Rookie time. Rookie report card time I should say. Not only that, you’re getting a double-blog right about now as with the 2nd part I’m giving you five guys currently plying their time in college that our Cavaliers should be monitoring…closely. People are starting to say it’s “tank time” with regards to our season, others are a little hesitant regarding the same issue. Look, I’ll give you my opinion in a minute, first off let’s get into my five rookies…
He’s missed a chunk of games with that injury, he hasn’t exactly shot the ball well at times, he’s averaging a rookie-high (worst?) in turnovers – but the kid’s just awesome for me. He’s everything you want your rookie point guard and franchise guy to be – athletic, quick (like, really quick) can pass, can drive, makes the impossible look possible – just incredible. If he didn’t miss all those games with injury people wouldn’t already be crowning Blake Griffin with the ROY award. Fact. Wall leads all rookies in assists (by some way) and steals, is in the top ten in rebounding and blocks and second in scoring. Sure he plays for a pretty crappy team who are reportedly shopping their starting frontcourt duo – but I know that if I had to have the future of my organistaion in the hands of a rookie point guard, those hands would be John Wall’s. Give him a week or two to get back into the swing of things, then sit back and enjoy. You know what I really can’t wait for? The Rookie/Sophomore game at All Start Weekend, when he’s throwing alley oops to this fella…
Reason number 319 Blake Griffin is cool – he has more double-double’s than Dwight Howard does at this stage of the season. That’s like eating more sandwiches Renardo Sidney does, just impressive. Griffin is everything the Clippers in general are not – fun, athletic, competent, hungry, determined and entertaining (for the right reasons). He works his butt off every single night – point being that he’s played every single game this year and not had double digit-rebounds in only 7 of them. Baron Davis has broken a sweat 7 times this season. Griffin leads all rookies in scoring and rebounding, is second in FG%, is in the top ten in blocks and assists and leads pretty much every athlete alive in plays that make you say “Holy Crap”. He could genuinely be the reason why the Clippers will soon be very, very relevant in the West. Actually, scratch the word “could” – he will be the reason why they become relevant. I actually can’t even begin to imagine how good he’ll be if he develops a reliable jump shot.
Pretty much kicked the bajeesus out of opponents the entire month of December where he was on a tear, and when he proved all the doubters wrong. Sure the Kings lost a lot of games this month, but Cousins has been in a groove lately, scoring the ball efficiently while grabbing rebound after rebound. Then the Golden State game happened, or more to the point this happened, and since then Cousins aforementioned groove has gone – including the Golden State game he’s shot 6-27 the past three games for 13 points. DeMarcus, dude, quit the choke signals, quit being a big kid and focus on beating people up in the paint – trust me when I say you’ll be better for it.
Hasn’t played since November 10th so makes me assessing his performances a lot easier I guess. Reports are he’s back practicing, we saw clips of him shooting the ball this week before games and the sooner he’s back the better the Spurs become for it. Which is a credit to Anderson as the Spurs are currently 27-4.
Ekpe Udoh. Those two words are the reason why Greg Monroe is currently wasting away in Detroit. No offense to Udoh, but Monroe was born to play in that Warriors line up. Feeding the ball to a cutting Monta Ellis or swinging it into the corner for a ready and waiting Steph Curry he’d be like Chris Webber 2.0. Instead, he’s stuck in an awful spot in Detroit where only twice this season he’s seen more than 30 minutes of action in a game. His stats from those two games? A combined 23 points and 23 rebounds on 10-17 shooting. But no John, you keep playing Ben Wallace and Charlie Villanueva who Tweets more than he boxes out.
Look, with the way things are going it’s looking apparent that we’ll end up in the lottery, we could even end up winning the damn thing knowing the way our luck has gone the past few months. Do I think we should tank the remainder of the season in order to have the best shot possible at getting the top pick? No, not at all. Let’s try getting competitive, but with on eye still on the future. By that I mean looking to deal Tawn, by getting more minutes for JJ and Manny Harris (hey, ya never know). Don’t go all out and enter the realm of “Quit Mode” by dealing Andy, Tawn, Mo and anybody else people will take off our hands – because Mo and Andy can still be a big part of our future on getting the Cavaliers back on the map. Jamison, even though he’s probably been our best player the past few weeks needs to be dealt – his contract and his age are no good to us, simple as. We need to be active in trades taking place around the league, get in on a Yao Ming deal or a Carmelo Anthony deal to get back pieces or even ship out some. Draft picks and prospects – as many as possible too. For me, the places we need major strengthening in are all frontcourt spots. Boobie and Mo are good, Ramon and AP will suffice as back ups. If we do somehow end up winning the damn lottery and Kyrie Irving is after coming back and leading Duke to a national title, then take him and worry about it later. If not, here are 5 guys who warrant special attention.
Jared Sullinger – we’ll need the 1st or 2nd pick for this kid, because if he goes lower than that I’ll be dumbfounded.
Terrence Jones – do-it-all small forward who’s brimming with pro potential. Rebounds very well and is an extremely gifted athlete.
Chris Singleton – I love him, but the brilliant Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress says it better than I do.
John Henson – needs about 40lbs of bulk before he’ll be a banger down low, but think Nicolas Batum. Except better athletically and potentially.
Jordan Hamilton – scoring machine that’ll give instant offense. Definite next level potential and he’s from Texas – they know how to produce small forwards after all.