Monday Bolts – 3.16.09

Update: Marc Stein’s power rankings: “No one would dare claim for a second that the Thunder are better without thunderbolt2312Durant or that the competition during their 5-2 surge without him was as good as February’s. OKC’s defense was stingier without him, though.”

The New York Daily News looks at draft slam dunks and potential misses: “Hasheem Thabeet, UConn, junior: The defensive force averages 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. “He’s a lot like the Sene kid, but he’s already better,” said one scout, comparing him to the ex-Oklahoma City backup center, Mouhamed Sene. Like Sene, Thabeet is also limited at the offensive end. Listed at 7-3.”

Kevin Durant is using Twitter. Or at least it looks like someone pretending to be Kevin Durant is using Twitter: Highlights – “Any girls lookin for a 6’10 skinny dude???? holla at me.” “I need a Girlfriend.” “icing my ankle. hopefully i can bump tomorrow….shout out to everybody. much love.” “my brother from another russ westbrook had a triple dizzle….if he aint rookie of the year den its a travesty.” Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s not. Either way, it’s no Shaq Twitter.

HoopsWorld says Scott Brooks deserves to have the interim tag dropped: “When asked if he had talked to any other interim coaches about the challenges associated with the position, Brooks replied: “I just went with my gut. I believe you have to stick with who you are and what you’re about and coach with your heart. If you’re trying to do what other people do or coach how they coach, players can see that immediately and you don’t want to be looked at as a phony or a fraud. But if you’re true and authentic, players respect that. “Talking to some of the Thunder’s players both on and off the record, it sure seems like Brooks is winning the respect of the locker room. Don’t be surprised at all if Brooks has the interim tag removed and is the head coach of the Thunder moving forward. Thus far his performance very much warrants it.”

Basketbawful Worst of the Weekend: “Still more from Jason K: “Lucky for the Suns, they were facing the ‘prove that your team is back by handily beating us’ team. Considering the standard for success was set at 140 points, I suppose the Thunder deserve some credit for holding the Suns to only 106, including a 34-point 4th quarter (as opposed to 37 points). Nash had some disgruntled words about the team’s feel-bad win: ‘We didn’t have a great performance, but we found a way to win in the fourth quarter, which is where we’ve been lacking the last two weeks.’ Something about this makes me think that the Suns will not win a single overtime game for the remainder of the season.”

Bullets Forever is talking draft and whether or not to trade up for Blake Griffin: “This is an interesting team. The Thunder Management has made a full out commitment to playing their young players; and the results have been very good. With a core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, and Nick Collison; a sprinkling of veterans (Earl Watson, Nenad Krstic, Chucky Atkins) and some nice young bench players (Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Weaver) – the only thing they need is a solid big man. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Griffin would fit right in at OKC…. So unless the Wizards could come up with a WOW package that included a bona fide NBA starting Center, I doubt OKC would trade the #1 pick.”

Something I was looking at on NBA.com’s stats page: In their standings, you can look at a team’s record based on turnover margin, rebounding margin, scoring 100 points and so on. One thing that caught my eye was that OKC is 5-8 when turning the ball over fewer times than its opponent. The craziest thing about that stat? The fact that the Thunder has only 13 games out of 66 that they have turned it over less than their opponent. That’s incredible (in a terrible way). The closest team to the league to the Thunder in that category is the Rockets and they’re 10-9 when turning it over less than their opponent. Most teams have at least 20 games where they’ve turned it over less than their enemy.

Darnell questioned Brooks’ decision to sit Earl and didn’t have any news on whether or not there was an injury issue: “Thunder coach Scott Brooks went with Chucky Atkins over Earl Watson tonight, marking the first game Watson has missed this season. Not sure if Watson is injured or not. But if he isn’t it’s a questionable decision on Brooks’ part considering Watson was coming off his best game of the season on Wednesday night in Denver.”

But then in today’s notebook, there was this: “Veteran point guard Earl Watson and rookie Russell Westbrook were the only players to appear in the Thunder’s first 65 games. Watson’s streak ended Saturday night. “Nothing against Earl’s play, I just wanted to give Chucky (Atkins) some minutes,” said Brooks. “I’m going to stay with Chucky for a while. I don’t know how long. They’ve both earned minutes, but you can only play one backup point guard.” I have to say, that’s a little strange. Something is obviously amiss, but who knows what it is.

Crow
2009-03-16 17:06:11
Compared to first almost 3 months Durant and Green have improved their on the court +/- in last 7 weeks by about 2 points. Westbrook's has slipped about 2 pts. Collison and Krstic way way up.
Crow
2009-03-17 11:50:58
I said 48 minutes total between 2 games. Am I impressed to the level that I'd take Rubio first or third out of all the players eligible in the world? No.
joey
2009-03-17 11:56:48
Ah, 48 total minutes, gotcha. But you still don't think 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in the gold medal game is unimpressive? If you haven't had a chance, I really would recommend you watch the game that Jax posted. It may put more "eye test" to Rubio than stats alone would allow. And although I respect your opinion, after Griffin, I honestly don't see anyone with the combination of upside and proven talent that Rubio has. Monroe, Thabeet both have huge question marks (if not glaring exclamation points of danger). Harden is a poor man's Brandon Roy without the explosive athleticism. Jordan Hill is a poor man's Griffin and everyone past that are shots in the dark as to if they'd even be a plausible starter in the league. Now if we're talking if the Thunder should/should not take Rubio, then I'm on board with you because that's an inherent change in direction of the team, but in terms of best overall talent, I honestly don't even think it's close. Griffin, then Rubio, then everyone else. But that's just how I see it from my limited viewing experience.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-17 13:15:02
Wow, this thread is still going and going. I have my suspicion that Rubio will enter the draft this year, just because agents everywhere are telling people that this is a weak draft, and if he waits till next year, his chances of going top 3 won't be as good. I need to catch Jordan Hill in the tourney. I've just about lost all connection with college basketball this year.
joey
2009-03-17 13:31:40
Say it ain't so, Jax! If you have to, just tell yourself that college basketball is a great way to scout future NBA talent that the Thunder might draft if that's what it takes. Me, I can't think of anything better than that first weekend of March Madness! I'm a little weary of Patterson's "tweener" status, plus, I don't think his jumpshot is good enough (right now, just like Hansy from UNC) to be an immediate SF contributor, so I'm assuming the mock draft status is due to an implied "transition period" from PF in college to SF in the pro's instead of immediately coming in and helping a team out. But Patterson and Meeks have pretty much been Kentucky this year.
Joe
2009-03-16 09:06:36
In the game tonight, watch and see if Chucky can fight through (over) screens or not. It was terrible to watch against Phoenix.
Vega
2009-03-16 09:38:35
At first, I thought that drafting Griffin would be stupid, but seeing how David Lee, a power forward playing center, has been doing this year, I can see Griffin working at center. But this is pretty much a moot point because there is no way OKC gets the #1 pick unless Stern gives us the pick like he did with the Bulls last year.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 10:06:41
How crazy would it be to see Blake Griffin drafted by Memphis, then the next year we see the Grizzlies move to Seattle to be the new Sonics? Also, I don't exactly agree with his assessment. If we draft Griffin or Rubio or Harden, we have to move someone to the bench. Griffin is more suited to play the 4 than the 5, but I'd rather him take Collison's spot than Green's spot. But then again, if he's only 6'9'', that might be a bad idea. Rubio takes RW's spot, or moves him to the 2, which benches Thabo. Harden also benches Thabo. Sigh. I'm glad I'm not Presti.
Kev
2009-03-16 10:26:57
Westbrook brings alot to the game - but I wouldnt start him at the two - he is too short and too erratic of a shooter and an average defender (at the two) - Harden would bench Thabo, definitely . . .
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 10:28:25
I wasn't clear above. I meant to explain that I didn't agree with his assessment because he said <i>"Unfortunately for the Wizards, Griffin would fit right in at OKC.... "</i>. But because of who Griffin would ultimately bench, Green, I'm not sure he's that great a fit.
Kev
2009-03-16 10:32:47
can't be worried about who sits the bench when you draft a (possible) star . . .
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 10:39:52
<a href="#comment-3484" rel="nofollow">@Kev</a> Miami plays DWade at the 2 as a combo guard, and they have a ton of success doing it. I think calling RW an average defender is inaccurate, even against the two. RW and DWade are only 1 inch different in height. But you're right about RW being an erratic shooter. If he takes his 40% jumpshot and turn it into a 45% jumpshot for next season, you'd have to consider playing him at the combo guard 2 spot.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 10:41:26
<a href="#comment-3486" rel="nofollow">@Kev</a> It isn't that I'm worried about who plays and who sits, I'm just saying we have glaring needs across the floor, and drafting a guy who gives you only a slight upgrade (Green to Griffin) wouldn't be a "perfect fit" as the guy from Bullets Forever tries to claim.
joey
2009-03-16 10:47:13
I think everyone's jumping ship on RW's not our 1 of the future too soon right now. With Westbrook's learning curve as high as it is and the difficulty of moving from SG in college to PG in the pro's added on to the difficulty of the jump from college to the pro's IN GENERAL, I think 4/5 of one rookie season is a bit soon to be saying "without a doubt, he can never play pg in the pro's. If you don't believe me, have a look at Gilbert Arenas. Everyone said almost the EXACT same thing about him in his rookie year (minus his recent injury bug of course) and he has been an all-star caliber pg. Plus, read what ESPN's David Thorpe said in his chat today: "What is the biggest adjustment players need to make from College to pro . Both on and off court?" - David Thorpe: "College guys play too fast and think too slow, and no one is scheduling their entire day." Doesn't that sound exactly like Westbrook's problem at the moment? Now that being said, if next year we're having the same discussion...then we should have gone after Rubio if we could have. :) Ah, hindsight.
Kev
2009-03-16 10:48:50
you think changing from Green to Griffin is only a "slight upgrade"? come on . . . he would be much better and rebounding, and would give this team a legit shot blocking presence and a legit post player - both which are currently nonexistent . . .
Kev
2009-03-16 10:51:24
I've seen enough of Westbrook at the two to know that he is average defensively(at best) . . .
joey
2009-03-16 10:58:30
Kev, Westbrook's played at the two, at most, 5-8 minutes out of the Thunder's games, if that...and did I mention it's his rookie year? But you're right, they hand out those Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Awards like lollipops. :) Maybe our definitions of "average" defense in the NBA are different, though. I understand your concern over his size, but his speed, athleticism, bulk and instincts for rotating and getting his hands on passes and careless dribles speak for themselves. And he's really not that undersized for a SG with his wingspan.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 11:00:25
<a href="#comment-3491" rel="nofollow">@Kev</a> You must have seen one half of a game then. Green and Griffin play completely different games. Griffin has no outside range, and he won't be a legitimate shot blocking presence at the 4, not at 6'9''. Green rebounds well for a 4. But overall, a 1st year Griffin won't be much of an upgrade over a 3rd year Green. Could we use Griffin? Sure. Do we want him? Sure. Is he a perfect fit for next year? Probably not.
Kev
2009-03-16 11:09:14
are you kiddiing? You talk about Green's outside shooting? That's not a major factor when you are playing the 4 . And sorry, I want my 4 to get more than 7 rebounds a game - I think you are fooling yourself if you think Griffin won't be a shotblocking force no matter where he plays . . . having a perfect fit is ovverated - but there is no way Green starts over Griffin - Green's only chance to start would be if they decided to start Griffin at center . . .
Kev
2009-03-16 11:17:57
I actually like Green, I think he really is a better 3 in the NBA - but that's a problem with Durant already entrenched there . . .
Kev
2009-03-16 11:20:54
joey - I can only go by what I see in the NBA - bringing up Westbrook's pac 10 award doesn't mean much - JJ Redick was a beast at Duke - now he's lucky to see the floor - . . . from what I've seen ( in limited minutes admittedly) he is not a good defender at the two . . . time will tell . . .
dork
2009-03-16 11:24:11
IMHO Griffin is a product of a weak draft class.. If he would have went last year I doubt there would be near the hype around him.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 11:26:45
Kev, maybe you want more rebounds from our SF. I'd take that too. But we're ranked 4th best in the NBA this year rebounding at the SF position already. Maybe his 7.1 per game doesn't impress you, but 25 other teams would love to improve to that number. We're not the only ones impressed with RW's defense. So is Thorpe, who constantly keeps RW ranked top 3 among rooks, and defense and PER are his two biggest reasons.
Kev
2009-03-16 11:40:50
Jax - we are talkig about two different things - I never talked about westbrook's defense at the one, I was only bringing up his defense against two guards . . . he's good at the one - but obviously guarding the two is a different animal . . .
joey
2009-03-16 11:43:19
Kev, Like I said, I understand where you're coming from. It's just hard to gauge accurately based on such a limited sample size of limited minutes. And yes, I would agree with your "college success doesn't equal pro success" in the example of Redick, since he was a scorer, but pretty much everyone agrees that rebounding and defense are the two skills that translate the best from college to pro. But, like you said, time will certainly tell. I'm just hoping that time reveals that RW is a playmaking 1, Durant's a Hall of Famer, Green is the best combo forward in the NBA and whoever we're going to draft is a superstar...I mean, that's not too much to ask, right? :)
Royce
2009-03-16 11:47:41
<a href="#comment-3497" rel="nofollow">@dork</a> He's also night and day better than he was last year. He probably would have went 7-10 last year. His game is better and he's better. He's a justified No. 1 pick.
Kev
2009-03-16 11:55:38
good points Joey - what do you think about tonight's game? looks like another tough one . . .
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 11:57:11
Ah. Point taken. Also, while I'm here, the Hoopsstats on Green are confusing, since he's listed as SF but his stats are counted in the PF sections. Which makes sense because he started at the SF and Durant at the SG to start the season, but they switched to PF and SF not long after. His splits show an upgrade in PER and eff at PF. I did find one jewel while pouring through Green's stats. Hoopsstats has this NBA Trends section, and for most improved PF from last year to this year, Green is second only to Paul Milsap in eff. Hoopsstats also has a section called NBA Player Stats &gt; Top Sophomores. KD is #1, and Green is tied with Scola for #3. And I saved the best for last. This is the list for the overall most improved player from last year at any position (again, ranked by eff). 1. Nene 2. C. Andersen 3. P. Millsap 4. D. Wade <b>5. K. Durant</b> 6. C. Duhon <b>7. T. Sefolosha</b> 8. S. Hawes 9. D. McGuire <b>10. J. Green</b> Scotty Brooks and Sam Presti deserve nods here. While the top 2 are both Denver Nuggets, 3 of the top 10 are Thunder players. Kudos!
joey
2009-03-16 12:05:18
<a href="#comment-3502" rel="nofollow">@Kev </a> I'd love it if I found out Duncan and Parker weren't playing. :) I don't want to step on anything Royce might discuss, but, honestly, with the Spurs desperate to keep second place in the West and going for five wins in six games, I think it's going to be a rough go for the boys tonight. The Spurs are a great defensive team and the Thunder haven't reached triple digits in March I don't think, so points will come at a premium. Plus, the Thunder are dead last in the NBA in turnovers so we may spot the Spurs a cool 20 points off our own mistakes in the process. Tack on the unbelievably glaring mismatch at PF (I love you, Green, but we're talking about arguably the best PF of all time in Timmy!), and I'd be thrilled if were competitive through the third quarter. But hey, we're undefeated in our last three games at the Ford Center so...um, anything can happen? :)
Kev
2009-03-16 12:25:12
agree with the props to Presti and Brooks . . .
joey
2009-03-16 12:30:24
<a href="#comment-3503" rel="nofollow">@Jax Raging Bile Duct </a> Yeah, the improvement of KD, Green and Thabo (who I've always loved but never thought would be this good and influential) show what a great eye Presti has and what potential Brooks has a coach.
Joe
2009-03-16 12:32:18
Well since we are debating Westbrook's defense of the shooting guard position and his ability to play there, it might surprise you that Westbrook's opponents at the two (only when playing the two) run at a PER of 15.7. That is the exact same opponent PER (15.7) of Dwayne Wade. So if you say that Westbrook can't defend the two, than you have to say that Wade can't either. Westbrook can defend the two acceptably well I think, it's his shooting stroke that is streaky, much like Weaver and Thabo. If we draft Harden and Thabo goes to the bench, that's a good thing, as long as Thabo gets minutes backing up the 2 and 3. That way you don't throw Harden into the 40 mpg starters role, and can let him come along a little slower at say 24 mpg.
Vega
2009-03-16 12:55:21
Why is everyone hating on Green at the four? The dude is a candidate for most improved player! If I was Presti, I would draft Rubio (Assuming that he enters this year's draft, which might not happen.) and have him play twenty-six-ish minutes off the bench like Earl. If he gets drafted before we can get him, I might draft Monroe or, if he is the best option left, Thabeet. Who I draft with the Nuggets pick depends on who I get with the lotto pick. If don't get Rubio, I would get Patty Mills or Johnny Flynn. If I do get Rubio, I would try to find a decent big man prospect.
Kev
2009-03-16 12:59:49
Vega, how much of a factor do you think Thabeet will make in the NBA??
Crow
2009-03-16 13:16:32
Hard to stay away when things are said and things could be said in intended to be quality, friendly dialog/ Sorry. Interesting data Jax. I hadn't that specific screen at the fine hoopsstats site. But when I went there I also saw this http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/playerstats/09/8/eff/1-3 On the crude not that good "NBA efficiency" Green ranks 14th among just sophmores when you convert to per 48 minutes basis. Dudley 12th. On Green and Thabo improvements of course it is good, congrats. But climbing from below average to average is a different hill than climbing from average to above average. Maybe one or both sustain their rise next season. Hope so but it will be tougher.
Crow
2009-03-16 13:18:44
Westbrook 13th amongst rookies on this measure but still has a great adjusted (though it will be interesting to see if he can sustain it.
Crow
2009-03-16 13:24:18
I dislike when people accuse others of "hating" on a player. It is often unfair. There is out of bounds "hating" on players but unless it falls into vicious personal and highly subjective it isn't "hating".
joey
2009-03-16 13:30:04
Rubio will start for whoever drafts him unless they have a stud PG. He's legit. If we draft Rubio we start him and move Westbrook to the 2 immediately, otherwise we go elsewhere.
Crow
2009-03-16 13:31:54
Use PER insteasd of NBA efficency and 5th pick Green still ranks 12th amongst sophmores, on a rating that favors guys who get a lot of shots. Noah 9th. Westbrook 14th amongst rookies. Verdict is still out of how good those Presti picks will be long-run compared to other options.
Crow
2009-03-16 13:35:51
Didn't like Love (currently 5th on PER, darn good for a guy getting 8 shots a game) for his design? You could have had B Lopez (6th on PER) or Speights (4th)
Crow
2009-03-16 13:37:06
Remove 3 very low minute guys and these 3 become the real top 3 in rookie class by PER.
Kev
2009-03-16 13:49:48
I love Love's game - he would have fit in well here . . .
Crow
2009-03-16 13:50:03
In my view Rubio doesn't start for at least half the league / probably only starts on a lottery team and they probably don't improve much anytime soon. But this is a subjective guess and not based on fact beyond his weak shooting and the NBA game being very different from what he's seen in terms of athletic PGs.
joey
2009-03-16 13:53:43
<a href="#comment-3519" rel="nofollow">@Crow </a> You didn't watch the Olympics did you? :) He owned the US's guards and his basketball IQ is off the charts.
joey
2009-03-16 14:08:24
Let me qualify the "He owned the US's guards" as, he owned Jason Kidd to the point that Coach K rotated Chris Paul and Deron Williams the last 16 minutes of the gold medal game because of what Rubio was doing in that game. He defended, made plays and is a sneaky athlete, hence the "Pistol Pete" comparisons (which are a bit much, but shoot, even Simmons compared him to a hybrid Scottie Pippen/Young Magic Johnson).
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 14:34:46
You can watch the USA vs Spain game here (after a short survey)... http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/player.html?assetid=1444024&amp;channelcode=sportbk
Crow
2009-03-16 14:37:29
August 16 Rubio vs US- 1-4 shooting from field 5-6 from line, 3 assists 4 turonvers. Lose by 37. August 24 Rubio vs US- 1-3 shooting from field, 4-4 from line, 3 assists 2 turnovers. So he "owned" a not fast, not that athletic 35 year old for half a game? I missed that but wouldn't make much of it in terms of what he'd face night in, night out in NBA of young quick guys. 2 game average- less than 30% FG%. TS% close to 50% is alright but nothing special. 1-1 A/TO is awful for a PG, especially for a guy reputed to a wiz at passing.
Crow
2009-03-16 14:40:25
6 assists in about 48 minutes of play- lower than Westbrook level. 6 turnovers, worse than Westbrook level.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-03-16 14:48:27
I posted a link a couple spots up to the USA vs Spain game, if any of you want to see the kid play. I came away thinking he was a bit slow and completely uninterested in scoring. However, his anticipation was pretty good, and I think overall his ball handling skills are really good (though he did have a lapse or two in that championship game). He looks small to me. Not so much in his height as his overall body type. DWill and JKidd bullied him up. But the kid is just 19, playing against the All-Star team. He wouldn't be Chris Paul his rookie year, but I liked the kid's game. Who knows what could happen with some conditioning.
Royce
2009-03-16 14:56:09
Rubio reminds me a lot of Tony Parker without the finishing skills yet.
Steve H
2009-03-16 15:07:23
I don't think we would have trouble working either Rubio, or Griffin, (or Lee, or Boozer) into our line-up. If we get Rubio, Guard duties get split roughly even with Westbrook, Rubio and Thabo- Thats starters minutes (32 apiece) for each of them. Either Russell or Rubio stays on the floor at all times to run the offense- Russell starts at the 2. Same thing works for the forward spots with Lee/Boozer/Griffin and KD and Uncle Jeff, though we could cheat a few extra minutes on for KD by going small and playing Lee/Boozer/Griffin at center for part of the game. I just don't see either Thabo or Uncle Jeff as the sort of prima donnas that would get bent out of shape because they have to come off the bench to play their thirty+minutes. And sweet Jesus that looks like a strong rotation. Throw in a center rotation of Krispy and Swift (Or Ibaka, or Collison if we still have him, or whoever Presti can magically land us)and play-offs, here we come.
2009-03-16 15:16:35
<blockquote cite="#commentbody-3510"> <strong><a href="#comment-3510" rel="nofollow">Kev</a> :</strong> Vega, how much of a factor do you think Thabeet will make in the NBA?? </blockquote> I think he's DeSagana Diop. So, in other words, not much of a factor at all.
Vega
2009-03-16 15:17:10
Ack. That was me replying to Kev in the above post.
Vega
2009-03-16 15:20:55
How about Patty Mills? I'm afraid that i didn't see much of Austrlia in the Olympics, or St. Mary's this college season, but, from what I've heard, he did very well against D-Will and CP3 in the Olympics, and put up a solid year a St. Mary's. Maybe he will fall to our Nuggets pick and we can get him to replace Earl.
Crow
2009-03-16 15:52:59
Rubio in euroleage this season- big drop in shooting and A/TO. Is he a wizard only in the ACB? Draft Express has lots of praise but also says this: "His mechanics still look poor, and he's especially dreadful shooting the ball off the dribble"
Crow
2009-03-16 16:27:06
I'd guess more likely to improve team's eFG% and turnover rate with a steady vet than a flashy kid. But I won't believe he is in this draft til the day after the deadlie for withdrawls.
Crow
2009-03-16 17:26:31
For Westbrook the team offense with him has gotten better but the defense worse by twice as much. For Durant the team defense has gotten even worse but the offense has gotten better by a good deal more. For Green same as Durant. Collison some better on defense but more on offense. Only one of these core guys with defensive improvement is Krstic bigtime while team offense hasn't change from his earlier days.
Crow
2009-03-16 17:36:22
Using saved data from 82 games compared to what shows now, the team in last 7 weeks compared to previous has gotten better against good defensive teams and slipped against good offensive teams. They are winning almost never (2 games for the season) against teams in the top third on net point differntial. They are a lot worse recently against fast teams and a lot better against slow teams by their average pace (not pace of that game). They are a lot better against good rebounding and blocking teams. their win % against bad offensive teams has skyrocketed. Against bad defensive teams no change.
Crow
2009-03-16 17:44:28
By position the improvement against counterparts has come more from SF and C. SG and PF have mixed results on pt an PER differential. PG has slipped slightly.
Crow
2009-03-16 18:01:11
There are both good and bad fast teams and slow teams and the mix of who was played may have changed so it is harder to interpret that result than the rest.
Crow
2009-03-16 18:46:56
If Atkins over Watson lasts it likely has Presti fingerprints on it. Lessen Watson's influence, try to avoid injury that could hurt his trade value, look at Atkins for that role or increase his trade value, make Westbrook feel more responsible for the team game not just his own. I'd guess.
joey
2009-03-17 05:55:56
<a href="#comment-3523" rel="nofollow">@Crow </a> Oh, Crow, where to start... First, Rubio was the bench PG for the Spanish team behind Jose Calderon. So he did not see a lot of minutes in the first meeting and split minutes the second time around. So he came no where near the 48 minute totals you listed since International basketball doesn't have 12 minute quarters like the NBA, they have 10 minute quarters. In fact he played only 28 minutes in the gold medal game. So 18 year-old Rubio had 6 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in only 28 minutes against the US's Redeem Team (All-Star Squad). Yeah, that's not impressive at all. Second, Jason Kidd is still considered one of the top 5 PG's in the world right now. Yes, he's slipping and his overall game is declining (aging is cruel) but if you don't think a 18 year old kid, with limited to no international experience stepping in for an injured Jose Calderon in a gold medal game and actually forcing the opposing team's coach to bench the starting PG because he can't stay in front of him and keep him out of the lane...then I'm not sure what will impress you. :)
joey
2009-03-17 06:12:20
<a href="#comment-3526" rel="nofollow">@Royce </a> I totally agree with the Parker comparison, except Parker's definitely more gifted offensively and Rubio's a better rebounder/defender.
Crow
2009-03-17 12:07:51
Rubio deserves credit for that game and what he does at such a young age. Others have said that part more than enough so I didn't feel I needed to repeat it watered down. I am not saying Rubio isn't talented or does not have potential but I think there is at least normal risk of being disappointed that most analysis is completely devoid of discussing. If he comes out this summer, depending on the actual draft order he could slip to 5th or lower, in part becasue of team need- not many near the top of the lottery need PG first above other areas. Hill may be a poor man's Griffin but in this league I think he looks pretty valuable.
joey
2009-03-17 12:20:31
That's one thing we both agree on. I really, really like Jordan Hill. It took him a couple of years to live up to his hype and realize his potential, but I would wager that he's a solid starter in the NBA right now. In fact, I may even have him ahead of Harden in terms of "immediate impact" guys.
Crow
2009-03-17 12:21:15
If Thunder pick 5th or later and that is about equally as likely as higher than Rubio might be an alright pick. It does mean passing on a lot of other guys who might be decent or good. They have the need for a pure PG. They just need him to a strong shooter too. And a guy the rest of the guys are going to agree to be lead by. I am guessing that might be challenging. Rubio as a tag team partner with Westbrook might work rather than a huge minute guy at least at the start might be fine. Presti likes young players. But in the end I think Rubio waits another year, wanting to be closer to #1 or #1 for all the involved financial reasons.
Crow
2009-03-17 12:27:55
I am glad we agree on Hill. Patrick Patterson looks too low in the mock draft to me.
Kev
2009-03-18 07:26:02
I read where Patterson isn't coming out . . . maybe I remember that wrong . . . I am still on the Curry bandwagon, I think he will be a bigger factor than some think . . .