After seeing Ricky Rubio tonight on NBA TV, I have to take back that Brooks comment. Rubio looks tremendous out there.
He'd been getting compared to Jason "White Chocolate" Williams as a possible showman that was too turnover prone and with a mediocre J but he's looked very good so far. Fair warning, Williams also looked tremendous his rookie year with his court vision and passing ability and never really developed/matured into the star point he may have been capable of becoming. Time will tell with Rubio..
Re:Brooks, he does look impressive. Was he not a Celtic pick then traded to the Nets? What is Boston doing exactly? Very confusing what Ainge is doing or trying to do since the Perkins deal which now looks even worse with Green's health issue, no matter how overpayed Kendrick may be.
Shumpert and Harrelson have been impresssive as well. Not wanting to get ahead of myself but Sprewell fell in the ('94?) Draft particularly because scouts didn't like his shot at all and Golden State ended up with a steal as Spree developed a solid enough jumper to become a very good well rounded player with excellent defensive ability and the tenacity you want to see on both ends of the floor. Would love if Shump is a similiar case.
Very surprised with Harrelson's play. I didn't catch too many Kentucky games but I thought he was only an IR candidate that could serve a role as an occasional big body that never really cracks a rotation. His 3-point shot has been a nice surprise but it's his defense that I've been most impressed with. Dude fights hard and keeps his man in front of him very often. Looks like a solid rebounder as well.
Yeah, and if you're using the "He's 19" logic, then I guess the best report a scout could give us is:
"I have no idea. He's a teenager. He may go through 5 arm surgeries between now and his 30th birthday. He may add a pitch. He may lose a pitch. He may put on 30 lbs and add velocity. He may put on 50 lbs and eat his way out of the league. I literally have no idea what he is going to be."
But thats not what these guys are paid to do, nor what we are looking for them to do, right?
Shumpert's star has fallen since last I wrote on him. He remains a very good prospect, but most of his value should be on the defensive end. He really has trouble finishing at the rim. His shot is inconsistent, but he makes open looks and even some contested shots off the dribble he has no business in taking. He is a lot to handle in the open court, but his inability to finish really hurts his production on the break. He is a beast on defense both on and off the ball. He can guard the 1, 2, or 3 positions, moves his feet well, has good hands, and really seems to avoid stupid fouls. He will pick up some cheapies, but they are mostly due to his aggression and penchant for causing turnovers. He is the kind of player you put on Kobe and feel as good as you can about it.
As for the rest of the NBA, Kyrie Irving has really stepped up his play. He is scoring in bunches and efficiently. He is currently out with a concussion, so who knows when he will be back, but he has played excellent basketball since January 8th. Much of the hype surrounding his game in college was his passing ability. The passing is still there, although his assist totals do not exactly bear it out (cough..teammates stink..cough), but the scoring is so much better than I thought. He puts his defender on roller skates with his dribble. It gives him room to fire the j or if someone tries to get on his hip, he blows right by. He is not elite athletically, meaning he won't jump over people and dunk it, but he has enough speed and hops to more than get by. Kyrie is the best rookie playing right now.
Rubio's shot is not falling like it was in the early part of the season, but he is still highly effective running an offense. His assist numbers are impressive for a rookie and he is rebounding at an elite level for a guard. His team is near .500 as well.
No big men have emerged yet from this draft. It has been the guards that have been getting playing time and have made good use of it. I still expect big things from Kenneth Faried, so I will be watching for that. (It should be noted that when Kenneth has gotten minutes, he is still rebounding like a fiend. He pulled down 10 in 22 minutes the other day. And according to Pat Riley, "No rebounds - no rings.")
_________________ "Only water, Sam. Only water." --Gilly
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