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3 posts from May 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Draft talk #3

OK, I'll bite and break down Acie Law IV, even though the chances of him being there at No. 20 are slim.

Law: 6-3, 22-year-old point guard from TAMU, also known as Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University. Apparently the institution has an athletics program. Who knew?

Strengths: He's a lefty, but apparently everybody is these days. He's a score-first point guard, which is normally considered a fault, but given that would be playing with Dwyane Wade, who handles the ball most of the time, it's probably better that he has the ability to score and make defenses pay for doubling either Wade or Shaq. He can create because he's quick, is a streaky shooter, but when he's on it's impressive. Likes to push the tempo, which is always good. He has the reputation as a clutch player. Kind of smallish, but even with that build he managed to shoot 50 percent from the field in a physical Big 12 conference, and he shot 46 percent from three. His best scoring game of the season came against a good Texas team, 33 points, even though it was in double-overtime. His biggest assist game also came against the Horns, when he dropped 15 dimes.

Weaknesses: Again, not exactly a prototypical point guard, so his assist-to-turnover in college was hardly impressive (1.92:1 his senior season). Defense would be an issue because of his frame. So is mixing it up in the paint. As good as his streakiness is when he's on, it probably is ugly when he's off. Overall, though, there's not a whole lot to dislike about him, especially if he's available at No. 20. He probably won't ever be a superstar, but he's solid.

Would I draft him if I was the Heat? Of course. I mean, he turned an agricultural school into a NCAA tournament team.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Draft talk #2

Moving on, might as well hit a point guard, because everyone's going to assume the Heat desperately needs another one.
Rather than harp on Acie Law IV, who is expected to go higher than the No. 20 pick (although it would be interesting to see if his Roman numeral would get on his jersey), I chose another nice prospect.

Javaris Crittenton: 19-year-old point guard, 6-5, 190, one year at Georgia Tech.

Strengths: His best talent is probably taking guys off the dribble, after which he can either finish with his big frame or dish off. And it has been pretty clear this year that the Heat needs another player who can create off the dribble...  Even though he switched from shooting guard to point guard, has put up big assist numbers, including a 6.2 assist average over his last 11 games at GTech... supposedly has that competitive fire and desire to get better that coaches love, without the overconfidence that coaches can do without... His middle name is Cortez, which is pretty cool... Won a state title with teammate Dwight Howard at Atlanta's Southwest Christian School. The year after Howard left for the NBA, Crittenton got to the state final again and put up 28.4 points, 7.5 assists, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game... Not a great shooter, but capable and can get better... Has the body to be a good defender along with the quick feet... Loves to dunk on people and would be just the kind of additional versatile guard the Heat could use against a team like the Bulls.

Weaknesses: Not a great assist-to-turnover as a freshman (1.5 to 1), which proves he needs to learn the position a bit more... Needs to become a better shooter. Take his college stats and project that to the NBA, and the best guess is he'd be a 43 percent shooter and 33 percent three-point shooter as a rookie... Can be troubled by the Lindsey Hunters of the world (small, quick defenders who pressure), but in the overall projects to be a true point guard and not the dreaded "tweener."

Would I draft him if I was the Heat? Definitely, but I wouldn't pencil him in as the backup point guard right away. So if the Heat wants an impact player right off the bat with this pick, he may not be the guy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Draft talk

Since all the manufactured talk of Shaquille O’Neal getting traded is utterly ridiculous, I’m just going to go ahead and move on to the next step in the Heat’s recovery process from the 2006-07 season, and that’s the draft. I’m gonna take a look at a different guy projected to be in the Heat’s first-round range (No. 20). I’ll start with the more familiar names, move to the more unknown ones, then get to some reaches that might be worth stretching out for (this, of course, is all assuming Riles doesn’t trade the pick by the time you’ve read this).

I’ll start with Josh McRoberts of Duke, just because one of the better known draft websites has the Heat taking him at No. 20 as of today…


McRoberts: 20-year-old power forward, 6-10, 240, two years at Duke.


Strengths: The kid is sick athletic. He did a reverse-360 windmill (a dunk that was one of Vince Carter’s most memorable in the 2000 dunk contest) at the McDonald’s dunk contest as an 18-year-old. He finished second to Gerald Green in that contest (not a bad guy to be a runner-up to).

.. He's lefty, which always throws defenders off... As much as I hate comparing a white player to another white player (it just seems too convenient), I think he’s very much like David Lee of the Knicks. He can be a beast on the boards because of his quick leaping ability, he is a great finisher and he is a hell of a passer for a big guy. McRoberts actually called Lee his favorite dunker when he was in high school, and Lee won the McDonald’s dunk contest about six years back (but I will forever contend that James White got robbed that year)... McRoberts might actually be better than Lee because he is such a good ball-handler for his size. He went behind the back twice, with no extra dribbles in between, in the open court on a fast break against Georgia Tech.


Weaknesses: Not a great post-up player, which really won’t matter too much on the right team because he’s more of an opportunistic scorer (again, like David Lee, who averaged a double-double this year and shot 60 percent from the floor)… Might have trouble guarding the better power forwards in the league, but seriously, I just saw Tim Duncan have his way with Amare Stoudemire, so it’s safe to say that guarding the better power forwards should be more of a team effort anyway… Gets a bit too emotional, supposedly, when things aren’t going his way. But that’s because he was supposed to be “the guy” in Duke, so he won’t feel nearly as much pressure at the pro level… He is a Dukie, so he did cry once on the bench (like, covering-his-face-with-a-towel-and-shaking crying, not just a few tears coming out his eyes), and, like most Dukies, he might be a little on the Charmin side… Not much of a game outside 15 feet, but he can find the open man from out there, and he can take his guy off the dribble to create for himself or someone else.

Would I draft him if I was the Heat? Absolutely, even if it means an entire summer of Udonis Haslem trade rumors.



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