HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
Drew Goudelock Thriving in Underdog Role
By Alex Kennedy
He’s the eighth best scorer in the nation, averaging 23.1 points per game. He has made the Charleston Cougars relevant with upset wins over North Carolina, Tennessee and Davidson. He has proven that he’s one of the best players in the country and his name has been mentioned in NBA circles.
But Drew Goudelock knows you may not know his name. The 6’2 guard is accustomed to flying under the radar and surprising those that have overlooked him has just become part of the process.
"I’m a self motivated person," Goudelock tells HOOPSWORLD. "There are a lot of things that have happened in my life that motivate me to do better, improve every day and show people that I can play this game. People have doubted me since I was little. It seems like every level I come to, there are always doubters ready to say I can’t do something. But I take pride in trying to prove them wrong, and that’s probably going to happen at the next level too, wherever I’m at. But that’s the challenge and the fun part is proving people wrong."
LeBron Misjudges the L.A. Clippers
By Eric Pimcus
The Los Angeles Clippers played perhaps their best quarter of basketball this season, this decade or even this lifetime with a 44-point first on Wednesday night against the Miami HEAT.
"They absolutely blitzed us to start the game," said HEAT Coach Erik Spoelstra.
Yes they did.
Of course this being the Clippers, one of the youngest teams in the league, the 18-point lead didn’t stick.
Miami got the deficit down to two with about 6 1/2 minutes left but it was the upstart Clippers who made the big plays down the stretch to foil the HEAT’s 13-game road win-streak.
"They have the talent. This is a young team," said Dwyane Wade after the game. "I’ve been on a team before – we didn’t start off that well but once we got it going and figured out (my rookie year) we became a pretty tough team to play, especially at home. They gotta have this kind of effort every night to be that kind of team, especially in the Western Conference. Hopefully they see what they did right here and they can turn this franchise around to being what everyone wants it to be, one of the top franchises the NBA."
Time to Trade: Northwest Division
By Luke Byrnes
One season ago the Northwest Division was the most competitive division in the NBA with four teams - the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets – all winning at least 50 games. With only two teams (OKC and Utah) currently on pace repeat the success shared throughout the Northwest a year ago, as well as the on-going "Melo-drama" and other extenuating circumstances, this figures to be one of the more active divisions in basketball as the trade deadline (which is just 42 days away) approaches.
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Top 5 Worst Contracts Ever
By Joel Brigham
In researching the worst contracts in the history of league, I was able to come across some serious, serious albatross deals. Simply narrowing down the five nastiest was tough business, and then putting those five in any sort of order proved even harder. The moral of the story here is that some GMs in our favorite league’s not-too-distant past have made awful mistakes.
To make the hard decisions, I had to put some criteria in place, and in this case I cut GMs some slack if the player had proven themselves to be consistently good with at least the potential to be great, but just got burned after the contract was signed. Giving a guy money who, at the time, clearly deserves it, is not a boneheaded thing to do. Did anyone think the Orlando Magic were doing the wrong thing when they signed Grant Hill? Or even Indiana when they re-upped Jermaine O’Neal?
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Terrence Williams Enjoying Change of Scenery
By Alex Kennedy
As Terrence Williams pulled his Houston Rockets jersey over his head, a smile became visible. These days, he’s smiling a lot and understandably so. A little over a month ago, Williams was wearing a very different red and white jersey and he wasn’t happy about it.
During his final weeks with the New Jersey Nets, the guard was suiting up for the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League. During his stint in the D-League, finding Williams with a smile across his face was quite the challenge. Looking back on the experience, Williams still can’t believe what happened.
"It didn’t really start to sink in until I was driving to Springfield which was three hours away from house in New Jersey. But it didn’t completely sink in until I was talking with my mom and she just started crying. That’s when it really sunk in that I was going to the D-League. It was really crazy to me. I was coming back from being injured and coming back from being suspended for two games then I get told I’m going to the D-League. It was like I couldn’t do anything to win," Williams told HOOPSWORLD.
Award Watch: Rookie of the Year
By Luke Byrnes
As the NBA season continues, so does the Rookie of the Year race. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers looks like the runaway winner, but DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings is playing his way into the discussion. As we here at HOOPSWORLD do each and every Monday, here is a look at the chase for the 2010-11 NBA ROY award.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers – 22.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 blocks (last week)
After becoming the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Blake Griffin was forced to sit out the 2009-10 NBA season while recovering from a knee injury and is now classified as rookie, something with which some have taken umbrage. One thing is for certain no matter how you classify Griffin as a pro: he’s playing at an All-Star level. The 6-10, 250 lb., forward has 27 double-doubles this season, including 23 in a row (only Dwight Howard and Kevin Love have more than 23 all season). The last time Griffin failed to record at least 20 points and 10 rebounds was Dec. 11, when he had a measly 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists against the Grizzlies. Oh, by the way, the Clippers won both their games this week and seven of their last 10.