Evan Turner or John Wall? Good question.

March 28, 2010

by Jack Maidment

His Ohio State Buckeyes may have been ousted prematurely by the Tennessee Vols but now seems about the right time to jump aboard the Evan Turner bandwagon.

The Chicago native had been walking around like his name was Atlas since his return from a broken back early in the season.

The weight of carrying a mediocre team only became too much for the junior in the Sweet 16, proof that one man can only do so much.

There is not a player in the world who can and has delivered every single time they take the court.

It’s just not possible, but Turner gave it a pretty good go.

He has averaged just over 20 points a game while running the point for Ohio, a position he had never played before.

Combine that with 9 rebounds and 6 assists every game and it is easy to appreciate why Turner is considered to be the most versatile player in college basketball.

In what could well be his final collegiate outing Turner put in the kind of performance to make John Wall’s status as the consensus #1 pick in this year’s NBA draft seem a lot less secure.

31 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk.

A simply stunning night of heroics that is sure to have boosted Turner’s draft stock.

It is entirely conceivable that Evan Turner will go #1.

And the decision to pass on John Wall, which just weeks ago would have been laughable, is now far from fanciful.

Turner or Wall?

That is the question.

If you are a monumentally bad team (The Nets or just about any team in the lottery) you take Wall.

If you are the Utah Jazz or another ok team who possesses a lottery pick and already has a good pg, you take Turner.

Simple.


The Milwaukee Bucks have a Future

March 15, 2010

by Jack Maidment

Why are the Bucks sat in the 5th playoff spot in the East?

Brandon Jennings’ infectious confidence and the mid season trade for John Salmons are two reasons why Milwaukee is experiencing life in the sunshine outside of the NBA cellar in which they have dwelt for many years.

But it is the play of Andrew Bogut that has provided the perpetually rebuilding team with the solid foundations on which they can build and actually win basketball games.

The 2005 #1 pick has long been considered a bust yet his play this season has forced people to reconsider their stance on the man from Melbourne.

He has upped his scoring average to 16 points, an increase of 5 points a game, showing a belief in his post game that has been missing in the past.

In years gone by he has not shown the confidence to attack other premier big men down low despite possessing a truly gargantuan body and an extremely high skill level.

Not anymore. He is imposing himself on the offensive end utilising a veritable variety bucket of low post moves to give his team a real presence inside.

This season’s dramatic increase in assertiveness is not only confined to the offensive end.

Bogut has employed his monstrous wingspan to up his blocks per game to 2.5, good enough for second in the league.

He has given the Bucks a legitimate threat inside, providing opposition slashers with real food for thought before they foray into the giant Australian’s paint.

Where he has previously shied away from a challenge, this season he has been a constant; a rock solid foundation on which the Bucks have built to propel them toward the playoffs.

Think.

Only one franchise, the Magic, would not want to trade for Andrew Bogut in a league deprived of true centres.

That shows his true worth

Perpetual re-builders, the Bucks now have some direction.

A potential playoff series against the Boston Celtics (as things stand) could very well provide Bogut and company with the opportunity to throw off the shackles of the lottery and show that the future will come for long suffering Milwaukee fans.


Major Linkage: What’s Good?

March 6, 2010

by Jack Maidment

Check out True Hoop where Henry Abbott breaks down the clutchness of Kobe Bryant.

Counter Kicks. Anyone who hasn’t been there yet should go there now. Most things sneaker related get dropped there. Including the Duke inspired Kobe’s above which are particularly pretty.

At Raptors Republic, Zach Harper takes a look at the effect of Sonny Weems on the Raps.

Zach Lowe gives you the heads up on Kevin Garnett’s knee which will be recieving more and more coverage as the playoffs get closer.

Eyes Wide Open gives a nice set of daily nba awards. Check it.

Finally, 3 From Deep takes a look at the hole sorry Allen Iversen situation. Also some good/obscure draft prospect coverage.


The Oklahoma City Thunder are Knocking

March 6, 2010

by Jack Maidment

Their final season in Seattle? They finished 20-62. Not good.

Their first season in Oklahoma? 23-59. Better, but still downright filthy.

People acknowledged that the Oklahoma City Thunder were heading one way and one way only a little while ago, but even so, their improvement this year can only be seen as a major surprise.

Currently sitting 12 games above .500, the Oklahoma City Thunder have come a long way.

Are they reliant on Kevin Durant?

Absolutely, but so would you be if your team had a player as good and as potentially great, actually great, as Durant.

He is 21 years of age, the leader of an NBA franchise and the finest pure 3 in the game.

Is Carmelo Anthony better offensively?

By a wafer, yes.

But given his age his all round game and his length, Durant is the man you take if you’re starting a franchise from scratch tomorrow.

And that is not easy to say.

Carmelo possesses the finest combination of being able to score and being able to score in a variety of ways.

LeBron is power.

Carmelo is finesse. But crucially he can be power personified.

The point, is Durant will reach the same stage.

When his jumper gets some polish and his post game improves there will be no question. And then there will only be one for KD to aim for.

To only associate the Thunder with the Texas Longhorn does a major disservice to Russell Westbrook whose development and contribution have been overshadowed by his team mates’ scoring streak.

But. Without Westbrook, and for that matter Jeff Green, the Thunder would not be experiencing the rush toward the top of the West that they find themselves in.

They are seeded 6th in the West with the 9th seed Memphis 5 games behind.

The Thunder seem a lock for the post season which will provide Durant and co another chance to show just how far they’ve come.

And how far they are planning to go.