Thursday, November 29, 2012

NBA: Rondo, Humphries, & Wallace Ejected in Celtics-Nets Fight

(Photo Courtesy: Jared Wickerham/Getty)
Last night, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics on the road 95-83 as Rondo's double-digit assist streak was broken. However, the story of the night was a brawl/fight between Celtics and Nets players that left Kris Humphries, Rajon Rondo, and Gerald Wallace ejected.

The fight started with less than 30 seconds left in the second quarter. After Kris Humphries committed a shooting foul on Kevin Garnett, Rondo ran over and started shoving Humphries. After Humphries started shoving back, the rest of the players and the refs ran in to throw in some shoves and try to break up the fight. After the refs reviewed the altercation, they ejected two Nets players (Humphries and Wallace) and one Celtics player (Rondo).

Here is a video of the foul/altercation/brawl/fight/aftermath:

I will spend the rest of this article analyzing the roles of all of the players involved and critiquing the decisions made by the officials:

Rajon Rondo, Celtics (Ejected)
I agree 100% with Rondo's ejection and think that he should also be given a multi-game suspension from the league. He ran up and shoved Humphries unprovoked and had no good reason to start a fight. I think that he was the instigator of the fight, not Humphries. Rondo left the game with 6 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Kris Humphries, Nets (Ejected)
Humphries' foul on Garnett is debatable. You could make an argument that it was incidental contact, but I'm pretty sure that he hit KG in the face on purpose. Of course it wasn't a very hard hit that yielded much force. I don't think that Humphries deserved to be ejected. All he did was defend himself while Rondo attacked him. I think that a technical foul would have been enough. I don't think that Humphries should be suspended or fined. He finished with 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

After the game, Humphries went to Twitter and uploaded a photo showing scratches on him from Rondo:
Gerald Wallace, Nets (Ejected)
Wallace's role in the brawl was also debatable. When watching the footage, it's hard to tell if he ran in to try to break up the fight or to attack Garnett for some reason. Either way, Wallace and Garnett ended up in a short shoving match before both going in and trying to break up the fight. He received a technical foul, his second one of the game, and was ejected. Wallace finished with 5 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Kevin Garnett, Celtics (Technical Foul)
KG was given a technical foul and played the rest of game. I agree with that decision by the referees.

I also think that the NBA should fine him or at least give him a warning for flopping. There was no way that he should have fell down after being lightly hit in the face by Humphries. Garnett obviously fell on purpose in an attempt to sell the contact.

Jason Terry, Celtics
Terry got right in the middle of Rondo and Humpries during the initial shoving match, but didn't contribute to the fight. He was not ejected or anything like that, which I agree with. After the game, Terry criticized Humphries:

From the Boston Herald:

Jason Terry, who played with Humphries during the 2009-10 season in Dallas, later tore into his former teammate. “That was unnecessary,” Terry said of Humphries’ foul on Garnett. “Some guys are tough and some guys pretend to be. He’s one that pretends to be. Maybe that’s the role Avery (Johnson) wants him to have.”

Asked what kind of player Humphries was in Dallas, Terry said, “Soft.”

Reggie Evans, Nets
Evans was on the floor when the fight started and followed the players behind the basket to play peacemaker. Evans finished with 5 points and 10 rebounds off-the-bench. After the game, Evans shared his thoughts on Rondo:


"That's just like a mosquito in your face. Eventually, you are going to swat at the mosquito, right?” Evans told reporters. “You aren't going to let mosquitoes in your face. You are going to get bumps all over your face. So you have to knock the mosquito down."


For the Nets, Joe Johnson scored a team-high 18 points and dished out 6 assists. Deron Williams finished with 8 points and 7 assists. Brook Lopez was one point short of a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds. Off-the-bench, Andray Blatche scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jerry Stackhouse scored 17 points in the win.

For the Celtics, Kevin Garnett finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Pierce had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in the loss. Brandon Bass scored 16 points and Jason Terry scored 13 points.

Other players that were on the court when the fight happened include Deron Williams and C.J. Watson of the Nets and Brandon Bass and Paul Pierce of the Celtics.

On a positive note, I enjoyed watching the footage from the fight. I found it entertaining. It was one of the rare NBA fights these days that actually qualifies as a fight/brawl, and not just an altercation/skirmish.

Have any thoughts on the Celtics-Nets fight? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NCAA: Analyzing Jack Taylor's Crazy 138-Point Performance

News has spread quickly about a player's performance during a division III college basketball game last night. Sophomore Jack Taylor of Grinnell College in Iowa scored a new NCAA record 138 points against Faith Baptist Bible. Here are some thoughts and observations I have on this game/story/performance:

-Considering that Taylor played 36 minutes and shot 108 attempts, he averaged exactly 3 shot attempts per minute. With a 35-second shot clock in college basketball, that's crazy. Needless to say, Taylor dominated the ball the whole game.

-A year ago, in November of 2011, Griffin Lentsch of Grinnell College, a current teammate of Taylor, broke the NCAA DIII points in a game record with 89 points in a win against Principia. In last night's game, Lentsch scored 7 points in 14 minutes off-the-bench. You would think that scoring 89 points would have made him a lock-starter for the rest of his career there, but apparently not.

-Before that, in February of 1998, another Grinnell College player, Jeff Clement, set the DIII record for points in a game with 77 points in a win over Illinois College.

-Before that, in 1994, Steve Diekmann, also of Grinnell College, broke the DIII record for points in a game with 69 points.

-Taylor made an astonishing 27 three-pointers off of 71 attempts from long-range. That calculates to about 38%, which doesn't sound great, but considering that there were 71 attempts involved and this was in a collegiate basketball game, that's really good.

-Taylor's assist to turnover ratio was terrible. He had 0 assists and 6 turnovers.

-He also had 3 steals and 3 rebounds, which no one cares about.

-You would think that since he scored 138 points, he had to have made more than half of his field goal attempts. Nope. He went 52-for-108 from the field. Of course, 48% from the field is still great, especially since he scored 138 points!

-Taylor is a 5'10" white guy. That makes this feat even more spectacular.

-The second-leading scorer of the game, sophomore David Larson of Faith Baptist Bible, scored 70 points. Larson is barely receiving any credit or recognition for arguably an equally-great performance. Larson's shot selection was stellar and he shot 34-for-44 from the field. That calculates to 77% from the field compared to Taylor's 48%. 66 of Larson's 70 points from last night were layups, according to USA Today. Larson's 70-point performance has been mentioned/acknowledged on TV, but he hasn't actually been referred to by name from what I've seen. Let's give some Larson some credit, it'll cheer him up considering that his team is now 0-5 this season.

-Faith Baptist Bible had a crazy-high amount of turnovers in the game: 49. That's more than 1 turnover per minute. That's pretty bad. Eric Young led the game with 16 turnovers in 33 minutes. Tyler Betz turned the ball over 15 times in 36 minutes. Both of those players were on Faith Baptist Bible.

-On the Faith Baptist Bible Eagles official website, the headline for last night's game was "Larson Has Record Setting Night." I thought it was funny that they didn't mention "Taylor" or "138 points" in the title to the article.

-Grinnell won the game 179-104 in a blowout. Grinnell is now 3-0 (undefeated), while Faith Baptist Bible has an 0-4 (winless) record. Faith Baptist is 0-8 this season if you count exhibition games.

-Taylor's performance has earned praise from Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant:
Bryant: "Wow ... Really? Wow. That's impressive. That's crazy. I don't care what level you're at. Scoring 138 points in pretty insane. ... That's incredible. ... That's amazing."
Durant: "Jack Taylor you deserve a shot of Jack Daniels after that performance" (via Twitter)
Here are some highlights from the game (in case your haven't seen them already):

-Did anyone else notice that the shots Taylor was making were all contested and off-the-dribble? Those 138 points weren't from breakaway layups, free-throw attempts (he was 7-10 from the line), and uncontested shots. He made some difficult shots.

-Does this 138-point outburst by Taylor make him a serious NBA prospect? I'm not sure. It's obvious that some NBA executives and general managers will take a look at Taylor now, but last night was only one game. Considering that he is 5'10" scorer, he would obviously be at a disadvantage in the NBA. Who knows? Maybe this is just the beginning for Taylor. I'm rooting for him to succeed.

-3 games into the season, Taylor currently averages 61.7 points per game.

Two days ago, I wouldn't have thought that my next blog entry would be about some player from a D3-school named Jack Taylor. That's how quickly Taylor has jumped onto the radar of basketball fans country-wide.

For more information and footage, read/watch:
-Grinnell College guard shatters scoring record with 138 points in a game - (The Dagger)
-Grinnell's Taylor pours in NCAA-record 138 points -
-Jack Taylor Player Profile -
-Box Score -
-Video of game in full -

-The quietest 70 points in college basketball history (Larson) - USA Today
-Grinnell player (Lentsch) breaks D-III scoring record - (2011)
-Clement sets single-game scoring record - (1998)

Have any thoughts on Jack Taylor's crazy performance last night? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Friday, November 9, 2012

NCAA: Top 10 Under-the-Radar Prospects in New York This Season

Basketball players from lesser-known Division 1 colleges often get overlooked and take a backseat attention-wise to players from schools in more competitive conferences, example: Reggie Hamilton vs. Anthony Davis. Players from colleges in New York are no exception. Here is a list of the top 10 (in my opinion) under-the-radar New York college basketball prospects this upcoming season:

10. Demitrius Conger, St. Bonaventure - Senior (Atlantic 10)
2011-2012 Statistics: 12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 50.2 FG%, 80.3 FT% (33.5 minutes per game, 32 games)
Demitrius Conger is ready for his senior season at St. Bonaventure. He should emerge as the leader of the team considering that he's a senior and was ranked second on the team in points and rebounds only to current Orlando Magic rookie Andrew Nicholson last season. Conger definitely wouldn't mind following in Nicholson's footsteps. Last season, Nicholson averaged 18.5 points and 8.3 rebounds, helped St. Bonaventure win the A-10 Conference Championship, and led them to the NCAA Tournament. Nicholson then went on to be a first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft to the Orlando Magic and is currently an active NBA rookie. Conger would have to step it up big-time in order to fill the role that Nicholson left, but either way, he should end up leading the team in points and rebounds this season. Will Conger be a first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft? Probably not, he'll most likely go undrafted. But that doesn't mean that he won't impress a lot of scouts as a senior this season.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Conger played solid in St. Bonaventure's first game of the season. He had 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in a 65-55 win over Bethune-Cookman. Conger also shot 5-for-8 from the field.

For more information, read: Demitrius Conger St. Bonaventure Bio -

9. Chavaughn Lewis, Marist - Sophomore (MAAC)
2011-2012 Statistics: 14.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 43.2 FG% (29.5 minutes per game, 32 games)
As a freshman last season, Chavaughn Lewis put up an impressive statline. However, as a team, Marist had a forgettable year. They finished with a 14-18 record and ranked 8th in the MAAC. Lewis' play was one of the few bright spots for Marist last season in the midst of a sub-par year for the team. He led the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game as a freshman in less than 30 minutes a game. That's pretty impressive. I expect improvement from Lewis individually and from Marist as a team this season. Assuming Lewis doesn't transfer out or go pro in the next few years, I'm excited to see how well Lewis plays when he's a senior.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Lewis scored 10 points and grabbed 3 rebounds as Marist lost to Stony Brook 60-57 in their first game of the season.

For more information, read: Chavaughn Lewis Marist Bio -

8. Chris Gaston, Fordham - Senior (Atlantic 10)
2011-2012 Statistics: 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.3 spg, 1.1 apg, 44.1 FG% (33.9 minutes per game, 28 games)
Chris Gaston is entering his senior year at Fordham. He's put up similar numbers in each of his first three years, but his team has improved each year. In his freshman year, they were 2-26 overall with a 0-16 conference record. In his sophomore year, they were 7-21 overall with a 1-15 conference record. Last season, Fordham went 10-19 overall with a 3-13 conference record. In all of Gaston's seasons at Fordham, they ranked last in the A-10 conference. Gaston will look to give Fordham a winning season as a senior with help from junior guard Branden Frazier. Considering that Gaston has led the team in points and rebounds in each of his first three seasons, he shouldn't have a problem maintaining his numbers. Individually, Gaston was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2010 and to the All-Conference Second Team in 2012. The real challenge for him this season will be trying to help Fordham win more games.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Gaston had a stellar game and played 39 out of 40 minutes for Fordham in their first game of the season, a 86-76 loss to Texas State. He finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and 1 block. However, he committed 7 turnovers in the loss.

For more, read: Chris Gaston Ram Profile -

7. Brian Barbour, Columbia - Senior (Ivy League)
2011-2012 Statistics: 15.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 spg, 39.8 FG%, 90.1 FT% (35.6 minutes per game, 30 games)
For Brian Barbour, his senior season will prove to be very important for him and his team, Columbia. Last season, Barbour stood out as a player and led the team in points and assists. He was also named to the 2012 All-Ivy First Team. However, as a team, Columbia struggled and ended up with a 15-15 overall record and a 4-10 conference record. This season, Barbour should be looking to help Columbia win more games and showcase his point guard skills. Recently, he drew Jeremy Lin comparisons from an article in Dime Magazine by Dylan Murphy. Considering that Lin was also an underrated/under-the-radar Ivy League point guard like Barbour, the comparison is definitely understandable. Barbour's success and Columbia's amount of wins this season will hugely depend on his play and leadership. I expect Columbia to win more games this season and Barbour's numbers to improve at least slightly. Will Brian Barbour be the 2013 Ivy League Player of the Year? Maybe, he's got a good chance.

For more information, read: Brian Barbour Columbia Lions Player Profile -

6. Javon McCrea, Buffalo - Junior (MAC)
2011-2012 Statistics: 14.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 bpg, 1.0 spg, 57.2 FG% (25.3 minutes per game, 31 games)
Javon McCrea is steadily rising as a prospect at Buffalo University. After being named the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2011, he improved even more and was named to the All-MAC First Team in 2012. His scoring, rebounding, and blocking averages were all second-highest on the team behind senior and 2012 MAC Player of the Year Mitchell Watt, who went on to play in the 2012 NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies. What's even more impressive about McCrea's statline from last season is that he put up those numbers in only 25.3 minutes per game. As a team, Buffalo played well and finished with a 20-11 overall record and a 12-4 conference record, good enough to be ranked second in the MAC. I would be surprised if Buffalo can improve that record significantly this season, but I project that McCrea's minutes will increase, he will emerge as a team leader, and will show more improvement as a player/prospect.
For more information, read: Javon McCrea Buffalo Bio -

5. Mike Black, Albany - Senior (America East)
2011-2012 Statistics: 13.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, 44.4 FG% (33.0 minutes per game, 34 games)
Mike Black is the man at SUNY Albany now. He would be playing this season with Logan Aronhalt and Geraldo Suero, who were both juniors last season, but they both left the team after last season. Aronhalt transferred to Maryland and Suero went pro. Since Black is a senior and was the team's third leading scorer last season behind Aronhalt and Suero, he will have to step up as the leader of the Great Danes this season. Last season, Black averaged 13.4 points and a team-high 4.3 assists, helped Albany to a respectable 19-15 record, and was named to the America East Second Team. Black has the potential to have a Reggie Hamilton-caliber senior season. I expect him to lead the team in points and assists this season, though I'm not sure how well Albany will do as a team.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Black finished with a team-high 15 points and a game-high 4 assists as Albany beat Duquesne 69-66 in their first game of the season.

For more, read: Albany guard Black gets preseason notice in America East -
-Mike Black UAlbany Player Profile -

4. Tie - Julian Boyd & Jamal Olasewere, Long Island - Seniors (NEC)
2011-2012 Statistics -
Boyd: 17.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 55.7 FG%, 42.0 3P% (27.1 minutes per game, 33 games)
Olasewere: 16.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 bpg, 57.1 FG% (26.1 minutes per game, 34 games)
Boyd and Olasewere are both seniors for Long Island this season. Last season, they each ranked in the top two on their team in points and rebounds. Boyd has gotten more attention than Olasewere and Olasewere might be getting overlooked. Boyd was named the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2009, the 2012 NEC Player of the Year, and the NEC Tournament MVP in 2012. Olaswere was named the NEC Tournament MVP in 2011 and was named to the 2012 All-NEC First Team. The last two seasons, Long Island has dominated as a team. They were ranked first in the conference and made it to the NCAA Tournament each season the last two years. It's almost like Long Island is a monopoly as a team in the NEC and that Boyd and Olasewere are competing against each other for stats and awards. I'm expecting both of them to dominating this season with help from junior point guard Jason Brickman. Considering that they both averaged below 30 minutes a game last season, they both could improve their averages and stats if given more playing time. I expect Long Island to be the best team in the NEC again this season and make it to the NCAA Tournament again for the third year in a row. As for Boyd and Olasewere individually, it's up to them to showcase their skills. Which of them is better? I think its debatable. Either way, it's safe to say that Long Island is in for another exciting, winning season.

However, Boyd and Olasewere will face a minor setback as they are both suspended for the first two conference games of the season because of their role in an on-campus brawl. Let's hope this doesn't have a big, negative effect on their senior seasons.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Long Island lost 77-74 against Morehead State in their first game of the season. Olasewere had a game-high 26 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Boyd shot 8-for-13 from the field and finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds in the loss.

For more information, read: Julian Boyd Player Profile -
-Jamal Olasewere Player Profile -
-Suspensions lifted for four LIU players in brawl -

3. George Beamon, Manhattan - Senior (MAAC)
2011-2012 Statistics: 19.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 48.6 FG%, 42.7 3P%, 80.1 FT% (31.9 minutes per game, 33 games)
George Beamon had a breakout season last year. In less minutes per game than the season before, he improved his points and assists averages. He was named to the 2012 All-MAAC First Team and led the MAAC in points per game last season. His 18.97 scoring average ranked 25th nationally. And it's not like Beamon's some sort of gunner who shoots too much. He finished the season with a very respectable 48.6 field goal percentage and a solid average of 2 assists per game. Beamon also helped his team win games. Manhattan finished with an impressive 21-13 record and made it to the second round of the of the Tournament. With increased minutes this season, I expect Beamon to average 20 points a game or over and be a favorite for the 2013 MAAC Player of the Year Award along with O.D. Anosike and Juan'ya Green.

For more information, read: George Beamon Manhattan Bio -

2. Juan'ya Green, Niagara - Sophomore (MAAC)
2011-2012 Statistics: 17.7 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, 40.4 FG%, 80.0 FT% (37.2 minutes per game, 33 games)
Juan'ya Green had an exciting freshman year last season. His team did okay with a 14-19 record, but Green led the team in points, assists, and steals. He even exploded for a Niagara freshman record 35 points in a game against Fairfield. In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Green ranked third in points per game, third in assists per game, and first in steals per game. He was also named the MAAC Rookie of the Year and was named to the All-MAAC Third Team and the MAAC All-Rookie Team last season. Green was also named the Mid-Major Freshman of the Year. I expect Green to lead Niagara to an improved record this season with the help of teammates Antoine Mason, Marvin Jordan, and Ameen Tanksley. I wouldn't be surprised if Green turns into the next Reggie Hamilton, or maybe even better. Depending on his future play, he could end up leaving college early to apply for the NBA Draft.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Green scored 14 points, dished out 9 assists, and had 4 steals in Niagara's first game of the season yesterday. He shot 4-for-13 from the field as Niagara lost to Oregon State, 102-83

For more information, read: Juan'ya Green Niagara Bio -

1. O.D. Anosike, Siena - Senior (MAAC)
2011-2012 Statistics: 15.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 bpg, 52.4 FG% (36.9 minutes per game, 31 games)
O.D. Anosike averaged a double-double last season with 15.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, both team-highs. He also led the NCAA in rebounds per game as a junior last season. His average was better than that of Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis, who were both top 5 picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Anosike is hoping to help Siena get a winning record this season with help from sophomore point guard Evan Hymes. Anosike was also named to the All-MAAC First Team last season. The sky is the limit for Anosike, who will try to lead the Saints to the NCAA Tournament this season. He could also be hearing his name announced on draft night next year if he plays his cards right.

UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2012): Anosike had 10 points, a game-high 17 rebounds, a game-high 4 steals, and a game-high 3 blocks in Siena's first game of the season. However, he shot 2-for-11 from the free-throw line as the Saints lost by one point to Vermont, 54-53.

For more information, read: O.D. Anosike Siena Player Profile -
-Siena's big man Anosike should see plenty of double-teams in the paint -

Honorable Mention: Antoine Mason (Niagara), Evan Hymes (Siena), Jason Brickman (Long Island), Lamont Jones (Iona), Robert Mansell (Binghamton)


The 2012-13 Division 1 NCAA men's basketball season starts today. Also, in case you're wondering, I'm not obsessed with Reggie Hamilton, I just think he's a really great player.

Have any thoughts on any of the prospects or teams that I mentioned? Should I do a follow-up article at the end of the season? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NBA: 2012 Preseason Stats, Recap, Analysis, & Awards

The NBA preseason has officially wrapped up and the 2012-13 regular season is set to tip off tomorrow on October 30th. Instead of a preview for the regular season and playoffs, let's recap the highlights of the preseason:

Standings -

Best Teams: Philadelphia 76ers (6-1), Toronto Raptors (6-1), Golden State Warriors (6-2)
Worst Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (0-8), Charlotte Bobcats (1-7), Orlando Magic (2-6)

Statistical Leaders -
Points Per Game (minimum 5 games played):
1 - Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks (20.4)
2 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (20.4)
3 - David Lee, Golden State Warriors (17.3)
4 - Glen Davis, Orlando Magic (16.9)
5 - Kevin Martin, Houston Rockets (16.5)

Assists Per Game (minimum 5 games played):
1 - Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (8.8)
2 - Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics (8.3)
3 - Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans Hornets (7.4)
4 - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (6.8)
5 - Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers (6.5)

Rebounds Per Game (minimum 5 games played):
1 - Omer Asik, Houston Rockets (11.5)
2 - Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls (10.1)
3 - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets (9.9)
4 - Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz (9.4)
5 - Tie between Kosta Koufos, Denver Nuggets/David Lee, Golden State Warriors/Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (8.7)

-Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers committed 10 turnovers over the 2 games he played in. That's a preseason-high average of 5 turnovers per game.
-Ray Allen of the Miami Heat made all 12 of his free-throw attempts and led the preseason with a perfect 100 percent free-throw percentage.

Rookies -
The Good/Great (minimum 3 games played):

-Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets (1st pick, 1st round, 2012)
14.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 46.6 FG% - 32.4 minutes per game
The first overall pick of the 2012 draft played about up to par with his expectations.

-Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (6th pick, 1st round, 2012)
16.2 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.5 rpg, 45.8 FG%, 95.0 FT% - 31.5 minutes per game
The co-MVP of the 2012 NBA summer league is off to a hot start and is currently my pick for Rookie of the Year in 2013.

-Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors (7th pick, 1st round, 2012)
10.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 49.2 FG%, 48.0 3P% - 25.1 minutes per game

-Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons (9th pick, 1st round, 2012)
9.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 62.3 FG% - 16.5 minutes per game

-Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers (11th pick, 1st round, 2012)
6.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 76.2 FG%, 86.7 FT% - 15.7 minutes per game
Rookie bigman's averages aren't overwhelming, but he played efficiently and demonstrated superior shot selection.

-Andrew Nicholson, Orlando Magic (19th pick, 1st round, 2012)
10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 47.1 FG% - 20.3 minutes per game

-Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics (21st pick, 1st round, 2012)
10.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 56.1 FG%, 84.6 FT% - 26.1 minutes per game

-Perry Jones III, Oklahoma City Thunder (28th pick, 1st round, 2012)
9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 57.1 FG% - 21.3 minutes per game

-Jae Crowder, Dallas Mavericks (34th pick, 2nd round, 2012)
11.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 spg, 1.6 apg, 47.2 FG% - 22.1 minutes per game

-Quincy Acy, Toronto Raptors (37th pick, 2nd round, 2012)
1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 spg, 100 FG% (3-3 FG's) - 6.0 minutes per game
This bigman from Baylor made excellent use of limited preseason minutes with the Raptors. He strikes me as hard-working.

-Tyshawn Taylor, Brookyln Nets (41st pick, 2nd round, 2012)
8.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 50.0 FG% - 17.7 minutes per game
I've gotten some good vibes from this rookie point guard that almost won the 2012 NCAA Championship with Kansas earlier this year.

-Brian Roberts, New Orleans Hornets (Undrafted, 2008)
9.1 ppg, 3.8 apg, 2.6 rpg, 80.0 FT% - 23.4 minutes per game
This 26-year-old guard particularly impressed me from what I saw from him in the preseason. In my opinion, he outplayed lottery pick Austin Rivers.

-Chris Copeland, New York Knicks (Undrafted, 2006)
15.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 51.7 FG%, 81.3 FT% - 24.8 minutes per game
This 28-year-old rookie came out of nowhere to have a solid preseason with the Knicks. His best game was a loss to Boston in which he scored 34 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.

Rookies Who Struggled (minimum 3 games played):

-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats (2nd pick, 1st round, 2012)
5.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.2 turnovers per game, 31.9 FG% - 20.9 minutes per game
I am a fan of Kidd-Gilchrist's game and I think that he should still have a solid rookie season.

-Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets (10th pick, 1st round, 2012)
7.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 27.1 FG%, 11.8 3P% - 27.0 minutes per game
I haven't felt very good about Rivers since he was in high school. He strikes me as a player who wants to control the ball and be a star, but he doesn't seem to have the talent to do that at the NBA level. He doesn't seem like he's in any shape to be a contributor and actually help an NBA team win games.

-Royce White, Houston Rockets (16th pick, 1st round, 2012)
2.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.5 turnovers per game, 27.3 FG% - 12.3 minutes per game
This rookie who is afraid of flying and suffers from anxiety didn't impress during the preseason.

-Fab Melo, Boston Celtics (22nd pick, 1st round, 2012)
0.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.0 turnovers per game, 12.5 FG% - 5.9 minutes per game

-Marquis Teague, Chicago Bulls (29th pick, 1st round, 2012)
0.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1.0 turnovers per game, 18.2 FG% - 5.6 minutes per game

Notable Players Who Got Cut -
-Jonny Flynn & Terrence Williams, Detroit Pistons (Free Agents)
Both young players who were first-round draft picks in 2009. Though both of them have had trouble playing up to their expectations, I'm surprised that both of them were waived.

-Darnell Jackson, Utah Jazz (Free Agent)
Personally, I'm a fan of the 26-year-old bigman who won an NCAA Championship in college with Kansas, but he didn't play very well and even got ejected at the end of one game.

-Chris Smith, New York Knicks (Free Agent)
The younger brother of J.R. Smith was held back by an injury that has him out for 3-6 months.

-Anthony Carter, Denver Nuggets (Free Agent)
I'm guessing that this last preseason was the 37-year-old's last taste of the NBA. However, I am a fan of Carter's scrappy playing style.

-Derrick Brown, San Antonio Spurs (Free Agent)
Brown is a talented, young forward that I feel is being overlooked because he was on that awful Bobcats team last season.

-Blake Ahearn, Indiana Pacers (Free Agent)
This 28-year-old guard hasn't quite been able to make it in the NBA, but has played very well in the D-League. He averaged 23.8 points and 5.1 assists with the Reno Bighorns last season.

-Chris Douglas-Roberts, Los Angeles Lakers, then the Dallas Mavericks (Free Agent)
This talented young player got a bit unlucky and hasn't been able to capture a spot on an NBA roster. CDR was a member of the Derrick Rose-led Memphis squad that lost to Kansas in the 2008 NCAA Championship.

-Eddie Gill, Milwaukee Bucks (Free Agent)
The 34-year-old point guard hasn't played in the NBA since 2009.

-Adam Morrison, Portland Trail Blazers (Free Agent)
Read: "NBA: Blazers Waive Adam Morrison"

Preseason Awards (Opinion) -

MVP: David Lee, Golden State Warriors
-He averaged 17.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field. His team finished with a 6-2 record, third best in the preseason.

Rookie of the Preseason: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Have any thoughts on the 2012 NBA Preseason? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NBA: Blazers Waive Adam Morrison

The Portland Trail Blazers have trimmed their roster to 15 players, the maximum amount of players an NBA team can have for the regular season, by waiving Adam Morrison along with four other players (Dallas Lauderdale, Demonte Harper, Coby Karl and Justin Holiday).

Morrison, 28, played for the Brooklyn Nets and then the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2012 NBA Summer League before accepting a training camp invitation from the Blazers. According to an interview with Dime Magazine, he also got training camp invitations from the Miami Heat and the Clippers, but chose Portland because it was closer to home and he thought it was a better situation.

On October 10th, his preseason debut with the Blazers, Morrison had a stellar performance in a win against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. In less than 12 minutes of play, he scored 9 points off of 4-of-6 shooting from the field. He also grabbed one rebound and was 1-of-2 from three-point range.

However, he struggled in his next games with the team. Morrison went scoreless in the next 2 games he played in and never quite found his shot again. He finished the preseason with underwhelming averages of 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in 11.4 minutes over 5 games. He also shot 33.3% from the field and 28.6% from beyond-the-arc. However, he made all two of his free-throw attempts and finished with a perfect free-throw percentage.

Morrison released a statement to
"I want to thank the Blazers' organization for giving me a chance. I'm sorry things didn't work out, but I wish them nothing but success. Right now, I'm just going to talk to my agent and see where to go from here."
After originally saying that he might retire, finish school, and start coaching, he might not be ready to quit yet.

By waiving Morrison, the Blazers are placing his contract on waivers, which means that he can be claimed by another NBA team. Recently, when the Spurs waived Eddy Curry, the Mavericks claimed him off waivers. Last season, in 2011, the Knicks claimed Jeremy Lin after he was waived by the Rockets. Morrison still has a chance to catch on with a team for the 2012-13 NBA season.

The Heat and the Clippers, who both reportedly invited Morrison to training camp, are unlikely to claim him because they don't currently have any roster spots open and are in the process of trimming their rosters down to 15 each.

A wild card team that could end up claiming Morrison would be the Los Angeles Lakers. Their current roster stands at 15 players, but only 13 of those players are on guaranteed contracts. Rookies Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom, both 2012 second-round draft picks, are on playing on unguaranteed contracts. One or both of them could be waived in order to sign or claim Morrison. Considering how well he has played against the Lakers in the summer league and preseason this year, they might take a chance on him and give him a shot.

Hopefully, the Lakers, or another team, claims Morrison off waivers or signs him to a contract.

Have any thoughts on the Blazers waiving Adam Morrison? Do you think he will catch on with another NBA team? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NBA: Teammates Reunited This Season (2012-13)

The NBA is back for another season. The preseason is wrapping up and the regular season starts on October 30th. Through trades and free agent signings, a number of former teammates are being reunited with each other this season:

Marcus Camby & Carmelo Anthony
Denver Nuggets (2003-2008, 5 seasons) New York Knicks (2012-present)

Chris Kaman & Elton Brand
Los Angeles Clippers (2003-2008, 5 seasons), Dallas Mavericks (2012-present)

Ray Allen & Rashard Lewis
Seattle SuperSonics (2003-2007, 4.5 seasons), Miami Heat (2012-present)

Marcus Camby & Kurt Thomas
New York Knicks (1998-2002, 4 seasons), Portland Trail Blazers (2011-2012, 0.5 seasons), New York Knicks (2012-present)
Aaron Brooks & Chuck Hayes
Houston Rockets (2007-2011, 3.5 seasons), Sacramento Kings (2012-present)

Ben Gordon & Tyrus Thomas
Chicago Bulls (2006-2009, 3 seasons), Charlotte Bobcats (2012-present)

Kwame Brown & Andrew Bynum
Los Angeles Lakers (2005-2008, 2.5 seasons), Philadelphia 76ers (2012-present)

Andre Iguodala & Andre Miller
Philadelphia 76ers (2006-2009, 2.5 seasons), Denver Nuggets (2012-present)

Marquis Daniels & Mike Dunleavy
Indiana Pacers (2007-2009, 2.5 seasons), Milwaukee Bucks (2012-present)

Kyle Korver & Louis Williams
Philadelphia 76ers (2005-2007, 2.5 seasons), Atlanta Hawks (2012-present)

Michael Beasley & Jermaine O'Neal
Miami Heat (2009-2010, 1.5 seasons), Phoenix Suns (2012-present)

Matt Barnes & Lamar Odom
Los Angeles Lakers (2010-2011, 1 season), Los Angeles Clippers (2012-present)

Antawn Jamison & Steve Nash
Dallas Mavericks (2003-2004, 1 season), Los Angeles Lakers (2012-present)

Jarrett Jack & Brandon Rush
Indiana Pacers (2008-2009, 1 season), Golden State Warriors (2012-present)

Raymond Felton & Tyson Chandler
Charlotte Bobcats (2009-2010, 1 season), New York Knicks (2012-present)

Al Harrington & Quentin Richardson
New York Knicks (2008-2009, 0.5 seasons), Orlando Magic (2012-present)

Anthony Tolliver & Anthony Morrow
Golden State Warriors (2010, 0.5 seasons), New Jersey Nets (2012-present)

(Photo Courtesy: Getty Images, Google Images, etc.)

Have any thoughts any reunited teammates this season? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baller Bio: Kenny Satterfield

Kenny Satterfield is 31 years old. He only played a few seasons in the NBA, but he's been able to make a career out of professional basketball.

Satterfield was born on April 10, 1981 in New York City. He played at Rice High School in the Big Apple. He was named a 1999 McDonald's All-American in his senior year. In that same year, he was also named to the Parade All-American Third Team and USA TODAY's All-USA Third Team. He was also named the 1999 New York City Player of the Year.

He committed to Cincinnati and joined the Bearcats as a freshman in 1999 and put up averages of 9.2 points and 5.4 assists in 33 games. That season, he helped them reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was an early entry in the 2000 NBA Draft, but withdrew before the deadline. In his sophomore season, Satterfield received more minutes and saw most of his averages and percentages go up. He played 35 games and averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. Satterfield shined in his second season with the Bearcats and helped lead Cincinnati to the Sweet 16 of the 2001 NCAA Tournament before losing to Stanford.

Satterfield's draft stock was as high as ever and he decided to apply for the 2001 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 53rd pick of the draft in the second round. After being drafted, he played in the Rocky Mountain Summer League with the Mavs. Later, on September 25, 2001, he was traded to the Denver Nuggets for a future second round draft pick before the season started.

As a rookie with the pre-Melo Nuggets, Satterfield mostly played a back-up role, but saw his minutes steadily increase over the course of the season. He was hit with a few injuries, left knee patella tendinitis and a sprained left thumb, and missed more games than he would have liked to.

In his first career start (on March 30th, 2002), he took advantage of the opportunity and finished with 12 points and 11 assists, the first and only double-double of his NBA career, in a win vs. the Bulls in Chicago. He made a statement and proved that he could be trusted with a starting role. He started the next game and scored 17 points and dished out 7 assists in a loss in Detroit. He wouldn't start again until the second-to-last game of the season in which he scored only 6 points on 3-of-11 shooting, but finished with a career-high 12 assists. In the last game of the season, he scored a career-high 21 points and dished out 6 assists as the Nuggets lost to the playoff-bound Timberwolves on the road.

After gaining momentum at the end of his rookie campaign, Satterfield re-signed with Denver and received solid minutes at the beginning of his second season as a Nugget. However, as the season went on, his minutes and stats went up and down until he was waived by the team on December 18, 2002.

His NBA career was in jeopardy, but he bounced back and was picked up by the Iverson-led Philadelphia 76ers less than a week later on December 23rd. Satterfield played 19 minutes off-the-bench in his first game as a Sixer, a blowout loss to the Jazz, but that ended up being the last game that he would ever play more than 10 minutes. Coach Larry Brown gave Satterfield only limited minutes and not enough time to prove that he could help the team. In his last NBA game, Satterfield went scoreless and finished with 2 assists in a bittersweet win against his former team, the Nuggets. It marked nine wins in a row for the 76ers, but Satterfield played in less than 10 minutes or didn't play at all in each game during the winning streak.

He was placed on waivers by the the Sixers before the regular season ended as they signed free agent Tyrone Hill. He probably hoped to be claimed, but wasn't and officially became a free agent on March 5, 2003.  In his 17-game stint with Philly, he had produced only 9 points and 15 assists. As the playoffs eventually started and ended (with the Spurs winning the title), Satterfield was hoping to get another chance to play in the NBA.

He got that chance later that year and signed a contract with the Washington Wizards in September. He was named to their training camp roster and hoped to become a member of their team for the upcoming season. This post-Jordan Wizards squad included a newly-signed Gilbert Arenas, a struggling, young Kwame Brown, Jerry Stackhouse in the prime of his career, and others. However, the Wizards didn't see Satterfield in their future and waived him in October of 2003 before the season started.

Satterfield decided to go overseas and sign with a team in France (Limoges) in November. He was waived in January of 2004.

He later brought his talents back to the U.S. and signed with the now-defunct Fayetteville Patriots of the D-League on February 18th. He emerged as their starting point guard and averaged 18.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals in 18 games with the team. Satterfield hoped to be called up by an NBA team, but he wasn't and the Patriots lost in the semifinals of the playoffs to the Asheville Attitude, despite a great game from Satterfield in which he scored 33 points, dished out 6 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds, had 6 steals, blocked 5 shots, shot perfect from the free-throw line, and made six 3-pointers in 44 minutes. A bright spot was that he led his team in points per game and finished second in the D-League in assists per game behind Omar Cook.

For the next years, after his stint in the NBA's official minor league, Satterfield played professionally all over the world in foreign countries like Greece, Venezuela, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Argentina. He even played for the Brooklyn Comets of the ABA from 2006-2007. During the summers he would come back to the states and play in NYC, his old stomping grounds. He played in the Rucker Park Summer League, the Hoops in the Sun Summer League, and the Dyckman League. He became known on the streetball circuit as "Serious Satellite."

He received an opportunity for an NBA comeback and played in the Reebok Las Vegas Summer League with the Chicago Bulls in 2005. He played okay and averaged 5 points, 3.2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 19.6 minutes over the course of 5 games, but didn't play well enough to separate himself from the rest of the players on the team and score an invitation to training camp. He was not signed by the Bulls.

In 2010, he returned to New York again, but traveled upstate to the capital region to join the Albany Legends of the IBL for their inaugural season. He quickly emerged as a team leader and had some great games: 13 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds in a loss to the Tacoma Tide on April 30th and 31 points and 18 assists in a win against the Holland Blast on May 22nd.

He helped lead the Legends to the 2010 IBL Championship and led them to victory over the Bellingham Slam. He led the team in points, assists, and free throws made that game (30 points, 7 assists, 8-17 field goals, 12-for-12 free throws, 2-for-2 three-pointers), but was snubbed as big-man Deandre Thomas, who finished with 21 points, 10-of-14 field goals, and 19 rebounds, was named the Championship MVP instead of Satterfield. I was on the court at the Washington Avenue Armory during the celebration and remember seeing Satterfield after Thomas was named the MVP. From what I could tell, there wasn't a look of disappointment on his face. He just casually walked off the court, probably thinking about what his next basketball-playing gig would be.

He went off to Japan to play more pro ball later that year and is still on the grind today. He's 31 years old and another shot at the NBA is too unlikely to consider, but Satterfield will be remembered as a local legend in New York. In my opinion, he had the talent to be productive in the league, but got a bit unlucky, lost in the shuffle, and the NBA just didn't work out for him. Here's a short promo video of him for Team NIKE back in 2011:

While Sattterfield's stint in the NBA wasn't as long as he would have wanted it to be, his legacy could live through his daughter, Kaelynn. Earlier this year, she won top honors among 9 and 10 year old girls at the NBA/WNBA FIT Dribble, Dish & Swish competition in Orlando, Florida during the 2012 All-Star weekend. Kaelynn said she hopes to play in the WNBA with the New York Liberty or become a doctor.

As the years go by, Kenny Satterfield will continue to age and eventually retire, maybe even trying a run at coaching, but his daughter may just be beginning a career in basketball.


Have any thoughts on Kenny Satterfield or any suggestions for who I should do a Baller Bio on next? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who Wore It Before Them #3: Memphis Grizzlies

Welcome to the third edition of "Who Wore It Before Them" in which I show what players wore jersey numbers on teams before the current players of those teams. This entry will feature the Memphis Grizzlies. Enjoy! (Click on the pictures to make them bigger.)

Darrell Arthur - #00 (2008-present)
Benoit Benjamin (1995)

Josh Selby - #2 (2011-present)

Acie Law (2010), Trey Gilder (2009), Juan Carlos Navarro (2007-2008), Jason Williams (2001-2005), Doug West (1999-2001), Greg Anthony (1995-1997)

Wayne Ellington - #3 (2012-present)
Brian Skinner (2011), Jason Williams (2011), Allen Iverson (2009), Darius Miles (2008-2009), Javaris Crittenton (2008), Jeremy Richardson (2007-2008), Chucky Atkins (2006-2007), Anthony Roberson (2005-2006), Troy Bell (2003-2004), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996-2001)

Marreese Speights - #5 (2012-present)
Ishmael Smith (2011), Marcus Williams (2009-2010), Will Conroy (2007), Elliot Perry (not pictured, 2002), Milt Palacio (1999-2000), Chris Robinson (1996-1998), Darrick Martin (1995-1996)

Jerryd Bayless - #7 (2012-present)
Leon Powe (2011), Greg Buckner (2008-2009), Tarence Kinsey (2006-2007), Eddie Gill (not pictured, 2002), Sam Mack (1998-1999), Anthony Peeler (1996-1998), Lawrence Moten (1995-1996)

Tony Wroten - #8 (2012-present)
Michael Dickerson (1999-2003)

Tony Allen - #9 (2010-present)
Ronnie Brewer (2010), Isaac Austin (2000-2002), Dennis Scott (1999-2000), George Lynch (1997-1998)

Mike Conley - #11 (2007-present)
Damon Jones (not pictured, 2000-2001), Lee Mayberry (1996-1999)

Hamed Haddadi - #15 (2008-present)
Cezary Trybanski (2002-2003), Aaron Williams (not pictured, 1997), Rich Manning (not pictured, 1995, 1996-1997)

Quincy Pondexter - #20 (2011-present)
Damon Stoudamire (2005-2008), Chris Owens (2002-2003), Brent Price (1999-2001)

Rudy Gay - #22 (2006-present)
Brevin Knight (2001-2003)

Marc Gasol - #33 (2008-present)
Mike Miller (2003-2008), Antonio Daniels (1997-1998), Pete Chilcutt (1996-1997)

Zach Randolph - #50 (2009-present)
Bryant Reeves (1995-2001)

Click to see the "Who Wore It Before Them" entries for the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.

Have any thoughts on the Memphis Grizzlies? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.