Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Early 2009 mock draft

2009 NBA Draft

While the lottery has yet to be completed, I took the liberty of using's draft simulator to determine this year's order. The only change that resulted from performing the lottery was the Washington Wizards leapfroggin the Kings for the first overall pick, otherwise it's the same as the current draft order based on standings. Shout out to for having the simulator and their trade checker to keep Fanatasy GM's like me thinkin I'm smarter than the actual GM's. My picks are based on team needs and don't factor in teams using their pick in a trade. Enough is my 2009 mock NBA draft.

1 Washington Wizards
Blake Griffin, Power Forward, Oklahoma

With the 1st overall selection, the Washington Wizards select......Blake Griffin, power forward from Oklahoma University. This pick is a no brainer, Griffin is the only sure thing in this draft and the Wizards know this......shit the whole country knows this the way he dominated college ball this year. Congratulations Washington, you got a player so sick he makes the swine flu look like a stomach ache. That's a pretty ill nickname actually, Blake "Pandemic" Griffin.....cuz he's just that sick! (I'm getting copyright's to that nickname so get your hands out of my pockets.)

2 Sacramento Kings
Ricky Rubio, Point Guard, DKV Joventut

While many fans in Sactown will be worried they are drafting a younger version of point guard Beno Udrih, they will quickly find out they are more dead wrong than Eminem and Biggie. Rubio has a much more polished offensive game and was also recently named the Spanish ACB league's defensive player of the year. Officer Ricky (I'ma get a copyright on that nickname too so slow your roll) patrols the floor like a prison guard patrols a cell block (there is just too many Rick Ross jokes I could make here so I digress.) He has great anticipation in the passing lanes and gets his hands on more balls than Perez Hilton. Rubio has been on NBA executives draft radar for years, as he has shown flashes of brilliance in the Spanish league and in international competitions since he was a teenager. So fret no more Kings fans......Officer Ricky will be patrolling the lanes in the Arco Arena for years to come and help speed up the rebuilding process to bring back the noise that once ruled the King's court.

3 Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Jennings, Point Guard, Roma
The paper Clips have a few quality vets and some nice young players to build around . Flash Gordon, Thornton and project Deandre Jordan. What the Clippers need most is to unload some veterans (namely Baron and Kaman, who just aren't worth the price) and let the young bucks run free. That's why the Clips will select Jennings despite big men such as Thabeet and Hill being available with the 3rd pick. The Clippers have nice bigs in Z-Bo and Camby and need a hungry point guard to run the show. Playing overseas rather than college ball has done nothing to hurt Jenning's stock and may have actually aided his maturity and professionalism.

4 Oklahoma City Thunder
Hasheem Thabeet, Center, Connecticut

Thabeet is a giant in the paint and exactly what the young and improving Thunder need. Oklahoma almost acquired the young defensive center they wanted at the trade deadline but a turf toe sent Chandler back to the Hornets at the last second. With Chandler's injury history that may have been a blessing in disguise if the Thunder are able to draft Thabeet. The Thunder are athletic and can score in a multitude of ways but have trouble defending the paint. Enter Thabeet, who will have no problem translating his defensive game to the pros but will struggle to develop an offensive game. Which is not a problem as Westbrook, Green and especially Durant will light up opposing defence's on a nightly basis. So when David Stern steps up to the podium in June to announce that Tha Beet down is on his way to Oklahoma, understand that you are not drafting another Swift, Petro or Sene. The Thunder (formerly the Sonics) are finally getting the quality starting big man they have tried to draft for years.

5 Minnesota T-Wolves
James Harden, Shooting Guard, Arizona State

While Harden's stock took a hit due to his lackluster performance in the tourney, the numbers he posted during the season cannot be ignored. Harden can score in many ways but accomplishing it with athleticism is definately not his style. He can create his own shot with ease but lacks finishing around the rim. The T-Wolves have scary bigs in Jefferson and Love and if Randy Foye continues to develop into more than just a scoring guard, Minnesota will recover from the loss of Garnett fairly quickly. Harden can quicken the recovery even more so if he can be the answer at the either of the wing positions. While they have a nice player in Gomes, the other wings have not panned out. Miller's numbers dropped dramatically after a big 07-08 season and Corey Brewer is too fragile to be effective in the pros. Harden should get an opportunity to start as the T-Wolves make Harden the 5th pick continuing a trend of taken proven talent over potential.

6 Memphis Grizzlies
Jordan Hill, Power Forward, Arizona

If Hill can fall to the Griz at #6, than Memphis can breathe a sigh of relief because the quality of big men after Hill falls off dramatically. The Griz obviously need a dominant power forward to fill out a good young starting 5 that is currently composed of Conley, Mayo, Gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) and Marc Gasol. Memphis was clearly aware of this as they considered trading for Amare at the trade deadline. Hill can be dominant when he is crashin the boards with the reckless abandon Arizona fans will sorely miss. He will also get more opprtunities to show off his jump shot, as pick and pops are the current play of choice for most PF's in the league right now (all of a sudden every power player has to have a jump shot...thanks Bosh for makin the league a softer, weaker place to play.) Hill will be a nice fit in Memphis but he will not develop into an all-star but luckily you have two future all-stars in Gay and Mayo (is it just me or does that sound like some kind of batty sandwich.)

7 Golden State Warriors
Ty Lawson, Point Guard, North Carolina

With the departure of B-Diddy to L.A. last offseason, the Warriors were in desperate need of a legit point guard. Even when Ellis returned from his ankle injury, it was still clear that a true point guard was necessary to run the uptempo offense they excel at. While many would expect Tyreke Evans to be the Warriors pick due to Ellis's early success playing off a big point guard, Lawson would be the smarter pick. He excelled in an uptempo system in North Carolina and was the fastest player in the country from end to end. Returning to UNC for his junior year has proved beneficial as he developed an outside shot and evolved into a scoring threat. While Nelson has proved to be a rookie confidence killer in the past, Lawson's extra year at a top flight program will endear him to his coach quickly. Especially since the next option at point for the boys from the bay is CJ.Watson.

8 New York Knicks
Stephen Curry, Combo Guard, Davidson

While I was skeptical about putting Curry in the top 10, D'Antoni's desire for a point guard who can shoot helps ease those concerns. Duhon was not the answer in the big apple for D'Antoni ,while he could distribute the ball adequately enough, it was his weak shooting touch that glued him to the bench for the second half of the season. Duhon is a great backup but he's not a starter especially in D'Antoni's system. With the emergence of Wilson Chandler and David Lee, Curry will be a nice addition as he proved he could handle the point full-time at Davidson this year. His shooting touch is sniper like, reminiscent of his pops Dell Curry, who was still lights out from beyond the arc in his twilight years. If Curry can continue to develop his passing skills and court vision he will be a nightmare for opposing guards to defend. While he shoots like his father, the way he fights through screens and around picks reminds me of Reggie Miller......which actually scares the shit out of me because I just recently got Reggie's alien lookin face out of my nightmares.

9 Toronto Raptors
Demar DeRozan, Guard/Forward, USC

With the 9th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, my Raps will select a player that can help at the 2 positions we were weakest last year....the wing positions. No more will we have to settle for uncalled for 3 pointers from Jamario Moon, wild jumpshots from "Joe Greasy" aka Joey Graham and fades from Anthony "the jack of all trades but master of none" Parker, that are weaker than a gino who gets his cut at a salon. Derozan is a legit shooter who looked like a top 3 pick as he closed out the season with a string of impressive performances in the PAC-10 and national tournaments. Derozan is the consistent scoring threat the Raps lacked off the bench all season, especially after the Raps let Delfino take his streaky scoring on a euro trip to Russia. While he may not jump into the starting lineup, the Raptors should welcome a player who has the potential to start in this league in his 2nd or 3rd year with open arms. While Derozan may not be thrilled to be drafted by a team North of the border who only won 33 games last year......I'm sure our lowered drinking age limit, bounty of sexy multicultural women and world renowed chronic will help him forget the words to the Star Spangled Banner quick times.

10 Milwaukee Bucks
Tyreke Evans, Combo Guard, Memphis

Tyreke Evans is exactly what the Bucks have been missing, a combo guard big enough to guard opposing 2's but still able to play the point and handle the rock. Michael Redd's injury last season helped emphasize the Bucks need to add depth in the backcourt. While a banger down low to backup or replace Villanueva if he bolts is also essential, stretching for Dejuan Blair or Patrick Patterson at this stage would be too high a risk. Milwaukee has some tough personnel decisions to make this summer, including resigning Charlie V and Ramon Sessions which would require the Bucks to shed some salaries (namely Michael Redd.) Drafting Evans would allow the Bucks to trade Redd or fill the gap left by Sessions if he decides to leave Milwaukee for greener pastures. Evans came into his own after moving over to the point guard position this year. His early struggles were offset by some great games down the stretch that included a few fantastic ones in the tourney. Evans may take a while to find his niche in the NBA, he will either play as a big point guard or as an option 2 shooting guard who can initiate the offense. In Milwaukee, Evans would have the advantage of being on a young inmproving squad with nothing but time and low expectations to develop his game.

11 New Jersey Nets
Earl Clark, Combo Forward, Louisville

GM Rod Thorn has come out in recent weeks saying the team needs a banger who will crash the boards and mix it up in the paint, he refered to the player as a "moose". Now unless he plans on drafting Bullwinkle with the 11th pick, there just isn't a "moose" type player available with the 11th pick. Many have assumed that his comments were in reference to Dejuan Blair, who is almost as wide as he is tall. While Blair is the closest thing to a moose in the draft, Thorn would be wise to draft Earl Clark out of Louisville and try to pickup his moose elsewhere. The Nets were weak at the SF position last year after trading Jefferson in the offseason. They were going with a tandem of Simmons and Hayes, so adding Clark would be a huge upgrade. Also the Nets already have some young PF's to work with in Yi and Ryan Anderson. While neither will ever be confused for a "moose" (I'd say they more resemble donkey's.....well actually more like donkey's with a nice outside touch that only get into the paint when its time to renovate their cribs) they are none the less decent players to split time at the PF position until a 2010. Clark is a multitalented player, who can distribute the ball with the savvy of a point guard but also has the size to score in and around the key. Clark has a penchant for turnovers and taking bad jumpers but has all the tools to be successful in the NBA.

12 Charlotte Bobcats
Gerald Henderson, Shooting Guard, Duke

The Bobcats are on the verge of erasing their bad draft history as Adam "the stache" Morrison was recently traded and Sean "triple chin" May's contract will not be renewed. While Morrison brought his trademark white trash moustache to the NBA, he forgot to bring his game. Morrison has struggled to get playing time and will continue to do so, as he lacks the athletic ability to compete on a daily basis. While the other former lottery pick, has had trouble just staying helathy enough to even be on the active roster. The only baskets May has contributed on lately in Charlotte is the demolition of his "get well soon" pastry and cheese gift baskets. The Bobcats can finally redeem themselves by selecting Henderson to be their backup and eventual starting 2 guard. I can't see Henderson being a star in the league but he can definately carve out a niche for himself as a Raja Bell type player. Fortunately for Henderson if he is drafted by the Cats, he will be Bell's backup and who better to mould him into a Raja Bell type player than......well Raja Bell. Henderson can beat expectations if his defensive intensity translates to the NBA game and his shooting range continues to expand.

13 Indiana Pacers
Dejuan Blair, Power Forward, Pittsburgh

At this stage of the pre-draft hype, it looks foolish to put Blair in the lottery. But on closer inspection it makes sense because it's the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have had size issues since their talented quartet of Rik "Don't call me Jimmy" Smits, Dale "Where's my money bitch?" Davis, Antonio "What the fuck is a metric system" Davis and Jermaine "Ampu-knees" O'Neal packed their bags and left Indiana. So with that being said, the Pacers will make the first real stretch of the draft and scoop up Dejuan Blair. Blair is the pre-workout 3rd ranked power forward on most draft boards but his size is still a huge question mark. I see him as being a Jason Maxiell type player, an effective rebounder and bench player but not a starter. Mind you, Maxiell also has better hops and is a better defensive player than Blair, so that might even be too favourable a comparison. But Blair's numbers and body of work in the NCAA cannot be ignored. He led all power forwards in field goal percentage and rebounds, making him an almost impossible player to defend in the post. But his height is still an issue as he won't be able to outpower players in the NBA like he did in college. But he still an upgrade over Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts, so the Pacers have no choice.

14 Phoenix Suns
Jonny Flynn, Point Guard, Syracuse

It's kind of ironic that the Suns will look to draft a point guard to spell Nash when only a couple of years ago they traded Rajon Rondo on draft night for a case of Coors light (Which is actually a huge insult considering Coors light should only be drank by 12 yr old kids learning to drink like mommy does and recovering alcoholics who just need the taste of beer every once in a while, it tastes like drinking a glass of water out of a dirty beer mug that wasn't washed.) Remember peeps, light beer is like sex in a canoe......its fucking too close to water. Sorry I have no respect for light beer drinkers, anyways Flynn is exactly what the Suns need, a point guard who only plays the game at one speed.....faster than everyone else. Jonny "Fast & Furious" Flynn plays the game with a chip on his shoulder and has a desire to win at all costs, which he demonstrated in his 6 overtime win against UConn this year. Flynn can score but also distributes the ball and looks to get his teamates involved. He has all the tools to be a top flight PG in the NBA. Which the Suns will desperately need if Nash opts out of his contract and signs elsewhere in the offseason.......don't the Knicks need a pass first point??

15 Detroit Pistons
Patrick Patterson, Power Forward, Kentucky

16 Chicago Bulls
Terrence Williams, Shooting Guard, Louisville

17 Philadelphia 76ers
Eric Maynor, Point Guard, VCU

18 Minnesota T-Wolves
B.J. Mullens, Center, Ohio State

19 Atlanta Hawks
James Johnson, Combo Forward, Wake Forest

20 Utah Jazz
Chase Budinger, Small Forward, Arizona

21 New Orleans Hornets
Gani Lawal, Power Forward, Georgia Tech

22 Dallas Mavericks
Jeff Teague, Point Guard, Wake Forest

23 Sacramento Kings
Sam Young, Small Forward, Pittsburgh

24 Portland Trailblazers
Patrick Mills, Point Guard, St. Mary's

25 Oklahoma City Thunder
Wayne Ellington, Shooting Guard, North Carolina

26 Chicago Bulls
Tyler Hansborough, Power Forward, North Carolina

27 Memphis Grizzlies
Austin Daye, Combo Forward, Gonzaga

28 Minnesota T-Wolves
Darren Collison, Point Guard, UCLA

29 Los Angeles Lakers
Jrue Holiday, Combo Guard, UCLA

30 Cleveland Cavaliers
Nick Calthes, Point Guard, Florida
Feel free to debate the picks as the list will be updated and altered before releasing a final edition in June. Complete with a pick by pick analysis for all 30 selections, as well as my 2nd round predicitions. Holla at ya boy and let me know how good or wack my mock draft is.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

1st round predictions

With T-Mac injured for the playoffs, the Rockets can't be considered a lock for a 1st round exodus as they would be with him in the lineup. So let's take the time to examine the 1st round matchups and see if we can predict the inevitable upsets that will occur.

Lakers vs Jazz: Not much to talk about here, Utah just doesn't have the horses to run with the new version of the "Showtime" Lakers but they might be able to steal one at home......L.A in 5.

Nuggets vs Hornets: Sick PG matchup between CP4 and Mr.Big shot himself Chauncey Billups (Can't get over that name...Chauncey sounds like a private school for spoiled rich girls, luckily his last name gives him some credibility......its like the sound you make when when some classic Buju Banton comes on in the clubs.) While the Nuggets might be the least talked about #2 seed ever, don't get it twisted.....this team is nice. N.O doesn't have the depth to compete with a Nuggets team that can score at will but Paul will pull out some magic and steal a game or two....Nuggets in 5.

Spurs vs Mavs: Who would have predicted this as a first round matchup??? But it happened and I'm glad it did......cuz this is a 7 game series waiting to happen. With Ginobilli out, the Spurs are without one of their best scorers and clutch performers. But a injury riddled Spurs team just might be as dangerous as a Spurs team at full strength. Coach Popovich always gets the most out of the least so don't expect them to just roll over and die for a hot Dallas squad. With that being said, Dallas has been playing at a playoff tempo for the last month and they are gelling at the right time. No Ginobilli means no 2nd round for the Spurs.......Mavs in 7.

Blazers vs Rockets: Yao...this is gonna be a sick series!! The upstart Blazers are a team through and through, they play as a team and have a family atmosphere. But as you know all families have problems and this one has a big one named Yao Ming. The Blazers will go as far as Roy and Aldridge take them. While that may mean a 7 game series in the 1st round, they unfortunately will come up a game short. This is the first time in the playoffs for most of the young Blazers, so it will be treated as a learning experience and Yao will be the teacher. Yao showed why the Rockets will advance in game 1 and the basketball gods will help to embarass the team's supposed "leader" Tracy Mcgrady by allowing his team to advance past the 1st round without him in the lineup. Note to Houston GM Daryl T-Mac in the offseason and don't be picky, take what you can get.......Rockets in 7.

The sun may set in the West but its time for a few young teams to rise in the East.

Celtics vs Bulls: Most will head to Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls this year but for my money I'm headin to ESPN to watch Chicago's young Bulls led by Derrick Rose run all over the defending champion Celtics. While the Celts showed they have some fight left with a dramtic buzzer beating win in game 2, they already lost once at home and then needed a Jesus like performance from Ray Allen in the 2nd half to survive another home loss. The C's just aren't the same without Garnett, their unquestioned leader who was lost for the playoffs due to a knee injury. Not to mention the offseason losses of Posey, PJ Brown and the demise of backup PG Sam I am. The Celtics were not able to find adequate replacements for their losses and it will be their lack of depth that will prove to be too much to overcome to outlast the Young and now deep Bulls after acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons. The Bulls have flourished since the trade and look like a team ready to pull off an upset........and they will. Bulls in 7.

Magic vs 76ers: With a shocking road win in game 1, the Sixers look like an upset is in their future. But don't run to fast to throw all your cash on the Sixers at the bookie. Injuries and a bad stretch to end the season have the Magic running scared, but they are too good a team and have proven themselves to be that time and time again throughout the season. Lewis and Hedo will bounce back and the Sixers youth and lack of depth will eventually hurt them. While that game 1 win was nice, the Magic will wear the Sixers down with Howard's dominance inside and the team's outside shooting . Magic in 6.

Cavs and Pistons: Out with the old and in with the new. The Pistons look old and lack the defensive intensity of previous Piston squads. They don't even look the same as the once did, the cool expressions of a team that believed in their system is gone.....and the frustrations of a team that doesn't trust its teamates or coach has taken over. No Chauncey (don't get me my opinion above) means no chancey for the Pistons as Lebron and his squad are the new cool and confident crew in the East. The Cavs have fun off the court and will have just as much fun on the court beating a team that can't wait for this disastrous season to be over (the Pistons are one of the few teams in the NBA that view making the playoffs as an 8 seed as a failure.) Lebron will hardly break a sweat in this series.......Cavs in 4.

Hawks vs Heat: While many expect an upset with the way D-Wade has been tearing up the mesh this year.......I say naaaaaaah mon!! The Hawks are for real, if you don't believe me than watch their series last year with the Celtics. They have all the tools to be successful and don't have many weak spots. They are athletic and deep, two assets that usually equal playoff success......and in this case it will. The Heat are a much improved squad and D-Wade has been amazing this year, but their run is done son. The heat don't have a secondary scorer to help Wade who will see more double and triple teams than Jenna Jamieson (and while Jenna handles it like a champ, Wade the former champ will not.) Miami has injuries, a lack of depth and an incomplete starting 5, making them easy pickings for the Hawks. Too bad no one in Atlanta will see it as the Hawks management has to find a way to fill their seating holes and gaps better than.......well Jenna Jamieson. Hawks in 6.

See you in round 2.