Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Bucks

06
Oct
09

Top 10 NBA Players at a Career Crossroads

Which NBA Players have taken their careers for granted, and not given their team 100% effort? Which high draft picks must either step up their game or consider retirement? What NBA veterans, because of a change in coach, team, or their team’s style of play will be forced to take on a different role than they have been used to throughout their career? Which players have suffered numerous injuries and are possibly being given their last chance to be a valuable player for their team? All are important questions which will undoubtedly be played out and answered during the upcoming NBA season. Here is my list of players who must change their game or find themselves riding the pine or at the unemployment line.

Darko Milicic

Darko Milicic(NYK) – When the Knicks traded Q-Rich to Memphis for the rights to Darko, everyone in NY figured that the move was made for 2010 salary space. After 6 disappointing seasons of 5.5 ppg and 4 rebs , Darko will be given one more chance to prove he is a NBA player or forever be placed on NBA Draft Bust lists(if he isn’t already). The ’03 draft is remembered as one of the best in recent memory but not because of (#2) Milicic.

Sam Dalembert mohawk

Sam Dalembert(PHI) – Since receiving a huge contract for averaging 11.6 ppg and 12.8 rebs in a first round playoff loss to the Pistons in ’05, Slammin’ Sammy has regressed, seeing his scoring(6.4 ppg), minutes(24.8), and Blocks(1.7) drop to their lowest last year, since his rookie campaign. He has had issues with giving effort and staying out of foul trouble. With Elton Brand and Jason Smith back from injuries and 2nd year player Maurice Speights pushing for playing time, I don’t see where he fits in new coach Eddie Jordan’s rotation.

Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum(LAL) – Andrew Bynum is the definition of talented but prone to injury. After multiple knee injuries, Bynum is expected once again to be at or near 100% for the upcoming season. Although he averaged 14.3 ppg and 8 rebs in 50 games and is signed through 2012, Bynum will be given the opportunity as a major contributor. If he succumbs to another major injury, he could drift into draft bust territory as a former(’05) lottery pick.

Eddie Curry

Eddy Curry(NYK) – For Curry’s sake, he should be motivated to be in shape and contribute on a bad Knick team who is already looking forward to the 2010 free agency sweepstakes. Since averaging a career high 19.5 ppg in ’07, Curry has played in only 62 games and his scoring dipped to 13.2 and dismal 1.7 ppg. Even though it is doubtful he will remain on the Knicks roster past the trade deadline, he needs to show something if he hopes to remain on any team’s roster past next season.  His recent injury won’t help matters.

Grizzlies Media Day Basketball

Allen Iverson(MEM) – Although A.I. can still play at a high level, the future HOFer is no longer among the league’s elite players and it appears that he is having some trouble accepting that fact. After refusing to come off of the bench last season in Detroit, the team actually paid him to stay away. Hopefully the humbling experience of not receiving any long term offers this Summer. and accepting a 1 year deal in Memphis, will give him a sense of reality and finally become a team player………….lol.

AndrewBogut007

Andrew Bogut(MIL) – It’s tough to live up to being a #1 overall draft pick. Bogut has been good, but not great. He has shown flashes of potential and has has career highs of 14.3 ppg in ’08 and 10.3 rebs in ’09 and is still one of the pieces the the Bucks look to build around. One could argue that he has been hindered by a lack of a talented point guard to play with, but that will change this season with the addition of Brandon Jennings, meaning that there will be no more excuses.

Baron Davis fear the beard

Baron Davis(LAC) – Davis is coming off of his worst season in years. The 2 time All Star and 17 ppg career scorer who was once considered one of the league’s fiercest competitors saw his scoring(14.9ppg) dip to it’s lowest in the past 9 seasons. At age 30, has the toll of more than 700 NBA games taken their toll on his surgically repaired knees or did he just have a bad year. The Clippers have surrounded him in LA with some outstanding talent to return to star status. Or will Baron be overtaken by the Clipper curse?

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Michael Beasley(MIA) – Can a player be at a career crossroads after just one season? Beasley will answer just that after admitting or not to having a substance abuse problem and going into rehab. Obviously Beasley is still a young(20) man who likes to have fun and not follow the rules but he needs to mature very quickly since he has already had a few offcourt incidents which may or may not have affected his play. Most players would kill for rookie stats of 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds but they don’t live up to the standards for a player of Beasley’s caliber. He has already been involved in trade talks as bait in bringing Utah’s Carlos Boozer to Miami.

82875250FM017_Magic_Carter

Vince Carter(ORL) – At age 32, Vinsanity is entering new territory in his career. Carter has amazed all of us with his ability to take over games as the go to guy in both Toronto and New Jersey. He now must become one of the best role players in the NBA since the Orlando Magic are already stacked with talent and have one of the league’s best go to guys in Dwight Howard. The knock on Carter has always been his penchant for jacking up 3 pt shots, sometimes too often and at inopportune times. How Carter adjusts to playing within coach Van Gundy’s system and becoming a complimentary player may be the Magic’s biggest question going into the season.

Amare Stoudemire

Tie, Gilbert Arenas(WAS), Tracy McGrady(HOU), Amare Stoudemire(PHO), and Elton Brand(PHI) – It’s hard to put players on this list because of injuries but each of these players have missed significant time in their careers due to injury. Arenas and McGrady are probably at the biggest crossroads since they have suffered the worst injuries. Both are supposedly almost at full strength but are returning to different situations. Arenas has a good supporting cast waiting for him on a good team while T-Mac will return to a Houston squad in rebuilding mode. Brand has missed almost two full seasons due to Achilles and shoulder issues. His outlook appears good since he is on a rising young team in Philly with plenty of talent around him and is implementing an offense which favors multi-talented big men(see Antawn Jamison and Chris Webber). Stoudemire is not so lucky to be on a young team like Brand, but is on an aging team on the way down. All Summer long there have been rumors of his departure to another NBA city.

21
Jul
09

College Freshmen to NBA Rookies-Who Will Make the Best Pros?

 

 

Tyreke Evans
The former high school basketball recruiting class of 2008 has become one of the best groups of talented players in recent history. Many of these highly touted recruits have more than lived up to the hype and gone on to become superstars in the NCAA ranks. While a few stayed to enjoy the college atmosphere for another season, most have used their freshman seasons as a springboard to NBA stardom. If you are like me, when you watched the NBA draft almost a month ago, you noticed that many NBA teams go young by drafting players with only one or two seasons of college experience. As results from the Las Vegas Summer League filter in show, this move is apparently a good one. Although we won’t truly know for a number of years, here is a look at some of the higher draft picks Summer league progress from the Class of 2008:

 

Tyreke Evans – The highly touted guard from Chester, Pa was on the cover of several basketball magazines from age 14. He was guided by his support squad of mainly family friends touted “Team Tyreke”, to steer clear of the gang violence and criminal activity of his notorious hometown. He followed another former native of Chester and current member of the Magic, Jameer Nelson, to the college ranks at the University of Memphis. Tyreke was spectacular averaging 17.1ppg, 5.4 rebounds, and 4 assists which earned him the #4 pick of the Sacramento Kings. Las Vegas Summer League results have been impressive with Evans averaging 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

 

Brandon Jennings – When the #1 prospect from the 08′ class made a daring move to forego a college basketball career and play in Europe for one season, many where quick to criticize. After averaging less than 10 points in limited action in Italy, the Bucks made him the #10 pick in this year’s draft. He hasn’t disappointed averaging 15 points, 8 assists, and shooting 50% from the 3pt line.

 

Demar Derozan – The 6’7 swingman from Compton HS in California has loads of NBA potential. The #3 prospect from the 08′ class was thrust into Youtube fame with his dazzling above the rim skills as a freshman in HS by averaging more than 26 ppg. After mixed results in college at USC during his lone regular season, Demar showed flashes of his potential leading his team deep into the NCAA Tournament earning him the #9 pick of the Raptors. He could be the eventual replacement if Chris Bosh leaves via free agency in 2010. Results this Summer have been good averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds.

 

B J Mullens – Many NBA executives passed on drafting the skilled 7 footer and #9 prospect in the 08′ class from Canal Winchester, Ohio in the first round. After a tremendous HS career that included many dominating performances scoring more than 50 points being posted all over the Internet, he was destined to be the next great center at Ohio State. Although deemed a bit of a disappointment and amid recruiting violations, he was drafted #24 by Dallas and immediately traded to OKC Thunder to be part of an ever improving nucleus of young players. Summer results show he will need more time to develop averaging only 7 points and 3 rebounds.
 

 

 

 

 

 




About the Author:

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also writes for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, and UpperDeckblog.com.

Favorite teams include everything Philly, like Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Villanova , St. Joe's , Hoops, LaSalle, and Lehigh University Hoops.

Contact info: mollallen@yahoo.com

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