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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Noah’s Arc

Watching the Gators & Bruins play for the NCAA championship, I’m excited about basketball again. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. While KnickerBlogger.Net runs on a linux server somewhere, the chief author runs on his passion for the game & his team. Don’t let the advertising banners on this page fool you, I don’t break even on this site monetarily. I spend hours writing, researching, and thinking about the Knicks & the NBA because I enjoy it.

This season has really taken it’s toll on me. None of my favorite teams have ever been this frustrating to watch. No matter what Walton, Coslett, or Kottite did to my Jets, there was always a bit of hope. Maybe not the year they were playing, but the draft could yield hopes of the next star player that could lead the team out of despair. Needless to say neither this year nor thoughts of the draft inspire me to write anything I haven’t said already.

Although I’m not normally a college fan, a Gator win would mean the difference between 3rd & a 5th place tie in my bracket pool. However there is more in this game than just a few bucks to pique my interests. Florida’s style of pressing and using team speed on defense is fascinating to watch. I had spent a week with Ms. KnickerBlogger in Al Horford’s wonderful hometown of Puerto Plata. And UCLA is strong enough to come back from a first half double digit deficit.

But it’s the play of Joakim Noah that has me glued to the television. I’m always intrigued by children of athletes, and the native New Yorker Noah is having a phenomenal first half. NBADraft.Net has him going in the 14th pick in this year’s mock draft, while hoopshype has him going 5th overall. The first has him compared to Anderson Varejao, the latter Rasheed Wallace. However I can’t help to think of him more like Marcus Camby. Granted his 4 first half blocks might skew my view, but his rebounding, speed & energy reminds me of Marcus’ days in New York.

The knock against him is his slender build, but I think the NBA is moving away from the lumbering big man. Gone are the days of Ewing and Malone, and Shaq is on the tail end of his career. The new NBA big man is slender and agile, more in the mold of Kareem. Kevin Garnett. Dirk Nowitzki. Amare Stoudemire. Even the Knicks Channing Frye is showing that he’s a better center prospect than his elephantine teammate Eddy Curry.

So I ask the question, where would you draft Joakim Noah in this year’s draft (on any team)?

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19 comments on “Noah’s Arc

  1. Raskolnikov

    It’s nice to sense to your intrigue with Noah. I like many aspects of his game as well – his hustle, energy, and length. I was quite impressed with his speed and ball-handling tonight as well. However, I think that this level of rebounding and blocking will drop a good bit at the NBA level. I also don’t think he has the type of offensive game that can work at the next level.

    The player I am most impressed with tonight, however, is Jordan Farmar. Am I the only person who thinks he is exactly the type of player who would thrive with Brown? He plays hard on D, is a strong ball handler, good penetration, decent shot, and high b-ball IQ. It’s rare to get all those qualities in a single player. I think he would help the Knicks quite a bit as a changeup to Marbury/Nate. Could become a starter in 2 years.

  2. KD

    >So are you saying you wouldn?t rather have Eddy >Curry 1st overall???

    Name one big man in this year’s draft that does what Eddy does … [/Knicksfansfromlastfall]

  3. PTC

    I know very little about the Italian PF that many prognosticators have going very high.

    In my view Tyrus Thomas is the best big man who has been rumored to come out. Then it’s a tie between Noah and Aldridge.

    My personal belief is that I would trust Aldridge to form an offensive game before I would trust Noah.

    The problem is that Noah appers to “want it more” and seems to have a much higher motor than Aldridge.

    IF Aldridge comes out and this Italian guy is as good as people say I think Noah is a 10-15th pick. If Aldridge stays and this Italian guys stock drops then Noah could easily be the 2nd big man taken…and even that’s assuming Thomas comes out.

    A few other comments:

    1) Like the Camby comparison for Noah. I don’t think hes much like Wallace at all. Wallace actually has a very diversified offensive game and I think a case can be made that Wallace’s offensive game is just behind Dirk and KG for big men….when Wallace feels like taking over a game!

    2) I, like Rask, did come away impressed with Farmar.

    3) A healthy, in-shape Curry would probably go first in this draft…maybe second behind Thomas. However, one wonders if an in-shape Curry is one we will ever see. THATS the question.

  4. KnickerBlogger Post author

    “A healthy, in-shape Curry would probably go first in this draft?maybe second behind Thomas. However, one wonders if an in-shape Curry is one we will ever see. THATS the question.”

    I doubt that. Eddy’s problem isn’t just his physique, but his inability to do things like rebound on the defensive end and defend. That’s a skill problem, not a Jenny Craig problem.

  5. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Getting back to the main topic, I was impressed with Tyrus Thomas, but I think he has 2 things against him. First is his height. At 6’9, he’ll be relegated to a first line powerforward (or backup center). Second is his high flying/transition game doesn’t seem to translate all that well to the NBA. With slower offenses and bigger forwards/centers, I’m curious how much of his game will translate. Granted he’s still very young, and who knows if he’ll bulk up by his mid 20s.

    I’d think he’s a higher risk/higher gain possibility than the 6’11 Noah. I wouldn’t want to be a draft GM with Thomas on the board. You’ll get killed in the press if you don’t take him, especially if Tyrus does succeed at this level. However if he is too small/restricted by the largely half court set of the NBA, it’ll be a bust.

  6. Kurt

    I was thinking Camby as well last night, it’s not just he’s tall but he’s a long tall who is quick off the floor. The one thing I think is clear is that he should come out this year, in a weaker draft, because next year, even as he matures, he’ll get bumped behind Oden and others.

  7. dave crockett

    I voted 8-12 on Noah.

    First, I love his game. I want to make that clear. I also think it translates to the NBA, good passing always does. Rebounding and shot-blocking typically do.

    That leads to my second point. The biggest issue for Noah at the next level is fit. Rather than Camby, I see him as a bigger version of Boris Diaw. That’s why I had him going so low. He doesn’t have the same kind of value to every team. And worse, much like Atlanta did with Diaw, I bet a lot of teams couldn’t really utilize his talents the right way.

    I also agree with Raskolnikov’s point about Jordan Farmar. I like Farmar’s pro prospects, especially under a defensive guy like Howland, though I think he should definitely stay in school. Two other guys from that championship game strike me as players who might develop into very solid-but-not-superstar types:

    1. Ryan Hollins. Most Pac-10 fans, I think, would testify to Hollins’s vast improvement. He used to be even skinnier. Obviously he didn’t play well in the title game but he has had a very good season and tournament. He’s a far cry from the player I thought was a woman the first time I saw him (in braids).

    2. Al Horford. He strikes me as a bigger version of Udonis Haslem. He seems much farther along than did Haslem at the same stage.

    In the case of Hollins, theoretically, he is precisely the kind of player who should be able to go to the d-league, get more coaching, continue to develop, and eventually become a solid pro. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for what happens to him.

  8. PTC

    I doubt that. Eddy?s problem isn?t just his physique, but his inability to do things like rebound on the defensive end and defend. That?s a skill problem, not a Jenny Craig problem.

    Is Currys rebound rate really that bad? While he seems disappointing to my expectations he does seem to produce in the minutes he gets.

    Can’t defend his lack of defendin although I can say,and anyone that has ever played ball will tell you, the first thing you give up on when you’re winded is defense…heh!

    I think better cardio helps all the things you mentioned. But we’ll never know if doesn’t GET INTO SHAPE!!

  9. Dave M

    Once we see all the underclassman who declare for the draft, we will see how far Noah falls. He could even fall to us. His offense game is not at an NBA level but getting someone to hustle for a rebound or lose ball would be nice.

  10. Seth

    What do you think about Brandon Roy? I haven’t seen THAT much of him but from that that I’ve seen, and what they say, he sounds promising.

  11. Andrew

    I think comparing Noah to Camby is very legitimate. But another player who Noah reminds me of is Andre Kirilenko. He gets a little bit of everything points, steals, blocks, assists and rebounds.
    Tyrus Thomas reminds me of Stromile Swift. Very long and athletic and a good shot blocker.

  12. Count Zero

    You guys are joking about Farmar right? Did you see the Memphis game? He made so many bad decisions, it was painful. He can definitely penetrate and shoot, but his inability to run even a college offense was readily apparent. Wait…he reminds me of another PG I know…who could it be?

  13. dave crockett

    Seth-

    I’ve seen a lot of Brandon Roy. My response is, what’s not to love? If he were 6-7 he’d be a top 3 pick. If you’re looking for a guy who could play on any team with any style.

    Count-

    Pump your brakes on Farmar a little there amigo. Jordan had a really poor game vs Memphis – but then, it was the worst offensive game in the shot-clock era Final Four I’m told. The defenses were pumped and neither offense could function. But if you look at the entire body of work Farmar does a lot of nice things. He’s certainly more combo guard than pure point but he’s just a soph who should definitely return to school. His game doesn’t have any limitations I can see that couldn’t be overcome with more coaching and game experience. I’d be surprised if he’s not a quality pro.

  14. Count Zero

    Fair enough Dave. But I wouldn’t draft him if he elects to come out this year. :)

  15. Seth

    Roy seems pretty NBA-ready to me. Farmar just doesn’t phsyically look like an NBA player, and these things do matter.

  16. Kevin Pelton

    I dunno, Dave. What does Farmar do that Chris Hernandez didn’t at the same age?

  17. dave crockett

    Kevin-

    penetrate and defend. Hernandez is by far the better shooter but comparatively Farmar brings something to the table as a penetrator plus he’s a good defensive guard.

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