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NBA Preview : Atlanta Hawks (most underrated NBA team)

Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks

In a  Eastern conference reinforced by the offseason there is a team that is historically not considered, even more so after the trade in which he traded an All star in exchange of expiring contracts and some decent role player. Of course we talk about the Atlanta Hawks Continue reading

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Duke is (lightly) underrated?

Despite this problem for coach K, the Blue Devils seem the Blue Bloods nobody is talking about…. My preferred blog list them N.16 in their Preseason top 25 , with good arguments. But I’m a big believer of coach K and I think that his team has a much higher potential, also without Andre Dawkins Continue reading

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NBA 2013 mock draft (8-14)

8-Patric Young (6’9″,222) Florida.

This junior has all the physical tools that you can ask for; size, length, leaping ability, strength and quickness. This year he should have more shots, it’s up to him dominate near the cup. Had to improve also his rebounding average.

9-LeBryan Nash (6’7″,220) Oklahoma State.

Has already draw comparisons with Artest, possessing a ready NBA body and athleticism. This year he will have better teammates, so he should put his various gifts to good use, instead of firing long two as last season. Tremendous upside,  Nash will be able to exploit it? Continue reading

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Memphis 2012/2013 season preview

During preseason i will post preview of teams that i think will be worth folloving next season.

In the last year before joining the Big East this Tigers team is hands down the best of Conference USA, and with recent committements from two top 100 players and other top 100 recruits  in the Memphis area again unsigned, Josh Pastner’s team will be a contender after the switch.

This year Memphis has at least 10 players can be part of the rotation, then Pastner can keep up the pace without losing too much in effectiveness.

KEY PLAYER(S):

For the success of this team there is nobody more fundamental than Tariq Black (6’9″,262). His frontcourts teammates are good role player (Hall and Simpson) or unproven players like Shaq Goodwin (6’9 “, 264), an excellent athlete who obviously has no the experience required to dominate in the paint during conference play. Shaq Is not a good fit to play next to Black, having the two a similar game, and consequently will have a few minutes, especially if Black prove to be improved in handling of fouls during the match. Black has no other real flag in his game,has already the body of a pro and never tries to do things that are not in his technical knowledge. His goal should be to get to thirty minutes per game while keeping the excellent production that had  in little more than half the game last season.  Hard nosed players like Black may affect for the better in the attitude  a team full of talent but a little immature in other key elements such as Jackson (6’1 “, 171) and Geron Johnson (6’3″, 197).

X FACTOR PLAYER(S):

I know that Adonis Thomas (6’7”,252) is touted as NBA player in the making, he has all the skills as well as the physical necessary to becoming one, but so far on the basketball court he has not yet proven to consistently produce high-level basketball.What I meant to say is that if Thomas is able to have averages appropriate to his status as a star, then Memphis will be a difficult client for all even at national level.

BIGGEST PROBLEM(S):

This team potentially has everything you need to play the system of Pastner … Jackson played great games last postseason, however, carries some doubts about his maturity, as well as Geron Johnson. Maybe lacks a bit of experience compared to other major teams, the outside shot could be better, but if they are able to build a good defense and  all (or almost) turns to the right, the sky is the limit for this group.

BEST NEWCOMER(S):

Geron Johnson is ready to contribute from day one as a combo guard that prefer more scoring than passing,with loads of confidence and loads of past attitude problems that i wish he could solve. Goodwin and Damian Wilson (6’6″,180) are top flight athletes that could blossom before the end of this season, but most likely next year,since they are best suited for the type of system that uses coach Pastner.

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NBA 2013 mock draft(1-7)

Before the start of NCAA and Europen leagues, here a very early prediction without  taking in account team needs…..and this is the second part (8-14)

1-Rudy Gobert (6’11”,205)Cholet,France.

Adidas Eurocamp, just before this year draft,started the buzz surrounding Gobert after he measured 7′ without shoes with a monstrous wingspan of 7’8,9″. Having a body that could easily add more weight and being already a good scorer near the basket,this guy could end up at the top of this year class.His actual team(Cholet) has a good record for develop prospects (Seraphin and Sefolosha) so Gobert is in a good situation to improve.The gym work he has to do is not small but the potential is immense.

Best case:Mc Dyess on offense,Ibaka on defense                                       Worst case:Brandan Wright (high potential, low production)

2-Cody Zeller (6’11″220)Indiana

Zeller has an advanced offensive game with a proven ability to get and make easy looks near the cup.Has great open floor speed and various sources report that is adding weight with hard workouts during the offseason. Compared to the two brothers has more athleticism and basketball IQ and certainly will have the best career. However, is unlikely to be a super star kind Dwight Howard unless it forms a pair with a guard to be able to develop high-level pick and roll like Stockton and Malone few years ago.

Best case: Gasol                                                                                                            Worst case: His brother

3-Shabazz Muhammad (6’6″,223) UCLA ?

The best word to describe his game is physical, he explode at the basket with a combination of strength and badness that are unmatched outside the NBA. Good touch from midrange,with his ultra strong work ethic he can only improve from 3 point land, his minor flaw. A season under defensive oriented coach Howland, if will be cleared to play, will channel his intensity and effort in the right direction also in defense, where Muhammad is already solid.

Best case: Vince Carter                                                                                             Worst case: Matt Barnes

4-Nerlens Noel (6’11”,216) Kentucky

This freak athlete will crack the top five because of his elite defensive skills. Not only he is a super shotblocker from the weak side and in iso situation, he can defend on every type of pick and roll thanks to its speed in sliding all over the floor. On offense is lagging behind Anthony Davis to which is unfairly compared. They are simply two different players with a similar upside on the defensive end but with different skills-set on offense, with Noel who stands much more close to the basket. All the hype surrounding this guy may have created too many  and unfair expectations to the point that anything short of double double average will be seen as a failure.

Best case: Alonzo Mourning                                                                                       Worst case: Stromile Swift

5- Tony Mitchell (6’8″,215) North Texas

Without a doubt the best prospects in mid-major conference, he should have erased every concerns about  maturity by returning for his second year with the Main Green.Blessed  with leaping ability, strength and a long wingspan Mitchell has great upside as a two way combo forward. On offense he is a tough cover for every type of defender being able to explode to the basket with smaller opponents or to shoot from downtown with good accuracy. His instincts on defense are equally impressive; last season he had average of ten rebounds and three blocks while playing under 30 minutes. With a good work ethic Mitchell could end up with the best career of any member of this year draft .

Best case: Shawn Kemp                                                                                                   Worst case: Andray Blatche

6- James McAdoo (6’9″,226) North Carolina

After an under the radar freshmen season this year McAdoo will have every opportunity to showcase his various talents. From a physical standpoint he has size length and quickness to play both with his back to the basket than facing up,but  to continue this trend in NBA he has to improve in the  mid range area and as a shot creator. If  from his team roster will emerge a good point guard  able to serve him in his favorite spot McAdoo might be a good choice as player of the year.

7-Steven Adams (7’1″,235) Pittsburgh

In NBA there are plenty of spots available to defensive minded seven footer, and Adams fit well in this category. Being from New Zealand he started last season to play at Notre Dame Prep so he will not have a big need to an adjustment period. Adams is a fluid athlete that bring a good effort every game and is a team first player whose upside is on the defensive end where he fight for rebounds and block shots at a good rate. On the offensive end he has a good balance in the paint and a decent mid range shot but he has a long way to go before being able to contribute on NBA level.

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