LaVar Ball Adds to the Pressure That Lonzo Is Bound to Face

The insurmountable pressure on a first round draft pick begins to build up long before we even remotely have an idea of what the draft order will look like in late June. From the college basketball preseason through March Madness and beyond, basketball analysts spend much of their time determining where each collegiate star will end up falling in the upcoming draft. While guys like Maryland’s Melo Trimble go through the season undecided on their future, big name college stars such as Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball treat the season as a resume builder for NBA franchises. This isn’t to say that every college basketball star is only focused on their future, because many of these guys pour their heart and soul into trying to win a national championship. The point I’m trying to make is that elite college basketball players are exposed to loads of unnecessary publicity for people of their age. The last thing these young guys need is more pressure added on by their own actions…or family members. The way Lonzo Ball carried the 2016-2017 UCLA Bruins did not go unnoticed. While Jimmer Fredette’s ability to score at will for BYU during his premier year and Willie Cauley-Steins defensive presence in the paint for Kentucky two years ago helped carry their teams, there wasn’t an area of the game where Lonzo Ball didn’t succeed. With Chris Paul-like vision, Curry-like scoring abilities, and a defensive presence that allotted him almost two steals per night, Ball proved to be the backbone of this Bruin’s squad. As I stated earlier, a season-long performance like this most certainly would not... read more

Deadline Day: What Makes a Good or Bad Trade?

For a basketball fan, there are few more fun days than today, the NBA trade deadline.  If your team wants to add a piece better than a 10th man, it has to be done today by 3:00.  Twitter will likely be abuzz with rumored deals, completed deals, and rapid developments.  Amidst the craze, fans tend to want their team to be involved in the rumors – to do SOMETHING to get better.  Human instinct kicks in, and fans want to be apart of the craze.   Nevertheless, what fans – and sometimes teams – forget, is that when the dust settles after a transaction done under the pressure of time, you are left with are the assets or players you traded for, and lack those which you dealt away.  And if what you dealt is better to have around than what you acquired, you ultimately have hurt your organization.   Do teams need to try to get better at the deadline?  Without a doubt.  Outside of June 23-July 15 (or thereabouts), the deadline is the only time to make significant roster moves.  However, teams also need to be prudent, and avoid making moves that can be harmful down the line – no matter how tempting they may be.   So, looking back at deals past, what are some hallmarks of good and bad transactions?     1: Teams Make Bad Decisions When They Feel That They “HAVE TO” Do Something:   Example: 2015 Suns   The 2015 Suns put together an awesome trio of point guards in Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic, and Eric Bledsoe, in a league where point... read more

About Hoops Critic

Brian Geltzeiler’s true passion is the NBA. He grew up in a basketball family. His father, Burt was an elite college basketball player for Newark-Rutgers University in the late 1940’s and was drafted by the Tri-City Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks) in 1950 by their then GM, Red Auerbach.

Brian is a regular host on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio and gets his money’s worth from his NBA League Pass. He lives in Livingston, NJ with his wife and four children.