Another long day of hoops action. Highlight of the day: probably
lunch at “Brooklyn’s Brick Oven Pizza.” If you’re ever in
Hackensack, NJ, I suggest you check it out.
Back to hoops though, I definitely thought the quality of play
today was a little down on the whole. I don’t know what it was, but
it wasn't too pretty out there. But regardless, here I come with all
the day’s fast-paced action:
2. Afternoon Session
2:00 PM Game:
Cavs vs. Magic
I decided to focus all my attention on this one game. This was
for a few reasons: First off, the Magic were one of the three teams
I didn’t watch the previous day, and they featured some players on
my watch-list. And secondly, I have come to take a liking to the
Cavs. From top to bottom, they have one of the more talented rosters
in the league, and a lot of young talent to boot. Also, the Cavs are
coached by Mike Byrnes. Byrnes is one of the more energetic coaches
at ABCD, and he really does a good job of motivating his players.
Cameron Stanley (6-7 Raleigh, NC) was the player I most needed to
watch on the Cavs. He has the body of a prototypical power forward,
and has very long arms. He’s also left handed, and seems to be very
left-hand dominant in his action. He’s got a strong-looking body,
and can really rebound powerfully. However he didn’t seem to have
the conviction to power for the rebound every time, just some of the
time. I also noticed one or two poor decisions on his part, such as
when he pulled down a board and decided to run the fast-break
himself. This didn’t work out so well, as he got the ball stripped
from behind. I also watched him in the evening session, which I’ll
get too later.
I liked Gerald Green (6-8 Houston, TX: 2005) in this game. I
don’t see much info about Green on line or any rankings which
include him, but he definitely can play a little ball. For a 6-8
kid, he’s got a real nice shooting stroke, and showed that off by
hitting both mid-range jumpers and some three pointers. The one
thing I saw with regards to his shot, is that he’s always on-line,
but misses either too far or too short. Regardless, he has a nice
soft shot, which never clanged off the rim. Green also showed the
ability to dribble-drive to the whole, where he was inconsistent
with his finishing ability. Sometimes he’d finish with ease, and
other times he get to the hoop only to miss a relatively easy shot.
Green showed a lot of potential in the minutes he played.
The Magic’ point guard, Rajon Rondo (6-1 Louisville, KY) was
impressive as well, especially in his matchup with Josh Wright (6-1
Utica, NY.) While yesterday early, I noted Wright was better than I
expected, he was a let down this afternoon. Wright can really move
the ball up the court quickly, but Rondo was right there step for
step. Wright let his poor play get to his head early, and Rondo
really outplayed him the entire game, showing the ability to beat
Wright off the dribble. Rondo wasn’t as flashy as other PG’s in
camp, but was extremely efficient.
Unlike Wright, Jawan Carter (6-0 Wilmington, DE: 2006) was not a
disappointment today. He left off where he did yesterday stroking
from outside. He seems to really prefer to shoot from the baseline,
where he’s almost automatic. The one fault I had with Carter today,
was after he got the ball over mid-court, he’d do a lot of useless
horizontal dribbling and not get the team into its offense.
One guy who should always touch the ball on offense is Tasmin
Mitchell (6-7 Denham Springs, LA: 2005.) He’s a skilled post player,
and will develop into the guy that some college offense runs their
offense through. Within 12 feet, he’s extremely effective,
especially considering he’s not of full age, and isn’t the biggest
guy out there. However, he has an assortment of moves down low,
included a baby-hook, a turnaround move, and good touch on his short
jumper. Plus, he was always active trying to follow up and missed
shots he had. Another plus is that he stays within the team offense,
and doesn’t try and show off by shooting outside shots (ala Joshua
Dorrell Wright (6-7 Los Angeles, CA) showed of his big-time
leaping abilities again today. Coach set up a play which the Cavs
ran to try and create a lob for Wright. They ran it three times, and
each time Wright’s defender would get lost, but the passes were
never on target, (probably because the play relied on needing a big
man to throw the lob.) D.Wright is the type of guy who is an ideal
support player at small forward. He hasn’t shown the ability to play
one-on-one, but he’s a solid role player.
Another great role player for the Cavs today was Dwayne Day (6-6
Mt. Vernon, GA.) He was really trying hard out there, and did a good
job helping his team at whatever was needed. He applies pressure on
D, and wasn’t afraid to get on the floor for loose balls. Plus, he’s
always involved in the action, such as when he picked up an easy
basket trailing a missed shot on the break. His stroke looked
decent, but the shots weren’t going down.
Finally, Andray Blatche (6-10 Syracuse, NY) did a fine job for
the second day in a row down low for the Cavs. He’s got a great
body, and uses it in the spot he’s supposed to: right around the
hoop. He’s real active on the Offensive glass, and this enables him
to score a lot of points down low. He was tied for 4th in the camp
in rebounding when I picked up the stat sheet late in the evening.
Plus, he’s a load on defense. He uses his body to seal off his man,
and no one has been able to push him around in the post. All in all,
a solid big man. Along with Goran Sutton, who I’ll take more about
later, the Cavs are strong up front.
Knicks vs. Wizards
Leo Criswell (6-8 Kansas City, MO: 2005) played much better
today. He was still really fidgety, playing with his shorts and his
uni, and it seems like a lot of wasted movement. I specifically
remember one play on the break, where he’s running on the wing
calling for the ball with one hand ready to catch it, and the other
still yanking at his shorts. Regardless, he was working hard out
like he did yesterday, but more under control. He wasn’t afraid to
bang with the big boys, and got to the line a few times. He showed
his quickness, in one highlight play where he posted his man, spun
baseline and put it in an easy reverse dunk (as if any reverse dunk
is easy..) But for him it was, and that’s why he shows potential. I
still haven’t got a good read on his defense yet.
JR Smith (6-7 Clarksburg, NJ) was on fire all day. He hit back to
back three’s and also had some great dunks. He also shows great body
control when finishing, even on layups. He can really extend his
arms away from his body when finishing, creating a lot of room
between the ball and the defender. I’ll save more praise for Smith
in the evening game, when he dominated on both ends of the
I spent a maximum of about 3 minutes watching Brandon Costner
(6-8 Montclair, NJ: 2005) and wasn’t very impressed. About the only
thing he did was get two rebounds and then proceed to throw really
lazy outlet passes which led to turnovers. I’ll have to see more of
Costner before coming down to hard on the kid.
Pistons vs. Warriors
Shaun Livingston (6-7 Peoria, IL) was his usual solid self today.
I’m still waiting to see if he can take over a game in the
half-court, but you can’t argue with his ball-handling skills. He’s
always in complete control of the ball, and runs his team
effectively. He also is vocal and talks to his teammates which is a
plus. His defense is also impressive, even if its because he’s
blessed by being so long and tall. Livingston uses his long arms to
make it tougher for opposing PG’s to throw the passes they’d like,
or beat him off the dribble. Jason Horton (6-1 Detroit, MI) was
clearly outplayed by Livingston.
Like Horton, Roy Bright (6-6 Detroit MI) is from the Motor City,
and also wasn’t very impressive. I keep waiting for Bright to show
me something, but his minutes on the floor are rather uneventful.
Jose Garcia (6-5 Lynchburg, VA) is anything but an uneventful
player. I like watching this kid, because you get the sense he knows
he’s on the big stage and is taking advantage of it. He tries as
anyone out there on both ends of the floor. But his not just a
hustle guy, he also has skill. He runs the wings with ease, and can
hit the outside shot on the wing as well. At one point, he hit back
to back three-pointers. Plus, I notice Garcia is always out there
shooting during the breaks and dead balls, and I think he‘s going
about his business in a smart fashion. He also made a point to get a
picture taken with Antione Walker, perhaps just because he knows
people are watching the Celtics star (or wannabe star..)
Finally for the Pistons, Justin Wilson (5-8 Delaware, TX) is a
small guy with a big heart. Well, I have no reason to say that, but
it seems like the thing you’re supposed to say about little guys
J Wilson though was a guy who is
adequate at most things, but doesn’t show any plus potential in any
one category. The best positive I can say about Wilson is that he’s
somewhat relentless, in that if he tries to dribble past his
defender, but gets the ball poked away, he won’t shy away and
instead comes right back at his man.
I was sitting in the bleachers for this game, right next to Al
Skinner and the BC staff. They had Cedric Jackson (6-2, McGuire AFB,
NJ) highlighted and were watching intently. (Except for when some BC
supporter came over and started pestering Skinner, that must be
extremely irritating.) Regardless, Jackson played his usual solid
game. However, he was playing mostly against the Pistons’ 2nd best
players, so this may have added to his success. He showed ability to
play big time defense, anticipating the passing lanes. One great
hustle play was when Jose Garcia burst out on the break, but Jackson
chased him down from behind and stole it. Very impressive.
Big man Aaron Agnew was playing well today. Yesterday he had the
big square-off against Glen Davis, but this time Agnew outweighed
his opponent Kareem Cooper (whose a monster in his own right.) Agnew
was adept at rebounding and then turning for the quick outlet to the
point guard. He also showed the ability to make some nice touch
passes in the paint. You’ll read in the 2nd game, Agnew’s play
dropped off however.
Jarvis Hill (6-3 Starkville, MS: 2005) was playing relatively
well this afternoon. He lives on the wings, where he’s comfortable
shooting the three. Its clear though, that to take his game to the
next level, he needs to work on penetration to the basket. Perhaps
because he played high school ball with Travis Outlaw, he made one
or two nice passes lobbing it up to Joshua Smith (6-9 Powder
Springs, GA) for big dunks. And lastly, as far as Smith goes, can
someone please make him stop shooting three-pointers and settling
for jumpers. Thank you.
76ers vs. Hawks
Dwight Howard (6-11 East Point, GA) was the star of Tuesday’s
action, and the word definitely got around. The 76ers decided that
they’d double team him every time he touched the ball (or triple
team.) Howard showed that he has the ability to find the open man
when doubled. He was either able to anticipate the double and find a
man, or if the double did get to him, he was still tall enough and
slick enough to find the open man, and hit him with a solid pass.
Once or twice, he also anticipated where the double was coming from,
and spun away towards the basket. It only worked for a lay-in once,
but that’s a big time move if you can do it successfully.
Cheyenne Moore (6-6 Edgewood, MD) is a high flyer, but didn’t get
a chance to walk the high wire in the minutes I saw. He did however
show the ability to handle the ball in the open floor which I was
surprised to see. This game was very close, and Moore had a 10 foot
shot to win it at the buzzer, but it didn’t go down for the Hawks.
The Sixers don’t feature any big time names now that Marvin
Williams is hurt, but I watched Jarhon Giddings (6-8 Blacksburg, VA)
for one of our subscribers. Giddings was given the tough task of
having to go up against Howard. While they basically played team
defense on Howard, Giddings still had to deal with the 6-11 forward
on offense, and was responsible for boxing him out. I thought
Giddings was really able to hold his own. Even though Giddings
doesn’t have a terribly strong upper-body, he was able to use his
strong legs to rebound well. Plus, he’s able to elevate up and down
quickly, and repeatedly. Like most players in camp, he’s solid on
the break, and can finish with authority. He doesn’t have a bad
looking shot, and as long as he’s given enough room he’ll hit the
jay. However, if he’s rushed or not squared up to the hoop, he’s
better of passing the ball. Giddings reminded me a lot of Shan
Foster, who I’ll discuss in the next game.
One more player who caught my eye was Vernon Carr (6-2 Detroit,
MI,) a point guard whose built like a running back. Carr mainly
caught my eye because he was able to outside shots with some
Nets vs. Jazz
As I just said, Shan Foster (6-6 Kenner, LA) was playing PF for
the Nets. Right before this game, I happened to run into a friend of
mine, Steve Wren* who was a big fan of Foster’s previous
performances. I was disappointed with Foster’s game, perhaps because
of the raised expectations. There’s no doubt that Foster is an
explosive athlete who can elevate from the floor instantaneously. As
I said, he’s similar to Giddings in that although his outside shot
isn’t the prettiest, it will go in so long as he’s squared to the
hoop and has ample time to lock and load. Foster’s worst moment was
a forced jumper where he wasn’t square to the hoop, that resulted in
an ugly fade-away shot. There was one three minute period where he
made a couple of turnovers, and let his frustrations show by fouling
a man on the fast break who converted the bucket and the foul.
* Steve will be helping out with tomorrow‘s issue, as I have a
prior engagement which will force me to miss some time in the
Another frontline player for the Nets is Luke Bonner (6-11
Concord, NH.) Bonners a big player who was faced up against “Baby
Shaq” Glen Davis. Bonner did a real nice job on Davis, not letting
the bigger man push him around by any means. Davis can be
relentless, but Bonner kept coming back for more. On one of the more
amusing plays of the day, Davis missed a few shots and then kept
getting the offensive board, and tried to power into Bonner with all
350 pounds of force. Bonner stood his ground, and took a charge,
while both men went flying to the floor. Bonner certainly gained my
respect for standing up tall to Davis, and he’s clearly a kid who
will be a solid contributor to a big time program. Maybe not scoring
a lot, but he’ll do all the dirty work you need and play solid
Jarvis Walker (6-3 Olympia Fields, IL: 2005) did a real nice job
running the point for the Nets, when their #1 point guard, Darius
Washington wasn’t on the floor. While the hyped battle was between
Washington and Telfair, Walker actually fared better against
Sebastian. Walker showed good foot work staying in front of
Sebastian (which is no easy task) and used his size to back down
Telfair in the post a couple of times. I don’t see much written on
Walker, but he looked like a legit player.
Washington (6-1 Orlando, FL) was anything but legit today. I
praised Washington early yesterday and he let me down big time. It
was clear that Washington knew everyone was watching his battle with
Telfair, and let his emotions and pride get the best of him.
Telfair’s so used to the hype, that these big match ups don’t even
faze him. Washington, on the other hand, was basically embarrassed
on the court today and pretty much was the sole reason his Nets team
lost today. Two times he was actually able to use his moves to blow
past Telfair, big men came down and swatted his shots. Towards the
end of the game, this only led to Washington trying to dunk over 5
guys at once, and he just looked silly. Meanwhile, Telfair closed
out the game with some great plays and won the game for the Jazz.
One play stood out: Telfair told Steven Neal (6-5 Minneapolis, MN)
to set up on the block. Then he told Neal to cut across to the
opposite wing. When Neal went, Telfair watched him with his eyes
like he was going to pass it, causing Washington to lose his focus,
while Telfair burst to the hoop for a lay up.
Neal, is a flyer on the wings, who certainly is looking good
because Telfair’s the guy who can get him the ball in the right
places. On defense, I noticed some indecision from Neal, especially
in transition where would get caught in no mans land. He looks like
he has a positive attitude on the court, and is enjoying himself.
One kid who I’ve come to really like in camp is Michael Williams
(6-9 Camden, AL.) He’s flat out relentless and virtually unstoppable
around the hoop. Its almost unfair that he and Glen Davis are on the
same team. No team can match that combination up front. Williams
just attacks the offensive glass like a mad man, and he picks up a
lot of baskets down low. I swear, every time he gets the ball down
there, he’s able to power up for an easy bucket. He rarely misses,
and this is supported by an unbelievable 85.2 FG% so far. Plus he
boxes out, and his man never gets an offensive board. Besides the FG%,
he’s also 3rd in the camp in scoring and in player rating. He’s been
one of the top 3, if not the most, impressive players in camp. Texas
has got themselves a dandy of a player.
Before I move on to the evening games, I also wanted to mention
Darnell Harris (6-2 Baltimore, MD) who played on the Nets. He’s a
relatively unheralded player who shows some real potential. His two
weaknesses are lack of strength and lack of a left hand, but he can
finish decently, and most importantly he can shoot the ball. A
rarity in camp..
Magic vs. Warriors
Nothing terribly interesting to note about this game. Aaron Agnew
was a disappointment in this game after a solid afternoon. My father
joined me for a little while in the evening, and we both noted that
he was just playing really lazily, and not getting back on D.
Cedric Jackson played his usual solid game, and even showed some
flash, with an around the back pass on the break. Jarvis Hill was
living on the wing like usual, and his one-dimensionality is
becoming very apparent in the half-court. He really needs to develop
a penetration game.
Montez Smith (6-1 Durham, NC: 2005) was particularly noticeable,
but for the wrong reasons. He seemed to make some poor decisions,
even in the open floor which is surprising for a PG. The most
obvious example of this, was when he received an outlet pass around
mid-court and had Cedric Jackson wide upon on the left-wing. Instead
of pushing it up to Jackson, Smith took it himself towards the
middle and settled for a useless pull-up jumper.
For the Magic this game, I tried to watch a bit of Marcus Butler
(6-3 Mansfield, OH.) Butler is noticeably strong and thick bodied
(certainly not fat, but tough thick.) There were a fee times he was
able to hold his ground, while his opponents tried to bang down low.
He must also have real strong wrists, because he flipped up a ¾
court heave at the buzzer like he was just throwing a usual chest
Cameron Stanley was effective this game when he remained down
low. He showed some good hustle, such as trailing a fast break which
rewarded in a nice put-back dunk. Because of his increased
confidence, I think he tried to show off by shooting some outside
shots. The shots weren’t ugly and he could develop a decent outside
game one day, but he’s best served staying in the paint if he wants
his team to win.
Bucks vs. Celtics
This is the first time I really focused on the Bucks, and I was
glad I did because of Walter Sharpe (6-9 Birmingham, AL.) Sharpe is
ranked the 26th PF in the nation by RivalsHoops, but in this one
game, he looked better than guys like Shan Foster, Cedric Simmons,
and Rahshon Clark ranked higher. Sharpe is a real smooth athlete,
who has explosive quickness and agility, but also a great touch on
the ball. He showed the ability to play with his back to the basket,
with a little baby hook (he’s able to elevate and extend his long
arms to avoid the defense.) He can finish with ease, and even had a
sweet block on DeMarcus Nelson on the break. It was only one game,
so I’ll wait before I pass final judgement. The Bucks other forward,
Sylvester Seay (6-9 San Bernardino, CA) was also impressive. He has
the potential to be a big time rebounded on the glass if he just
asserted himself each time. He could use inspiration from Michael
Williams. On defense, I noticed he tends to use his hands a lot on
the opposing player instead of using his body and his feet. He had
great physical potential.
For the Celtics, DeMarcus Nelson* (6-3 Sacramento, CA: Duke) was
flat out awesome during this game, and is better than advertised.
He’s playing as well as any point guard in camp right now,
Livingston and Telfair included. He was in control of the game the
whole time, and doesn’t force the action like some other guys
(Washington, Telfair, etc.) He can flat out shoot, and moves well
without the ball creating open shots for himself. Not to mention he
can jump better than you’d think, and is a very smart player. He
flashed his intelligence right before the half time buzzer. He came
towards the inbounder like he would receive the pass as usual, and
then turned and busted towards the goal where he was met with a nice
lob pass. He converted the lay up just before the buzzer.
* Nelson’s Numbers: 18.8 ppg (2nd in camp), 68.2 FG% (2nd in
camp), 70.0 3pt% (2nd in camp), and 34.1 player rating (3rd in
The Celtics also have two other PG’s. Kashif Payne (5-9 Chester,
PA) is a real little guy whose fast as heck. Obviously, he’s most
effective in transition where he has space to move. He shows he
knows the right pass to make, but had passes blocked a few times
because of his small size. One time, he even finished strongly on
the break, getting hit and still converting the basket.
The other PG of note is Patrick Doherty (5-11 Scranton, PA) who
was such a revelation yesterday. He wowed me again with a sweet
cross-over move which led to an uncontested basket, and a look away
pass to a cutting big man 20 feet away. The faults in his game are
mainly that he doesn’t get the ball into the offense quick enough
sometimes, and dribbles from sideline to sideline to much. Also, he
sometimes sets up shop to far out from the three-point line as I’d
like. Regardless, he’s proving he can play with the big boys and his
4 assists per game are good enough to be 3rd in camp in assists.
Suns vs. Rockets
I was mainly watching the Hawks and Sonics at this time, but was
impressed again by Justin Cerasoli (6-5 Aurora, IL.) He’s very
effective with the ability to change speeds quickly. He’ll jog the
ball up court, before turning on the after-burners at just the right
moment. Plus he can do this with both the right and left hand
dribble. This guy is deceptively good, and is playing just as well
as guys like Rondo & Horton who are ranked above him.
CJ Anderson (6-6 Cincinnati, OH) is enjoyable because he loves to
take it to the rim. He doesn’t mess around when he goes to the hoop
either, always moving vertically. Once he decides to take it to the
rack, he’s usually effective, and even if he misses, he follows up
his shot well. A nice player.
Hawks vs. Sonics
One guy to note first for the Hawks is Daryl Augustin (5-11 New
Orleans, LA: 2006) He caught my eye during the game, and there
happened to be a late subscriber who requested coverage of Augustin
tonight, so it works out well. He’s a real young kid, but is more
physically mature than you think. I thought he was just an ‘04 guy,
so I was impressed when I realized he was an ‘06 at the end of the
game. He really needs to work on finishing around the hoop versus
the big men. He relies on scoop shoots, and different cutesy moves
to avoid getting blocked by the bigger guys. This won’t cut it and
he needs to improve his finishing. However, he not only handles the
ball effectively, but his posture on the court is mature as well.
Warren McClendon (6-6 Dublin, GA) showed some offensive ability
in the low block this game. He showed both a fade away turnaround,
and the ability to spin towards the hoop. This makes him a tough
guard in the post. One weakness is that he always set up shop on the
left side of the court in the same relative spot.
Lamar Falley (6-3 Las Vegas, NV,) one of two guys from Nevada
showed the ability to shoot the ball. He’s got a quick release, and
was stroking from the wing.
For this game, Dwight Howard wasn’t double teamed once, because
he was going against Robert Swift (7-1 Bakersfield, CA.) Again,
Swift played a heck of a game, and flat-out played a better game
than Howard. This was bit of a statement game for Swift showing he’s
up their with the best of them.
As good as Swift was, Andre McGee (5-11 Moreno Valley, CA: 2005)
was even better. McGee is now leading the camp in scoring with 20.8
per, and is playing as well as any PG in camp (except for maybe
Nelson.) But considering he’s a year behind, you realize how good
that really is. He’s a sharp-shooter from outside and is hitting
over 70% from behind the arc. Plus, he plays solid defense, using
his quick hands to cause havoc (especially on the perimeter.)
Glen Dandridge (6-6 Goochland, VA) who I really liked yesterday,
wasn’t quite as effective. He still showed off the ability to hit
from long range, but missed more shots than he made, and was forcing
the action too much. He just needs to let the game come to him, work
with out the ball, and find opening to shoot instead of forcing the
outcome. He also made some real lazy passes.
Finally Gabe Pruitt (6-3 Los Angeles, CA) was solid throughout.
He’s a high riser for a 6-3 kid, and also showed off a good jumper
(deadly from the baseline.) On D, he also was able to anticipate
passes and pick up some steals.
Wizards vs. Lakers
For the Wiz, it was all about JR Smith. He put on a show for
those who stayed till the end. He has a jumper that doesn’t have
much arc, but he really elevates when he shoots. Plus, it wasn’t
just stand still shooting, but coming off screens and shooting after
a quick run.
Most impressive was his effort on the defensive end. Four times
in one game he chased down a man who thought he was going in for a
fast break lay-up and blocked the shot. 2 or 3 of them may have been
goal-tends but the point is that the effort was there. Truly
impressive, maybe the 4 best plays of the day when looked at in
sequence. Did I also mention the fact that he can dunk the *$!@# out
of the ball.
The Lakers featured four players I had not mentioned thus far.
All four play on the same unit with solid PG Abdulai Jalloh (6-1
District Heights, MD.) Arron Afflalo (6-5 Compton, CA) is a nice
looking player, who can do a little bit of everything. He can run
the break, by the wing man on the break, has a good looking shot,
and has a knack from finding open men with the ball. Plus, he
doesn’t just stand around on offense, but moves without the ball
looking for gaps to move in.
Even more impressive than Afflalo was Brandon Rush (6-6 Kansas
City, MO:2005.) The last of the Rush boys looks like another gem. He
really showed off a long range shot that has great rotation. He
seems to be able to jump effortlessly, without even setting himself
up. He had a real nice put back dunk. Rush, Afflalo & Jalloh were
joined by big men Randolph Morris (6-10 Palmetto, GA) and Julius
Powell (6-8 Newton, GA.) All 5 of these guys formed a very effective
unit that worked well together. Powell is a good rebounded who picks
up the flight of the ball well. This ability plus his quickness
enabled him to muster up a few nice long rebounds. Morris is a more
typical big guy, whose solid at all the things you want. He’s very
active trying to block shots and is very strong. On one play, he was
able to box a man out with one arm while snatching in the board with
his other hand.
5. Early Morning Update
Jazz vs. Clippers
New York’s John Oates (6-10 Harriman, NY) was given the tough
task of going up against Glen Davis. Oates definitely had some great
moments in this game but also some low points. There are a few times
where Davis was really able to muscle Oates around in the post. The
refs didn’t help out Oates’ cause, as they even called Oates for
“kneeing” Davis. Regardless, I would have liked to see John try and
front Davis to take advantage of his height. Oates tried to show
some offensive game, and he has good form on his turnaround baby
hook. He looked very comfortable taking that shot. I thought his
best play was when he was going at it with Davis for position on the
block, and a man on the Jazz took it to the basket down the middle
of the lane. Oates was able to react, step away and block the guards
shot. On rebounding, he was spotty, and had a few possessions late
where he forgot about his man, and just waited for the ball.
His man, Glen Davis was effective. I like when Davis goes
baseline and uses the rim to shield the ball from his opponents. He
puts the right spin on the ball that enables him to reverse lay up
Other quick notes on players throughout the day:
Rahshon Clark (6-6 Far Rockaway, NY) showed some flashes of big
time ability throughout the game. One play that stood out was a
rebound, where he thought the ball was going to come of the rim
short, so he beat his man inside, but when the ball came out long,
he was able to still use his speed to get the ball on the outside.
Marvin Kilgore (6-3 Philadelphia, PA) showed some skill at point
guard. His ability to shoot the ball from long-range is what set him
Simon Harris (6-4 Atlanta, GA) showed big time leaping ability
for the Lakers.
Abdulai Jalloh, who I mentioned earlier, was very impressive at
the point. He was really good at predicting passes on the perimeter
and stealing the ball. (It was his breakaways that Smith was able to
recover and block a few times.) Jalloh also had a suprising blocked
shot on a bigger guy.
Lyndale Burleson (6-2 Renton, WA) looked good going against
Jeremy Goode. Burleson was using his size to cause problems for
Goode, and was also very active on defense, where he liked to try
and swipe the ball away. Burleson definitely outplayed Goode.
Another player I thought worth mentioning was Mark Winston (6-7
Little Rock, AR.) In the game against the Jazz, he often was forced
to contend with Glen Davis. Winston, whose smaller and weighed 100
pounds less, was surprisingly effective. He likes to try and block
shots (he had a nice block on a Davis shot), and gets his hand up to
contend every shot. He has a strong body, but on offense he wasn’t
much of a factor.
Joakim Noah (6-10 New York, NY) is having a great week so far.
He’s averaging 9 boards and leads the cam in blocks per game at 4.
He also leads in player rating with a score of 35.6. In the game I
saw, he was a menace on the boards, although he was being guarder by
smaller men. He shows a positive personality on the court, and the
desire to get the job done inside. He’s a big-time athlete, who
combines strength with quickness. (This is the son of former tennis
star Yannick Noah.)
Another thing I wanted to mention was that in the Celtics game, I
did not see CJ Giles playing. I marked it in my notes, and forget to
inquire if he was hurt or not during the day. I’ll see today whether
or not he is in fact injured.