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Monday, October 20, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, May 22 2012)

  • [New York Times] Game 5: Thunder 106, Lakers 90: Thunder Race Past Lakers and Into Conference Finals (Tue, 22 May 2012 07:24:59 GMT)
    The end for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers came against an Oklahoma City team that was younger, deeper and ready for its own moment in the Western Conference spotlight.

  • [New York Times] Game 5: Celtics 101, 76ers 85: Celtics Beat 76ers With Third-Quarter Eruption (Tue, 22 May 2012 05:39:05 GMT)
    Trailing after a spotty first half, the Celtics, led by Brandon Bass, erupted in the third quarter to turn around the game and take a 3-2 series lead over the Philadelphia 76ers.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: After Heat Panic Twice and Win Twice, Series With Pacers Is Tied (Tue, 22 May 2012 05:37:52 GMT)
    Courtesy of the obsessive news media, when the Miami Heat lose, all perspective is lost as well.

  • [New York Times] 2012 N.B.A. Playoffs – Clippers Get Taste of Winning, but That’s All for Now (Tue, 22 May 2012 04:11:29 GMT)
    The Clippers may have finally separated themselves from the adjective “lowly” after finishing one game behind the Lakers and winning a playoff series before being swept by the Spurs.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Magic Fire Van Gundy; Smith Departs, Too (Tue, 22 May 2012 01:32:08 GMT)
    The Orlando Magic tried to quell their organizational dysfunction by firing Coach Stan Van Gundy and negotiating the exit of General Manager Otis Smith on Monday.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Close Out Lakers, Sixers on Brink (Tue, 22 May 2012 05:07:23 GMT)
    Oklahoma City plunged the final dagger into the Los Angeles Lakers with a 106-90 rout that sent them to their second consecutive NBA Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Top Lakers 106-90 to Reach West Finals (Tue, 22 May 2012 08:25:36 GMT)
    Ramon Sessions did the best he could to keep Russell Westbrook from making a high-flying dunk that would energize the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • [New York Times] Bob Boozer, Former N.B.A. and Olympic Player, Dies at 75 (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:50:06 GMT)
    A member of the gold-medal-winning United States basketball team and a two-time all-American at Kansas State, Boozer went on to play 11 seasons in the N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] Bass Sparks Boston Over 76ers, on Verge of East Finals (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:41:23 GMT)
    Boston’s Brandon Bass scored 27 points to spark the Celtics to a 101-85 win over Philadelphia on Monday and move with one victory of a place in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

  • [New York Times] Bass Erupts for Celtics in 101-85 Win Over Sixers (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:40:29 GMT)
    They started as a Big Three and grew to a Big Four when Rajon Rondo earned the right to be mentioned along with the other Boston Celtics All-Stars.

  • [New York Times] Column: Same Skills, New Mindset for LeBron? (Tue, 22 May 2012 00:52:39 GMT)
    Spectacular as it seemed, it was nothing we haven’t seen from LeBron James before.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Flirting With History on 18-Game Streak (Tue, 22 May 2012 06:20:14 GMT)
    Eighteen wins in a row, and eight more victories to go.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Golden State Warriors May Have Eyes for San Francisco (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:16:57 GMT)
    The Golden State owners are reportedly on the verge of a move by 2017 to a spot on Piers 30 and 32 on the Embarcadero.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh May Be Candidates for Orlando Magic Jobs (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:41:57 GMT)
    The Orlando Magic purged its front office, and Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh are expected to be top candidates.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Boozer Leaves Legacy on and Off Court (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:58:47 GMT)
    Bob Boozer’s basketball career brought him success at every level, from an Olympic gold medal to the N.B.A. title. Boozer, 75, died on Saturday.

  • [New York Daily News] D’Antoni insists he wasn’t fired by Knicks (Tue, 22 May 2012 06:28:19 GMT)
    Mike D’Antoni reiterated that he resigned as coach of the Knicks in March and wasn’t fired but when asked if Carmelo Anthony is responsible for him stepping down, D’Antoni said “I’m not going to get into specifics.”

  • [New York Post] D’Antoni: Leaving Knicks was â??inevitable’ (Tue, 22 May 2012 02:10:51 -0500)
    With Mike Woodson on the verge of officially having his “interim” tag removed as coach of the Knicks, his predecessor, Mike D’Antoni broke his two-month silence. D’Antoni said he was not forced to resign, said “an obstacle had to be removed” and did not deny Carmelo Anthony was…

  • [New York Post] Woody’s new pact with Knicks is close (Tue, 22 May 2012 00:50:25 -0500)
    The Knicks are expected to announce Mike Woodson’s new contract as coach sometime “this week,â? according to a source familiar with the situation. Lawyers began hammering out details on the pact last week and are committed to getting it done before Memorial Day weekend.
    Woodson could get a three-year…

  • 65 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, May 22 2012)

    1. Caleb

      Is anyone else surprised that Donnie is job-hunting? I know he didn’t exactly retire, but between age and health issues, I kinda figured he was only in it for an advisory role at this point.

      I have a feeling SVG will be taking the year off. There aren’t many attractive jobs coming open, unless the Clippers dump Vinnie D. In which case D’Antoni would be the leading candidate. One possible exception would be if Spoelstra gets the boot. Would Pat hire SVG?

      Out west: Spurs, OKC, Mavs, Nuggets = totally set. The Lakers aren’t firing Brown after one decent year. The young teams on the upswing are all happy with their coaches, too.. Jazz, T-Wolves.

      In the east: aside from the Heat, the Bulls, Sixers, Knicks and Pacers are the only jobs I would call remotely attractive for a top-shelf coach. And they’re booked. Some coaches would be attracted to the Nets – money, location – but that hire is a year away. The Celtics are a rebuilding project. Cleveland is interesting, but they had a good year and they’re not looking.

    2. Doug

      Is Orlando a good fit for D’Antoni? I don’t see him coaching a Dwight Howard-centered offense. Converting Dwight into a primary dive man sounds like a bit of a project.

    3. TelegraphedPass

      Doug: Is Orlando a good fit for D’Antoni? I don’t see him coaching a Dwight Howard-centered offense. Converting Dwight into a primary dive man sounds like a bit of a project.

      And good luck making Jameer Nelson into a PnR PG at this stage in his career.

    4. Owen

      I have to wonder if dantoni and Paul would work. Historically Paul has played at a slow pace, not sure if that is his preference or his coaches. Would be interested to see how uptempo Paul would go…

    5. d-mar

      Will be interesting to see the ratings for this OKC-SA series. For true NBA fans, it’s must watch TV, but I wonder how much the general public will tune in. I know one fan who will be rooting heavily for OKC – Commissioner Stern.

    6. thenamestsam

      d-mar:
      Will be interesting to see the ratings for this OKC-SA series. For true NBA fans, it’s must watch TV, but I wonder how much the general public will tune in. I know one fan who will be rooting heavily for OKC – Commissioner Stern.

      I think it’s a foregone conclusion that the ratings will be terrible. It’s not like OKC is really a big draw, right? I’m not even sure it matters to the league whether OKC or SAS make it to the finals, unless Miami gets there. Miami-OKC has very marketable storylines with the good, loyal, humble superstar against the bad, disloyal, ego-maniac both going for their first title with the title of league’s best player perceived (incorrectly, of course) to be on the line.

      But is OKC against Indiana or Boston really that much better than the Spurs against one of those teams? I don’t think so really. OKC is the kind of team that seems like it should be a great draw. Young, likeable stars who play an exciting brand of basketball, but Durant just doesn’t have the cache yet with the casual fan. Some disastrous ratings scenarios are really in play here for the NBA. San Antonio – Indiana. Can you imagine?

    7. thenamestsam

      Owen:
      I have to wonder if dantoni and Paul would work. Historically Paul has played at a slow pace, not sure if that is his preference or his coaches. Would be interested to see how uptempo Paul would go…

      I agree, and I think his health is a big factor there too. One of the things Paul has been occasionally maligned for (here and elsewhere) is turning attack-mode on and off too much, and I think that too is a product of not feeling confident enough in his body to play in-and-around the paint for major minutes. Now you’re going to ask him to be pushing the ball constantly for 35+ minutes and then constantly involved in PnR and probing the paint in the half-court. I don’t think his body will hold up. Especially without the miracle Phoenix medical team that has somehow kept Nash functioning despite the rigorous demands placed on him.

    8. ephus

      I agree that the ratings for OKC and SA would not be significantly different, but I think that the NBA front office would strongly prefer (all else being equal) to see OKC than SA in the Finals. They would consider it an investment in building the appeal of an OKC team that seems likely to be a strong contender for the next five years. SA, on the other hand, is nearing the end of its run. If SA cannot give a ratings pop this year, it is better to build the Thunder.

      Having said all of that, the NBA wants a competitive series more than anything. First, more games are almost always better. Second, LBJ facing elimination is the best story line out there.

    9. thenamestsam

      TelegraphedPass:
      Durant doesn’t have the cache with the casual fan?

      Obviously it’s not a scientific statement since we haven’t really defined “cache” or “casual fan”, both of which mean different things to different people. The first kind of people I’m thinking of are people I know who might be affected by the “buzz” of the NBA finals, meaning hear about it on the radio, see it in the paper, but wouldn’t watch anything but maybe a Game 7. They probably aren’t even deserving of the label “fans” but they’re on the very outer edge of the potentially drawable audience. The people I know in this category couldn’t put the name “Kevin Durant” with the face, and I don’t think that’s atypical. They’ve seen him before and they’ve heard the name before, but they don’t know who he is, or what his story is. He has 0 value in attracting them unless it’s as a part of a larger storyline like him vs. Lebron in my opinion.

      The slightly less casual people are the people who will probably watch somewhere between a little of the series and all of the series depending on the matchup. The people I’m thinking of are serious sports fans who don’t care a ton for the NBA. In my experience Durant is well-liked by these types, but they don’t care enough about him for him to be a big draw. They don’t have strong opinions about him the way they do with Kobe or Lebron, or even Carmelo or the Celtics as a whole. He’s not loved, not hated, positively tinged indifference is the main reaction.

      Do you think Thunder-Indiana say would do good ratings?

    10. thenamestsam

      ephus:
      I agree that the ratings for OKC and SA would not be significantly different, but I think that the NBA front office would strongly prefer (all else being equal) to see OKC than SA in the Finals.They would consider it an investment in building the appeal of an OKC team that seems likely to be a strong contender for the next five years.SA, on the other hand, is nearing the end of its run.If SA cannot give a ratings pop this year, it is better to build the Thunder.

      Having said all of that, the NBA wants a competitive series more than anything.First, more games are almost always better.Second, LBJ facing elimination is the best story line out there.

      That’s a good point about building the OKC brand, and especially trying to build Durant’s brand into something as strong as Kobe or Lebron.

    11. Kevin McElroy

      I dunno

      Doug: Is Orlando a good fit for D’Antoni? I don’t see him coaching a Dwight Howard-centered offense. Converting Dwight into a primary dive man sounds like a bit of a project.

      I don’t think there will be a Dwight Howard-centered offense in Orlando next year. Seems like a pipe dream that firing SVG/Smith will get him to stay with nothing around him.

    12. Eternal OptiKnist

      thenamestsam: Especially without the miracle Phoenix medical team that has somehow kept Nash functioning despite the rigorous demands placed on him.

      I’ve always wondered if they were using some kind of shady, PED-style methods over there….Amare came back from microfracture better than anyone i’ve seen, nash is robocop and grant hill was made VERY serviceable/durable on a running team. Perhaps they are just using the Miyagi hand rubbing technique?

    13. johnlocke

      all good points. From a basketball purist this should be a great matchup. Although I’m not sure who on the Spurs can really match up with Durant. They’ll probably put the rookie Kawhi Leonard on him, who’s only 6’7. I think they can put in a scheme that slows down Westbrooke, but not sure how they stop Durant with their personnel. Still think the Spurs will win — but should be interesting to see how Durant plays and if he is able to dominate.

      thenamestsam:

      The slightly less casual people are the people who will probably watch somewhere between a little of the series and all of the series depending on the matchup. The people I’m thinking of are serious sports fans who don’t care a ton for the NBA. In my experience Durant is well-liked by these types, but they don’t care enough about him for him to be a big draw. They don’t have strong opinions about him the way they do with Kobe or Lebron, or even Carmelo or the Celtics as a whole. He’s not loved, not hated, positively tinged indifference is the main reaction.

      Do you think Thunder-Indiana say would do good ratings?

    14. Frank

      Cleveland’s draft picks for the next 4 seasons:

      2012:
      – probable top 3 pick
      – #24 pick (Lakers)
      – #33 pick (Hornets)
      – #34 pick

      2013:
      – their own #1 pick
      – lottery protected Sacramento #1 pick
      – either Lakers or Miami #1 pick (they have right to swap any of their #1 picks for the Lakers pick)
      – 2 second round picks

      2014
      – their own #1 pick
      – 2 #2 picks (own + Orlando)
      – (possible protected Sac pick)

      2015
      – their own #1 pick
      – Miami’s #1 pick
      – (possible protected Sac pick)
      – their own #2 pick

      So they have 7 #1’s and 7 #2’s in the next 4 drafts. At least this year they will have a very high pick (imagine if they got Anthony Davis too?).

      Have to wonder whether Dan Gilbert’s prediction that Cleveland would win a championship before Lebron might come true if LBJ can’t win it this year.

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      johnlocke:
      all good points. From a basketball purist this should be a great matchup.Although I’m not sure who on the Spurs can really match up with Durant. They’ll probably put the rookie Kawhi Leonard on him, who’s only 6’7. I think they can put in a scheme that slows down Westbrooke, but not sure how they stop Durantwith their personnel. Still think the Spurs will win — but should be interesting to see how Durant plays and if he is able to dominate.

      Kawhi Leonard’s wingspan is just 1.5″ shorter than Durant’s despite a 3″ difference in height. I don’t think it’ll be that much of an issue. Leonard can make up for it with quickness.

    16. Owen

      Yeah, Leonard is good. I don’t see Durant taking the spurs apart anymore than he does the rest of the league.

      If the cavaliers were to luck into Davis that could be a really interesting team. A defensive front court of a healthy Varejao and Davis would be a pretty difficult matchup immediately. Given a few years and another quality piece I think Irving and davis could be a championship foundation…..

    17. TelegraphedPass

      Are teams even allowed to win consecutive #1 picks? When was the last time that happened?

    18. Kevin McElroy

      Spurs can throw Green and Cap’n Jack at Durant some also. I actually think they’re better equipped than most to handle him and Harden. Westbrook seems the tougher matchup as long as they want to play Parker and Ginobili their normal minutes. If they build a scheme around keeping him from the basket Durant/Harden will go nuts so they kinda have to hope one of those two can stay in front of him at least some of the time. Looking at their 3 matchups this year, Harden had a total of 58 points on 32 FGA’s (!) while Durant/Westy got their numbers but with mixed efficiency. Seems like they’ll have to pay more attention to Warden now so maybe that will be good news for Westbrook. That said, the Spurs won 2 of those 3 games pretty convincingly so maybe they’re cool with that distribution.

    19. Kevin McElroy

      Telegraphed-

      Orlando had #1 two straight years, took Shaq the first time and then took C-Webb and flipped him for Lil’ Penny. Pretty certain it hasn’t happened since.

    20. Kevin McElroy

      And the time before THAT was the Rockets taking Ralph Sampson and Hakeem. So the track record is one Hall of Famer and one historically gifted but enigmatic talent.

    21. citizen

      do/did either Irving or Davis go into the draft with the hype/HoF-lock anticipation that Shaq & Hakeem (& for that matter, Webber) did?

    22. TelegraphedPass

      citizen: do/did either Irving or Davis go into the draft with the hype/HoF-lock anticipation that Shaq & Hakeem (& for that matter, Webber) did?

      You could argue Davis will. He looks to be one of the great defensive prospects in NCAA history. He’s got that rare ability to guard the interior and perimeter that Duncan and KG had. He’s more raw offensively than young KG and Timmy, but his jump shot is impressive for a big man. Davis could be amazing if drafted into the right situation, I think. Like HoF amazing.

    23. TelegraphedPass

      Kevin McElroy: And the time before THAT was the Rockets taking Ralph Sampson and Hakeem. So the track record is one Hall of Famer and one historically gifted but enigmatic talent.

      And both those situations are interesting. It’s really quite incredible how Orlando was unable to turn Shaq, Penny, or Chris Webber into NBA titles.

    24. JC Knickfan

      Eternal OptiKnist: I’ve always wondered if they were using some kind of shady, PED-style methods over there….Amare came back from microfracture better than anyone i’ve seen, nash is robocop and grant hill was made VERY serviceable/durable on a running team.Perhaps they are just using the Miyagi hand rubbing technique?

      This article pretty good about Sun training staff.

      http://valleyofthesuns.com/2012/04/05/secret-behind-phoenix-suns-elite-training-staff/

    25. Eternal OptiKnist

      @26 – if they’re really that good and scientific and they let Amare walk, his body might literally explode in 2014.

    26. Kevin McElroy

      If this is such a universal truth (that the Suns staff is so much better and everyone knows it) I’m unclear on why the front-man of JD and the Straight Shot doesn’t offer them a 200% raise to move to New York and reinvigorate his $100M investment.

    27. ephus

      If the Lakers are looking to move Gasol (as is widely rumored) and reduce payroll, I would not be surprised to see Gasol/MWP for Bargnani/Calderon. It works because Toronto still has a trade exception to use. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bpxjuan

      Toronto would make that move because they can use their cap space to replace Calderon at PG. Nash and Lin would be two obvious choices. Nash would be a win now choice, trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Gasol. But Lin would be the high risk/high reward choice. If Lin is as good as his best performances, then he would put lots of fans in the seats in the near term (drawing on Toronto’s huge Asian population) and make the Raptors a medium term playoff threat. If Toronto goes all in on Lin, the Knicks will be put to a really tough choice.

    28. Brian Cronin

      Hmmm…hype-meter is an interesting subject. In the last 30 years, here’s how I would rank the hype surrounding a given #1 pick.

      1. Lebron
      2. Ewing
      3. Hakeem
      4. Duncan
      5. Shaq
      6. Webber
      7. Ming
      8. Sampson
      9. Robinson

      The trickiest is Shaq versus Duncan. I don’t recall the hype being there for Shaq as much as for Duncan. There was a ton of hype for Shaq, don’t get me wrong, just not as much as Duncan. But anyhow, the belief with those nine was you were getting an almost certain Hall of Famer in your draft. Ming, Sampson and Robinson all carried with them some doubt, but they still seemed like no-brainers.

      Then I’d go:

      10. Manning
      11. Iverson
      12. Oden/Durant (the hype was for getting either or)
      13. Griffin
      14. Rose/Beasley
      15. Coleman (way too much hype for him, looking back)
      16. Brand
      17. Bogut
      18. Howard/Okafor (the hype was for getting either or – Howard was surprisingly not as hyped as you’d think)
      19. LJ
      20. Big Dog Robinson (way too much hype for him at the time)
      21. Wall
      22. Kenyon Martin (surprisingly decent amount of hype)
      23. Joe Smith (same with Smith – surprisingly large amount of hype for a guy who later became more famous for the ton of great players taken after him)
      24. Daugherty (turned out to be a stud but was not hyped)
      25. Irving (also has turned out to be better than the hype that went with him)
      26. Bargnani
      27. Kwame Brown
      28. Pervis Ellison
      29. Michael Olowokondi

      I’d place the hype for Davis as being 15, behind Rose/Beasley but ahead of Coleman.

    29. DS

      Brian – I’m surprised you wouldn’t include Beasley being almost neck and neck w/ Rose the way you considered Okafor to be with Howard or Durant with Oden. Remember Beasley’s freshman numbers?!

    30. Brian Cronin

      I didn’t count Beasley because a lot of GMs hated Beasley. In fact, Riley hated Beasley so much that he tried desperately to trade the #2 pick. The #2 pick in the draft!! I think Rose was the consensus #1 that year. I still remember the discussions here about the pipe dream of the Knicks getting Rose (of course, then the Bulls actually got the pipe dream!). That said, Beasley did have half of the NBA quite interested.

      But with Oden and Durant and Howard and Okafor, the hype really wasn’t for either one guy it was for the fact that if you got #1 you had your pick of two seemingly can’t miss talents.

      Here’s an interesting question. Obviously Oden has missed. Would you say that Okafor has missed?

    31. ephus

      IIRC, immediately after the college season, most of the mock drafts had Beasley going first and Rose going second. Once NBA teams were able to get a closer look at Beasley, his stock dropped rapidly. Beasley was not as big as advertised, so teams no longer thought that he was a true 4. More importantly (and presciently), teams were REALLY scared that Beasley did not have the desire to be a great player. I recall one article (which I cannot find now) describing Beasley as having more than a little Fly Williams in him.

    32. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, you’re right, it wasn’t until after the teams started looking at Beasley that so many of them started to hate him. The backlash was so violent that it colored my memory of that draft, but yeah, looking back, in the early months of 2008 it was 1a and 1b just like Howard/Okafor and Oden/Durant. So fair enough, I’ll change the list.

    33. TelegraphedPass

      Brian Cronin: Here’s an interesting question. Obviously Oden has missed. Would you say that Okafor has missed?

      I’m so sad we’ll never see what Oden could have become. Even in short glimpses he was incredibly productive on the court.

      I would say Okafor has missed. I’m not sure what accomplishments he’s really accrued since his rookie year. He’s a solid player, but I expect top 3 picks to be stars or at least something close. Am I missing something on Mek?

    34. DS

      I defer to you but I remember it being a little tighter; Beasley averaging 26 ppg and 14 rpg and being compared to Durant; Rose emerging as Chicago’s pick closer to the draft; Chris Paul had just taken the Spurs to 7 games which heightened the demand for elite point guards (according to ESPN, anyway)… I do remember questions about Beasley’s attitude and work ethic.

      Check it out:
      http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3449001

      “The next Derrick Coleman?!” Ha! He should be so lucky.

    35. Brian Cronin

      I would say Okafor has missed. I’m not sure what accomplishments he’s really accrued since his rookie year. He’s a solid player, but I expect top 3 picks to be stars or at least something close. Am I missing something on Mek?

      Well, in terms of All Star appearances and stuff like that, he’s definitely missed. But he was signed to a close-to-max deal, so that’s something. Then again, I guess that really doesn’t mean much when guys like Rudy Gay get max deals.

    36. ephus

      When Okafor came out of UConn, the rap on him was that he was too limited offensively and had back issues. I think the expectation for him was he would turn into the current version of Tyson Chandler, so he has clearly fallen short of that. On the other hand, there was not a lot of value left at the 5 once you got past Howard and Okafor. In fact, no 4 or 5 taken in that draft (other than Howard) has made an ASG.

    37. TelegraphedPass

      ephus: When Okafor came out of UConn, the rap on him was that he was too limited offensively and had back issues. I think the expectation for him was he would turn into the current version of Tyson Chandler, so he has clearly fallen short of that. On the other hand, there was not a lot of value left at the 5 once you got past Howard and Okafor. In fact, no 4 or 5 taken in that draft (other than Howard) has made an ASG.

      But why draft Mek, the best available of a poor crop of big men, when you could have taken JR SMITH????

      Nah, but seriously. Josh Smith was still on the board. So was Al Jeff. And Andy Varejao, I think, was taken that year in round 2. Not sure people expected Varejao to be this good but it isn’t as if there were no other good prospects there. And Charlotte was just starting out, so why do you have to start with a big when you had so many talented wings on the board?

      Lu Deng and Iggy were both taken that draft too.

    38. Brian Cronin

      Leonard is still not getting due respect. Tied with Shump and Brandon Knight? Ree-dunk-you-less.

      Knight or Thompson should not be on the team. Otherwise, that’s a nice rookie squad.

    39. TelegraphedPass

      Brian Cronin: Leonard is still not getting due respect. Tied with Shump and Brandon Knight? Ree-dunk-you-less.Knight or Thompson should not be on the team. Otherwise, that’s a nice rookie squad.

      I can only imagine the size of the chip on Isaiah Thomas’ shoulder. Didn’t make 1st team behind the likes of Brandon Knight and Klay Thompson???

    40. nicos

      I might slot Davis above Rose in terms of hype- he’s been the consensus #1 pick and touted as a franchise changer since midway through the season. As for Okafor, while there were some decent guys in that draft, I think they’d all look disappointing if they’d been picked #2. I like Iggy but he’s not a franchise player. Deng and Jefferson haven’t been much better than Okafor (if at all). Josh Smith looks better now but he’d have looked like a bust through his first five seasons.

    41. Brian Cronin

      I could see the argument for him above Rose/Beasley. He’s right in that area. Definitely not as hyped as Griffin but definitely more hyped than Coleman. So while I’d put Rose/Beasley ahead of him, I certainly concede that it’s essentially a toss-up.

    42. TelegraphedPass

      nicos: I might slot Davis above Rose in terms of hype- he’s been the consensus #1 pick and touted as a franchise changer since midway through the season. As for Okafor, while there were some decent guys in that draft, I think they’d all look disappointing if they’d been picked #2. I like Iggy but he’s not a franchise player. Deng and Jefferson haven’t been much better than Okafor (if at all). Josh Smith looks better now but he’d have looked like a bust through his first five seasons.

      Mehhhh I get what you’re saying in regards to selecting Iggy at 2. Then again, it doesn’t excuse the Emeka pick. It isn’t as if Mek is a franchise player. Even if he lived up to his potential as some variation of Tyson Chandler, would he be seen as a franchise player? I doubt it.

      Deng and Al Jeff have absolutely been better than Mek. Deng is the primary reason Kobe Bryant isn’t a Chicago Bull right now. Al Jefferson allowed Boston to conspire to steal KG. It’s kind of off to refer to a player’s greatest value by the trades that engendered, but still. Didn’t Deng get a DPOY vote this season by the way?

    43. Brian Cronin

      Here’s an interesting question – who got more hype as a #1 pick? Lebron or Lew Alcindor? I think the latter, but it is close.

      Wilt and Russell got a lot of hype in context, but the league was so much smaller then that it really can’t compare.

    44. ephus

      Don’t forget that Charlotte was an expansion team that year. Part of the appeal of Okafor was that he was seen as more mature and stable than a kid right of High School. Charlotte essentially traded Shaun Livingston to the Clippers for the right to move up from the fourth pick to the second pick and get Okafor. Charlotte also was looking for someone to help protect the rim. Since Josh Smith and Al Jefferson were offense-first kids right out of High School, they were not likely choices. Remember, they each lasted into the teens. Rafael Araujo, Andres Biedrins and Robert Swift each were taken before Smith or Jefferson.

    45. TelegraphedPass

      ephus: Don’t forget that Charlotte was an expansion team that year. Part of the appeal of Okafor was that he was seen as more mature and stable than a kid right of High School. Charlotte essentially traded Shaun Livingston to the Clippers for the right to move up from the fourth pick to the second pick and get Okafor. Charlotte also was looking for someone to help protect the rim. Since Josh Smith and Al Jefferson were offense-first kids right out of High School, they were not likely choices. Remember, they each lasted into the teens. Rafael Araujo, Andres Biedrins and Robert Swift each were taken before Smith or Jefferson.

      Oh yeah, I totally get why a team would draft Mek before those guys. There were question marks surrounding a lot of those later guys who turned out to be better, and at least with Emeka you were pretty sure what you were getting. He would rebound, defend, and seemed to be a pretty high character guy. He was a safe pick.

      Still, in hindsight, I think it’s pretty clear that he was a miss at #2.

    46. citizen

      Brian Cronin: f

      The interesting thing about this list is that all the hyped “pairs” (Durant/Oden, Howard/Okafor, etc) were in the 2000s. Is this because of our short memory, or was consensus much easier to reach back in the olden days? I don’t know enough about 90s & 80s bball, any other posters care to enlighten us all?

    47. citizen

      Brian Cronin:
      Hmmm…hype-meter is an interesting subject. In the last 30 years, here’s how I would rank the hype surrounding a given #1 pick.

      1. Lebron
      2. Ewing
      3. Hakeem
      4. Duncan
      5. Shaq
      6. Webber
      7. Ming
      8. Sampson
      9. Robinson

      The trickiest is Shaq versus Duncan. I don’t recall the hype being there for Shaq as much as for Duncan. There was a ton of hype for Shaq, don’t get me wrong, just not as much as Duncan. But anyhow, the belief with those nine was you were getting an almost certain Hall of Famer in your draft. Ming, Sampson and Robinson all carried with them some doubt, but they still seemed like no-brainers.

      Then I’d go:

      10. Manning
      11. Iverson
      12. Oden/Durant (the hype was for getting either or)
      13. Griffin
      14. Rose/Beasley
      15. Coleman (way too much hype for him, looking back)
      16. Brand
      17. Bogut
      18. Howard/Okafor (the hype was for getting either or – Howard was surprisingly not as hyped as you’d think)
      19. LJ
      20. Big Dog Robinson (way too much hype for him at the time)
      21. Wall
      22. Kenyon Martin (surprisingly decent amount of hype)
      23. Joe Smith (same with Smith – surprisingly large amount of hype for a guy who later became more famous for the ton of great players taken after him)
      24. Daugherty (turned out to be a stud but was not hyped)
      25. Irving (also has turned out to be better than the hype that went with him)
      26. Bargnani
      27. Kwame Brown
      28. Pervis Ellison
      29. Michael Olowokondi

      I’d place the hype for Davis as being 15, behind Rose/Beasley but ahead of Coleman.

      The interesting thing about this list is that all the hyped “pairs” (Durant/Oden, Howard/Okafor, etc) were in the 2000s. Is this because of our short memory, or was consensus much easier to reach back in the olden days? I don’t know enough about 90s & 80s bball, any other posters care to enlighten us all?

    48. TelegraphedPass

      citizen: The interesting thing about this list is that all the hyped “pairs” (Durant/Oden, Howard/Okafor, etc) were in the 2000s. Is this because of our short memory, or was consensus much easier to reach back in the olden days? I don’t know enough about 90s & 80s bball, any other posters care to enlighten us all?

      I just think it wasn’t listed. People were hotly debating Olajuwon/MJ in ’84, just like people debated Oden/Durant in ’07.

    49. ephus

      The sample size was much bigger when teams had four years of college to evaluate. For example, when Hakeem finished his freshman year at University of Houston, he was a totally raw project. By the end of his senior year, NBA teams knew he was the real deal. Same thing for David Robinson.

    50. Brian Cronin

      The sample size was much bigger when teams had four years of college to evaluate. For example, when Hakeem finished his freshman year at University of Houston, he was a totally raw project. By the end of his senior year, NBA teams knew he was the real deal. Same thing for David Robinson.

      Yeah, exactly. The #1 pick during the 1980s tended to be consensus picks. For instance, there was debate between Sam Bowie and MJ but there was no doubt Hakeem was #1.

      It was not until the end of the 1990s that the modern era of taking untested kids #1 began, but it just so happened that I think it happened to work out that each of the years had a consensus pick. For instance, no one was particularly pumped about Olowokondi but no one was seriously arguing for Mike Bibby over him. Kwame Brown wasn’t exactly wowing scouts but he was wowing them a lot more than Tyson Chandler was.

    51. Brian Cronin

      1994 was the closest to a debate at the top. Had Grant Hill been healthy, I think he could have made the choice for #1 more difficult. Even without him, Jason Kidd was relatively close to Big Dog but Big Dog was definitely the hottest prospect of the three. People saw him as a dominant NBA scorer. He was way overhyped but he was a consensus #1.

    52. Kevin McElroy

      Nice job on that Brian. I do remember there being a movement for Camby over Iverson just because of how uncommon it was for a guard to go #1 at that point and how awesome Camby was his last year at UMass.

    53. Brian Cronin

      Camby I think is like Mourning. Both of them would have gone #1 in other drafts (I think Camby in 1996 would have beaten out Joe Smith, but not Camby in 1995, which is why Camby went back to school), but I think in their particular drafts the #1 pick was always going to be Iverson and O’Neal, respectively.

      But yeah, taking a point guard number one was definitely seen as odd that season. It was just that Iverson was soooooooooo hyped that he was going #1 no matter what. I mean, John Thompson said that Iverson was the only player he ever had who didn’t need to stay all four years! The dude had coached Ewing and Mourning and Mutombo!

    54. Kevin McElroy

      I had an English professor at Georgetown who once said the following: “I’ve taught a lot of the great players that have come through here. I taught Ewing. I taught Mourning. I taught Mutombo. NOBODY taught Iverson.”

    55. ephus

      Owen: Alcindor over lebron. Wasn’t college as big as the nba back then?

      The big issue with Alcindor was whether he was going to the NBA or the ABA. According to Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball, ABA Commissioner George Mikan had a certified check for $1 million for Alcindor if he would agree to go to the ABA, but Mikan badly flubbed the meeting and literally forgot to present Alcindor with the check. Imagine what Alcindor on the Nets would have done.

    56. 2FOR18

      Hmmm, I’m definitely biased, being both a Knicks and Gtown fan, but I would say Ewing was even more hyped as a no doubt about HOFer than Lebron.

      It was the first year of the lottery, everyone had 4 years to watch Ewing destroy college ball, he was in the Big East and so had the East Coast hype machine going, and he was a center, which I think generates more hype than wing players.
      In contrast, other than a couple of McDonald’s exhibition games that only hard core fans watched, no one really saw Lebron play, plus there’s always doubt about a HS guy.

    57. Brian Cronin

      Hmmm, I’m definitely biased, being both a Knicks and Gtown fan, but I would say Ewing was even more hyped as a no doubt about HOFer than Lebron.

      It was the first year of the lottery, everyone had 4 years to watch Ewing destroy college ball, he was in the Big East and so had the East Coast hype machine going, and he was a center, which I think generates more hype than wing players.
      In contrast, other than a couple of McDonald’s exhibition games that only hard core fans watched, no one really saw Lebron play, plus there’s always doubt about a HS guy.

      Ewing was hyped like crazy, no doubt. Second in the last thirty years is nothing to sneeze at, ya know? But Lebron’s high school games were being nationally televised when he was a Junior! You could easily argue that the hype was driven by the fact that there was more media around when Lebron was coming out and if Ewing was around during the cable news era he’d be hyped more, but I think Lebron edges him out.

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