Video of Clippers Blake Griffin Posterizing Bulls Kyle Korver

Blake Griffin Clippers

The Chicago Bulls won the overall battle, but the Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin certainly won this individual play. Who says Kyle Korver doesn’t play defense? Well, he tried on this play at least.

Hat tip to Tremendous Upside Potential here

[Read more…]

2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

brandon-jennings-bucks

By: David Kay

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at the The Sports Bank where we break down the top rookies in the NBA and who has the edge to win the Rookie of the Year Award.  Check back every Thursday for an update.

Just a week into the season and there seems to be one rookie establishing himself as the early leader in the clubhouse for the ROY award.  Of course everyone’s predicted runaway winner, Blake Griffin, is expected to be sidelined until mid-December due to a broken left knee cap, meaning the race suddenly became very interesting until the number one overall pick steps back onto the court.  Here are the updated rankings after the first week of the season:

1. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (Last Week Ranking: #3)
’09-’10: 22.0 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

Jennings has stepped in from the opening tip and taken control of this Bucks team.  He nearly posted a triple-double in his first NBA game, falling one assist and one rebound short.  His composure and leadership looks like that of a veteran and his critiqued poor outside shooting has yet to be seen as he is 7 of 14 from deep.  The predictable injury to Michael Redd should give Jennings even more opportunities to shine early in the season.

2. Stephen Curry, Warriors (LWR: #4)
’09-’10: 11.0 ppg, 6.7 apg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

Golden State has only played three games, but Curry has looked solid in starting each game.  He has spent most of his time running the point and showing his unselfishness with his pass-first mentality.  I mean, he has only attempted six three-pointers in 103 minutes.  Unheard of for the trigger happy Curry we saw at Davidson!

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (LWR: #2)

’09-’10: 13.8 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.2 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Flynn has come out in Minnesota and started his first games in the NBA.  He has found himself sharing time at the point with free agent signing Ramon Sessions who has even stolen some minutes from Flynn down the stretch.  The former Syracuse point guard has shown flashes, but is also playing like a rookie so far, having more turnovers than assists in three of his five games.

Check out the complete top ten Rookie of the Year Race.

Also check out our 2010 NBA Mock Draft.

NBA Power Rankings: #17 Los Angeles Clippers

blake-griffin-clippers-jersey

by: David Kay

2008-09 Season Summary:
The Clippers were the most depressing team in the NBA last season. After signing Baron Davis away from Golden State on the first day of free agency last summer everything has been downhill. Elton Brand basically double crossed the team and Davis as he bolted for Philly. They traded for the terrible contracts of Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph and never won more than 5 games in any month of the season. Davis had his worst statistical season since his second year and only led the team in scoring 9 times all year. Basically, it was an all too familiar season in Clipperland.

Depth Chart:

C: Chris Kaman/Marcus Camby/DeAndre Jordan
PF: Blake Griffin/Craig Smith/Brian Skinner
SF: Al Thornton/Steve Novak
SG: Eric Gordon/Rasual Butler/Mardy Collins
PG: Baron Davis/Sebastian Telair

Head Coach: Mike Dunleavy (7th year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $58.9 million
Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $39.1 million

Off-Season Grade: Aced
zach-randolph1Clips GM/head coach Mike Dunleavy might have pulled off the steal of the summer, dumping head case Zach Randolph’s terrible contract for the expiring deal of Quentin Richardson, who was in turn traded for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and the king of towel waving Mark Madsen (who has since been cut by the Clips.)  This move saved L.A.’s other team more than $8 million in cap space this season and almost $15 million next year.

Getting rid of Randolph made sense since the Clips picked Blake Griffin first overall in the draft.  With Griffin, Randolph, Marcus Camby, and Chris Kaman under contract, someone needed to be dealt to open up playing time up-front.  Randolph was the least likely to be shipped out of L.A. due to his enormous contract and questionable character, so major props to Dunleavy for finding a sucker like Memphis general manager Chris Wallace to take on one of the worst contracts in the league.

L.A. also pretty much stole away Rasual Butler from the Hornets in exchange for a conditional 2016 second round draft pick.  Butler is in the final year of his deal so it was a logical one-year rental for a team in need of some depth on the wing.

2009-2010 Outlook:
They are the Clippers, so historically, bad things should happen to this team once again.  But if the curse of the Clips can be avoided this season, this team should compete for a playoff spot.

They are solid up-front, have scorers on the wing, and an experienced point guard running the show in Baron Davis.  Davis pouted through most of last season after signing a monster deal with the Clips last off-season.  If Griffin can provide some fire for this franchise and motivate Davis to play to his potential, good things should happen for Hollywood’s red-headed step child.

lebron-james-dunk1Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:
I cannot stress the importance of the Randolph trade enough.  As I mentioned, it saved the Clips almost $15 million in cap space and put them in a position to be major players next off-season.  Free agent-to-be LeBron James keeps finding his name attached to teams like the Knicks and Nets, but I seriously believe the Clippers could be a darkhorse in the running to sign King James.

Even if they don’t land LeBron, they should be able to sign a big name free agent.  There is a solid nucleus of Davis, Gordon, Thornton, Griffin, and Kaman which is more than can be said for other teams expected to make a splash next off-season (i.e. the Knicks.)  For the first time in quite some years, the Clippers are making the right moves and leaving their franchise excited about the future.

2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

*Nov 21 - 00:05*

By David Kay

Now that the free-agency period is starting to sort itself out, we have a better grasp on what roles the class of 2009 will be playing on the teams that drafted them. Here is a very early look at my prediction for how the Rookie of the Year race might shake down.

 

1. Blake Griffin, Clippers (1st overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 17 ppg, 9 rpg

Now that the Clips have rid themselves of Zach Randolph, Griffin will have every opportunity to play 36 minutes a night at power forward. He was the obvious choice to be the No. 1 pick, and is also the obvious choice for rookie of the year. That is assuming his banged-up shoulder recovers rather than hinders his first season as a cursed Clipper.

 

 2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (4th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

This is about the 1,263,914th time I’ve said this; Evans is going to be an absolute stud. He is playing for one of the worst teams in the league and will have every chance to chuck up at least 20 shots a night. His size allows him to crash boards. His handles and slashing abilities will give him plenty of assist opportunities. His length and quickness will get him a good amount of steals. If Evans can develop a consistent jumper, he will eventually hover around the 30-point-per-game mark in the NBA. Yup, I just said that.

 

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (6th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Assuming Ricky Rubio is not playing in the NBA next season, Flynn will be running the show for the T-Wolves. As proven by his 67-minute performance against UConn, Flynn is capable of playing heavy minutes on a nightly basis and will be asked to do so in Minnesota, since they don’t have a lot of depth in their backcourt. I also think he will be able to contribute right away to a young T-Wolves team that wants to run more this season.

 

 
 4. James Harden, Thunder (3rd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg

Oklahoma City will be the most intriguing young team to follow for the next couple years. Harden should benefit playing alongside an offensive threat like Kevin Durant and in the same backcourt as the speedy Russell Westbrook. He should start right away as the Thunder try to build chemistry among their future stars.

 

5. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (10th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

With Ramon Sessions unlikely to return to Milwaukee this season, it appears Jennings will get every opportunity to run the point. Add in the fact that the Bucks might have the least amount of talent in the league, and Jennings’ play-making abilities should net him some solid stats.

 

 6. Stephen Curry, Warriors (7th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 11 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

Curry is not shy about pulling the trigger on any shot within 30 feet of the basket, which fits Golden State’s style of play perfectly. He will be gunning whenever he is on the floor. Question is, how are the Warriors going to spread the ball around with a group of players who need to get their shots to be happy?

 

 7. Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers (13th overall) tylerhansbrough

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 rpg

I’ve always thought Hansbrough would have a steady, but not spectacular NBA career. He should be able to provide some toughness and energy off the bench for the Pacers who don’t have a lot of depth up front.

 

  

 

 8. DeJuan Blair, Spurs (37th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 7 rpg

Factor in the massive chip on his shoulder for falling into the second round with the fact that the Spurs are thin up front with aging players Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff on the roster, and Blair should see plenty of time coming off the bench for the Spurs. I could see him having a Kevin Love-type rookie impact in San Antonio.

 

 9. Terrence Williams, Nets (11th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg

The trade of Vince Carter opens up some playing time for the versatile Terrence Williams. His ability to do a lot of different things on the floor should log him decent playing time and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the starting small forward alongside the backcourt of Devin Harris and Courtney Lee. Like Evans, if Williams can improve his jumper, he could be a very good pro.

 

10. Jordan Hill, Knicks (8th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 rpg

Depending on what New York does with David Lee, Hill could potentially be a starter for the Knicks this season. If Lee is retained, the former Wildcat probably comes off the bench and drops out of the top 10. Still, with his size and athleticism, he should get a chance to flourish in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense.

Honorable Mentions: Earl Clark, Suns (14th overall), Demar DeRozan (9th overall), Wayne Ellington (28th overall)

 

The Wild Card:

 

 Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves (5th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 apg, 3 rpg

It is extremely unlikely that Rubio will be playing in the NBA this season. But if he somehow ends up in a T-Wolves uniform, he should be able to make an immediate impact having been playing professionally in Europe since he was 14. However, being in the same backcourt as Flynn, another point guard, will likely effect Rubio’s assist total and drop Flynn’s numbers as well.

 

The Project:

 Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies (2nd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 5 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

I like Thabeet and can in no way deny the defensive impact he made at UConn. With that said, I still think he is a couple years away from being an effective NBA player. He will obviously get his share of rebounds and blocks when he is in the game, but I don’t see him cracking more than 12-15 minutes a game in his first season.thabeet

 

The Sleeper:

 DaJuan Summers, Pistons (35th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 4 rpg

I can’t really call Blair a sleeper since (even though he was picked in the second round) everyone will be giving him that title. Summers should make more of an immediate impact with the Pistons than first-round pick Austin Daye, since Daye needs to get stronger and Detroit doesn’t have a lot of depth at forward. Minnesota’s Wayne Ellington and Toney Douglas of the Knicks could also be sleepers, especially if Rubio doesn’t play for the T-Wolves this year and if Nate Robinson leaves the Knicks.