Posts Tagged ‘Deron Williams’

Taking on all comers

September 25, 2008

Reading this specific blog entry … precipitated the following thought:

If you could construct your ideal 12-man team of current NBA players, who would you select?

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Hmmmmmmm …

From that many possibilities, there would be some exceptionally difficult choices to make … and a lot of supremely talented and valuable players left out in the cold.

Regardless … according to these eyes,

these are the Dirtiest Dozen, in the NBA today:

[listed by position & role]

Starters
PG – Lebron James … far and away his best and most natural position
G/F – Dwyane Wade … the best, taking it to the rack, in the half-court
G/F – Kobe Bryant … Samarai Warrior
PF – Kevin Garnett … Rebounding & Energy are thy true names
C – Greg Oden [my, oh, my] … that’s right, before he’s played a game 

Key Bench Subs
PG – Deron Williams … well-balanced in every respect
G/F – Manu Ginobili … the best 6th Man in existence
PF/C – Tim Duncan … the best combo Big in existence

Reserves
PG – Steve Nash … still the best facilitaor in the business, bar none
G/F – Tracy McGrady … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Amare Stoudemire … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Rasheed Wallace … multi-purpose player

Coach – Philip Patrick Jackson Riley … ‘The Sacred Winner Hoops Within’

“Train them … Excite them … and, Turn them Loose … “

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There you go!

Now … Which 12 players would you choose for your team?

[PLEASE NOTE: Who you choose, in what positions & roles, and who you leave out, says a lot about your unique vision of the game.]

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After the Gold: First-class comments from Team USA

August 24, 2008

Straight from the horses’ mouths …

Post-game comments from members of Team USA

Click the link ^ … and read each one.

What it means to be a TEAM.

Hoops 101

August 24, 2008

This corner hates to say, “You were told what was going to happen”, in advance, but …

* USA vs Spain for Olympic Gold
* Upside and Motor: Team USA Blogger Roundtable

The USA will NEED to send its VERY best players in order to win Gold Medals in Olympic Games’ men’s basketball.

If not … the rest of the the world is quickly becoming good ‘enough’ to capture Gold or Silver should the USA slip up.

Top flight basketball … like soccer/football … is now truly an international game … with good players and coaches scattered everywhere around the globe. -)

Kudos to …

* Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, Mark Gasol, Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Carlos Jimenez, Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa, Berni Rodrigues, Raul Lopez, Alex Mumbru, Jose Calderon (injured), their coaches & support staff

* Kobe Bryant, Leron James, Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, their coaches and support staff …

Box Score & Game Summary

for giving such a good account of yourselves.

That, right there … ^^^ … my friends … was first-class basketball.

El Matador es el numero ocho

August 15, 2008

[as a follow-up to last week’s entry … Ranking Jose Calderon as a PG]

Given the list of players who customarily play the Point Guard position for their respective teams in the NBA, this is how they now rank, in the eyes of this corner:

[previous ranking]

1. Deron Williams [5] … the best combination of PG skills today
2. Chauncey Billups [1] … when healthy, still formidable
3. Chris Paul [7] … only drawback is his lack of size
4. Tony Parker [4] … still plagued by periods of erratic decision-making
5. Steve Nash [3] … inconsistent D & now age beginning to take their toll
6. Jason Kidd [2] … major slippage noticed this past season; REBOUNDING king
7. Baron Davis [6] … multi-dimensional but where will playoff success come from?
8. Jose Calderon [8] … physically sound, steadily improving & just entering the prime of his career

That said … if there was one game to be played next season with the outcome to determine the fate of the hypothetical team GM’d by khandor’s sports blog, in the NBA … Brandon Roy would have the ball in his hands with the shot clock ticking down, on behalf of that team.

NOTE: Thanks to those who submitted comments and voted during the past week; unfortunately, not enough in total to serve as a valid ‘informal’ poll.

Ranking Jose Calderon as a Point Guard

August 7, 2008

Saw this quote two days ago in a solid Olympic Scouting Report [courtesy of Xavier, a European coach, at Forum Blue and Gold]:

Jose Calderon would be a starter in 25 of the 30 NBA teams … “

and, as you might expect by now, it started the wheels a-turning.

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Where exactly does El Matador [Jose Calderon] stack up in today’s NBA, versus the likes of:

[in alphabetical order]

Alston, Rafer; Arenas, Gilbert; Barbosa, Leandro; Bibby, Mike; Billups, Chauncey; Blake, Steve; Calderon, Jose; Conley, Mike Jr.; Davis, Baron; Duhon, Chris; Ellis, Monta; Felton, Raymond; Fisher, Derek; Ford, TJ; Foye, Randy; Gibson, Daniel; Gordon, Ben; Harris, Devan; Hinrich, Kirk; Iverson, Allen; Jack, Jarrett; Kidd, Jason; Livingston, Shaun; Lowry, Nick; Marbury, Stephon; Miller, Andre; Nash, Steve; Nelson, Jameer; Parker, Tony; Paul, Chris; Ridnour, Luke; Rondo, Rajon; Roy, Brandon; Telfair, Sebastien; Terry, Jason; Tinsley, Jamaal; Udrih, Beno; Watson, Earl; West, Delonte; Williams, Marcus; Williams, Deron; Williams, Jason; Williams, Mo

Do you think Calderon would be considered as The Starter for as many as 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams?

Where do you rank him, as a Point Guard, heading into the 2008-2009 season? [i.e. as No. ?]

In your personal rankings, is Calderon in your:

i) #1-5
ii) #6-10
iii) #11-15
iv) #16 plus

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Once again, all are welcome to participate.


Note 1:
Final Results will be published Thu, August 14, 2008.
Note 2 : As a precursor … this ranking was published here Dec 19, 2007; followed by this one [Jan 30, 2008].

Upside and Motor: Team USA Blogger Roundtable

August 4, 2008

Courtesy of Hardwood Paroxysm’s, Olympic Basketball Gets Feisty:

Team USA Blogger Roundtable!

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Here’s the take from this corner …

The REAL answers to the 8 questions asked. 🙂

1. Which single player is the most pivotal to the team’s success?

Kobe Bean Bryant. If you take the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Team USA’s that came up empty and add Jason Kidd to each of those squads, Does that team win the Gold Medal? Maybe; maybe not. BUT, go ahead and add Kobe Bryant to each of those teams, instead, and what’s the correct answer? A RESOUNDING “Yes, they do!”

Kobe Bryant’s all-around game … beginning with his COMMITMENT TO WINNING, then his individual ability to DEFEND his assigned check (positions #1-3) AND his ability to REBOUND his position AND his ability/willingness to SHARE THE BALL with his teammates on Offense AND his ability to SHOOT THE BALL FROM THE PERIMETER … would have made each of those 3 previous teams champions in their own right.

I am NOT an unadulterated (pardon the pun) Kobe admirer but … the facts ARE the facts … tha Man is (very simply) the best (individual) basketball player in the world today. PERIOD.

With Kobe Bryant defending the best Guard or Forward scorer on the other team … Team USA’s opponent (whoever it is) will simply NOT be able to score enough points to beat this American team this go around.

2. Is starting Jason Kidd over Chris Paul (or Deron Williams a mistake? Why or why not?

Starting Jason Kidd is the CORRECT decision for this version of Team USA.

Jason Kidd, at the PG-spot, has NEVER lost a game in international competition … and, NEVER is a long time.

J-Kidd is unselfish, to a fault … gets his teammates involved and is big enough to Check (and Rebound against) any Point Guard, Off Guard or Small Forward he might need to, in order to allow Kobe Bryant to defend whatever player he NEEDS to Defend (and Rebound against) so that Team USA established the CORRECT TONE, from a Defensive & Rebounding standpoint, at the outset of the game.

On the court, Jason Kidd is THE Leader of this Team. Period.

3. The lack of Centers on Team USA’s roster is well chronicled. But aside from that, what is this team’s biggest weakness?

Mike Krzyzewski.

For further explanation, see the following link:

https://khandorssportsblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/game-time-usa-vs-turkey-take-i-ii/

Nuff said.

4. If you had to pick one team to upset the United States and win the Gold Medal, what team would it be? Why?

There is NO TEAM, this year, which will defeat Team USA … as outlined in the answer to Question #1.

Several teams could come close … e.g. Spain, Greece and Argentina … but there’s a HUGE difference between ‘coming close’ and ‘winning’.

Isn’t there?

5. Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will be fighting for the back-up Center minutes; who should win the job?

This is a silly question.

If Team USA wanted to dominate the international competition this year … the most potent line-up it could put on the floor would see Carlos Boozer at the 4/Power Forward AND Chris Bosh at the 5/Center positions, not ‘fighting for the back-up Center minutes.

For further explanation, see the link provided in the answer to Question #3. 🙂

6. Which is more likely to be the achilles’ heel of the American defense: perimeter shooting, high post play, or the pick & roll?

Between these three options (exclusively), it’s (deadly) Perimeter Shooting … originating from the Pick & Roll play, principally involving offensive players (in a 2-Man Game) that are not being checked by Kobe Bryant, while the player who Kobe Bryant is checking is being isolated in an offensive Corner position, either strong or weak side, depending on the specific set play which is being run … at least, that is, IF the international coaches have any clue at all about how to stay close AND maybe steal a win from this version of Team USA.

All teams, everywhere, are vulnerable to deadly Perimeter Shooting … at least, for specific stretches of a game.

7. Which of Team USA’s “big three” of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, or Lebron James will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses?

Kobe Bryant “will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses” … because when HE INITIATES a defensive sequence which results in a Team USA STOP the defense of their opponent has almost NO CHANCE to recover in transition to prevent Team USA from scoring easily in Offensive Transition Mode.

This is Team USA’s single most effective (efficient?) Offensive Scoring play. PERIOD.

8. W’ell do this last question Tiger Woods style: Who are you taking for the Olympics? Team USA or the Field?

Team USA will NOT lose a game this go round.

For further explanation see the answer to Question #1. 🙂

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Enjoy, one and all!!!

LA vs Utah, 2-2

May 12, 2008

Those who anticipated the Lakers sleep-walking through a relatively easy Western Conference Semi-finals series with the Jazz … do not have enough respect for Utah’s outstanding young Point Guard, Deron Williams (6-3, 205) … amid the clamour which has built recently for the Hornets’ Chris Paul (PG, 6-0, 175), as a legitimate MVP candidate this season.

When you look closely at the manner in which this young man plays the Point Guard position, the effect of his performance on his team, in all three phases of the game (i.e. Offense, Defense & Rebounding) … an astute NBA observer SHOULD rightfully place Deron Williams’ name at the head of any list which purports to discuss the very best Point Guards operating in the League today, not to mention down-the-road, as one of the top 3rd-year players in the game.

As was mentioned in the Series Preview, last week, if the Lakers eventually prevail, in all likelihood, it will be in 7 hard fought games … as the Jazz, led by their multi-dimensional PG are, in fact, plenty good enough to win this conference semi-finals match-up outright.

Time for the Lakers to hold serve, returning to LA for Game 5.

The Straw that stirs the drink in New Orleans

May 6, 2008

(in honour of the inaugural ‘Chris Paul Blog Day‘ hosted by AttheHive.com)

Chris Paul (6-0, 175) is now the quintessential ‘Point Guard’ in the NBA.

In terms of Leadership (which is crucial at this position), Offense, Defense & Rebounding … he is operating at the top of the League this season:

EFFICIENCY [2007-2008] *

1 Chris Paul 27.89
2 Deron Williams 22.60
3 Steve Nash 22.40
4 Baron Davis 22.20
5 Jason Kidd 20.64
6 Chauncey Billups 19.29
7 Tony Parker 17.36
8 Jose Calderon 17.28

doing precisely what a Point Guard (PG) is supposed to do for his team … i.e. Make his teammates Better.

Earlier this year, there were other PG’s operating at a very high level who compared favourably to Chirs Paul …

The Best Point Guards in the NBA

but, as the season has progressed several of these outstanding players have fallen by the wayside, unfortunate casualties in the annual ‘War of Attrition’ which is the NBA’s regular season schedule and, most recently, the 1st Round of the Playoffs (i.e. Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon & Baron Davis).

For a player to be considered amongst the ‘All-Time Greats’ he MUST excel in ALL THREE areas of the game, allowing him to DOMINATE the play in whatever way is necessary for his team to succeed, in a given match-up.

With his Size, Strength, Dribbling Skills and exceptional Change of Pace, Chris Paul has the ability to take the basketball everywhere on the floor it needs to go – at whichever speed it needs to get there – for his team to operate efficiently, either, in Transition or the Half-court. 

With his tremendous court vision, his off-the-charts Basketball IQ and, most importantly, his Willingness to involve his teammates in the play, CP3 has the ability to create and then take advantage of the easy scoring opportunities for the other four players on the floor with him. 

With his Size, Strength, Basketball IQ and, most importantly, his Willingness to get the job done, CP3 has the ability to Defend (multiple positions) & Rebound when (i) the opposition has the ball, or (ii) neither team has gained possession of the ball, which gives him the ability to exert His Influence on the game, at all times, and control the action for his team.

During his first two seasons in the NBA, Chris Paul’s major weakness, as a potentially dominant player, was his sub-standard 3Pt Shooting Percentage (i.e. ’05-06/28%, ’06-07/35%). This is no longer the case, however, as this season CP3 elevated his performance in this area to an acceptable level (i.e. ’07-08/37%) for a player with his solid stroke from the Free Throw Line (i.e. Career Average/84%).

At this point, only 3 seasons into his pro career, Chris Paul is a leading MVP Candidate – New Orleans (56-26) finished with the 2nd-best W-L record in the ultra-competitive Western Conference – and is on the brink of transforming his team into a serious contender for the NBA championship this year.

What still stands in his way?

The Best Point Guards in the NBA: An Update

Air Force One‘ … either Kobe Bryant (PG?) or Deron Williams (PG) … and Chauncey Billups (PG) or Doc Rivers (PG) or Lebron James (PG?) … THAT’S All.

It’s a long way to ‘the Top’, in the NBA.

In order to get there, and become ‘The Man’, you MUST beat ‘the Best’.

For Chris Paul … that journey has now begun, in earnest.

The Best Point Guards in the NBA: An Update

January 30, 2008

Whaddayouthink: the NBA’s best point guard?

Here’s what I wrote a month-and-half ago, on this topic …

The Best Point Guards in the NBA (Dec 19 2007)

and, here’s exactly where I’m at today … with a slightly different slant on the question asked (above) by Kelly Dwyer:

Conventional Be Damned 

If you could put any 4 other players you wanted to with the Point Guard (PG) of your choice, right now, in the NBA, completely healthy, to play and win only 1 game, on which your own life depended … this is how I would rank the following list of individuals playing in the league today:

1. Jason Kidd
2. Steve Nash
3. Chauncey Billups
4. Tony Parker
5. Baron Davis
6. Deron Williams
7. Chris Paul
8. Brandon Roy (climbing with a bullet)
9. Jose Calderon
10. Devin Harris

but … if I am putting together my own “5-man team” of players … regardless of which positions they play, at the moment, in the NBA … to take on all-comers, this is who I would choose to use at the PG spot on my current-day “Dream Team”:

PG – Lebron James
OG – Dwyane Wade
SF – Kobe Bryant
PF – Kevin Garnett
C – Tim Duncan

and, then, you could take any of those 10 “other” players you wanted to and it wouldn’t matter one bit to me … my “Group of 5” is going to kick your team’s a$$, in an NBA game, played under NBA rules.

That’s my answer to Kelly Dwyer’s question.

The Best Point Guards in the NBA

December 19, 2007

Kenny (the “Jet”) Smith ranks his Top 10 PG’s in the NBA today, Floor Leaders in High Demand, and nowhere does he mention the words “Defense” & “Rebounding”.

There are 3 broad phases to a basketball game:

Offense, Defense and Rebounding.

Neglect any two of these, at the PG position, and what you’re left with is a very talented player, who is incapable of leading his team (just yet) to an NBA championship. 

TOP 5 PG’s in the NBA 

#1 Chauncey Billups … has the ability to: i) Defend the opponent’s PG, in a 1-on-1 defensive match-up, regardless of his check’s size, strength or quickness level; ii) Defend multiple positions on the floor, in defensive “switches” or “rotations”; iii) take the ball with the Dribble where it needs to go, in order to run effective half-court and transition offenses; iv) Shoot & Make a solid percentage on perimeter jumpshots, including 3-pt shots; v) penetrate with the dribble and Finish at the rim; vi) Drive & Dish to open teammates; vii) make a high percentage of his Free Throws; viii) Rebound his position; ix) maintain his “poise” during times of stress; and, x) “control & lead” a group of 12 men. Been there and done that.

#2 Jason Kidd … a poor % perimeter jumpshooter; a former #1.

#3 Steve Nash … struggles with his “individual” Defense and Rebounding.

#4 Tony Parker … needs to improve his perimeter jumpshot; struggles to maintain his poise at stressful times.

#5 Deron Williams … the next Great, young, PG. 

Honorable Mention (in order): Baron Davis, Chris Paul and Jose Calderon.  

UPDATE:
re: #1 … see this, then