Original Roundball Classic
I checked the re-run of the EA Sports Roundball Classic last night on DirectTV, and here are some of my thoughts....
With the second viewing, I have to say that I'm impressed with some and not so impressed with others. Before I start that CSN channel is quite booty, can't they get someone other than Norm Van Lier to the color?
Marvin Williams - This was the first time that I really got to see the big man out of the Northwest. I'm quite impressed, and I'm impressed in many ways. A lot of people compare him to Shawn Kemp, but I think that comparison may be due to his penchant for of the dunks he has thrown down.
The comparison that I walked away with is a slightly taller Al Harrington. Like Harrington, Williams is wiry and he can get up quick. Like Harrington's, Williams's jumper isn't his strength, but he loves to crash the boards. Most importantly, he loves to get others into the game, and by his attitude on the court with his teammates, he looks like he has fun out there.
After watching Mah-vin, I'm a major fan, and it's not because he punched one on Dwight Howard and one rim-rattler on Josh Smith. Here's a question to the so-called guesstimators who keep wondering whether or not a guy is going to go pro (Gregg Doyel). I wonder if they still believe Raymond Felton and Jawad Williams will go?......
J.R. Smith - Hey, the guy still impresses me, and I'm glad that Carolina landed him. I was particularly shocked by how well his handle is. He surprisingly handled the ball well. Now, when you judge a player's handle in "porn ball" that's not a great assessment. "Porn Ball" (All-Star Games) are extremely sloppy, and there is absolutely no D.
Because of the lack of D, I can't believe that NBA execs like Pat Riley, Danny Ainge, and the Paxson brothers can get a good assesment as to what a player's talents are before NBA Pre-Draft Camp.
Mike Williams - I'm really impressed with the Texas signee. I saw this kid play at the Gibbons tournament over Memorial Day, and I loved his toughness, defense, and rebounding skills.
Rick Barnes really added a solid contributor to an already strong line-up. Willimas should be a potent weapon to add to a Buckman/Tucker front line in two years.
Joakim Noah - What a phenomenal kid.....It's just a shame he doesn't play tennis because tennis could use his personality. However, personality doesn't get you by on the floor.
I want to love Noah's game, but when I watch him, I ask myself. If Joakim wasn't Yannick Noah's son, would he really be worth an elite D-I reputation and scholarship at Florida?
He can run, which is a huge advantage for any big man. However, his shot was terrible, and he played out of control. Then again, the game was an out-of-control event that shows very little of players' talents because it's so up and down.
Nate Thurmond brought up a great point in my interview with him a couple of weeks ago. "If a guy can run, you can teach him to play". Noah can run....and like him or not, Billy Donovan is a very good individual skills teacher. If Noah works hard, he could turn out to be a very good player.
A SuperFly move is that he rocks a rasta colored wristband 1983 French Open style a la his Pops....Now he needs to rock some LeCoq Sportifs with it...
Juan Palacios - I was really surprised with this player from Columbia. He has been playing in the City this year, and he really boosted his stock over the last year with rugged play.
I'm surprised with his shot, and he runs well. I don't know what his grades are, but I'm sure that whoever lands Palacios is going to have him playing right away.
Others that I liked - Aaron Affalo, Roy Bright, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis....Davis stole the show, and he's going to be a big-time NBA player someday. Yet, big heavies like John "Hot Plate" Williams, Stanley Roberts, and Robert Traylor have burned in the past, and they have left me to have my magnifying glass out. I was also impressed with USC signee Robert Swift. Good post moves and not gawky....Not a bad player. Josh Wright is not bad either, but how is he going to move Gerry McNamera at the 'Cuse.
For Duke watchers, Shaun Livingston is a great player. He's a great shooter. He can handle the ball, and he can pass. However, he's wispy, and he would get bumped into the stands within one quarter of an NBA game. I really wonder if he could put in 82 games in that body over the next not one but two years in the League
If he goes to Duke, he could be really at another level by going to Duke for two years.
And yes....I believe that Dwight Howard is gone, and yes.....Josh Smith and Randolph Morris can play. I just hope that both choose school first.
Waiting for the McDonald's Game next week,