howland on Jrue Holiday

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Related Previous Posts:

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 16, 2009 Posted by | NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks | , , , , | 3 Comments

IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?

jennings_headerOn one hand, Brandon Jennings should keep his mouth shut as he disses player after player in his quest to become a top two lottery pick and an NBA star.  He should probably let his play in workouts do the talking for him.  Instead, he is supplementing (or is it supplanting?) his impressive one-on-one offensive displays with pot-shots at the likes of Tyreke Evans, Jru Holiday and now, Ricky Rubio.  (See video and draw your own conclusion).  Jennings has done the press a favor by giving them something to write about as the draft draws near and more focus is placed on a very competitve group of guards who are shaping the 2009 draft.

But, as Jennings finds a way to boost himself, while displaying either his arrogance or confidence (depending on how you look at it), you have got to wonder whether Jennings is playing the press to pump up his profile and marketability.  Jennings may have attended two high schools largely to play ball and had a hard time qualifying for college, but you gotta believe that his year in Europe taught him that the NBA is a business and this business will be his livelihood.  He knows that right?  Or is he just a skinny Ricky Henderson in shorts?

I don’t know for sure, but I think Jennings knows that being associated in a competition with Rubio is great for his career and probably Rubio’s.  Although he dogged-out Rubio a couple of days ago, Jennings  wrote some very nice things about him and his game in his December blog entry. He wrote:

“Now to what everyone wants to hear about, the game and the matchup with Ricky. Unfortunately Ricky only played about 8mins cause he’s still kind of hurt from a wrist injury he suffered in the Gold Medal game vs. Team USA, but in just 8mins he showed me a lot. I have a ton of respect for the dude. He’s real mature out there on the court, he has a great feel for the game. He passes the ball like crazy, reminds me of Steve Nash a little bit. Put it like this if he were in the class of 09 in high school basketball he would be the #1 player hands down. No question about it. I can only hope that when Ricky and I one day get to the NBA we can be like Chris Paul and Deron Williams, as our careers take off together like CP3 & D Will’s did. Despite what the critics say that he can’t shoot Ricky is going to be going a Great NBA player someday…he brings a complete game to the table.”

So who’s hyping who? Well, he got me.  I am looking forward to seeing them play each other in the near future.

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Related Previous Posts:

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 14, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, Rick Rubio | , , , | 8 Comments

Dante Who? Quick Views On Recruits Working Out For Knicks Today

Today the Knicks are having workouts with Dante Cunningham, Toney Douglas, Tywon McKee and Leo Lyons.  Here are some quick highlights so that you can get an idea of what the Knicks brass is looking at and looking for.

Dante Cunningham

Cunningham, at 6’8″, 230lbs is an undersized power forward with an intriguing mid-range game. He average 16.1 ppg in his senior year on 52.5% shooting. He hit and shot no tres. He is ranked 14th among PFs by Draft Express. Is this a replacement for David Lee? I hope not.

Toney Douglas

Florida State’s Douglas, a projected 2d round pick, is ranked as the 13th best PG in the draft by Draft Express, but hsi strength is his shooting especially off the pick and roll. He average 21.5 ppg on 48.9% shooting from deuce-land and 38.5% from the tre mark. He is said to be an excellent finisher, but he is definitely not the point guard the Knicks need. Shooting guard, maybe.

Leo Lyons

Leo Lyons at 6’9″ 225 is a power forward out of Mizzu who is projected to go in the second round. The tape sows that he has an array of offensive skills, but the word is that his defense is suspect adn he is foul prone. Looking at these quick highlights, I would also be concerned about his energy level as he seems to lumber along in his own highlights. His averages were 14.4ppg, 6.1 rpg with no blocks. He shot 49.% from the field, 35.7% from the three point line and 74% from the freebie semi-circle.

I could not find a quick hit of highlights on Tywain McKee, the Coppin State senior guard who averaged 18.4ppg, 4.1apg, 3 turnovers per game, and 2.8 steals per game. He shot 36% from the arc. I also did not find any profiles on his strength and weaknesses.

Here a little extra treat: video of Jrue Holiday’s pre-draft workout with the Sacramento Kings. He is scheduled to work out tomorrow. I hope to do a full-blown report on him before the week is out.

Related Fanatics Posts:

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Eric Maynor

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

Famatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: DeMar Derozan

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Brandon Jennings

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Stephen Curry

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Tywon Lawson

June 9, 2009 Posted by | NBA Draft | , , | 5 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: DeMar Derozan

6′ 7″, 220 lbs

13,9 ppg, 5.7 rpg,  1.5 apg, 0.9 spg,

igm-gravatar-copyIGM ANALYSIS

In the right system, with the right training,  DeMar may wind up being another spectacular player if based upon his physical gifts and potential alone.  DeMar is athletic but he does not shoot threes often or well.  However, he has a very nice shooting stroke which leads one to believe that he will get better with lots of practice. In that regard, his potential reminds me of Wilson Chandler’s potential and Chandler’s growth once he started getting playing time.  Wilson Chandler can now hit that tre with some regularity.  DeMar is also favorably compared to Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant.


According to one of DeMar’s interviews at the Combines the D’Antoni offensive style caught his eye.  I am surprised it didn’t catch both his eyes given his penchant for running the floor for spectacular dunks.  He also talks about how he loves to play defense since playing for USC.   Since D’Antoni is attracted to players with defensive mindsets to replace a defensive emphasis in his system, DeMar would eventually be a good fit for a Mike team once he learns to hit the tre and to move (pass) the ball quickly.


DeRozan topped out at 6’5″ without shoes at the Combines. Wearing stilletos, he added another 1 1/2 inches of height.


Derozan is also attractive because he can create and make his own shot from several spots under the arc. (Note: remind yourself that a player cannot “make” anyone else’s shots but his own.  LOL)   He has a turn around jumper, a step back jumper and a spin move, among other separation creating maneuvers. He can hit the mid-range jumpers including the short corner shot and execute the catch and shoot.


I like this kid’s upside a lot, but I do not think he is what the Knicks need at this time if they are trying to put a winning team on the floor in 2010. If they are looking at 2012 and developing this young man’s talents, particularly from the arc and charity stripe, I would take a gamble. If the Knicks are looking to get a guard from the free agency supermarket, I would take a chance on this baller.  If I were the GM for OakCity or Washington, I think I take this kid this year.


Final analysis is that I pick this kid over Brandon Jennings for potential and below Stephon Curry for right now.

OUTSIDE SCOUTING REPORTS

NBA DRAFT.NET

Adam Ganeles 5/11/09

Strengths: Jaw dropping athletic specimen. At a chiseled 6’6 220 with large wingspan. Possesses the prototypical frame for an NBA wing …Incredible leaper and explosive finisher. Vertical is reportedly 40 inches plus … His head is even with the rim on many of his dunks … Has all but mastered the art of the mid-range game … Shoots the ball exceptionally well from inside 20 feet. At his best with one dribble and then elevating, preferably to his left … Moves well without the ball, always looking for creases in the defense … Uses screens well and comes off ready to fire … Puts his unique package of leaping ability and strength to good use on the glass … Excellent offensive rebounder (2.4 per game) … Finishes strong around the basket, but shows finesse and variety with floaters and spin moves … Right hand dominant when attacking the hoop. Defenders know this, but he still gets to the rack, a testament to his first step and strength … Puts in a strong effort on the defensive end … Above average lateral quickness, but often too high in his defensive stance. Reads habit passes well off the ball … Showed signs of being a pressure performer, taking his game to another level in the Pac 10 tournament, completely outclassing his competition with a myriad of out of this world athletic displays …

Weaknesses: Still very much a work in progress, filled with untapped potential … Despite all of his physical attributes, is often satisfied to ‘go with the flow’. Does not look to dominate … His on court presence leaves much to be desired at this stage of his development .. He plays hard, but rarely full throttle … Passion to be a superstar has always been questioned .. Needs to enhance range on his jumper … Shot only 17% from three in his one season at USC, attempting only 1 per game … He steps into his mid-range jumper well, but tends to fade away on three point attempts … Despite a picturesque stroke, shot only 65% from the FT line … His ball handling needs a lot of work … Rarely, if ever, takes more than one dribble to his left without pulling up or spinning back right … Very predictable. Lacks creativity in the face up game which he will need to succeed at the next level … Despite his size and strength, he did not utilize the post up game at all in college. Not much of a passer or facilitator (1.5 assists per game) … Has a quick first step, but not dynamic … His ceiling is unlimited, but needs to add many significant dimensions to his game. A year older than his freshman counterparts, turning 20 in August.

DRAFT EXPRESS

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Small Forward Crop
April 24, 2009

• Whichever team drafts Demar DeRozan will be picking him in the hopes that he’ll growing into their system, and not because he’s already a great fit.

Unlike every other player in our analysis, DeRozan doesn’t make a living in any one situation, though he is one of the most efficient players on our list. In our last piece we discussed the new %Score stat which indicates how frequently a player scored a point based on their logged possessions. DeRozan ranks first amongst the nineteen players on our list at 54.4%. However, he ranks only 16th in overall PPP. This disparity stems from the fact that he shoots nearly three less three-pointers per game than the average player on our list (4.3 vs. 1.3) and ranks last in terms of three-point percentage at just 16.7%. He doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate to compensate and only converts on a mediocre 65% of his attempts once there. He makes up for that by shooting 49% from the field on his isolation opportunities (4th), knocking down his catch and shoot jumpers at a 43% clip (6th), and hitting 41% of his pull ups as well (4th). Clearly DeRozan has a solid knack for operating in the mid-range area, which should serve him well in the more spacing-friendly NBA. He’s also a good offensive rebounder—a testament to his excellent physical tools.

Outside of those areas, DeRozan proves a very average player across the board. His defensive rebounding totals sit just below the mean as does his assists numbers, PPP working off of cuts (1.22) and as a finisher around the rim in general (1.14). He sits a bit further below the average in a number of other situations including spot up (1.02 vs. 0.93) and transition opportunities (1.19 vs 1.03). Considering that he didn’t do almost any posting up (0.3 Pos/G) or shooting coming off of screens (0.7 Pos/G), the weight teams put on how significantly they believe he can improve his range and ability to improve his efficiency in a defined system will likely determine where he lands on draft day. A freak athlete, DeRozan has some natural offensive talent, but he’s essentially a blank canvas in terms of what kind of player he can be in the long run. Whoever picks him will obviously need to be patient, although he may more upside that arguably any wing player in this draft.

VIDEO LIBRARY

DeMar’s High School Mixes

DeMar Goes To College

DeMar DeRozan v. Jrue Holliday

DeMar Derozan Draft Combine Interview

June 6, 2009 Posted by | NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks | , , , | Leave a 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