Rivals talked with Jermaine Taylor after his workout with OKC: “At first I just did athletic drills – my vertical leap, how many times you can bench 195, things like that. Then we did some shooting drills. Then we did some one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three (drills). I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t nervous at all. I’m never nervous to play basketball. I thought I did pretty well. From what my agent was telling me, they thought I did really well.”
Draft Express on this year’s point guard crop: “Ty Lawson looks as good as anyone from this perspective, regardless of position. As we put this data together, we weren’t surprised that Ty Lawson excelled from a situational perspective, as he did play for the most potent offense in all of college basketball, but we didn’t expect him to look this good. He ranks first in a number of key categories, including overall FG% (52%), Points Per Possession [PPP](1.13), pull up jump shot FG% (47%), and %shots he was fouled on (16.1%). Though his teammates did a lot of scoring as well, Lawson functioned seamlessly as a complementary scorer. Looking past his efficiency as a shooter off the dribble, he was second in catch and shoot field goal percentage at 48%. From a purely statistical sense, no player on this list scored more efficiently than Lawson.”
This is the type of person ruining America. The father of the kid that Big Baby Davis bumped into sent a letter to the league demanding an apology for acting like a “raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety.” A raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety? What? Davis bumped the kid. His hat fell off! Didn’t knock him over, didn’t hurt him and didn’t even really move him. He bumped him and his hat fell off. But he was the type of punk kid that was wearing his hat sideways barely sitting on top of his head so if a toddler waddled into his leg, his hat probably would have fallen off. I just really can’t believe that moron guy wants an apology. Moving on.
Doug Gottlieb with Stephen Curry (Insider): “Do not get me wrong — the second round has been a haven for highly productive, slightly undersized players, especially those “tweeners” who don’t have an established position at the NBA level, and who have spent their college careers refining their skills so they can contribute at the next level. But when selecting in the first round, especially when evaluating guards who were big-time college scorers versus athletes with major-league upside, the first thing that must be taken into account is a player’s ability to beat his man off the dribble. Consider the top guards in the NBA at the point guard position. What do Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rondo, Devin Harris, Tony Parker and Derrick Rose all have in common? If you answered that their first step and overall explosiveness, especially with the NBA’s “hands-off” defensive rules, are virtually unguardable, then you’d be correct. Was Curry capable of blowing by defenders in college? No. Is he big enough to shoot over NBA players? No. Does he have a defined position at the NBA level? No. Can he contain the basketball? No. Does he make others better? Yes.”
Draft Express’s Jonathan Givony for NBA.com gives an extremely informative chain of events leading up to the draft: “May 27-31: The NBA Pre-Draft Combine will be conducted in Chicago, in a new, more economically friendly format designed to gather all of the major draft prospects under one roof for a series of drills, measurements, anthropometric testing, the combine and interviews. Invitations went out this past week, and all 30 NBA teams will be allowed to bring just seven front-office members due to space constraints. In contrast to years past, there will be no competitive action whatsoever. One positive development is that since every draft prospect (save for a handful of European players still competing in their league’s playoffs) will be on hand, every player will be measured, tested and weighed. Over the years we’ve managed to build up a fascinating collection of historical measurement data, but are missing a few players from each year that declined to play in the camp. That will no longer be the case.”
Danny Granger has won Most Improved: “Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Danny Granger will cap off his stellar season today when he’s named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation … Granger’s toughest competition for the award was likely New Jersey Nets point guard Devin Harris. Harris averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists.”
I don’t get SLAM Magazine, but evidently, there’s something about Kevin Durant in this month’s issue.
Empty the Bench looks at second-tier unrestricted free agents: “Brandon Bass, Forward: Undersized as a 6-8 power forward, Bass has flashed a surprisingly effective offensive game on the blocks from time to time, including a nice touch on his close-range jumpers and a high-percentage free-throw shot (he was 12-14 in Game 3 of Dallas’ 106-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets). Given almost the exact same amount of PT during each of his two years in Dallas-just under 20 minutes per-Bass has posted nearly identical numbers: about 8.5 points, 4.5 boards, 49% FG, and just under 1 block. Does that mean his development has topped out? I don’t think so. I don’t know that he’s capable of the kind of jump Paul Millsap took this year while Carlos Boozer was out, but I do think Bass can flirt with double-double averages if he can just find the minutes.”
Just in case you actually wanted to see KD saying he wanted to stay in OKC for his whole career, see here: “@KevinDurant35 what would it take to get you to the Knicks in 2011??? @Greg_Monaco I wanna play with Oklahoma City for my whole career.” I think I’m going to make it a point to read that at least once a day. Maybe twice on Sundays.