Tuesday Bolts – Day of Reckoning Edition

That’s what my wife called it this morning. And she is right. The Day of Reckoning is upon us. Is anyone else already nervous? Because I’m really working myself up here. I think I could be a mess at about 5 p.m. tonight. Don’t forget, thunderbolt2312live running diary tonight. Be here to join in on the fun. I’ll make unbelievably interesting and insightful comments and you guys can respond and chit-chat. It should be quite a scene, man.

Sam Amico with some wise words about the lottery: “Is the lottery pre-arranged? Absolutely not. It just seems that way. Actually, I’d be in favor of rigging the thing, provided the team with the worst record got the No. 1 pick. That’s how it works in other sports and that’s how it should be. My theory is if a team wants to lose on purpose, let it. Honestly, could the Clippers have been any worse even if they had tried? I doubt it. You can’t get beat by Sacramento in three out of four games (as the Clippers did) and convince me that you’re giving maximum effort. So what difference does it make? … Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder win the right to draft Oklahoma University star Blake Griffin. Oh, wait. Did I just say that out loud?” I like the way he thinks.

In case you missed it, Jodie Meeks and a few others worked out Saturday for the Thunder: “Jodie, along with Dar Tucker, Danny Green, Antonio Anderson, Marcus Landry, and Leo Lyons worked out with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday and that figures to be the first of many for Meeks. The Thunder have a lottery pick then the 25th pick in the Draft, so they clearly are looking at guys who fit the late first round bill. I haven’t heard anything about how the workout went, but Oklahoma City could be that one team.” I love Danny Green and Meeks is quite the scorer. I like both of those guys in every way with our late round pick.

Rip City Project on the lottery: “Then I wanted to put Oklahoma City in the #1 spot because my inner conspiracy theorist says if the Thunder are going to work long-term why not give them the best player and a hometown boy. But my inner conspiracy theorist then remembered that they stole the team from Seattle and David Stern might light their ping pong balls on fire to make sure they don’t come out with #1. So even though I secretly think they are going to get it, I can’t in good faith predict it.”

NESN says with Griffin, the Wizards could jump into title contention: “These four teams — Sacramento, L.A., OKC and Washington — are the only teams with a double-digit chance at picking No. 1 in next month’s draft. There’s better than a 72 percent chance that one of them will come out on top. For a few of these teams, the effect would be next to zero. But for one, the effect would be Griffin next to Agent Zero. And that’s a championship waiting to happen.”

SLAM on Jeff Green: “Green even insists on making 50 three-pointers before stepping off the practice court every day. All of those extra perimeter shots in the gym paid dividends when, with SLAM in the building, he hit a 17-footer off glass with 1.6 left on the clock to beat the Golden State Warriors in late January. But in Green’s mind, such shots are only the beginning. “I just want to keep learning, help my teammates as much as possible and keep getting better,” he says. In the immortal words of Vince Vaughn, Green’s so money and he doesn’t even know it.”

Chad Ford’s lotto analysis: “If the Thunder land Griffin, mark them down as the best young team in the league. A tandem of Durant, Russell Westbrook and Griffin, with Jeff Green coming off the bench, would be amazing. Things get a little trickier after that. The team loves Westbrook, but Rubio is more of a pure point guard. Oklahoma City could easily play Rubio at the point and move Westbrook off the ball. Harden is the perfect pick if Griffin and Rubio are gone. He would fit in immediately at the 2 and give the Thunder another scoring threat in the backcourt.”

Tom Ziller writes “if the lottery were fair“: “1. Sacramento Kings. You might think I’m being a homer, and you’re right. I’m being a homer. But hear me out! The Maloofs lost something like $20 million on the Kings this year. They didn’t lay anyone off until last week … and they only laid off 12 people. Before that, they shut down their private jet to start flying commercial. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much … and Joe Maloof did have double knee replacement surgery this fall. (I don’t know about you, but Southwest’s seats are uncomfortable enough already without heavy bandages and a limp. Especially when you could be on a flying yacht and write the mileage off as a business expense.)”

Hardwood Paroxysm with a lottery drinking game: “Every time Blake Griffin’s name is mentioned, take 1 drink … Every time the word “long” is used, take 1 drink … First Snoop Dogg sighting, take 2 drinks … First person to notice Elgin Baylor camoflouging himself as a podium so he can sneak in an abduct Mike Dunleavy and take back over his rightful spot as perpetual Clippers GM Lottery Loser, take 3 drinks and seek therapy … Every time Stuart Scott uses the phrase “Big Up,” take 1 drink and throw a nacho at the television.”

HoopsWorld: “It’s inevitable around draft time that all kinds of rumors, smoke, and mirrors will float around in abundance but any involving the first pick should be taken with a major grain of salt unless it is truly a great deal. Passing up Griffin would be a grave mistake for each and every lottery team. The addition of him alone would be a significant boost that would likely put most of the Eastern Conference teams in the 2010 playoffs. Although it’d be tough for Griffin to do the same for the Western Conference teams, he’d be a necessary piece needed to compete in a conference that contains Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, David West, Yao Ming, and Dirk Nowitzki.”

Jenni Carlson: “All of Oklahoma will be holding its breath, too. And why not? We’re talking about an Oklahoma native playing for the Oklahoma City franchise. Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t that be something? This is one of the most suspenseful non-game moments in the state’s sporting history. This is a big deal for Oklahomans, none more so than Griffin. “It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said of where he goes. “Wherever it may be, I’m going to go in and try to do my part and try to get better and help that organization. I’m not going to be disappointed with anybody.” He’s not pulling an Eli Manning, not saying that he will refuse to sign with a particular team if it drafts him. “Not at all,” Griffin said, laughing at the notion. “I’ll stick with whoever wants me.”

Update: Good article from MSN saying Blake is easily above everyone else: “He’d give Sacramento the franchise big man it’s lacked since Chris Webber left town. It’s no coincidence that the Kings haven’t been good since then. He’d make the Washington Wizards significant players in the 2010 Eastern Conference playoff picture. He’d make the Clippers relevant, and he’d give Thunder fans a hometown hero to root for. He’d give Minnesota another stud on the block, and he’d team with Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol to give Memphis a deadly frontcourt going forward. He’d be the perfect big man for Nellie’s small-ball, and he’d give Knicks’ fans something they haven’t had since the ’90s: hope. There are lottery teams with more pressing needs than a PF, but there is no team in the lottery that doesn’t need Blake Griffin. He’s the only player in this draft that’s a surefire franchise-changing talent. That’s why tanking for the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes started so early this past season, and that’s why I’ll be kneeling in front of my television tomorrow night, saying a prayer or two in my Knicks jersey.”

Pennington
2009-05-19 13:24:03
<a href="#comment-7754" rel="nofollow">@Mutt</a> You get an award for using a Han Solo quote while referring to the NBA.
Nix
2009-05-19 11:11:06
If the wolves get it they could just draft Griffin and trade Love...that would be the smarter thing to do...
Royce
2009-05-19 08:46:03
<a href="#comment-7711" rel="nofollow">@J.G. </a> Oooh, yeah, the impending "if only" articles. I love those. "Can you imagine what this state would be like had Oklahoma City gotten the top pick? People dancing in the streets. Cancer might have been cured. A title this season. Oh yeah, and welcome to the Thunder James Harden. You'll love it here."
Royce
2009-05-19 08:22:15
<blockquote cite="#commentbody-7707"> <strong><a href="#comment-7707" rel="nofollow">kev </a> :</strong>I wish the papers would stop the Blake Griffin melodrama. Do I want Blake Griffin?? That’s like saying do I want a ribeye for dinner instead of chopped beef. Still, its almost 90 percent that we won’t, so we need to be realistic.</blockquote> I agree. I DESPERATELY want him too, but it's not "one of the biggest moments in the state." I want him more than anything because he's the absolute best player in this draft. He helps this team get better right away. The fact he's from here is just gravy.
kev
2009-05-19 08:18:45
I'm not nervous - I can't wait until it's time tonight. I am now cool with any pick in the top 5. With #6 or #7 it will be hard to get a player that helps us immediately unless Curry falls there (which I guess is likely) . . .
J.G.
2009-05-19 08:56:27
Haha. By the way, John Wall just committed to Kentucky, who could actually go from not making the tournament to reaching the Final Four with the recruiting class Calipari pulled in and Patterson (confirmed) and Meeks (maybe) returning. Interesting question with John Wall in mind, which players in this draft do you think could prevent the Thunder from being in the lottery again next year? Any? Blake/Rubio?
GAP
2009-05-19 09:07:52
<a href="#comment-7708" rel="nofollow">@Charles </a> Thanks for the link Charles good read.
kev
2009-05-19 09:27:19
good read, except they compared Thabeet to Chandler . . . Thabeet is not nearly as expolosive as Chandler
Vega
2009-05-19 09:29:59
I would be thrilled with Grffin or Harden.
Pennington
2009-05-19 09:31:56
<a href="#comment-7712" rel="nofollow">@Royce</a> Today is either going to be the most important moment to date in the franchise, or the most important moment in the month of may.
Royce
2009-05-19 09:34:01
<a href="#comment-7717" rel="nofollow">@Pennington </a> Holy crap, that was incredibly well put. That was like... deep. Nicely said.
Royce
2009-05-19 09:38:40
Incredibly bold, but accruate statement by Henry Abbott about Blake Griffin: "It has been suggested that the Kings have a good young power forward in Jason Thompson, and thus might prefer a point guard. Just for the record, if I ran the Kings, I'd take Griffin first even if I had young Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett on my roster. Ask the Celtics: You need multiple quality big men to go far in the NBA playoffs."
kev
2009-05-19 09:45:50
We've talked this to death - would any GM not named Elgin Baylor pass on Blake??
Vega
2009-05-19 09:49:39
I can see the Kings and T-Wolves passing on him.
kev
2009-05-19 09:53:34
the Wolves maybe, but Love was only a bench player until Jefferson got hurt . . . even though Mchale is "just a coach now" do you think they would pass on a chance to let Griffin learn from one of the greatest post players of all time??
Alex
2009-05-19 09:59:27
The Wolves need a PG so bad though...I think they would trade down to the 2 spot if the deal was right.
kev
2009-05-19 10:06:44
possibly - that would give them Rubio, Foye and Jefferson to build around . . .
J.G.
2009-05-19 07:59:10
I'm so nervous I may vomit. :) What's just fantastic is that I realized last night that I have a prior engagement this evening at 7 that I completely forgot about, so I'm actually going to be DVRing the Draft Lottery (which I think makes me a giant nerd) and then be trying to avoid any NBA conversations or televisions or radios like the plague since I love the excitement of the unveiling of the logos in the envelops (which I know makes me a giant nerd). Though last year I also missed the Draft Lottery live (softball game) and had to watch the recording...and we got Westbrook. So it might have to be a tradition if we land the top 2 picks, or shoot, even stay at 4.
Vega
2009-05-19 09:39:59
Easy solution. Move Thompson to the three spot. He is capable of doing it.
kev
2009-05-19 09:40:36
BPA - Best player available!!! You won't be building a team around Jason Thompson . . .
Vega
2009-05-19 09:43:43
But you may be able to build a team around Rubio too.
Vega
2009-05-19 10:07:36
The Wolves' main players are: PG: Telfair (Backup.) SG: Foye (He's good.) SF: Gomes (Solid.) PF: Love (Mr. Double-double.) C: Jefferson (Star.) 6: Miller (Trade bait.) 7: Smith (What DeJuan Blair will be after a few years. ) 8: Carney (Crazy athletic.) 9: Brewer (Enigma.) They already have too many power forwards and centers as it is. If they get the first pick, I guarantee that they will take Rubio.
kev
2009-05-19 10:10:10
it's not that cut and dried - first Jefferson is coming off a serious injury - that left them with Craig Smith and Love up front (ugly). Jefferson may not be right yet - Blake could start with Jefferson when he's ready and Love completes the 3-man rotation. If McHale loves Blake (and why wouldnt he) - then he may take him . . .
kev
2009-05-19 10:15:38
<a href="#comment-7729" rel="nofollow">@Vega </a> that would bring up an interesting scenario if they did want Rubio . . . what if the Wolves get #1 and let's say we have 3,4 or 5. Who trades Green and that pick to get Griffin?? I would, for one . . .
J.G.
2009-05-19 10:15:53
No one will pass on Blake Griffin. Griffin is such a huge upgrade over Thompson it's not even funny. Griffin is also an upgrade over Kevin Love, albeit not as much of one. It's just that simple. Though I would be happy with Griffin and Harden as well, Vega. Actually, I'm sure I could talk myself into whoever we get as long as they deserve to be picked in that area.
kev
2009-05-19 10:16:54
that would give them Rubio, Foye , Gomes/Green, Love and Jefferson - with Miller, Smith and Carney . . . they would be looking up as well . . .
Vega
2009-05-19 10:23:04
No. For the ten billionth time, you don't trade Green for Griffin. He isn't that important. Just take Harden and be happy. Seriously, why does everyone want Griffin so badly that they would trade a major part of the team to get him? I understand that he is the hometown hero and a darn good player, but geez, we can win without him!
kev
2009-05-19 10:26:59
sorry, I would make that trade without batting an eye . . . Green is playing out of position on our team. Not only that, the guy that occupies that position plays 40+ minutes a game . . .
Mutt
2009-05-19 12:54:23
<blockquote cite="#commentbody-7707"> <strong><a href="#comment-7707" rel="nofollow">kev </a> :</strong>I wish the papers would stop the Blake Griffin melodrama. Do I want Blake Griffin?? That’s like saying do I want a ribeye for dinner instead of chopped beef. Still, its almost 90 percent that we won’t, so we need to be realistic.</blockquote> Realistically the teams with the highest statistical chance of getting the top pick seldom ever do. There's been plenty of articles across the net detailing the acrimonious history of the lottery and breaking down the statistical analysis of longshots who won the pick. Tomorrow may be the time for reality but until then I'll stick with Han Solo "Never tell me the odds".
J.G.
2009-05-19 08:43:04
<a href="#comment-7709" rel="nofollow">@Royce </a> <a href="#comment-7707" rel="nofollow">@kev </a> You guys should just prepare for about another month of this regarding melodrama around Griffin. I predict at least 5-7 articles about Blake's workouts for teams, interviews with the team that gets the #1 pick, interviews with Thunder officials about trading up to get him regardless of where they land in the lottery (again, no one trades the first pick anymore) and at least one "If only" article if the Thunder don't get him. Ugh.
kev
2009-05-19 08:20:32
I wish the papers would stop the Blake Griffin melodrama. Do I want Blake Griffin?? That's like saying do I want a ribeye for dinner instead of chopped beef. Still, its almost 90 percent that we won't, so we need to be realistic.
Charles
2009-05-19 08:21:33
Here is a great breakdown for the whole lottery and what the lottery would mean to the Thunder: http://therookiecontract.com/