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Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Beasley

Kevin Love and Michael Beasley’s careers: A good measure of my feel for the game theory

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(Source: Wikipedia)

It’s fairly interesting that Michael Beasley’s career has gone down a mediocre path, that a Timberwolves lottery team isn’t giving him the qualifying offer at this, the end of his rookie scale contract. This is already the 2nd time in Beasley’s career, including his Miami contract dump to Minnesota, that a team has all but said “We’d rather have capspace than you. You are the weakest link. Goodbye”

Beasley was considered a surefire superstar coming out of college, after his Kevin Durant like freshman season statistically he where averaged 26, 12 and 53%. For most of that season Beasley had every bit the hype of Durant. Only the last few months before the draft did Derrick Rose’s meteoric rise in the tournament and concerns over Beasley’s motor remove some of the gloss.

Kevin Love on the other hand, while having just as dominant a freshman college season, was considered a good prospect that people weren’t sold on the upside of as much as Beasley, due to less than dominant physical tools and height. Amazingly, it is the Love who’s putting up a 26/13, MVP caliber production and Beasley who is a mediocre all but bust.

While Kevin Love certainly plays with a much better motor and toughness than Beasley, I can’t imagine that effort level is responsible for the difference between them. Beasley has never looked like the star talent he was made out to be. He was the one of the two players who suffered being being a small PF, while his post game from college disappeared as a result. For the most part he’s now a midrange jumpshooter.

If you read my 2012 draft big board, I introduced my hypothesis that a player’s impact is 33% physical, 33% skill, and 33% feel for the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

June 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Why the Minnesota Timberwolves taking Derrick Williams #2 is a bad idea

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Derrick Williams.

Image by Neon Tommy via Flickr

Since the Minnesota Timberwolves landed the #2 pick in last month’s NBA lottery, insiders like Chad Ford (ESPN.com) and Jonathan Givony (Draftexpress.com) have stated their interest in taking Derrick Williams 2nd. Williams has long been ranked the 2nd best prospect in the draft.

I believe Minnesota taking Williams is a bad idea.

One of the biggest questions about Derrick Williams is whether he is a SF or PF. I see him as a clear PF. He should specialize playing the pick and roll and pick and pop with his ability to finish and hit outside jumpers. He thrives with the space created by these plays like a less athletic Amare Stoudemire. That’s where his offensive all-star potential is. There were initial concerns about his 6’8 size but having a good 7’2 wingspan makes up for it, as similarly sized but long players David West, Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap have shown.

The small forward position on the other hand, where Minnesota will play him if he’s drafted there due to Kevin Love‘s presence at PF, plays to his weaknesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Kurt Rambis: The Chef Who Uses Too Many Ingredients

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Kurt Rambis

Image via Wikipedia

Before this season I didn’t think the Minnesota Timberwolves would be anything but a lottery team, but I expected more than this. I liked how they added a ton of 3pt shooting and spacing, their biggest weakness last year with Martell Webster, Wesely Johnson, Luke Ridnour, and Anthony Tolliver to along with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love‘s outside range. I liked the Ridnour addition because of what his steady hand did to Milwaukee last year. I liked Kevin Love playing beside role playing centers in Darko Milicic and Nik Pekovic instead of another star who didn’t fit. The team made much more sense this year structurally and more designated roles usually leads to better chemistry.

Yet despite Kevin Love having a much better season than I expected, they sit at 17 wins on April 5th and are barely holding off the last place Cleveland Cavaliers who have 15. On paper an all-star PF surrounded by shooting and size should be much better than this.

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Kobe Theory and the Drowned Plant

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Image via Joelk75 on Flickr

Somewhere in Los Angeles, a rumor starts. The disgruntled star everyone is talking about getting traded, Carmelo Anthony, they say he’s coming to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum.

I don’t take the rumor seriously at all, but in a town where Pau Gasol can materialize out of thin air, I never say never.

Enter Plaschke

Of course the fans are for it. Melo is candy to them. Bigger star, and a guy who does what they value – score. They’ll trade for him without a second thought for how he’ll fit with the team. I don’t think much about it, until I see an article from LA Times institution Bill Plaschke, a writer I’ve enjoyed for a long time. He’s for the trade. I’m reading along muttering to myself until I see this part and my jaw drops to the floor:

The Lakers are near the top of the league in rebounding but are only 15th in the league in field goal percentage in the fourth quarter of games they trail. Kobe needs help closing, and Anthony gives him that help. The Lakers’ offense needs a second option outside, and Anthony can take that shot. The Lakers don’t shoot as well as their biggest rivals, and Anthony would fix that.

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Written by Matt Johnson

February 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Beasley, Bosh, and Opportunity in Basketball

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Over 4 games in the last week former future superstar turned bust Michael Beasley has averaged 32.5 PPG on a TS of 58.7%.  In other words, pretty damn good.  Meanwhile on Beasley’s former team in Miami, B-list superstar Chris Bosh is averaging 14.5 PPG on 55.5% TS for the season after not having done less than 22 PPG or 56.9% TS since he hit his prime over a half decade ago.  Now I don’t want to blow this out of proportion.  Beasley’s not going to keep up this pace, and his Timberwolves still stink.  Bosh was expected to have his scoring volume decrease substantially while playing with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.  However, any attempt to argue that this is a coincidence is silly.  Something is definitely going on, and while there’s nuance in any story like this, I’d say one word summarizes the situation well:  Opportunity.

Wizard of Westwood’s Wisdom

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2010-11 NBA Predictions: Most Improved Player

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We now move from the perfectly reasonable awards, to those that are borderline irrational.  Last year Kevin Durant went from non-all-star to finishing 2nd in MVP voting.  It’s possibly the most improvement I have ever seen any player do in one year, and he didn’t win the MIP.  Instead, Aaron Brooks won the award – a guy who if you look at per minute numbers, it’s not clear if he even improved over the previous year.  Such is life with the NBA’s MIP:  If Brooks had actually improved like Durant had, he probably doesn’t win this award, because he wins other more prestigious awards instead.

I’m afraid that I’m not bold enough to predict who will show the goldilocks improvement the voters are looking for, so I’ll just go with the guy I think is most likely to see a massive and positive change in estimation among the basketigentsia:  Kevin Love.

Now, should Love emerge as a strong candidate for the MIP, there’s bound to be some naysayers who say that by his per minute numbers, he didn’t improve that much.  This will likely be a reasonable position, as I wouldn’t be picking Love here if he hadn’t already appeared to do so much in the little time Coach Rambis and GM Kahn have let him play.  However there’s still far from a consensus that Love can really be a star player.  Timberwolf fans I’ve talked to over the off-season often seemed more excited about acquiring Michael Beasley than about Love.  Then there’s the matter that Love couldn’t seem to get any playing time on Coach K’s USA team at the Worlds competition this summer despite putting up better per minute numbers than anyone but Durant.

There’s more to basketball than box score stats.  I know that, and I’ll preach to that.  If Coach K has a dog, I’m sure that dog knows more about basketball than I do simply because of osmosis.  I’ll put myself out there and admit openly, I don’t see why Love’s stats are fool’s gold.  I understand he’s not a great defender, and that’s not a trivial matter, but I’ve watched this guy since he was at UCLA and to me he’s not simply adequate intangibles, but great intangibles.  I think he can be a star in this league, and I expect that this year he’ll do well enough to get in the all-star conversation, probably only falling short because the rest of his team is so bad.


Written by Matt Johnson

October 26, 2010 at 12:47 am