on 23-08-2008 12:27 AM
Yeah I mean it certainly helps when four of the starting five were in the All-NBA First Team last season (Paul, Bryant, James and Howard).
This is a much better team than what we've seen in previous seasons, I think the difference between the teams in '04 and especially '06 in particular was that they were relying too much on the talents of James, Anthony and Wade. In the two years since, those players have matured in their playing style which is a huge boost plus they're getting the most out of newer players like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh.
Will be an interesting match-up, Spain and USA. USA can run the floor with fast-paced offence and blistering plays, but Spain are probably a more technically-sound team. European basketball generally is. They focus a lot harder on the fundamentals, shooting and defence in particular. I still tip USA though, they have a lot more specialist guys like Michael Redd and Tayshaun Prince this time around.
on 06-09-2008 07:59 AM
It's a shame to seethe Sonics die, one of the classic NBA franchises just gone... so now the team has moved to Oklahoma and morphed into the Oklahoma City Thunder. Personally I don't think there's a city more deserving of their own NBA team given the two seasons New Orleans spent playing there, the city really embraced them and I have no doubt they will embrace their own team even more.
I'm certainly not expecting big things out of their first year, sure Durant is in his second year and he'll have shaken off his rookie status but still I'm probably expecting 10-15 wins all up, and the majority of those wins will be against teams ranked in the lower half in the league backing up from a game played the night before, so don't expect them to be knocking off the Spurs or Celtics anytime soon. Probably a lot of their wins will be in front of their home fans too.
What I would be interested to see is the Thunder squaring off against Cleveland with no LeBron James, just to see who is worse.
on 06-09-2008 09:40 AM
06-09-2008 09:52 AM - edited 06-09-2008 09:54 AM
Patrick Mills would of impressed alot of scouts at the Olympics and imo has a good chance to go in the top 10 for the NBA draft, could he be our 2nd number 1 draft pick from Aus? That would be nice.
Mills is a decent player, but I think the type of player he is wouldn't go at number 1, you don't see many PG's picked 1st overall anymore (the last I think may have been Allen Iverson I'm not sure), generally Small Forwards and dominant Centres are what teams are looking to draft (in recent years, Dwight Howard, Andrew Bogut, Greg Oden and Andrea Bargnani). I also think given that he's an international and he can't dunk (or at least would only dunk like once in his career) that that would affect his positioning.
Top 10 pick? Maybe if he spent two years in college and really impressed the NBA scouts it's possible, although personally I think Mills is the kind of player who would be better-served going in for one year and giving it his all, go into the draft, get picked as a mid-first round player or possibly late-first round steal, get to play with a good team as a second-string PG and then let everything else take care of itself. I dunno if he's quite at the level yet to run an NBA offence, so with that in mind he should probably focus on being one of the league's best role players rather than trying to be a starting court-runner on a lousy team. It's better for his longevity.
on 06-09-2008 10:01 AM
10-09-2008 03:50 AM - edited 10-09-2008 03:52 AM
I also think given that he's an international and he can't dunk (or at least would only dunk like once in his career) that that would affect his positioning.
Whether he can dunk or not has absolutely nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing. He's a point gaurd, if he can run an offence, or at least penetrate and dish from the perimeter he'll have some kind of career in the NBA. lol @ dunking being a factor.
Him being an international would have an impact IF he wasn't playing college ball in the states, purely in terms of exposure. But he is, so it won't. And every NBA team has an international scout now anyway, so the impact isn't so large even for guys not playing college over there.. That all started when teams were kicking themselves at missing players like Dirk, Gasol, Calderon coz they knew nothing about them..
Having said that, a top 10 pick might be a bit ambitious.. Teams will balk at his lack of height.. But someone will take a punt on him whenever he declares, somewhere in the late 1st round methinks- pure point gaurds with his speed, penetration and ball handling are hard to come by..
Also, he most certainly is not the first point guard to start for a college team as a freshman.. He might the first at his particular college, but not overall.
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