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Archive for June, 2009

 

Draft speculation: The High Posts Draft predictions:

June 23rd, 2009

For my money, there are only a few prospects in this draft worth spending time and money on, the rest are fodder. This draft is especially weak, and as is want to happen in the days leading up to the draft, many are being over-hyped.

I put these players into tiers:

These are guys who are going to develop into contributors on playoff teams and/or All-Stars:

Griffin
Curry
Evans
Rubio

These guys will have ‘nice’ careers- meaning that if you draft these guys you can count on them being contributors to a team and long careers:

Psycho T
Jordan Hill
Flynn

These are guys who are going to go WAY above where they should go in a normal draft and will not be significant contributors. Typically these guys are drafted for a perceived need or for trading purposes:

Harden
Thabeet
Blair

Here’s a list of guys, that if I had a roster spot, I’d like to take a chance on and see if I could develop them:

Clark
DeRozan

These are guys who are going to go later in the draft that will be solid values:

Collison
Lawson
Caroll

These guys should update their passports and look to Europe (even if they do get drafted):

Young

Going to be taken higher and will have to take some time to develop (and maybe by a second or third team), but when they do, watch out!

Holliday

This is a weak draft and I think that most teams should not expect to significantly improve because of their pick(s).

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June 21st, 2009

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Malcolm Gladwell: On choking, not panicking with an basketball perspective

June 21st, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great article on chocking which can be found here. [If you have not read it, I recommend reading it before reading further. http://www.gladwell.com/2000/2000_08_21_a_choking.htm]

Quickly, I’m going to highlight a few quotes from his article and attempt to put his comments into a basketball perspective.

To begin with, I found a few comments interesting. Gladwell states:

“Panic, in this sense, is the opposite of choking. Choking is about thinking too much. Panic is about thinking too little. Choking is about loss of instinct. Panic is reversion to instinct. They may look the same, but they are worlds apart.”

I’ve always found that I play best when I don’t think about what is going on. In speaking a martial arts master, he advised that by continuing to practice one can evolve to this state of non-thinkingness and that is a part of a zen-state; something reiterated in Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops. I guess this is why Buddhist Monks can be seen doing mundane activitites like sweeping/arranging rocks in a rock garden… so they can achieve a level of non-thinking…

A few additional thoughts:

“That is a hard lesson to grasp, but harder still is the fact that
choking requires us to concern ourselves less with the performer and
more with the situation in which the performance occurs.”

- I’d like to put this in context of two UNC championships, including, CWebb and Michigan in the final moments of the NCAA championship game and with respect to the infamous pass ‘to’ James Worthy that solidified UNC’s championship under Dean Smith and countless other examples…

Both of these incidents took place in the final moments of the most important college game.. and yet, what did CWebb do after that game that would lead us to believe that he is anything but a choker? While on the other hand, James Worthy earned the moniker ‘Big Game’ for his heroics with UNC and then with the Lakers.

- Second, he pulls a social/cultural/racial context into his observations. Very thought provoking:

“It doesn’t come as news, of course, that black students aren’t as good
at test-taking as white students, or that white students aren’t as good
at jumping as black students. The problem is that we’ve always assumed
that this kind of failure under pressure is panic. What is it we tell
underperforming athletes and students? “

Is it important to note that both the basketball incidents mentioned above involve black athletes? Would the same have occured to white players in the same situation? I wonder.

Anyway, just wanted to get back to regular postings. The season was such a drain that I needed a break. Looking forward to the draft and I’ll post my thoughts shortly.

-POE

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DWade on Kimmel

June 15th, 2009

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Notes on Blake Griffin by David Thorpe

June 10th, 2009

First of all, the good news: He really has no idea how to shoot the ball, save a few small but important details. That’s good news because he’ll still make shots thanks to his natural talent and feel. It’s clear he has not taken many jumpers in his life, also good news, because he’s too good racking ass in the paint. Without doubt, and with hours of practice, there’s every reason to believe he’ll be a fine shooter, and perhaps an excellent one. With a work ethic as strong as I hear he has, the hours of practice, a prerequisite for success in shooting for most players, seems a given.

Now the details:

For starters, he hunches his back before he catches the ball. Undoubtedly because he’s been taught to (it’s not natural). But bent knees are important, not a bent back. The straightening of the back during the shot is not optimal, nor is the movement of the head going backwards either, as it most assuredly does when the back goes from bent to straight. The vision center in our brain is in the back of it, and moving the head backwards risks sending the brain (sitting in fluid in our skulls) into the skull. At worst, it’s very disorienting (try moving your head back and forth a few times, or once quickly), and at best it can not be of any help. Better to have a stabilized head and therefore, brain. This is easily fixed.

On the catch he always sets the ball first, dropping it down and getting his hand on top of it before bringing it back into his shooting pocket and starting his shot. It makes for a very slow release, and a tougher one to repeat exactly the same every time. Of course, it also makes it easier to deflect for the defender. It’s best to try and get the shooting hand below the ball on the catch and get right into the shooting mechanic.

Next issue is his overall balance. Rarely does he land the same way twice, and oftentimes he actually leans backwards on the shot (think Vince Carter). That is fine when he needs to add a slight fade, but it does not appear that was his intent on the clips I watched. Straight up and down is the goal. Landing off balance typically means he started off balance. He needs to work on getting set with his feet and legs and then lifting straight up. And I like guys landing with what I call active legs, not heavy ones. Bouncing in place once or twice even. It helps with balance issues and also with utilizing the legs to begin with (most missed shots are missed short, and most of the time it’s a leg issue-with good shooters anyway).

He did a poor job directing his shooting arm and hand directly towards the rim, instead it went to the right. It’s a common problem, amazingly enough. I’ve had to work with Earl Clark and DeJuan Blair on this issue.

Thorpe comments withstanding, shouldn’t the Clips look to trade the pick?

I know heresy, huh? With all the hype around Griffin, it would be tough to watch him prosper in the coming years, but…

They have an abundance of front court players and need MANY, MANY other things in order to competitive; and I think that using the lure of the only *real* guarantee of this draft might prompt some interesting trade prospects.

With the struggles/conflict between Baron and Dunleavy and their competing ideas of how to steer the team, perhaps a trade down while dumping some salary and bad contracts (I’m looking at you Zach) to get a Rubio or Evans (big PGs with potential) so that we can even look to trade Baron makes sense, doesn’t it?

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WGN Reporter Dunks On Kid, Feels

June 10th, 2009

WGN Reporter Dunks On Kid, Feels ‘So Powerful’

Posted using ShareThis

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Comedy: Amare, GHill, Birdman and Dahntay on Kimmel

June 10th, 2009

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In remembrance: Today’s Philly/Toronto trade- Reggie Evans v. Kaman’s Family Jewels

June 10th, 2009

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Bill Laimbeer: Amazing video

June 7th, 2009

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Blast from the past: Wilt and Russell on Winning

June 1st, 2009

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