Archive for Saturday, June 28, 2008

Commentary: Some picks may have been a little Rush-ed

June 28, 2008

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Clip this and save it. Right or wrong, I will be accountable.

My draft board was: 1, Michael Beasley (Kansas State); 2, Derrick Rose (Memphis); 3, Kevin Love (UCLA); 4, Brandon Rush (Kansas).

The NBA basically agreed on the first three, but Rush did not go until No. 13. I thought he was the best player for the national champions. His numbers were not overwhelming because KU was so deep and won so many games by so much that his minutes were limited. He's a great shooter with unlimited range who can guard multiple positions.

I don't think he is as good as Brandon Roy because he is not a breakdown player with a handle. But I see a lot of similarities.

The Brandons were together for about 20 minutes until a deal was made, sending Rush from Portland to Indiana for Jerryd Bayless.

Put Rush with new Pacers point guard T.J. Ford, a great penetrator, and he is going to get some wide-open threes for a coach (Jim O'Brien) who loves the three. Don't know if he is Reggie Miller but he is a big guard (6-6) who is very accurate with great shooting form.

How Good Is Rose?

He arrived at Memphis as a very good player. No player improved more from November to April. Going into last season, the consensus best point guards were D.J. Augustin (Texas) and Darren Collison (UCLA). Each had terrific seasons - until they faced Rose.

Rose torched Augustin in the regional final and sent Collison back to UCLA for another year after getting totally dominated in the national semifinal.

Chicago is going to have to lose some of its overloaded backcourt to give Rose the ball. I wonder if Chicago won't keep already-signed point guard Kirk Hinrich and use him alongside Rose as an interchangeable backcourt.

Interesting Comment

Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN: "Michael Beasley is a Hall of Fame player."

I really like Van Gundy as an announcer, where he is loose and takes risks, exactly the opposite of how his NBA teams have played through the years.

Nice Trifecta

Miami won the NBA championship two years ago. The Heat won 15 games last season and looked so bad doing it that Pat Riley left the bench to scout college players. Now, with a healthy Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion and Beasley, that is a serious trifecta, instantly making Miami a factor in the East again.

Beasley is going to put up some Dwight-Howard numbers. He will have 20-20 games and not just a few. His college numbers were crazy.

What Controversy

Remember the O.J. Mayo controversy following the ESPN report about his ties to an agent's runner? It was an NCAA controversy, not an NBA controversy. The league is just looking for players. Mayo went third to Minnesota.

Best Athletes

Rose, Beasley, West Virginia's Joe Alexander and UCLA's Russell Westbrook. I don't see Westbrook as a point guard, which is where Seattle apparently wants to play him.

Start Running

Memphis point guards Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry and wing Rudy Gay can release now. They will get layups from Love, the best outlet passer since Wes Unseld.

If you really understand the game, you have to love everything about Love - great footwork, wonderful court vision, perfect positioning. He also gets that the scoreboard is for keeping score not just for checking out his points.

The Freshman Rule

It has been fun to cover great freshmen again, but it is kind of a fraud. Was there any reason for Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Love and the other three freshmen taken in the lottery to spend a season in college hoops?

The rule is good in that it saves some high school kids from themselves, but it is really silly because so many of these "student-athletes" are majoring in basketball.

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