HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
Where Do The Lakers Go From Here
By Eric Pincus
The Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, ending the Phil Jackson era with an absolute thud.
Pau Gasol took his first-round struggles against the New Orleans Hornets and got even worse against the Mavericks, unable to establish inside position and mentally losing confidence each and every game.
Although Andrew Bynum had a relatively strong postseason, not including a blatant cheap-shot in Game 4 against J.J. Barea that will likely turn into a suspension to start next season, but the Lakers didn’t look to pound the ball into their young center.
NBA Teams That Need To Start Over
By Stephen Brotherston
There eventually comes a time when the calls to blow it all up are the only answer. A time when the only players a team should be trying to build around are those young enough, talented enough, and cheap enough to be around once the rebuilding process is done.
Some teams are lucky enough to blow it all up under the radar when expectations are already low like what happened in Toronto and Washington this past season, while other teams like Detroit appear to stumble from season to season without making any real progress or creating any real hope for their fans.
Between now and the start of next season, these are the teams in need of the biggest shake-up.
Darius Morris: A True Point
By Mark Nugent
Darius Morris came to the University of Michigan in 2009 as one of the top incoming freshman in the country. He won the John Wooden State Player of the year award in California and was ranked in the top 75 players by rivals.com. Morris didn’t experience the type of success he had in high school during his freshman season at Michigan though.
He struggled from the field shooting only 40.6% and averaged a mere 4.4 points per game. This past season however, scouts began taking notice of Morris because of his dramatic improvement. He shot almost 49% from the field and led his team with 15.0 points and 6.7 assists as well as chipping in 4.0 rebounds per game.
"All that stuff you did during the season gets thrown out the window and they (teams) want to see who’s going to perform that day in the workout," Morris told HOOPSWORLD while working out at IMPACT Basketball Gym in Los Angeles.
Iman Shumpert: First Round Pick?
By Luke Byrnes
Three years ago, 2008 McDonald’s All-America selection Iman Shumpert arrived on the campus of Georgia Tech as an extremely athletic combo-guard who, despite his obvious talent and pro potential, had to make the adjustment from being the go-to guy in high school to being a role player for (now former) Coach Paul Hewitt on a team with future pros Lewis Clinch, Alade Aminu and Gani Lawal already on the roster.
After opting to forego his senior season at Georgia Tech, Shumpert is now preparing himself for life in the NBA and waiting to hear his name called in the 2011 NBA Draft, something he expects to hear sooner rather than later.
"Yes, definitely," he said when HOOPSWORLD asked if he is worthy of a first-round selection. "It is up to me to go to these workouts and show them and prove it, but I am going to say it now: I am."
Knicks Need A Big Man. Badly.
By Tommy Beer
Over the last two NBA seasons, essentially the last 16 months, Amar’e Stoudemire has played 180 games – including payoff contests. He played all 82 regular season games for the Suns in 2009-2010, and tacked on another 16 in the postseason. Then he played 78 of the Knicks’ 82 in 2010-2011, plus four more in the first round. Moreover, during his debut season in New York, Stoudemire averaged a career-high 36.5 minutes per game. In addition, those 180 games where played on two of the NBA’s more up-tempo offenses.
I start here to highlight the fact that the Knicks desperately need to add a starting center this summer. Yes, the Knicks want to find a long-term answer at point guard as well, but that is not NY’s most glaring need. Obtaining a big man is the number one priority. The wear-and-tear on Amar’e was undeniable. In the end, should we have been shocked when Stoudemire’s back gave out against Boston? Going forward, this is something the Knicks have to address. Not only does Head Coach Mike D’Antoni need to reduce Stoudemire’s minutes, he also needs to lessen the load on STAT’s shoulders when he is on the floor. Amar’e should spend less time at the ’5′ and more time at his natural power forward spot.