Monday, October 29, 2007

NBA Wing Preview

So, to follow up my NBA Point Guard Preview this is the NBA Wing Preview which will consist of the top 8 players at the shooting guard and small forward positions. A big question mark is how healthy Dwyane Wade can stay throughout the season. Anyways, without further delay...

1. Kobe Bryant - This was a tough decision putting him ahead of LeBron. He may not have the best personality but he can flat-out play the game of basketball. You can only wonder how long he can keep up his scoring averages but is projected to average 32 a game this year.
Stats: Scoring per game- 31.6
Rebounding Rating- 14.5
Foul Drawing- 14.3%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 47.4
Clutch Rebounding- 15.3
Clutch Foul Drawing- 14.8%

2. LeBron James - This is the player that everyone loves and is obviously destined for greatness. However, it sure as hell ain't happening in Cleveland. But this is not about his team, it's about him. Last year, he averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists a game, which really shows how good of an all-around game he plays.
Stats: Scoring per game- 27.3
Rebounding Rating- 17.4
Foul Drawing- 16.3%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 42.4
Clutch Rebounding- 16.0
Clutch Foul Drawing- 16.9%

3. Dwyane Wade - Okay, I know this is a bit of a gamble putting him all the way up at number three but I think it could work out. Along with his 27 points a game, he produced 5 rebounds and 8 assists a game for his team. If he can bring those numbers back the rest of the League better watch out.
Stats: Scoring per game- 27.4
Rebounding Rating- 12.6
Foul Drawing- 19.4%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 52.1
Clutch Rebounding- 7.7
Clutch Foul Drawing- 15.4%

4. Carmelo Anthony - He seems to keep getting better and I was thoroughly impressed with his play in the FIBA Americas. Melo's game is maturing and is turning into a perennial superstar in the League. Not only can he score, but he also is a good rebounder and his field goal percentage is up there.
Stats: Scoring per game- 29.0
Rebounding Rating- 16.1
Foul Drawing- 12.6%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 38.5
Clutch Rebounding- 13.6
Clutch Foul Drawing- 18.2%

5. Tracy McGrady - The one gripe about this guy? He can't get his team far in the playoffs. You may want to recheck that because he's definitely doing his part. Last postseason, he averaged 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. His 'Hands' Rating was higher than most point guards. This guy is a straight-up baller.
Stats: Scoring per game- 24.6
Rebounding Rating- 15.2
Foul Drawing- 12.7%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 40.6
Clutch Rebounding- 15.6
Clutch Foul Drawing- 6.2%

6. Paul Pierce - His scoring average dropping this year is to be expected but everything else should go up with his new all-star teammates: Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. My only concern is if his body can hold up the entire season. He isn't getting any younger and missed 35 games due to injury last year.
Stats: Scoring per game- 25.0
Rebounding Rating- 16.7
Foul Drawing- 14.1%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 40.6
Clutch Rebounding- 15.3
Clutch Foul Drawing- 15.7%

7. Luol Deng - I know many of you will disagree with my putting him this high. However, he was a complete beast in the postseason last year. He averaged 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists a game helping his team blow by the defending champion Heat in the first round. Luol is only getting better.
Stats: Scoring per game- 18.8
Rebounding Rating- 19.3
Foul Drawing- 11.4%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 16.3
Clutch Rebounding- 17.1
Clutch Foul Drawing- 14.0%

8. Michael Redd - This guy can score but other than that he is quite limited. He averages 27 a game yet only averages 4 rebounds and 2 assists each night. Redd, however, did up his stock greatly in the FIBA Americas where he made 29 of 64 threes in only 199 minutes.
Stats: Scoring per game- 26.7
Rebounding Rating- 10.5
Foul Drawing- 14.0%
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 36.4
Clutch Rebounding- 11.2
Clutch Foul Drawing- 14.8%

There you have it. I hope you like them and you can expect the Big Man Preview to be rolling out in the next couple of days. Here's a video of our number two wing to pass the time:

Stats are courtesy of

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

NBA Point Guard Preview

The season is coming. Fast. As a point guard myself, I like to compare players at that position. Some players that flew up since the beginning of last year are Deron Williams, Baron Davis, and Mo Williams. To start this season I will rank the top eight point guards. All the stats are courtesy of The passing rating is a combination of assists, passing turnovers, and bad passes. The 'hands' rating is a combination of offensive fouls, bad passes, and ball handling turnovers. All clutch stats must be in the last 5 minutes of either the 4th quarter or overtime and the game must be within 5 points either way.

1. Steve Nash - He is the greatest playmaker in the game today. Nash makes everyone around him better. This year he will have three new teammates: Grant Hill, Brian Skinner, and Alando Tucker. Yes, he is getting older but with age comes wisdom. He knows what he's doing out there and can still play the game. This year may be the year for the Phoenix Suns. When Nash was on the floor last year, his team got 119 points every 100 possessions. When he wasn't on the court they were getting 106 points every 100 possessions.
Stats: Passing Rating- 22.3
'Hands' Rating- 41.3
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 36.4
Clutch Passing- 21.2
Clutch 'Hands'- 39.4

2. Jason Kidd - No matter how old this guy gets he'll still be able to make a difference in games. Last year he averaged 13 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds a game. Kidd hit a career high in rebounds last year and is still racking up the triple-doubles (he is third on the all-time list and had 12 this past season). Because of that, he joined the Big O and Magic Johnson as the only players to ever average 9 assists and 8 rebounds in the same season.
Stats: Passing Rating- 15.1
'Hands' Rating- 30.3
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 15.4
Clutch Passing- 14.4
Clutch 'Hands'- 25.4

3. Deron Williams - Last year's breakout star should have another successful season in Utah. Williams raised his assists per game average from 4.5 to 9.3 last year. He also averaged 16.2 points per game. Last season, in clutch situations, he played 94% of all the minutes which is a testament to endurance and fatigue.
Stats: Passing Rating- 14.9
'Hands' Rating- 27.7
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 25.7
Clutch Passing- 20.1
Clutch 'Hands'- 36.8

4. Chauncey Billups - He is the "assists-per-turnover-ratio" king. Billups led that category the past two season. Last year, he averaged close to 4 assists for every turnover of his. Also, he was getting 17 points a night. This year, he will have some young legs to work with in the backcourt with the acquisition of Rodney Stuckey.
Stats: Passing Rating- 12.5
'Hands' Rating- 25.3
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 34.6
Clutch Passing- 13.9
Clutch 'Hands'- 35.2

5. Chris Paul - He should have a good bounceback year after he battled some injuries last year. Paul was the unanimous Rookie of the Year in the 2005-06 season. Playing for the Hornets, he hasn't gotten much help in making it to the postseason though. However, that should change with a healthy Peja Stojakovic and a new backcourt mate, Morris Peterson.
Stats: Passing Rating- 16.1
'Hands' Rating- 30.1
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 26.2
Clutch Passing- 7.7
Clutch 'Hands'- 53.5

6. Tony Parker - He had a breakout Finals appearance but I really don't think he'll be able to sustain the level of play that he was it. If he can, he deserves to be number two or three on this list but that happening is unlikely. Besides, he wasn't outstanding in the regular season last year averaging 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists each game.
Stats: Passing Rating- 8.5
'Hands' Rating- 18.3
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 18.8
Clutch Passing- 4.8
Clutch 'Hands'- 10.2

7. Gilbert Arenas - You're probably thinking, "why the hell does he have this guy so low?" right? Well, I'm wondering if he can actually help his team and win games, or is Gilbert Arenas going to just be a sideshow attraction this year and only score points? He's very concentric and can be a ballhog at times which definitely does not fit the description of a point guard. That's why he is where he is right now.
Stats: Passing Rating- 8.4
'Hands' Rating- 19.6
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 47.8
Clutch Passing- 1.2
Clutch 'Hands'- 9.8

8. Baron Davis - Can he stay healthy? That is the big question lingering around about Baron Davis. It's been a problem of his in the past. We know what he can do when's he healthy (see first round of 2007 playoffs against the Mavs), but can he play 70 or 80 games in a year? Well, he hasn't played in more than 67 games in a season since his third year in the League.
Stats: Passing Rating- 16.7
'Hands' Rating- 32.0
Clutch Scoring per 48 min.- 34.6
Clutch Passing- 13.3
Clutch 'Hands'- 31.6

That's it. I hope you liked it. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer. Also, here's a little something from an up-and-coming point guard, Mike Conley:

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The Tale of Ricky Rubio

This was a post I did on about 2 months ago about an up-and-comer on the basketball circuit.

Some of you may have heard of him once or twice but what do you really know about him? Did you know that has him as the number 1 pick of the 2009 NBA Draft? Did you know he is the best player outside of the U.S. right now and is only 16? Yes, he's that good. Ricky Rubio has been proclaimed by some to be the next Pistol Pete Maravich. Others have even said he is comparable to Magic Johnson.

Here's some of the basics on him: He's a 6'4", 180 pound point guard from Spain. He plays on DKV Joventut. He's a very good athlete who can play defense, is quick, is an amazing ball handler, shows great potential, and is usually the best passer on the court when he plays. He started playing for Joventut when he was fourteen years old.

But what is so great about this guy? His hunger to win. At the U16 Championships playing for Spain he was the hero. He made a half-court shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Then he kept his team in overtime sending the game into the second overtime where his team, Spain, won the game. What was his stat line for the game? 51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 steals, and 7 assists. In that tournament, Spain played eight games. In those eight games, Rubio averaged 23 points, 13 boards, and 7 assists. He was unstoppable.

But there's something else about him. He can control the game without scoring. He can take less than five shots in a game and still control the tempo and help his team win. That's the reason for the Magic comparison. He can do everything. Score, rebound, pass, lead, handle the ball. He shows great intangibles and is very savvy on the court. People have already proclaimed that he's good enough to play in the NBA right now, at 16 years of age.

The one thing that might hold him back from being great? His inconsistant jump shot. Don't forget though, he still has two or three more year until the draft so I'm guessing that's being worked on as you read this. Ricky has been asked what his favorite move used in the NBA is. His answer? The move is by Steve Nash. Rubio has said that he loves how Nash takes an extra dribble off the screen to create more space for himself. I think that answer just shows how mature he is for his age. He has pretty good speed and a great basketball IQ. This kid is the next big thing. He could be the future if he continues to develop.

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South Williamsport is Baseball Heaven

This is quite possibly my greatest work I've ever done. I posted it on about 2 months ago. Enjoy...

Every year 16 lucky teams from every corner of the globe get to hop on a plane and come to the most hallowed Little League Baseball fields in the world. Those fields are Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Volunteer Stadium. They are every Little Leaguer's dream, hope, and last desire to play there. But yet there is something else about this complex nestled in the valleys of Central Pennsylvania that makes it so great. Something about the atmosphere. Maybe it's all the people in one place who just love baseball. Maybe it's all the crazy kids who wear their all-star t-shirts and go up atop the hill behind Lamade and slide down on a piece of cardboard and get all muddy. Maybe it's something else. The baseball being played is just so pure. But do you know why? It's because of two things: steroids and money. There is no talk of steroids. There are no contracts or endorsement deals. It's just pure baseball for a week and a half out of the year. Baseball, nonstop. It is heaven.

Now, yesterday I made the pilgrimage to South Williamsport to see kids I have never heard of and have never seen before play the game Abner Doubleday created only on a smaller scale. I got to see four games yesterday. Two U.S. semifinals and two International semifinals. Little League games are 6 innings long. The Curacao team hit a walk-off home run against the team from Venzuela in the bottom of the seventh inning. Later in the day, the Japanese team hit a walk-off against Chinese Taipei in the bottom of the TENTH inning. Two extra-inning games, one blowout, hundred of hot dogs, lots of cheers and happiness, and some tears later here I am telling you of this hallowed sanctuary that is the Little League Baseball World Series.

I got to see two amazing pitchers. Both lefties. One from Lubbock, Texas and another from Willemsted, Curacao. Now, Little League Baseball is all about protecting their players so they have a pitch count and tear-away bases and neck guards for the catchers. But back to the first: pitch counts. Neither of those great players will be pitching on Saturday in the U.S. and International championship for one reason: they can't. Little League is protecting their players by making them rest between pitching appearances to save their arms. Another thing to love about Little League baseball.

You know, it's great to watch the U.S. teams but there is just something that is even greater when you watch the International teams. They play different. They have more sportsmanship such as going over to first base to ask the kid if he is alright after you beaned him while you were pitching. You don't see that anywhere else but in the International side of the tournament in the LLWS. There's something else about these teams. None of them speak the same language. They come from Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Central America. They all play different brands of baseball. Curacao lays down at least two or three bunts every game. Japan is so fundamentally sound it's uncanny. Venezuela plays with more emotion and fire than anyone else. But the most prepared team comes from these United States. More precisely, Texas. The Southwest coach has his team better prepared than any other. He watches film over and over to figure out who he's going to play where, who's going to pitch, when will he get his subs in (there's a mandatory play rule in LL), etc. That could very well be the reason his team is still playing baseball.

But one last thing that is so great? The World Series players are everywhere. At the stadiums, in the hot dog line, and even in the bathrooms. Little kids come up to meet the players (and Dugout too, can't forget the mascot). But remember, you don't need to speak the same language to know what to do when someone hands you a baseball and a pen. So, if you have never been to South Williamsport, Pennsylvania I suggest you take a day or two and go out and watch the games. I have gone every year for the past five years and it NEVER gets old. It is the greatest form of baseball you'll ever watch. By the way, when was the last time you saw a Major League baseball player sit on the grass and cry because he had just lost a game?

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The NBA Draft Wrap-Up

Once again, this is a post that I did on about 4 months ago.

I think Conley and Noah were both taken too high. They thrived on teams in which they were surrounded by great players. Rodney Stuckey was taken too high at 15. Why did Washington take a guard with Nick Young when it is clear they need a low post player. Possibly the best point guard taken out of this draft was taken at 45th. He is underrated. Jared Jordan. He led the NCAA in assists the last 2 years and would be a great fit with any team that needed a TRUE point guard.

I do think the Celtics made a good move by getting Ray Allen. Yes, they gave up some talent but with Pierce and Allen together it could make them dangerous. Especially if they some how happen to get Kevin Garnett. Hats off to the New York Knickerbockers. They got Zach Randolph in a trade and I do think Zeke knows what he's doing. Also, they got a pretty decent pick in Wilson Chandler from DePaul. I thought the announcers were right. He might turn out to be a better pro than he was a college player. Sean Williams is a pretty big risk to take at 17th. I mean he got kicked off BC last year in January. He definitely has some problems.

Daequan Cook is going to be a bust in the League. He thrived off of all the talent he had around him last year. A top 10 player in the draft went 24th: Rudy Fernandez. He shows great potential and is an amazing player. If anyone saw footage of his games they know what I'm talking about. I also think Aaron Brooks has good potential to be successful at the next level. As for Pau's little brother, Marc Gasol, I don't think he will be as good as his brother is. The Lakers didn't get much with that pick. Nick Fazekas was a good second-round choice for Dallas who could use him off the bench his first year. I know everyone's picks for Rookie of the Year next season will be either Durant or Oden but I'm going out on a limb with this one: Jeff Green who will outshine fellow classmate Kevin Durant in Seattle.

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1984 NBA Draft

This is another post I did on about 4 months ago.

In my opinion, it was the best draft class ever. It included most notably Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. Those four players combined for 7 MVP awards, 23 All-NBA first-team selections, and 45 All-Star game appearances. Some other notables in the draft were Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, Michael Cage, Sam Perkins, and Alvin Robertson. The 3rd (Michael Jordan, arguably G.O.A.T.) and 1st (Hakeem Olajuwon, top 5 center of all time) picks combined for 8 championships alone (MJ 6, Hakeem 2).

Even some talk about the missed pick of Michael Jordan, where with the No. 2 pick the Portland TrailBlazers took Sam Bowie who averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds in his 10+ year career. The No. 5 pick, Charles Barkley, became one of four players ever to record 20 thousand points, 10 thousand rebounds, and 4 thousand assists. John Stockton (drafted 16th by the Jazz) later became the all-time assists leader and one of the top 5 greatest point guards in League history. The draft class compiled 12 championships among all of them.

But the most amazing part of this whole draft class is that the 1984 draft included 2 of only 4 players ever to record a quadruple-double in a game (Hakeem Olajuwon and Alvin Robertson).
This, to me, seems like the best draft class ever, bar none.

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Deron Williams & the Best Point Guards

This is a copy from another blog I do on It was posted about 4 months ago. I hope you enjoy it.

I'll start of by saying I am amazed at how well Deron Williams played in his first Conference Finals. I will zero in on Game 3. He became the youngest player in the history of the NBA to have 20 points and 10 assists in a conference final game. He was scoring at will by driving by the labeled "fastest" player in the NBA. Then when Bruce Bowen, the labeled "best" defender in the NBA was on him he made him look foolish by either driving by him or pulling up while Bowen was trying to retrieve his jockstrap. Next, the Spurs defense started collapsing on his drives where he then dished to open teammates for good looks at the basket. He is thriving in Sloan's system. The most important thing is that he can take over and make his teammates better at the same time. Which leads to my ranking of the top 8 point guards in the NBA:

1. Steve Nash, Suns.
2. Jason Kidd, Nets.
3. Deron Williams, Jazz.
4. Tony Parker, Spurs.
5. Chris Paul, Hornets.
6. Baron Davis, Warriors.
7. Chauncey Billups, Pistons.
8. Mo Williams, Bucks.

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