Monday, June 23, 2008

4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Cometh.......

Hey guys welcome to the world of Hibachi 2.0.I'm PP and I'll be taking you through the confusing jumble of prospects that are up for the '08 Draft at the 4 position.I'm loathe to call it the Power Forward,as the term "Power" has totally lost all it's relevance with the play of Pau "I'm KG's bitch" Gasol in the recently concluded Finals.Yes I'm a Lakers fan and, yes I am bitter about the Finals.As my buddy DP would say,deal wit it.

The 4 spot has seen an unbelievable amount of flux through the ages and has arguably thrown up more legends than any other spot on the floor.While these guys may not be as transcedent as an MJ or LeBron have been,the factory line of greats at the four spot reads like a who's who of the Hall Of Fame.In fact if a tournament was ever organized of with players being teamed up according to their position,4's would beat the crap out of all the other teams (with the 3's putting up the most resistance,IMO).Think about it:Kevin Mchale,Dennis Rodman,KG,Dirk,C Webb would be an unbelieveably talented and well rounded lineup that would put a serious hurting on any of the other teams.

The 4 is the most versatile position in the Lig right now.On one hand you have your KG's and Dirk's who defy any sort of pigeonholing on the basis their remarkably versatile games (Ok,Dirk's versatility ends when he crosses the half court line to get back on D).You have your athletic freak in Amare and Landry(yes I put him in the same sentence as Amare,take a look at this before biting my head off),your classic low-post scorer in Big Al (McHale would be so proud.Al is a black McHale right down to his inability/unwillingness to pass the rock.Now,if Mchale could transfer some of his defensive instincts onto Al.) and the midrange J equipped Boozer and Brand.On the opposite of the end of the spectrum are guys like Al Horford ,Craig Smith and Paul Millsap (This is why Millsap is one of my favourite players in the L) who are absolute powerhouses and do the dirty work needed for a team to be successfull.

The amount diversity at the 4 is thusly mind-blowing and with this in mind,let's get down to ranking the prospects in the upcoming Draft.

1) Michael Beasley (6-9,235 lbs,K-State Freshman,26.2 ppg,12.4 rpg,1.6 bpg,53% FG)

Who'd you think it was gonna be,Serge Ibaka? B-Easy's got the most polished offensive game in the NCAA ,even better than Melo's was IMO.He rebounds like a fiend,has a first step that many PG's will give their left hand for and posseses unlimited range and is friggin 19 years old.Yet,he is the consesus number-2 pick.Because he supposedly has "character" issues.Gimme a break.

Seriously this kid's posted better freshman stats than Kevin Durant and all people can say is "Oh it's too bad he isn't 6-10" and "He put a dead rat in his HS teacher's desk".Are you kidding me? I can understand if he's got a baby mama or if he has a serious substance abuse problem.But if you're telling me that scribbling your name on your HS principal's car equals insurmountable character issues that prevent you from winning in the NBA,I say bullshit.

Look,for all I know Beasley's a jerk who's gonna end up a Derrick Coleman clone and Rose is the J-Kidd+KJ's hops.But you better believe that Beasley's gonna light this Lig UP !! Look at Bease's game and tell me a player below 25 whose game fits with Chicago any better (with the exception of the aforementioned Al Jefferson).Look,for all his faults,Beasley's the perfect fit for this Bulls team.He's got beautiful form and mechanics on his shot,is lightning quick when he faces up opposing forwards,can make a living down on the block and rebounds like a man possessed.Oh and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he's not lacking for athleticism,judging by the above picture.

Chi Town,I know you're not gonna take him but I might as well try.Try and imagine a player who would solve all your problems in one go and then imagine that he is 19.That is Michael fuckin' Beasley.

2)Kevin Love (6-9,255 lbs,UCLA Freshman,17.5 ppg,10.6 rpg,1.4 bpg,55.9 FG%)

Now here's a guy whom old WASPS will look at and say "Oh I just love the fundemental aspects of his game.He reminds me so much of the way the game used to be played in my day." The funny thing is I truly believe that 20 years ago,Love would've been a much more highly valued commodity than he is today.Dude's got that old school,no-nonsense type games that'll attract the purists but his distinct lack of athleticism is a glaring shortcoming that'll be exploited by the premier 4's in the L.

Kevin's one of those prospects who'll fit in perfectly with certain teams but would be a role player at best on others.For example if he somehow falls to the Nets,he would a brilliant addition because he complements Sean Williams beautifully.Williams would be the designated shot blocker who thrives on weakside help defense and alley-oops on the offensive end,while Love would strong man defender,good rebounder whose offensive skill is considerably more advanced than Sean.But on a team like the Knicks,his weaknesses, namely a lack of shot blocking ability, inability to create his own shot and poor lateral quickness on pick and rolls would be exposed quite sharply.One thing you can guarantee about Love is that he is ferocious and brings it every time he steps out on to the court.He will give you a hundred percent on the court and will not back down till the buzzer sounds.

Nevertheless,this guy's strong as a bull and is ambidextrous with good range on his shot.His passing skills have been very well documented,especially his outlet passing but he's also a pretty good low-post and high-post passer.He's currently slated to go the Griz and look for him to form a effective pick and pop partnership with Conley and give a hard-hat mentality to the beleaguered franchise.

3)Marreese Speights (6-10,240,Florida Sophomore,14.5 ppg,8.1 rpg,1.4 bpg,62.4 FG%)

The dropoff in talent is pretty steep in the '08 Draft with the third best PF ,IMO, slated to go somewhere in the 18-20 range.Reese is the next Florida bigman who's gonna step into the Lig and he might just end up being the second best Gator when it's all said and done.

Reese is a guy who's ranked below Darrell Arthur in every mock I've seen till date and it just blows my mind that people would rather take a chance on a guy who's only proven that his calling card is inconsistency rather than draft a big man who actually plays like one.Speights is a guy who'll get you 10-8-1.5 consistently with a good chance that he'll become a Horford type 16-10-1.5 banger.Yet GMs will continue to chase the mythical upside rather than draft the solid bigman.

Now having said all that,its not like Reese is flawless.The guy has some issues facing up and handling the rock.Also his passing (both high post and low block) leaves much to be desired.His basketball IQ isn't the greatest in the world and he hasn't got as many moves on the low block as an Al Jefferson.But the guy establishes deep position,has a beautiful face-up jumper and has the length,frame and athleticism to alter,if not block, a lot of shots.He'll be a force in the paint and will be a solid 3rd or 4th option on a good team.Come to think of it,if my Lakers can find a way to buy the 20th pick of the Nets,they should do it and try to pick this guy up.He just might be the missing link that the Lakers need to get them over the top.

4)Darrell Arthur (6-9,215 lbs,Kansas Sophomore,12.8 ppg,6.3 rpg,1.3 bpg,54.3 FG%)

To a guy like me,who loves hoops, it's always baffling when outrageously talented young players just don't put in the work needed to transform their game to the best it can be.I mean when you play hoops for a living,isn't it imperative that your game be the best it can be? I guess the only answer to that is some people have got that pathological urge to better themselves while others simply get by on their God-given physical tools.

Darrell's one of those hoops prodigies who could've been so much more in college but hasn't lived up to his vast potential.This guy's got unbelievable physical tools.Lithe,agile and fluidly athletic,he can get up and down the court in a hurry.But he isn't just an oversized two guard.He's got a fairly well developed low and mid post game and a reliable jumper that he can get off any time he wants thanks to his prolific length.This also enables him to contest a lot of shots from the weakside.

With all those physical tools, Arthur's not shown a whit of consistency.With his size and athleticism he should've dominated the physically inferior college competition in rebounding but he finished with a paltry 6.4 boards per 40 mins.For a big man,rebounding is vital and Arthur's measly rebounding rate puts him in the "tweener" category which is not where a big man wants to be.At best he seems like a more athletic Brandan Wright i.e a player who'll not make an immediate impact but an intriguing prospect who'll probably end up as the obligatory "young,cheap player throw-in" in a major trade in a couple of years.


1) Ryan Anderson (6-10,240 lbs,California Sophomore,14.2 ppg,9.9 rpg,41 3FG%, 49.2 FG%)

Think back to the good ole days when the Warriors used to suck,Mike Dunleavy was everyone's favourite whipping boy and Tim Montgomery decided that he was gonna fuck with Baron Davis by making him play Carlisle-ball.That didn't turn out quite so well for ole Timmy but one player who thrived under that system was Troy Murphy.You know,the goofy white guy who used to shoot 3's and somehow get double digit rebounds every game too.Well,meet the college version of Troy Murphy.

To be fair,Ryan's a much much better shooter than Troy but not quite as good a rebounder.He's not a Steve Novak in that he can drive in and finish at the cup.Adequate passer but liable to get into foul trouble when forced to switch onto a perimeter player as he's got about average lateral quickness.He seems like a guy who'd thrive playing next to a good playmaker and a great playmaker like LeBron or CP3 might turn him into a poor man's MacAdoo.

Check out this profile of Ryan Anderson by a guy who's opinion I respect a lot :

2) Joey Dorsey (6-9, 260 lbs,Memphis Senior, per 40 mins 10.4 ppg,14.4 rpg,2.9 bpg,64.7 FG%)

And we come to the first senior of the draft.Don't come looking here for upside or growth potential.What you do get is pure production and beastly defense.Dorsey's 260 pound frame packs on a fair bit of muscle and boy does he that frame.Projected over 40 mins,his rebounding rate places him 5th in the nation and rebounding is one aspect that translates fairly well to the pro game.

Dorsey's the kind of pick who would not impress fans initially but will grow into the kind of tough fan favourite that every club needs.He's sturdy,very athletic and has got a passion for the game that's missing from other more talented prospects.He can finish an alley oop well and can run the floor with the best of them.At best he'll be the second coming of Oak and as a Laker fan I sorely wish that Mitch Cupchak get a hold of a late,late first rounder and pick either Dorsey or Reese as they are exactly the kind of tough interior presence that my Lakers sorely lack.


Hursty said...

Im not sure who I dislke more right now. PP or RV. This is tough. Know what? I hate you both equally until it turns out that Slava Medvedenko is going to replace Space Cadet on the Lakers. PP, if this is confusing read RV's comments.

DP said...

Pau"KG's little Bitch". I love it! lol. great job PP. I agree with you on Reese. I think he is a major sleeper who the Lakers could pick up and mold. Look at bynum with the help of Kareem. Reese would definetly make Ronny T. work harder because I think he could take a great deal of his playing time.

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