2nd Round Knock Out: The 10 Best Second Rounders

2nd Round Knock Out: The 10 Best Second Rounders

Now that the trauma of the Celtics less-than-stellar draft has passed (Terry Rozier? With the potential of Kevon Looney and the combustible energy of Bobby Portis and Montrezel Harrell sitting RIGHT FREAKIN’ THERE?), I can go forward with my NBA off-season. I’ve traversed the 7 Stages OF NBA Grief – 1) Shock, 2) Fury, 3) Drinking, 4) Watching 2008 Celtic highlights, 5) Asking Obama on Twitter Why He Let Ainge Pick Rozier at 16, 6) Passing Out While Swearing , and 7) Watching Russell Westbrook Highlights – I turned my attention to the part of the draft I was too disgusted to watch: the 2nd round. Every year, teams do their due diligence in hoping to find their Manu Ginobili, their Paul Millsap, their Draymond Green or DeAndre Jordan: the player who’s flaws make teams overlook them in the 1st round, but who blossom into valuable NBA contributors. I spent countless hours (okay, about an hour and a half) poring through countless video sources (alright, Youtube) to bring you the 10 best picks from the 2nd round. Let’s stroll down the list and see if we can identify the gems for 2016. 10. Guillermo Hernangomez, Baloncesto Sevilla (Spain): 21 y/o, 6’11”, 255 lbs, Knicks, 35th pick 10.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 53.7% A large, skilled, strong-as-an-ox mobile Spaniard is headed to the Big Apple. Knicks fans may be praying for Marc Gasol, but will have to settle for Willy Hernangomez. He has nice footwork on the block and can hit the 15 footer. Haven’t seen the passing of a Gasol, but Hernangomez may come over from Spain in a year...
Hoopscritic: 2015 Mock Draft – First Round

Hoopscritic: 2015 Mock Draft – First Round

Welcome to the first ever Hoopscritic draft. This was a draft where we went in a rotation, making the draft selections we thought would happen based on where the teams are currently slated. We did not take into account potential trades, as it is near impossible to predict those. So for all intents and purposes, we drafted based on the team needs or wants. We had each organizations best interests at heart, well some of us did. James H 1st Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns As the NCAA season started, all the talk was Jahlil Okafor as the hands down #1 pick, but as the year wore on and Kentucky destroyed teams, the tide turned to Karl-Anthony Towns. The contrast between Okafor, the “classic” skilled NBA big, and Towns, the fleeter footed athletic guy who can face up, are microcosms of the “Then vs Now” NBA debates. Towns is exactly who a forward thinking GM would dream up to play the 5, and Towns is exactly who I’m taking. Why: Towns is the prototypical modern NBA pivot man at 7 ‘ and 250 lbs, he has the size to bang with NBA bigs, but he’s shown the quickness to contain penetration on the perimeter and get back to protect the rim. He’s not a “freak athlete”, but he’s agile and moves extremely well,, displaying a nice shooting touch almost to the 3 point line. The guy shot 46% from 3 in high school, and images of him spacing the floor has GMs drooling. While Okafor is the far more polished interior scorer, Towns is no slouch, showing a...
Aftermath: NBA Finals Game 3

Aftermath: NBA Finals Game 3

“Styles make fights.” Boxing adage “Everyone has a plan until they’re punched in the mouth.” Mike Tyson “Yo, yo, pressure busts pipes, it’s time to apply it now…” Beanie Sigel, “Reservoir Dogs” Forget everything you thought you knew about the science of basketball. Scrap the data culled from 1,230 of games and from SportsVu multi-camera tracking system and from intelligent men utilizing reams of information to build intricate statistical models and projections. No, the anti-analytics crowd isn’t right; there IS a place for deep diving stats in the NBA. There’s just no place for advanced number crunching in what’s shaping up to be a knock-down, drag out street fight. The Warriors have spent two seasons crafting first, an airtight defense and then a finely tuned, explosive offense, meshing gorgeous ball movement, thrilling long range shooting, and nifty passing, all based on clean cuts and spacing and long armed athletes and teamwork. It was a sight to behold, and many learned NBA writers and bloggers were genuinely asking if that Warriors were not just among, but THE best team ever (Here and here). All of the numbers and calculations are based on real things that transpired; they’re all couched in reality and vetted. The Cleveland Cavaliers, down their second, third, and some would say fourth (Anderson Varejao went down early in the year) best players, are aware that their foes are statistical darlings and prohibitive favorites in these the finals. LeBron James has arranged his ragtag bunch in ranks behind him, glared across the court at the Warriors, and basically said ,”We know you’re better. Prove it.” The result? The mighty Warriors find...
Aftermath: NBA Finals Game 1 Reaction

Aftermath: NBA Finals Game 1 Reaction

After a 7 month layoff between the close of the conference finals and the start of the Finals, last night’s game has taught me to love again. The Cavs and the Warriors gave us one of the most exciting games of the playoffs to date. Steph Curry has evolved right before our eyes, LeBron James keeps doing ridiculous legendary things, and Iman Shumpert was this close to etching his name into the history books with a game winning amazing “The Shot” moment. But the Golden State Warriors were up to the task, pulling away in overtime for a rousing 108-100 victory. Some thoughts from Game 1: 1. Describe the Cavs Game 1 in one word. “Tragic”. This was Cleveland’s best shot at stealing home court advantage; they had the Dubs on their heels early, Bron was cookin’, the Oracle Arena was unnerved and quiet. To have LeBron drop 44, Kyrie go for 25, have a chance to win it in regulation, then lose the game AND possibly Kyrie in OT is heartbreaking. The Cavs’ margin for error is razor thin. Stealing game 1 would have shifted the pressure squarely on the collective chest of the young Warriors and infused the Cavs with that much more confidence. As it stands, LeBron may be without his star point guard and is down 0-1 in hostile territory against a young team that now knows it can survive under the bright lights. 2. Describe the Warriors Game 1 in one word. “Gritty.” Apologize to the Dubs, Charles Barkley. The trope about Steve Kerr’s group being a “soft jump shooting team” is often trotted out,...
Email Chain: Discussing The Conference Finals (Round Table)

Email Chain: Discussing The Conference Finals (Round Table)

Welcome to our first ever discussion thread. We conduct these in email chains to pass the time throughout the day and thought it would be a good idea to publish one of our many discussions the team at Hoopscritic.  This conversation came yesterday prior to the Cavaliers eliminating the Atlanta Hawks in what might have been the most boring Conference Finals ever. Jacob Noble Just when you thought we would have two sweeps and arguable the most boring?, no least entertaining? no… wait, just a weird Conference Finals, the Rockets give us some hope that the playoffs will extend for a few more days. How come we haven’t had a competitive series in terms of wins and losses so far in the Conference Finals? Justin Salkin It hasn’t been competitive honestly because the Warriors and LeBron James are that good. James Harden went nova in games 1 and 2, he was just otherworldly. It didn’t matter. Golden State has every gear, and is amazing at finding your weakness and picking at it. Once they figure you out, it’s over. They fell asleep at the wheel up 3-0 but I expect a dominant game 4. In the east, the Hawks still are not themselves. They run a read and react offense contingent on quick decisions. Once nerves get in the way and impede those decisions, they bog down. Cleveland plays bogged down by design, but they do it with LeBron, and he has been brilliant. There is no better player at elevating role players than the King. While the Cavs don’t have an explosive high end gear minus Kyrie Irving...
Q & A of The Day: Jacob & Snottie Talk Conference Finals

Q & A of The Day: Jacob & Snottie Talk Conference Finals

The hopes, dreams, nightmares, blood, sweat, technicals, tears, swears, and legacies of 30 franchises have been on full display for the last 8 months, and the crucible of the 82 game regular season has brought us to now. 4 teams are poised to enter the final rounds of combat, striving to etch their cities in the history books as the 2015 NBA champs. The stories write themselves: LeBron leading the Cavaliers, looking to build on his historic legacy and bring an O’Brien trophy home to the victory-starved Cleveland. The Atlanta Hawks have emerged from years of mediocrity and look to show the world that they belong in the elite atmosphere they’ve entered. The Golden State Warriors have been a juggernaut for most of the season, and bringing a ‘chip home to the Bay would be the perfect ending to an exhilarating season. And the Houston Rockets have roared into the Western Conference Finals with James Harden and Dwight Howard looking to stamp their names next to Hakeem Olajuwon in annals of Houston sports lore. What can we expect as these 4 powerhouses set to square off? I hit up Jacob Noble (@Jacobnoble_HC) and we bounced some stuff off each other as we awaited tip off. Take a look at our thoughts on the Conference Finals: James H: Here we are on the day of the conference finals, Jacob. 8 long months. Injuries, trades, the Celtics idiotically making the playoffs, LeBron taking 2 freakin’ weeks off in the MIDDLE OF THE DAMN SEASON. Now it’s down to this: Al Horford leads the balanced Hawks against LeBron and his Cavs, and...