Wednesday, June 13, 2012

JLin On Jimmy Kimmel


53 comments:

  1. I think Jeremy sandbagged at the end with the price of the watch and let roy hibbert win.

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    1. Could be. But with that prize, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I wouldn't want it either. LOL

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    2. JLin doesn't need a video of the Kardashians when he is seeing Kim live in the flesh every night! ;-)

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    3. The prize is always some gag prize that nobody really has use for. That's part of the joke, they are playing for NOTHING, except to be on TV.

      Although, I'm pretty sure they get paid some cash to appear on the show.

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  2. That was hilarious.

    This is why Jeremy Lin is so popular, he's just a really funny, smooth, likable charismatic person.

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    1. I know, what a character. I love Roy Hibbert too, he knew his role and played it well. That bulldog has been stealing the show since the moment the hunt start I thought... just by sitting there looking around. Hilarious.

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    2. Lin on Indiana passing to Hibbert and Granger and especially Hansbrough would make the Pacers a contender.

      I can't think of a better team for Lin to join than the Pacers.

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  3. That was a fun piece. Glad to see that Lin skipped all the late night shows during the season, when I'm sure he got tons of requests during Linsanity, and is doing them now in the offseason.

    And now I get why Hibbert and Lin were having a Twitter exchange:
    Hibbert: "come on bro. Didn't u go to Harvard?"
    Lin: "every school makes a mistake every once in a while hahah"

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    1. I think Lin is one of those dumb smart guys.

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    2. Wrong more like humble and self effacing and gracious from self assurance

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    3. "I think Lin is one of those dumb smart guys." <~ This is how David Lee described Jeremy. It was intended amiably.

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  4. Indy would be a great market to play for. And for mgmt, Bird is of course preferable to buffoons like Dolan & Co.

    I just didn't like what I saw in this year's EC semis. Lack of cohesion, direction. Frank Vogel didn't seem to be able to motivate his guys and have their ears the way Doug Collins did, with a similarly young team playing a more seasoned opponent. And who encouraged them to take out their frustrations thuggishly rather than constructively?

    Hibbert would be a great Lin teammate. Dislike Granger's streakiness, and his knack for various on and off court antics. A backcourt of JLin + George Hill could be interesting.

    I've long entertained the idea of Lin on Thunder. Someone has floated the idea here, but I mean specifically Lin replacing Westbrook. I'm not crazy. Magic nailed it last night: "The worst PG performance I've ever seen in the playoffs. He's too wild." Too undisciplined. Too unwilling to slow down half a millisecond and think things through. His fg% is never good enough to justify his taking the most shots on the team. Since when is it advisable to have a PG aspiring to be Kobe Griffin, to use a modern day chimera, on speed minus fadeaway?

    Lin would provide them with more PnR and less forced shots that become wasted 1-man possessions. Too bad Thunder are committed to Westbrook, and even MSG isn't dumb enough to pair him with Melo, unless they want Stat to punch glass after every game.

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    1. Scott Brooks uses Westbrook like how many Lin fans would like Lin to be used. I agree Lin would make better decisions than Westbrook, but I wonder if playing Westbrook's role would stunt his PG development.

      Westbrook, like Lin, was a college SG converted to NBA PG. However, where Lin looks like a SG/PG combo guard who has the potential to improve to a Nash-level PG, Westbrook in his 4th? season still looks like a SG thrust into the PG position. How much of that is Westbrook's innate limitations as a PG and how much of that is the system not pressuring him to improve his PG game? Westbrook relies a lot on his explosive physical abilities, which are often game-changing, and I also wonder if a Rose-like physical breakdown is in his near future.

      Playing PG sidekick to Anthony for 1-2 more seasons, with respectable play-off runs, would be a good situation for Lin to improve his PG game.

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    2. Good analysis, yang3333.

      Do you think that Indiana has a backcourt problem? Whenever I watch the Pacers play, it seems that their guards can't get around or over people. They'll try to initiate perimeter action, but it's not like Jeremy Lin who can finish at the rim or elevate for jumpshots.

      I like Russell Westbrook. Though he's not a floor general like Lin who gets guys into the right spots, he's a terrific penetrator whose chaotic drives create opportunities for others.

      To me, an attacking player like Westbrook is a double edged sword. He'll break down defenses and look like the greatest guard ever to play tge game, and then he'll also dribble himself into traps against good teams that seek to shut down his options. There's always going to be a random element to Westbrook's game, which makes it hard for people to count on him at critical junctures of the game.

      And is it me, or is James Harden a bit.overrated? I like his steady game, but I'm not seeing the All World talent that everybody is claiming he is. While I can see him making the All Star team as a coaches pick, I don't see him as a guy like Lin who can carry a team night after night.

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    3. Good analysis Eric, as always.

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    4. I'm overposting clumsily here, but the analysis here is too good.

      Eric, is there really that much difference between Westbrook's current role and Lin's role next season if he is kept by the Knicks?

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    5. K,

      Like Westbrook, Lin is a dynamic attack-first lead guard. Your description of Westbrook's game fits Lin, although your qualification that Lin is a more natural PG or floor general than Westbrook is also apt. The most striking stat this season for Westbook is the drop-off in his APG to nearly his rookie APG (5.5 v 5.3).

      I expect the main difference will be that where Brooks gives Westbrook the green light, ie, freedom *and* attack directive, all or most of the time, Woodson will give Lin the green light when the Knicks are catching up. Reference: the 76ers game where Woodson relied on Lin to catch up in the 4Q against a tough physical defense.

      Phil Jackson just called out the Knicks team make-up as "clumsy", pointing out that Stoudamire and Anthony don't fit together. He called Anthony a ball-stopper and described Stoudamire as a(D'Antoni) system player who's no longer in that system. None of Jackson's criticisms is news to Knicks fans.

      Brooks can afford to take a high-risk/high-reward approach with Westbrook given his loaded team. He has Harden to clean up for Westbrook like Popovich uses Ginobili to clean up for Parker. Woodson is compelled to take a more conservative approach that relies on defense to win games and the offense not to give points away.

      The level of play also makes a difference. As the defenses tighten as the level of play rises, the importance of individual playmaking also rises. Woodson has shown that when the games get tight, he'll put the ball in the hands of his playmakers. On the Knicks, he only has two of them: Lin and Anthony.

      The Knicks 'clumsy' make-up should push Lin's development as a PG. One, these Knicks are not the Kings with Bibby, the Spurs with Parker, or the Thunder with Westbrook, teams that did not need to rely on their PGs to run the offense. The 'clumsy' Knicks will challenge and stretch out Lin as a floor general to engineer a cohesive offense. Phil Jackson calling out the Knicks will highlight Lin's success as a PG if he can run the offense successfully. Two, the Knicks will rely heavily on defense again to compensate for the team's 'clumsy' make-up. Lin has shown potential to be a very good defender but still needs to improve there, and he will improve as a ball hawk under Woodson. Three, when the 'clumsy' Knicks fall behind, as they will against the elite teams, Woodson will turn to his playmakers Lin and Anthony to catch up. Anthony can be clutch as a scorer; Lin can be clutch as a scorer and in other ways.

      Which brings me back to Westbrook. Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are two of the best scoring SFs in the NBA. While both can create scores, neither is a point forward. Both rely on their PGs to run the offense and get them the ball where they want it. Durant and Westbrook are a 'dynamic duo', but does Westbrook as the PG - the floor general whom Durant relies on - get the most out of his partnership with Durant? I don't think so.

      Lin, because he's a more innate PG than Westbrook while an attack-first lead guard, has the opportunity to craft a similar but better-meshing PG-SF partnership with Anthony. The Anthony/Lin 'dynamic duo' has the potential to be special. Anthony's part is to be quicker and more efficient with the ball, like Durant. Anthony is an adept passer for a SF when the ball isn't stuck in his hands, so hopefully Anthony will meet Lin halfway as they train more together.

      Lin will get enough shots to satisfy his fans even when the team isn't playing catch-up. Putting aside he's the PG, the Knicks simply don't have enough scorers to afford Lin not taking shots. The hope is that, under Woodson, Lin will reduce the head-down drives and the pounding he took from them. Lin's knee troubles are warning enough. Westbrook isn't the only aggressive attack-first lead guard who's a candidate for a Rose-like physical breakdown.

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    6. Add: Harden tends to evaluate and do what's needed rather than come out of the gate firing. Now that the Thunder lost a game and the teams have a sense of each other, I expect Harden will become more aggressive.

      Which brings to mind another Westbrook/Lin point of comparison. Harden is the main reason Brooks can afford to use Westbrook like he does. When Harden takes the point, how is Westbrook off the ball? I get the idea that Westbook becomes less effective.

      Something I hope to see more from Lin this season is his off the ball game. When Anthony gets double teamed, he has to pass the ball to somebody, and with Stoudamire and Chandler bumping into each other in the paint, that teammate will likely be the guard who makes himself open.

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    7. Amazing post.

      I am a fast reader, but I'm going to have to digest all that info over a few days.

      Eric, what is your basketball background? How did you learn so much about the game?

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    8. Add: In the Finals, it stands out how several of the NBA's most gifted offensive players are struggling to score against Finals-level half-court defense. Both teams are attacking on the break at every opportunity in order to beat the defense and bank easier points in close games.

      Although fans like to describe fastbreak-scoring as an offensive style, a fastbreak usually starts with a turnover or a rebound, ie, the result of good defense. Woodson stresses defense and the reward of good defense is easy fastbreak points. Woodson will want those points and Lin happens already to be one of the best PGs on the break in the NBA.

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    9. Thanks eric. I'm just a fan too.

      I have felt all along that Jeremy Lin could be a player that can play Finals level halfcourt basketball.

      If Lin develops the ability to dribble with his back to the basket and similarly develops a turnaround jumpshot, I could see him becoming very difficult to stop in the halfcourt where games are lost and won. He hasn't displayed those skills yet, but neither have a lot of guards who aren't named Kobe Bryant or Tony Parker.

      I have to admit that I feel that the NBA game has become too European in its attempt to cover up the skill deficits of its players by fancy cutting and endless screens. A lot of times the best way to score is to isolate one guy and let him go to work.

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  5. "However, where Lin looks like a SG/PG combo guard who has the potential to improve to a Nash-level PG, Westbrook in his 4th? season still looks like a SG thrust into the PG position. How much of that is Westbrook's innate limitations as a PG and how much of that is the system not pressuring him to improve his PG game?"

    Bingo. I think he has neither Lin's intelligence and willingness to be a playmaker, nor the pressure to adapt. The Westbrook-Durant chemistry seems overrated, and as far as I'm concerned, the Thunder are getting away with his chaos only for as long as opponents are having trouble adjusting to Thunder's speed. I say the league learning curve is max two years, and that's if Westbrook can even keep his ego in check (wanting it to be his rather than KD's team) that long.

    "I wonder if playing Westbrook's role would stunt his PG development." No. Lin would be more economical in his shots due to better shot selection, elevating the offensive games of guys like Sefolosha and Ibaka, who are quite capable. Back of envelope calculations are of course too crude to translate to on court results, but say Lin takes 10 fewer shots than Westbrook (who routinely takes more than KD, 25+). That's suddenly 10 more to divide among Sef, Ibaka, and KD, with better team fg% because fewer shots are forced.

    "Harden tends to evaluate and do what's needed rather than come out of the gate firing." Yes. And sometimes that makes him look deliberative and slow, so for people like KHuang who put a premium on athleticism, that makes him look not so impressive. He does usually have a lethal shot, but even at his most aggressive, no, he does not have the footspeed of Westbrook.

    "Anthony's part is to be quicker and more efficient with the ball, like Durant." I think Melo WILL come into next season in better shape, having finally been annoyed at being called fat. I just don't see him as becoming considerably more efficient. In his career, he has shown an inordinate complacency about developing his game. I see KD as willing and capable of developing into a point forward, despite current TOs when he is passing out of triple teams. The opportunity just isn't there, as Westbrook's head would explode if KD were allowed to handle the ball more, at his expense. Melo I see as wanting to continue getting the ball in his sweet spots, happily executing Woodson's isos as long as New York fans aren't about to run him out of town.

    "When Anthony gets double teamed, he has to pass the ball to somebody, and with Stoudamire and Chandler bumping into each other in the paint, that teammate will likely be the guard who makes himself open." Oh yeah, and I wouldn't mind what I described above if Melo goes back to the 4, as he did during Stat's injury. Stat simply doesn't produce enough to justify how much court space he takes up.

    "Knicks simply don't have enough scorers to afford Lin not taking shots." MSG has an infatuation with brand names, and is probably drooling over the list of both decently young and over-the-hill FAs. Ray Allen to start for Shumpert? They would probably force feed him shots regardless of how his ankles and general bball condition is by then.

    Lin would be healthier on the Knicks compared to in a miraculous plopping down in OKC, where he would get to drive drive drive. I don't think Bird has any cap space issues, so if he would take Lin to create a backcourt that does more than jack up 3s, that might be preferable to Knicks.

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    1. edit: since KG would kill anyone calling any of his Big 3 "over the hill", I'll rephrase that as Ray being "injury riddled". I do after all believe him when he says there is yet more bball left in his legs.

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    2. Another amazing post by yang3333. My head is exploding from the high level analysis (think Hokuto no Ken but with a basketball).

      I had to read that post about 5 times a row to understand it, and I'm still digesting the nuances.

      I'll go further and openly wonder if the paid NBA scouts who do this for a living would see the game any more clearly that what people like yang3333 and Eric are doing here.

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    3. Actually, I was griping to my husband about how Westbrook is teaching our boys' generation to play selfish ball, and he double checked the stats. (Yeah they want to be JLin, but bad influences are still bad.)

      His fga is up every year, this regular season at 19.2. Probably because his high fga games annoy me more, but aside from his rookie year, I have a hard time remembering games where he's <15 fga. This is why standard devs and such would be helpful.

      His fg% this regular season is .457, but there are more than enough games where he is <.40, due to either forcing shots or being cold and not acknowledging and adjusting to the fact.

      Also, fact remains that Ibaka is a big man usually better positioned / already there in the paint with a better shot opportunity, and Sefolosha is developing into a much better 3p threat. KD of course has a much better fg% than Westbrook. Lin would.get.them.more.involved.

      From a realist's POV, I'm actually liking the Indy idea, aside from distrusting Vogel and Granger. Granger is their ONLY guy getting >$10mil (!!!).

      The whole idea of JLin turning around a team that wasn't even close to the playoffs this year is nice, but there are just too many hypotheticals. Lin is a huge asset, but you would still have to enumerate every single important thing the team did wrong, and determine with certainty if having Lin could rectify all of them. You can elevate teammates, but unpredictable or plain bad mgmt or coaching are other matters. So from that angle, I see 16 teams worth thinking about.

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    4. Lin could learn about the tricks of the trade on shooting from Allen.

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    5. Totally true, Eric.

      Ray Allen has successfully coached Michael Redd, Lamond Murray, Avery Bradley, Delonte West, and almost Rajon Rondo (the player that Allen singled out as being frustrating to work with).

      Nobody can teach how to take and make a good shot like Ray Allen can. He is not just one of the greatest shooters ever to play in the NBA, he is also one of the greatest shooting coaches. Everywhere he goes he tutors young players in scoring.

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    6. I'm sure Lin is already learning shooting from Steve Novak. I don't think the Thunder have a real shot at beating the Heat, because they don't have a legit low post scorer. Ibaka, Collison, and Sefalosha are rebounders and cut to the basket players.
      At least the Knicks have some post up threats in Stat, Melo, and hopefully Harrelson when he gets healthy. This can help spread the floor for the shooters on the outside.
      The Thunder don't have anyone who can draw the defense down low. That's why they struggle to get open shots in the half court.

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    7. Novak has a sweet stroke, but Novak basically is a spot-up shooter with 1 fake. Allen could teach Lin many different ways of getting shots.

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    8. I see Durant as the next Nowitzki, who also started off as a tall mobile shooter without a post-up game. Nowitzki was forced to learn how to post up for postseason play, which he did effectively against the Heat last year.

      James is doing a lot more damage from the post this year.

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    9. NBA teams need to emphasize post up play more.

      When high level defenses shut off all options and prevent perimeter players from scoring, the time honored way to score is to throw the ball inside and score from the post.

      Today's players are incomparably better on the perimeter than past players, but in the post players today are incomparably worse. While there are guys that will get the ball inside and use brute force to power for a layup, I generally am not seeing the usage of drop steps, ball fakes, spin moves, up and unders, and other basic post maneuvers that can make players unstoppable inside. The only player I see today with a refined post game is Tim Duncan.

      In the old days, everybody on an NBA roster could post up. That included the guards. Scores were high because it was impossible to stop inside scoring even with fancy defensive schemes. Many of today's help traps and switching rotations would be of no use against the dominant post players of the past. That's why players today are seeking the tutelage of retired post players like Hakeem Olajuwon, and Olajuwon was just one of many superb post players that the NBA had on every team.

      Jeremy Lin would be a fabulous post up player against other guards. He should learn how to play the post in order to become a complete basketball player.

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    10. Allen mentoring Lin is indeed an excellent point. Not only does Novak have a hard time creating his own shots, but a major reason he had the highest 3p% this past season is because at least as of now, he passes the ball the moment he sees someone coming to contest his shot. He is effective mostly as an element of surprise, or when Melo needs to be doubled or tripled so he's left open. Allen is an experienced mentor and still unquestionably the master of the jumper.

      I just don't know about having him on the Knicks. He only came off the bench late this season because of injury, and didn't exactly love it. So they would have him start for Shumpert, but then have him of off the bench again when Shump is back, leading to more sour grapes? Shump probably expects to start, and they would probably get the most production out of him that way. And Fields forever as last SG option, even though Occam's razor suggests his problem is really just a confidence or chemistry issue with Melo, and he could be fine in a unit without him? Woodson is no Doc Rivers, and I don't see him managing these politics for even this one position alone.

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  6. The key to the Thunder's success, is that the players 'grew up' within the system. Westbrook, Durant, Harden were first round draft picks who developed in Oklahoma City under coach Scott Brooks. They were not free agent superstars who were indoctrinated in other NBA team systems. So there was less baggage, and a 'clean slate' for the coach to work with. When the coach gets to mold players into his offense and defense style ... they gel more easily as a team.

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    1. Yes, that's true. But from my understanding, it was mgmt's idea to gamble with Westbrook's extension, betting that he wouldn't turn into an uncoachable egomaniac. It's probably a directive from above that he get free rein on the court, and Scott Brooks does his best. I don't know how much credence to give to rumors about Westbrook-Durant tensions, but I know I was watching Westbrook closely during the trophy ceremony of WC finals, when KD was holding the trophy and the crowd was chanting "MVP, MVP!"

      Also, that Brooks "has Harden to clean up for Westbrook" is a very interesting way of putting it. A player that requires cleaning up after is a liability, and arguably a role player rather than a star (as Westbrook sees himself), because what happens when there's no one to fix his mess?

      "less baggage, and a 'clean slate' for the coach to work with."

      Less baggage, yes, but tabula rasa, no. One reason I don't follow college ball closely is because a huge X factor is guys' attitudes, which are just as important as talent to whether they will thrive in the NBA. Scott Brooks likes to talk his guys' ears off about "team, teamwork". I'm pretty sure he's not talking KD, Harden, or anyone else for that matter.

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    2. Hey yang333, are you formerly known as "unknown" coming out of the closet?

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    3. mt: you've just flamed a married mother of two kids with a gay slur. I'm sure everyone here will take your posts seriously from now on.

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    4. While Harden shot poorly in Game 3, his effort to bring order and run a halfcourt offense stood out from his teammates who were playing head-down attack basketball. Conventional wisdom says slow the game down by having Harden run the offense, set up quality shots, and keep the team balanced, rather than play too fast and out of balance, thus allowing the Heat to bank points with their powerful fastbreak.

      The other argument is the Thunder halfcourt offense, even with Harden at the point, isn't good enough to beat the Heat halfcourt defense, so the best way for the Thunder to score is to outrace the Heat defense before it can set up and rely on Durant and Westbrook's individual scoring talents rather than team play. That's what the Thunder looked like for most of Game 3.

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  7. Hi mt, I work in a technical field, and have encountered more than my share of sexism. However, having my sexual orientation questioned completely out of the blue is a new one. Thanks for the chuckles :)

    "Thunder halfcourt offense, even with Harden at the point, isn't good enough to beat the Heat halfcourt defense, so the best way for the Thunder to score is to outrace the Heat defense before it can set up and rely on Durant and Westbrook's individual scoring talents"

    Yes, that certainly appeared to be their philosophy for the game. I wonder if they don't operate this way by force of habit by now.

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    1. I guess you havent been onthis post that long. There is/was a poster going by the alias "unknown". I just thought that person decided to reveal herself or himself as yang333. My bad.

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    2. Chill, bbears88. I see youre probly new too

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  8. Wrong again. Let me guess: "My bad" yet again?

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  9. Ouch? You're more sensitive than yang333.

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  10. "Sensitive" and "empathy" are words to describe your written apology to yang333. It's pretty strange extend an olive branch to her, then to characterize you're behavior as less than sincere when you are clearly wrong.

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  11. it was a question directed to her with no intent for malaise. No apologies were needed. You did not understand and still do not understand what I was asking and took it literally. When you dont understand something dont make yourself into a fool by jumping to conclusion. Thats why I called out as sensitive. Again it was not directed at you so p.o.

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    1. Clearly, you didn't know who you were dealing with in yang333 (a female), hence it was pointed out to you. You were given an opportunity to make amends, and you did with "My bad". However, you've just watered-down this "apology" with this last post, plus the "sensitive" remark you wrote to me referenced to her.

      The issue started with you, and could have ended there with class. But in fact you're the one proving to be "too sensitive". Good luck, I hope you figure it out and take accountability for your own actions.

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  12. Again it was not directed at you. What part of that do you not understand. Take my advice, dont jump to conclusions in life. And dont go around expecting apologies in life for every little thing. P.O. You are no longer worth my time.

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    1. Yeah, time wasted on chasing the "unknown" on this forum while wrongly flaming others. Speaking of jumping to conclusions, take your own advice, and you won't look like a hypocrite.

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    2. C'mon guys.

      Jeremy Lin. HOOPZ.

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  13. Stop guys. Back to Jeremy Lin and basketball.

    We all know about Jeremy Lin's ability. What about Kevin Durant?

    A lot of comparison has been made between Kevin Durant and Bob McAdoo. While the stats are similar, I don't see much resemblance between Durant's long armed slashing inside outside game and McAdoo's bruising back to the basket spin moving midrange dominance. Durant reminds me more of a bigger George Gervin.

    When I think of Jeremy Lin's ability to improve, I also think of Kevin Durant. I'd like to see Durant play more with his back to the basket, as he can effortlessly hoist up turnaround jumpers even when he gets bumped.

    I also found it interesting that Jeremy Lin once guarded Kevin Durant in AAU ball.

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    1. "Durant reminds me more of a bigger George Gervin." Interesting. I believe Doc Rivers also made that comparison at one point.

      Durant is pure finesse, but seems to be more sensitive than others to being bumped around. Nothing terrible and really an instinctive thing, like how some dogs get uncomfortable from overenthusiastic kids' petting, a lot more quickly than other dogs. Aside from this new finals foul trouble, it seems like the best way to get KD out of his rhythm.

      For those who haven't seen it yet, here's an interesting heat map of Lebron's and KD's shots: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/story/2012-06-11/lebron-james-kevin-durant-shot-mapping/55533006/1 .

      What the article doesn't mention, but which should be self evident from the maps and from games, is how much more of Durant's shots come from the perimeter. His dislike of contact + not having Lebron's insane physical dominance inside + Westbrook's desire to put up all manners of shorter-range shots = ?

      Curious, how the heck did that Lin Durant matchup in AAU ball go?

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    2. Did Doc Rivers really compare Durant to Gervin? I didn't know that.

      I don't know how Lin vs. Durant went. It would be fun to ask.

      Bob McAdoo is one of the greatest players of all time. He should have been voted one of the top 50 NBA players of all time. I love his game and wish that other NBA players would emulate him.

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    3. Durant looks like Gervin 2.0, but I still see the next Nowitzki. This is what I wrote about Durant on my blog in May 2011:

      Kevin Durant has an offensive game that can lead the NBA in scoring in the regular season, but lacks the power, moves, and toughness needed to reliably lead his team as the alpha dog in the post-season. He doesn't get separation from defenders which results in a lot of foul shots in the regular season, but turn into many rushed off-balance shots against superior defenses and more permissive officiating in the post-season. Durant's offensive game reminds me a lot of a young Dirk Nowitizki - elite mid-range and 3-point shooter, superior off-the-dribble skills for their size, but lack of strength and poor post-up game that allows smaller defenders to take away their shooting space. When the team leader, the player the team is built around and relies upon, can't deliver reliably in the post-season, he caps the competitive potential of the team. Durant is like Vince Carter in that regard. Durant's strong regular season but weak post-season makes Russell Westbrook's job extra difficult. Westbrook is a strong post-season scorer but as the Thunder point guard, he gets blamed for Durant's weak post-season performance. Either Durant needs to figure out how to be a post-season leader or the Thunder need to fully transfer the alpha-dog scorer role to Westbrook in the post-season. If the Thunder can do neither, I'd recommend for Westbrook to leave the team or else he'll continue to take blame for Durant's post-season shortcomings. Another option is to give control of the ball to James Harden, who emerged in these play-offs as the next-generation Manu Ginobili (unlike Ginobili pretenders Rudy Fernandez and Marco Belinelli). The younger Nowitzki improved on the weaknesses that the play-offs exposed - it remains to been whether Durant will follow the same championship path.

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