7:31 pm: Zack Garrow
So in the first part of our NBA commentary, we commented mostly on the positive things we've seen from players and teams. In this episode, we'll be commenting on some negative aspects.
Do you have any players that you're very disappointed in?
7:33 pm: Cole Patty
I feel like Ersan Ilyasova has been the most missing. Some players have struggled with their shot like Ty Lawson and Danillo Gallinari (sorry Nuggets first two that came to mind), but it legitimately seems like Ilyasova has just flat out forgot how to play
7:35 pm: Zack Garrow
I can definitely agree with that, and my fantasy team has felt the effects of it. He stumbled out of the gate this year and couldn't rebound, couldn't shoot, and couldn't knock down any threes. I thought with his hot second half of the season he would be able to keep it up and bring it into this year.
7:37 pm: Cole Patty
The rebounding is the strangest part. The old basketball adage is in fact "you will always be able to rebound" has been sort of proven wrong. He is struggling with the shot, but how his rebounding percentage has gone from 17.6% to 11.6% is just strange.
His field goal percentage has gone from .492 to .374, which is just ice cold for a big man. He's had a few decent games recently, and I fully expect him to turn it around.
But can we just talk about how Andrew Bynum has really screwed up by getting injured while bowling?
7:42 pm: Cole Patty
I was a big fan of his game last season, I feel if he stops leaning on the threes too much he will play better. As for Bynum, I really liked him going into season. He has kind of just been the wild and wacky Bynum ever since.
7:45 pm: Zack Garrow
What's so disappointing for me when it comes to this Andrew Bynum fiasco, is that this was finally his chance to shine as the number one player that he has shown he deserves. He dominated Dwight Howard 1 on 1 last year on a few occasions and when healthy has shown that he is one of the most unstoppable forces in the NBA. But he threw it all away and has to hope a team will be willing to pay him max money for the next year.
7:47 pm: Cole Patty
I don't think anyone is going to give him a max contract, but I have seen worse money get thrown around the NBA. I think the Sixers will sign him again, I mean if they don't they just threw Iguodala away. As for disappointing big men Roy Hibbert has had a few good games, but really hasn't captured the Danny Granger-less spotlight or make him feel worth the money.
7:52 pm: Zack Garrow
Right, we've seen guys like Hibbert get max deals who haven't really deserved them. And great big men are always at a premium in the NBA. When you get one, you'd better hold on to him and make sure he gets paid or someone else is going to snatch him up. One person who's really had to pick up the slack for Granger has been Paul George. He's taken more shots, and his shooting percentages have gone down because of it.
7:58pm: Cole Patty
Hibbert is shooting 38% and is only averaging 9.7 points. He is finally playing like the defender a 7'2" player should be with 3.1 blocks, but there isn't the rebounding you want to see from his size. As for George, he has the best Defensive Rating for a wing player and his jump shot is starting to find the net more often in December (44%) and has had 22 and 34 point games already this month. It will be interesting to watch him going forward.
8:03pm: Zack Garrow
This is always an interesting topic because it always seems like everybody always has an opinion. What do you think is wrong with the Lakers? Is it a team chemistry thing? Is it a panic button thing (*cough* Jim Buss firing Mike Brown *cough*)?
8:06 pm: Cole Patty
Oh man, time to open Pandora's box? Well they are top ten in offensive AND defensive efficiency. Mike D'Antoni is a better fit of a coach than Mike Brown. Their starters haven't played a quarter together yet (I heard not too sure if a fact), and Gasol (the top talent player that benefits from Nash the most) is not too healthy and only played 6 quarters with Nash. They are showing they are pretty old, and at the same time they are going to be completely fine when the season ends.
8:13 pm: Zack Garrow
That's what I'm thinking too. I kind of think this is a Miami Heat in 2010-11 thing. It's a big change, and they aren't all ready for it. Kobe has done his part in reducing the absurd amount of shots he's taken. I think the team is at the best when they've got Nash back running the offense, playing good defense and letting the talent take over. How do you think they'll fare in the playoffs?
8:15 pm: Cole Patty
They feel like they are the kind of team that would stomp the worse playoff teams, but struggle when they run into the big boys in the West like the Thunder or Spurs. I want them to play the Grizzlies in the West Semifinals. I think we could learn a lot about either team if that match up happens.
8:19 pm: Zack Garrow
I feel the same way. Dwight needs to learn how to shoot free throws, or the Lakers need to find a way to win without him in the lineup for the fourth quarter. A team is only as good as its weakest link. If his free throw shooting is the link that is being tugged, they will be broken by a better team.
8:20 pm: Cole Patty
So who is your vote for biggest disappointing team that isn't the Lakers? There are some teams who didn't make the leap they could, or were looking to be top seeds and are running around .500.
8:24 pm: Zack Garrow
I'm gonna let you go first because I have a few I could talk about.
8:28 pm: Cole Patty
I definitely do too, but I am going to have to say the most has been the Nuggets. The Raptors were a team I really like heading into the season for an 8 seed and they have won a staggering 4 games so far. As for the Nuggets, this is a team that is 9-10 heading into tonight. They have one of the hardest schedules in league in not only competition level but travel. They are 24th in defense efficiency, which I guess is why they statically are struggling. They just sometimes doesn't look like they same team the night before, good or bad. I think they will turn it around because of cold shooting, but this isn't suppose to be a sub .500 or even .500 team.
8:36 pm: Zack Garrow
I expected you to say the Nuggets. I just think they're cold as a team. They'll get it going soon. Same with the Raptors. They've lost a lot of close games and I expect them to be competing for a spot in the playoffs. My team is going to be the Sacramento Kings. You're probably going to ask my why I think a team that's consistently a bottom feeder in the West is so disappointing. But just look at that roster. Cousins, Evans, Thomas, Thornton, with the new additions of Aaron Brooks and Thomas Robinson should be doing a lot better. There's just too much talent there. I just think this is sad case of a few players that have just become accustomed to losing. Something needs to change there to get them to win. I think it will have to come in the signing of an old veteran like Kevin Garnett that just knows how to win.
8:39 pm: Cole Patty
That roster is definitely talented. I think a coaching and management face lift could make that team a lot better, even if they kept this same roster for a while.
8:42 pm: Zack Garrow
What is next in this discussion?
8:43 pm: Cole Patty
Well I think it is time to talk rookies, and keeping with the negativity what rookie or rookies are you most disappointed with so far into the season?
8:46 pm: Zack Garrow
I've got one that I'm disappointed in production-wise, and one I'm disappointed in their team.
8:47 pm: Cole Patty
Very good to look at it this way, so who are your marked men?
8:48 pm: Zack Garrow
The first one is Jared Sullinger. He has not lived up to what the expectations were for him coming out of college. He's only averaging 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game with the celtics in 19 minutes. Not exactly what I wanted him to do with his NBA ready body. His jumper has looked bad so far in an area I expected him to improve on.
8:50 pm: Cole Patty
Sullinger was a guy that was labeled early on as a "steal" so that is a very good choice because he hasn't been grossly overproducing his 21st overall selection.
8:51 pm: Zack Garrow
I just expected better things from the man on a good team to step into. The second is Andre Drummond. The Pistons have been playing him much less than 20 minutes per game when his production suggests that he should be playing much more. His per 36 minute numbers have been consistently better than Dwight Howard's rookie per 36 which is crazy to think about.
|Once labeled a "work in progress," Andre Drummond has been one of the best rookies right away|
That is probably the stat of the day:
Dwight Howard's rookie production per 36 minutes is: 13.2 Pts, 11.1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, and 1.8 Blk on 52% shooting with 2.2 turnovers. Meanwhile Andre Drummond's per 36 minutes production is: 13.0 Pts, 13.3 Reb, 0.9 Ast, 1.6 Stl, and 2.7 Blk on 56.7% shooting with 1.7 turnovers. Dwight went on to play 32.6 minutes, finish second for rookie of the year, and become the best Center in the league. Meanwhile Drummond is playing 17.6 minutes, and also Drummond has a 20.9 PER while Dwight's rookie year's PER was 17.2 for one final comparison.
9:00 pm: Zack Garrow
That's all very impressive stuff. What rookies have you had your condescending eyes on?
9:10 pm: Cole Patty
Well, you and anyone who knows how I talk sports know my affinity for young talent. I liked this rookie class going into the year also. So I am going to take the time to say the WHOLE rookie class has been a disappointing and here are some players who have helped contribute:
Anthony Davis: can't stay healthy
Bradley Beal: good shot selection, awful field goal percentage
Dion Waiters: awful shot selection, gets hot but sometimes too wildly inefficient
Thomas Robinson: Either the Kings REALLY want to play Jason Thompson more for no reason, or Robinson isn't who we thought he was
Harrison Barnes: reread Dion Waiters explanation
Terrance Ross: had to reread who the Raptors took, that guy
Austin Rivers: oh yea the other Hornets/Pelicans draft pick
Jeremy Lamb: hello D-League
Kendall Marshall: hello D-League even though Sebastian Telfair is getting minutes
Royce White: google search "Royce White twitter" that happened
Terrance Jones: This guy doesn't get minutes?
Evan Fournier: This guy gets minutes?
Jared Sullinger: Steal Who Wasn't a Steal Part 1
John Jenkins: you mean Kendall Marshall's D-League teammate (pro-tip: D-League games are full videos on YouTube if you are bored watch the Bakersfield Jam they start Marshall, Jenkins, Damion James, and former Wisconsin big man Brian Butch.)
Perry Jones III: Steal Who Wasn't a Steal Part 2 (Note: Also the Tulsa 66ers feature Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb, and former first rounder Daniel Orton. They are also a pretty decent YouTube watch.
9:16 pm: Zack Garrow
A lot of the players who we thought would step right in and play well just, haven't. But that's what you get for putting your trust in a rookie. I can't believe I'm saying this as a Pistons fan accustomed to big men not doing anything (Darko), but Andre Drummond has been one of the most productive members of this draft class so far.
9:22 pm: Cole Patty
Going into the draft, many opinions of this draft class were praising them. I think they will be better down the road but so far they have been disappointing as a whole. So let's bring some optimism in our NBA youth in here. Most surprising, or maybe not so surprising in your eyes if you pick the man I think you might pick since we already have addressed Drummond.
9:30 pm: Zack Garrow
I think one of the most interesting guys in the class has been Dion Waiters. He has had to step in and be the guy for the Cavs with Kyrie out of a lot of games and he has done a decent job of it. He's never going to be a guy who's going to shoot 50% and still put up 27, but he'll find a way to get you 27 (on 10 of 28 shooting). Another guy I'm proud of the way he's played so far is Andrew Nicholson. A very unknown draft commodity, Nicholson has only gotten 12 minutes a game behind Glen Davis, Gustavo Ayon, Nikola Vucevic, and Josh McRoberts. But in those minutes he's had a very solid 6.7 points per game on 54% shooting. He has a lot of range and can pass well for a big man. I definitely look for him to get more and more playing time as the Magic realize they've got themselves a young talent.
9:32 pm: Cole Patty
Nicholson and Moe Harkless have both definitely been doing well as the Magic's higher profile rookies. Nicholson also rates as the 7th best rookie so far in ESPN Rookie 50.
9:37 pm: Zack Garrow
Did you have any other rookies you liked so far?
9:44 pm: Cole Patty
Definitely to be fair there is a need to mention that Alexey Shved has been way better than earlier thought, Valanciunas has been solid and steady, Lillard is right now in a one horse race for ROY, and MKG has done everything that the Bobcats could ask for him. For my non Drummond surprise, that is a bit under the radar, it has to be John Henson. This was a guy I didn't like going in to the draft, then watched a D-League game and thought "maybe he can do this." Now I think the Bucks actually found a pretty solid ball player. Now he may not be nightly turning it out with consistently great play, but has been steady and in the Larry Sanders birthday ejection game put in 17 pts and 18 reb with 8 offensive boards. That isn't shabby especially when I just went one by one on everyone that has been disappointing me as a rookie.
9:45 pm: Zack Garrow
Not bad at all.
This wraps up the first of hopefully many to come NBA commentaries. Let us know if you like them as we may expand into podcast or video.