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NBA AM: Getting Noticed In Portsmouth
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On April 12, 2013 @ 10:06 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
There seems to be a disconnect between player agents and NBA personnel on how much value there is in playing in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase for the top seniors in college basketball. Every NBA team from around the league has travelled to Portsmouth, Virginia, which isn’t exactly easy to get to, to scout and evaluate the prospects. Yet in recent years it seems like there are more players being advised not to come. In their eyes the risk outweighs the reward, but across the board NBA executives still prefer to see guys participate, especially those who are projected to go outside of the top 20.
“I think it’s fabulous,” Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said to HOOPSWORLD. “Where else can you see so many players who either have a chance to go in the late first through second round or to get them like we did Greg Smith undrafted. It’s tough to get all these players in one place.
“I usually come in with 6-12 guys I want to focus on, who we have high on our rankings and just see how they play. Competition is good, guys are playing hard. These really are the top seniors except for the top 15 who say they’re not coming. So, it’s a great environment to see some players you don’t get to see too much during the year.”
As far as the risk outweighing the reward goes, a good Portsmouth seems to help players a lot more than a bad Portsmouth hurts them. When a player with serious NBA aspirations goes through four years of college, a rarity in today’s day and age, they’re coming out with an extensive body of work. So while they can help confirm what a team may have thought about them beforehand with a good showing, they can’t completely negate what they’ve done over the last four years if they struggle.
“I’d say probably fairly minor,” Morey said when asked how big of a piece of the puzzle the PIT is. “But, everything is a piece to the puzzle. With every piece of new information, how they play here, the interviews when we get to do that coming up all play into sorta how you shift the odds. You’re hoping to nab a rotation player out of this pool of guys probably.”
As one of the few environments teams have in the predraft process to see guys in five-on-five action, though, it’s an opportunity for prospects to impress in a way they won’t get the chance to until after the draft when summer league begins.
“I think obviously the game is five-on-five and is played on the court so that’s what you weight the most,” Morey said. “It’s very hard. The draft is hard. It’s 75 percent art still. People don’t realize, all the information you get it’s not only using it as good or bad but how much weight do you give it, they have bad workout, play well here don’t play well here, just all the different pieces of data you get it’s not just are they good or bad it’s how much do you weigh it in the final answer.”
Over the course of the next week HOOPSWORLD will be rolling out more coverage of the Portsmouth Invitational. You can check out the studs from day one and day two, and also make sure to keep an eye out for all the video interviews rolling out as well.
Bogut Reinjures Ankle: The Golden State Warriors acquired center Andrew Bogut from the Milwaukee Bucks last season in hopes that he would be the franchise changing big man who could make them the perennial playoff team they’ve longed to be. They’ve guaranteed themselves a playoff birth this season, but Bogut has not been a major reason why.
Bogut has played in just 31 games this season, playing 24 minutes on average and contributing just five points and seven rebounds. He hasn’t been able to regain peak form as he’s recovered from major surgery on his left ankle.
On Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he reinjured that same ankle. Bogut left the game and did not return. The Warriors fell in convincing fashion 116-97. Afterwards Warriors head coach Mark Jackson tried to downplay the injury and said that he doesn’t believe it to be too serious, but Bogut is out for the Warriors’ Friday contest against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors are lucky to have a front office wise enough to not put together a team overly reliant on Bogut. They’ve had plenty of success without him this season and are more accustomed to playing without him than with. However, in the playoffs where halfcourt execution becomes much more vital, they could miss the big man in the middle as much as they all season long.
The Warriors’ seeding has not been secured yet, but they will either face the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs or Denver Nuggets in the first round.
Bulls Snap Another Streak: The Chicago Bulls have officially earned the title of streakbusters. They put an end to the Miami HEAT’s 27-game winning streak last month, and last night the New York Knicks came into town looking nearly as unbeatable as the HEAT did then. They had won their last 13 games, but the Bulls got a season high 35 points from Nate Robinson and ended the Knicks’ winning streak with a 118-111 overtime victory.
“They can have it,” Anthony said to the press afterwards. “They can have it. They can have it. They can have the regular season wins. They did a great job at beating us four times. We’re not worrying about them at this point.”
The Knicks have four games remaining in the regular season and while it is still a possibility, a first-round matchup against the Bulls seems unlikely. The Bulls are currently in fifth place with four games remaining as well and have three games on the seventh place Boston Celtics. Meeting in the three-six match up would require the Knicks relinquishing a two-game lead on the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks making up the half game that the Bulls currently have on them.
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