With all the hoopla that surrounds the NBA draft, I figured there was enough being said, and what the hell does an old jock like me know about these young players anyway? I managed to see a few during the NCAA Tournament, but the vast majority are question marks to me. But I have been poking around on the Internet lately and listening to some of the sports pundits, and I'm getting an itch to weigh in. So, finally, I couldn't resist.
Here are a few predications and comments:
1. Jimmer Fredette will be a strong player in the NBA. I like his quick moves to get into the paint and lateral
quickness once in there. Pay attention, I didn't say speed. Fredette has a quick release, great eye, and
shoots from downtown. I don't think he'll back down from anybody on defense.
2. Chris Singleton will make the team that drafts him happy.
3. Kyrie Irving will NOT make the team who drafts him happy.
4. Neither will the team who drafts Brandon Knight be happy. Plays too straight up and down for me. What
do I mean? Body is not loose. And he has no left hand.
5. The team who lands Nicola Vucevic is going to be jumping up and down with joy. Warriors, please,
consider him! V is a legit 7 footer with a huge wing span. He likes to mix it up, and he has a soft touch.
Perhaps Beidrens can be salvaged. It's not that I think the Warriors should give up on the young man, but
why not be on the safe side in case Andres finds his skills are more suited to a less physically demanding
6. The Timberwolves will regret it if they don't select Derrick Williams. He's the only player in the draft this
year who is going to make an impact from the start. At the end of the season he'll be averaging 20 points
a game and be select Rookie of the Year.
Speaking of the Timberwolves. If they select Williams, and IF Ricky Rubio becomes the point guard he's supposed to be, I predict the Wolves to be a playoff team next year. Beasley needs to be traded. He's talented but has a low basketball IQ. Martell Webster is solid and Westley Johnson will be a fine shooting guard or small forward. Of course the Wolves need a center, (who doesn't) but in the meantime Milicic and Pavovic can fill up the paint and knock a few people down. Love can play the post if the team decides to play small. And they have some decent folks on the bench at all positions.
I read where Dwanye Casey got the job at Toronto. I googgled his resume. Lot's of successful assistant coaching jobs with successful teams and successful coaches. 50/50 with the Timberwolves as a head coach, before they fired him. Successful in coaching internationally in Japan. I wonder why the Warriors didn't interview him?
Any other predication about the draft:
1. Enes Kanter. Now that he says he's the best in the draft, he better walk his talk. I predict baby steps.
Maybe down the line.
2. Nolan Smith and Shelvin Mack might surprise teams as second round choices.
3. Kawhi Leonard never impressed me.
4. Klay Thompson could turn into one hell of a small forward.
Here's a poem for the University of California Bears baseball team doing the Bay Area proud in Omaha at the college World Series. I loved to play the game when I was young before I got hooked on hoop.
How to Play Night Baseball by Jonathan Holden
A pasture is best, freshly
mown so that by the time a grounder's
plowed through all that chewed, spit-out
grass to reach you, the ball
will be bruised with green kisses. Start
in the evening. Come
with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,
water still crackling in your ears.
Play until the ball is khaki -
a movable piece of the twilight -
the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale,
and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play
until you can only see pop-ups,
and routine grounders get lost in
the sweet grass for extra bases.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.