It’s safe to say the Timberwolves may have found their man before draft night arrives…Minnesota, are you ready!? Continue reading Karl-Anthony Towns Was Told That He Will Be The Minnesota Timberwolves No.1 Pick In The NBA Draft
Psycho, I’m liable to go Michael, take your pick/Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6-Jay-Z Continue reading The Sports Scoff With @SmooveGuyO, Vol. 4
This week we see that even the “smartest” people in sports still find ways to do the dumbest things time and time again. When it seems apparent to do one thing, some organizations believe in the opposite. This alone with the basic high, lows, and jaw dropping moments gave an interesting week in sports. Here are the things we learn from sports this week.
7. Breaking up the band
It seems like if you win a whole bunch of games, bring in young talent, and develop into a contender, then management will look to fire you in a couple of season. Tom Thibodeau has fallen into the section of “uncooperative with management” and will likely lose his job after losing to the Cleveland Cavilers in 6 games. Thibodeau not only had to deal with superstar Derrick Rose injuries for the past 3 seasons, but the growing divide between himself and his bosses. Former Bulls player and current TV analysis Stacey King has had a clear view of coach Thibodeau for the past few seasons. He was on Sirius XM NBA Radio show on Monday explaining the beef.
“The management is concerned about players. They pay a lot of money for these players. They got guys coming off injuries that they wanted to see brought back slower. They didn’t want to see Derrick Rose, who has missed three postseasons and recovering from meniscus surgery, playing 45 minutes right out of the box. They put him on a minute restriction.”
Seems like divorce is just around the corner, but just like Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins, and Monty Williams, some coach will be able to profit from the talent that Thibodeau help create.
As expected, the 2014 #1 pick finishes the year on top
Initially, Andrew Wiggins was expected to help the Cleveland Cavaliers become one of the scariest teams in the NBA. Last June, when he was drafted #1 by the Cavs, he joined a squad that included All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, and a sufficient cast of role players, all crossing their fingers, hoping LeBron James made the decision he would make just a couple weeks later: leave Miami and return home.
LeBron James, Wiggins–considered to be the next LeBron James–one of the league’s best point guards in Irving, and a coach that had just won the Euroleague Coach of the Year award was, on paper, the Eastern Conferences most dangerous formula. In the letter he penned to Sports Illustrated, LeBron admitted that he didn’t expect to win anything right away, but with that squad, no one was putting an immediate Finals appearance past the Cavaliers.
Then, Andrew Wiggins wasn’t a Cavalier anymore. Nope. The organization believed proven NBA talent Kevin Love gave them a better chance to win right away, and just like that the #1 pick was shipped off to Minnesota, where lottery picks have notoriously gone, and faded to black. Over the past 7 NBA Drafts, the Timberwolves have used lottery picks on guys like Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Shabazz Muhammed, Jonny Flynn and Corey Brewer, and only Rubio has had any sort of impact. (Brewer has found success in Houston). So, it’s fitting that despite the fact that Kansas alum Andrew Wiggins wasn’t drafted by the Timberwolves, he started all 82 games for them this year, and will officially be named the 2015 Rookie of the Year tomorrow.
Wiggins had a slow start, but he finished extremely strong towards the end of the season, recording several 30+ point games and broadening palette with improved defense. His final stat line? 17 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game, 44% from the field, 31% from three. In comparison, Kevin Durant–whom Wiggins has also been compared to–won the 2007 Rookie of the Year award with similar numbers: 20 points per game, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game to go along with percentages of 43% and 29% from the floor and three respectively.
The Big Ticket let his presence be known early to the baby Timberwolves….And let’s just say Zach definitely got the memo Continue reading Rookie Standout Zach LaVine Is Scared Of Kevin Garnett
Rubio got his “lite feet” going courtesy of a ruthless Harden stutter step and step back three that had the crowd go nuts!! Continue reading Watch James Harden Shakes Ricky Rubio Out His Sneakers Then Hits A Step Back Three
Mo was lighting up the Pacers….on a Tuesday! Continue reading Mo Williams Drops A Career High 52 Points On The Indiana Pacers
With the 2014 NBA Summer League in the rearview mirror, the cream of the crop has shown flashes of greatness and has given a glimpse of what the league will soon look like. Yes, we all know about Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and other attention grabbing talent, as well as veterans that came through the Summer League ranks. On the other hand, the Summer League puts the basketball community on notice about who should actually be grabbing headlines before the season even begins. Take a look at a few teams and players that have improved their reputation and have garnered increased respect after playing in this past summer:
- Washington Wizards – Glen Rice Jr., SG (Right): Otto Porter, SF (Left) – The 2013 2nd round pick out of Georgia Tech showed that he was in the gym this off-season by averaging 25 points and more than 7 boards per contest in the Las Vegas Summer League. With Trevor Ariza heading back to H-town for a second stint with the Rockets and an aging Paul Pierce joining the Washington mix, it would behoove the Wizards to bump Rice’s minutes up from the 10 he averaged last season to about 15-20 an outing. But Rice better not take his foot off of the gas pedal because Otto Porter is lurking right behind him for those minutes. Porter quietly dropped 19 a game and added 5 rebounds to that stat line in an effort to make amends for a below average rookie campaign. Rice may have to thank Porter because the former Georgetown standout probably pushed Rice Jr. to the top of the heap in the name of friendly competition; definitely a positive sign for a squad that is already stockpiled with talent.
- New York Knicks – Tim Hardaway Jr., SG: Cole Aldrich, C: Shane Larkin, PG: Cleanthony Early, SF/PF – Surprisingly, the Knickerbockers had a productive late spring and summer to go along with a summer league filled with hopefuls for the youth movement that will eventually contribute to Melo’s pursuit of a ring. Phil Jackson’s hiring of Head Coach Derek Fisher and acquisitions through the draft, as well as via trade, gave him some added credibility that he could handle a management role as President. These pieces injected some new life into the Big Apple and gave the nation of blue and orange something to cheer for during the Las Vegas Summer League. Second year shooting guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. continued to improve his stock and give his pops, Tim Hardaway Sr., former perfectionist of the “killer crossover,” some bragging rights about his offspring. Hardaway Jr. averaged more than 22 a game and led the Knicks to a 4-1 record out west. On top of that, former University of Kansas standout, Cole Aldrich, was a beast on the glass among all centers on his way to averaging 15 rebounds per contest. With those two gaining much of the attention throughout the month of July, the floor leadership of second year point guard, Shane Larkin (acquired via trade), and flashes of athletic promise from Cleanthony Early, who plays both forward positions (2014 2nd Round Draft Pick), were often overlooked but will surely pay off at various points throughout the upcoming season.
- Houston Rockets – Nick Johnson, PG/SG: Isaiah Canaan, PG – Drafting Nick Johnson and holding onto Isaiah Canaan sure has the Rockets General Manager, Daryl Morey, gloating in his office chair with his feet up. Upon trading away Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers before the Rockets participated in the Orlando Summer League, many thought that there would’ve been a lack of depth for the Rockets at point. Though they still have Patrick Beverly in the fold, the nerves of Houston fans were eased upon reading that the former Arizona Wildcat’s averages were 15, 6, and 5 (ppg, reb, asts) once he was done in the sunshine state. And oh yeah, he dropped an under the radar triple-double (15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in a victory against the Brooklyn Nets during his quick stay in Florida. As the Rockets summer league action shifted to the Las Vegas Summer League, Isaiah Canaan shined where he averaged 17 points, and was among the top 15 in scoring. Though both play the same position, the two games are completely different. Johnson is a multi-faceted player who occasionally dibbles and dabbles in several statistical categories, while Canaan has more of a killer instinct coupled with a bulldog mentality. The two of them should definitely be able to challenge Beverly in practice and pick up some of the minutes that Lin once occupied.
- Detroit Pistons – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG – The Pistons coaches told KCP one thing and one thing alone in the Orlando Summer League, “Keep shooting! Just keep shooting!” Though he shot only a shade above 40% from the field on his way to averaging 24 a game, Caldwell-Pope showed that he had the capability to handle a volume shooting load. Leading the D to a 3-2 record in their Orlando session, the shooting guard was clearly green lit as he scored 26 or more points in four out of five games, proving that he is ready for more minutes, more shots, and a larger role in his sophomore season. Quite frankly, Detroit should honor all three categories considering they are not a franchise on the up-and-up, and it wouldn’t hurt to make more of an investment in their younger talent.
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Zach Levine, SG – The Minnesota Timberwolves went 2-4 in the Las Vegas Summer League, haven’t made the playoffs since 2004, and it has been reported that their best player, Kevin Love, no longer wants to play in the twin cities. So why mention the Wolves? Zach Levine, that’s why. While he was unable to take over and dominate the summer league the way prime time players do, there were definitely flashes of superior athleticism and basketball play-making ability. Despite his scrawny frame at 6’5 and 180 lbs, he managed to average more than 15 points and 4 rebounds. Primarily using his quickness to get anywhere he chose on the floor and exceptional jumping ability to knock down jumpers with a hand in the face is a primary reason for those numbers. So Wolves fans can only envision his skill set once he hops on a NBA health and fitness regimen to improve his strength and overall muscle mass. Honestly, when you’re a player who has averaged less than 10 points a game at UCLA, played only one year of college ball as a true freshman, and is taken in the NBA Draft lottery ahead of your Bruin teammate, Kyle Anderson, who was considered to be the best player on their 2013 – 2014 roster, much is being said about Levine by the Wolves management who decided to pull the trigger on a talent that has little experience and production. Luckily for them, the decision appears to be the right one.
By Clinton Jackson