19-Year-Old Draft Picks and Bulging D*cks

David Stern’s NBA. You never disappoint. I couldn’t have made that up if I tried. For those of you who haven’t heard, during last night’s NBA Draft, Andy Katz was trying to refer to Jared Sullinger’s ‘bulging disks’ in his back but instead comes up with an epic Freudian slip. If you haven’t watched it on YouTube I suggest you do it. Now.

But that is really not here nor there. Not surprisingly, with the first pick of the 2012 draft the New Orleans Hornets selected Unibrow Davis.. er.. Anthony Davis out of Kentucky. Chicago kid HEYYY.

I wanted to analyze this a bit. Does this automatically make the Hornets a championship contender? Does one guy really make a difference? Sure, he averaged 10.4 rebounds and 14.2 points a game. Sure, his FG percentage is .623. Sure, he’s a 6’10 19-year old big man with a unibrow that rivals the marketing capabilities of The Harden Beard. But will he have an immediate impact? Can a boy born in 1993 have an immediate impact? Yes, that stat was intended to make you feel old.

Even my Bulls took 19-year old Marquis Teague with the 29th overall pick, also from Kentucky. This boy played one year in college. He was high school class of 2011. Now he’s supposedly ready for the big show?

Why is it that in the NBA only one year of college is required? I get that not too long ago, no college was required (see: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James) but shouldn’t we push the envelope a little more? With the amount of money that is being thrown at these kids is it really a responsible thing to allow them to declare just one year after they said goodbye to mommy and daddy’s house? As Jay-Z puts it “Younger get younger every year.”

I don’t really know the answer and I’m not sure how to arrive at one. There’s no consistency with players that entered the NBA with minimal or no years of college development. You have legends like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson who developed their skills in college during an age where it wasn’t required. And you have players like Kobe, LeBron, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitski, Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemaire who opted out of the college experience and went straight to the league. But then you have players like Chris Washburn, Mateen Cleeves and Adam Morrison. I know you’re all going jigga who? Exactly. These are guys that had stellar college careers only to flop majorly on the NBA stage.

So how can you tell? My answer is I can’t. I will tell you though that I think Anthony Davis will be successful. *Prediction Alert*. Although he still needs more development, the kid has been through just about every experience a college player needs to go through from a purely basketball perspective. He led the Kentucky Wildcats to a championship title. You can handle that kind of pressure at 19 years old, you can handle just about anything the NBA throws at you. It’s life in general that’ll get ya.

I think I am going to start a mailbag-like feature via Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to hear more of your comments as well as questions or concerns you’d want me to tackle. Also! Sorry, sorry and sorry again this post is coming to you so delayed. I have been traveling the East Coast all week and finding time between video poker in Atlantic City and screaming at cab drivers in New York traffic is taxing. Back on my game now though. Thanks for reading.

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Westbroke

I would like to start by first reiterating something very important. This is an opinion blog with sprinkles of analysis thrown in. These are my thoughts and my thoughts only. I am not affiliated with any teams currently and am therefore taking advantage of my hiatus by freely stating my own, absolutely biased opinions. I am not trying to be objective. I am not trying to be politically correct. I am just expressing my views. Everybody on board? Good. Great. FANTASTIC.

Moving on. Ahh Game 4. I had such high hopes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Game 3 was ugly. I’ll admit it, they didn’t play with as much heart as the Miami Heat. Kevin Durant was useless in the fourth and James Harden committed the fatal foul to solidify the Heat victory. Ok fine, first game in Miami is a tough one, they’ll learn… right?

Wrong.

I found myself screaming at the end of Game 4- WHY WESTBROOK WHY?! similar to my WHY HARDEN WHY?! the previous game. Russell Westbrook puts up 43 points- nearly half of the team total- and then down three, FOULS as the Heat inbound the ball with 20 odd seconds left thinking the shot clock had reset. Newsflash Westbrook, it hadn’t. Stupid, stupid, STUPID.

Not to mention, James Harden seemed to lose his confidence come the fourth quarter. Never have I seen him lose confidence ever. I was there for his ASU career, working in the media relations department. I have seen some great comebacks with him as our leader. The guy is clutch. He’s been a solid 6th man the entire season for the Thunder, including the postseason. Why now? Like Jalen Rose suggested James, cut the beard- maybe that will provide enough of a distraction for you guys to catch up. Maybe.

With the knowledge that Durant was rendered ineffective in Game 3, where were the adjustments to get him open in the fourth quarter, Brooks? You can’t have Russell Westbrook be the one putting up 43 points. Those are KD’s shots to take.

The series’ leading up to this OKC had managed to banish the criticisms of being too young and too inexperienced. They had shut all the critics up. Was it too good to be true? They make it to the Finals, demolishing teams that had taken the title 11 of the past 13 years only to look like an AAU team against the Heat. What. Happened.

Is it perhaps that the Big Three have learned to close? Is this really their year? And if it is? If LeBron finally gets a ring? What does that change?

In my mind, nothing. Sure the jokes of LeBron having no rings will die, but in reality he will only have one ring. He still won’t be up in the category with the likes of Kobe and Jordan. It will be one measly ring. Not six, not seven, not eight. One.

Will this series go back to OKC? The odds are probably against it. And in all honesty, it would likely only prolong the inevitable agony, giving Thunder fans hope they can pull through. If there was ever a time for an NBA ‘miracle’, it would be now. Too bad it’s not Herb Brooks coaching the Thunder.

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Thunder doesn’t do ‘quietly’

Not like the Miami Heat does quietly either. I purposely waited til after the second game to voice my opinion to avoid people that have overreacted one way or the other. Oklahoma City has been dominant at home the entire season- winning the first game did not set anything in stone. Sure enough, the Heat come back with a vengeance and claim game 2- the first team to win on the road against the Thunder the entire 2012 postseason.

You can bet OKC has something to prove now.

As usual there is controversy over the Heat win. Fourth quarter Durant seemed like a different player- playing through the foul trouble he’d had all game. He’s driving in the paint, posting LBJ up, coupled with Westbrook for a couple clutch threes and just like that the Thunder are within two. LeBron goes for a selfish three with 12.3 seconds left and suddenly the Thunder have a shot. KD goes up for the fadeaway jumper, misses, but gets fouled. It’s on now right? Wrong. Lo and behold- the ref doesn’t blow the whistle.

It comes down to this though. The game is not won on one (trying saying that three times fast) possession alone. The foul trouble for Durant, Westbrook missing easy opportunities, and all but taking Harden out in the second half were all factors. Those three need to play together in order to beat this Heat defense. This one on one clearly doesn’t cut it. Especially when the Heat are on their game offensively.

And what did Kevin Durant do post-game speaking to reporters? In true KD fashion, when asked if he was angry about the no call he simply says ‘I missed the shot.’ Taking full responsibility. Realizing the game didn’t have to come down to that had the team played more cohesively. Another commendation KD, what a stand up guy.

Unlike game one, Miami found themselves a bit more. Not only did we see DWade and LBJ driving the lane and scoring in the paint, when that didn’t work, Shane Battier was there to back ’em up, knockin down three’s like it’s his job- oh wait, it is his job. LBJ was fired up though. We all know he’s a great player, he’s got super star talent, but to finally see him emotional, with a sense of urgency, that was the difference. Moral of the story Thunder: Never let LeBron get emotional. When he does, the Heat actually close.

Better believe the Thunder are going into Miami with a chip on their shoulder. Like I said before, this is the first time they have lost at home all postseason. They will not go quietly.