HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Will Thunder’s Slow Starts Doom Title Hopes?
By Susan Bible
A disturbing pattern has emerged for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, and if it isn’t corrected soon, this team may be in trouble. In both games, the Thunder has started off playing painfully inept basketball – missing open shots and showing a lack of defensive intensity.
With 4:39 minutes left in the first quarter of Game 2, the Miami HEAT was already up 18-2 against the Thunder on OKC’s home floor. The Thunder missed 11 shots of 12 attempted and committed four turnovers.
“Oh, man, that was the game,” said Kevin Durant. “We can’t start off down 18 to 2. Thinking about it, though, I think we got some good looks. We missed a few chippies, lay-ins, but we can’t get down that much, especially at home. We’ve got to correct it. We’ve got to just stay positive. That’s the whole deal. We’ve got to come ready Game 3.”
John Jenkins Could Be Perfect Fit For Bulls
By Joel Brigham
It’s not easy finding game-changing talent with the 29th pick in the draft, and if the Chicago Bulls are being realistic, they realize that superstars aren’t typically passed over 28 times just so they can get a hold of them.
So when it comes to deciding which player to take with their late first-round pick on June 28th, the Bulls are going to have to find a good balance between selecting the best player available and filling some of their impending offensive needs. You could argue that Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins is both of those things.
“They said they need a shooter, a guy that can really open things up for D-Rose and just really open up the offense,” Jenkins said about his recent visit with the Bulls.
Nerlens Noel: The Next Great Big Man?
By Alex Kennedy
Nobody can score on Nerlens Noel. The 18-year-old is swatting away jump shots, pinning lay-ups against the backboard and sending dunk attempts into the stands. The offense tries to adjust, but Noel continues to turn away shot after shot. The opposition feels helpless, realizing they’re unable to compete with this man among boys. Noel finishes the game with 22 blocks, a personal record.
It’s easy to see why so many scouts and coaches have fallen in love with Noel. He’s a once-in-a-generation player, who dominates on both ends of the court using his size (6’11) and length (7’5 wingspan). He’ll make his college basketball debut with the Kentucky Wildcats in November, but his name has been mentioned in NBA circles for quite some time.
Everything about Noel is extremely unique, from his high-top fade to the way he approaches the game.
Thomas Robinson Thinks He’s #1 Pick Material
By Stephen Litel
Thomas Robinson is a confident basketball player. Measured at 6’10 and 240-pounds with a 7’1 wingspan, the power forward from Kansas knows many NBA teams are salivating over the possibility of adding him to their roster. He is so confident in his own talents that he believes the New Orleans Hornets would be making a mistake in not considering him as the first choice in the 2012 NBA Draft, over Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
“I’m a man,” Robinson said. “I’m a grown man, so I don’t feel like I should hide my thoughts. I don’t think I’m saying anything wrong. Anthony Davis is the number one pick. It’s pretty obvious he’s going to be the number one pick, but I don’t feel that I’m wrong to say I could also be the number one pick. I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with what I’m saying and I’m not trying to bash anybody. That’s not what I’m doing, so I don’t worry about getting my words mixed up at all. Anthony’s a great player so he deserves his spot. I’m going to go where I go and I’m going to do what I do.”
His words may be bold, but Robinson believes he is speaking for many. He has the guts to say what most don’t and has the game to back up the talk, which is the most important thing. Davis may be the big name and a lock for the first name called in the upcoming draft, but Robinson knows he is in the same league as the big man from Kentucky.
Darius Miller, Championship-Caliber Sixth Man
By Stephen Brotherston
Often teams are trying to project how a top college player’s skills will play out in a significantly different role at the NBA level, but Darius Miller came off Kentucky’s bench as one of college’s best supporting role players and is comfortable playing behind stars.
“I have been like that for the past four years,” said Miller. “I have played with a lot of talent, a lot of NBA players, so I feel like I would be comfortable in that environment.”
Miller had a solid four year career with Kentucky playing with future NBA players Brandon Knight, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe among others and is one of six Wildcats expected to be selected in this year’s NBA draft.