HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
50 Predictions Revisited
By Joel Brigham
Way back in early October, I made 50 predictions for the 2010-2011 NBA season just like I do every year, and just like I do every year, I revisit those predictions to see how well (and/or how poorly) I did with my guesswork.
Enjoy, and feel free to berate. Trust me when I say I’ve done plenty of it myself.
Statistics & Individual Predictions
#1 – Kevin Durant will lead the league in scoring with over 31 points per game.
WRONG – Well, Durant won the scoring title, but at 27.7 ppg, he fell quite a bit short of the 31 ppg I seemed to have been expecting. I’m not sure at the time I expected Russell Westbrook to be as supplementary as he’s been. Either way, hard to call this one a victory, even though it’s partially correct.
2011 NBA Draft: Biggest Upside
By Yannis Koutroupis
Every prospect who hears their name called, and even some of those who don’t, on June 23rd at the NBA Draft have some kind of upside. That’s what makes predicting a draft classes’ success level so difficult; it’s impossible to foresee how much individual players will improve as professionals. Along with extremely healthy paychecks, they receive elite level coaching, training, and access to facilities that are unlike anything they’ve had in the past. That can do wonders for anyone’s game, regardless of age.
Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams of Arizona have clearly established themselves as the two best players in the draft. With only three years of college experienced combined between the two of them, they’re clearly far from peaking. However, their talent level is so high that we expect them to make a major impact right away – so you won’t be seeing them on this list of the 2011 draft prospects with the most upside.
Our list features players whose long-term expectations great exceed those in the short-term. It takes a great deal of time and effort to adjust to the level of play in the NBA. But when these guys figure it out, they could end up being some of the best the class has to offer.
Ricky Rubio Will Join Timberwolves
By Alex Kennedy
Ricky Rubio is coming to America.
After spending two years with FC Barcelona, Rubio will join the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. The two sides had went back and forth for quite some time, but the point guard will make his NBA debut during the 2011-12 season, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported.
Rubio was the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after impressing teams during the 2008 Olympics and receiving plenty of attention overseas. He has drawn comparisons to legends like Pete Maravich and his NBA debut has been heavily anticipated.
Brown Makes Strong First Impression
By Eric Pincus
The Los Angeles Lakers introduced new Head Coach Mike Brown on Tuesday afternoon in front of owner Dr. Buss, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss, General Manager Mitch Kupchak and the assembled media.
“I have great admiration for the success that the Lakers organization and the Buss family have had throughout the years,” said Brown in his opening statement. “I’m thrilled to death to be working with Mitch Kupchak.”
“Every organization strives to have sustained success. The Lakers are one of the rare few in all of sports, not just basketball, all of sports that have attained that level,” continued Brown. “My goal is to continue the course; is to continue to help build upon the very strong championship foundation that has been laid here already.”
Who Should the Toronto Raptors Draft?
By Stephen Brotherston
There is one overriding reason why Duke freshman Kyrie Irving is the consensus number one pick in the 2011 draft. The NBA has become a point guard dominated league, and Irving is the best point guard prospect in the draft.
Unfortunately for the Toronto Raptors, Irving is not going to be available when they pick fifth and neither is the consensus number two pick, Arizona sophomore power forward Derrick Williams. After the second pick however, there is no consensus as to who should go in the next three spots and the Raptors can legitimately pick based on need.
Love them or hate them, Toronto is building their team around DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani for now and neither power forward or shooting guard represent a current Raptors need. While there is an obvious gaping hole at center and the small forward slot is uncertain, the Raptors should be looking for a possible future All-Star point guard.
Six Players The Hawks Should Target
By Lang Greene
The Atlanta Hawks are coming off their fourth consecutive playoff appearance and are primed to remain in the hunt over the next few seasons behind All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford.
Unfortunately the team has failed to advance past the second round with the current core.
The latest postseason setback, a six-game elimination at the hands of the top-seeded Chicago Bulls, has led to rampant speculation the club is looking to deal former All-Defensive forward Josh Smith to fill roster gaps at either small forward or center.