Tag Archives: Jonny Flynn

2009-10 NBA Preview: Part 1

It seems like only yesterday that I was watching the Lakers win the NBA championship in Orlando.  Actually, it may have been yesterday, ESPN Classics probably showed it again.

There have been a ton of off-season moves, but we will get to that in part 2.  For now, take a look at some of the young players to watch.

Rookies – 10 SpotBlake Griffin

  1. Blake Griffin –  As the No. 1 pick, expectations with him and the Clippers are going to be on different levels.  But there should be plenty of chance for improvement for both.  PS – He may be out for six weeks.  Clippers curse!
  2. Brandon Jennings – After an up and down year in Italy, many are hoping that a return to the States will mean the return of his game.  I thought Jennings might be a good chance of pace off the bench, but word is that he will be starting.
  3. Earl Clark – Is anyone more Jekyll and Hyde than the former Louisville star?  He is on the end of the bench, but Clark is a building block for the post-Steve-Nash era.
  4. Eric Maynor – Jerry Sloan found the perfect point guard in Maynor and he should grow with some tough-Sloan-love.  He will be the perfect back-up for Deron Williams.
  5. James Johnson – Like Clark, Johnson had lottery-like talent.  And like Clark, he had the ability to disappear on occasion.  Johnson will also be low on the depth chart, could add the element of running the offense through him when he is on the court.
  6. Derrick Brown – The Bobcats are piecing together a nice team and Brown could pan out to be the steal of the draft at the 4oth pick.
  7. Chase Budinger – One of my favorite college players has landed on a team with Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier.  But Budinger is skilled and athletic enough to add offense off the bench.
  8. Danny Green – There were a few picks that made sense for the Cavs.  But the perfect pick was Green.  A 6’7″ defensive hound, who will not need to be handled with kids gloves and will bust his butt regardless of the amount of playing time he gets.
  9. Toney Douglas – Poor man’s Ben Gordon plus defense, Douglas derserves to get meaningful playing time.  But on a roster with Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson, Wilson Chandler, Larry Hughes and Cuttino Mobley, there are not going to be enough balls to around.
  10. Jonny Flynn – Flynn was the only reason I watched the Orangemen last season and he will be the man running the show in Minnesota this season.  But he will also play with one of the best big men in Al Jefferson.

Sophomore Sensations?

Joe Alexander – This guy was the epitome of explosive at West Virginia.  Athletically and emotionally, Alexander was able take games over in a flash.  But his rookie was not much more than spark (4.7 ppg and 1.9 rpg in a total of 12.1 minutes a game).  Alexander struggled to find playing time, but the Bucks higher-ups must have seen something in Alexander they liked by letting Charlie Villanueva sign in Detroit.  Looking for more than just a spark this season with some more playing time.O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo – I was not a fan of Mayo until I watched a bunch of games of USC and I was excited when Minnesota drafted him with the No. 4 pick two drafts ago.  But then I woke up the next morning and Mayo was in Memphis.  A quick look at his stats you will see 18.5 ppg, 3.8 ppg, and more assists than turnover (barely).  But what is really impressive is 44% shooting from the field, 38% from distance and 88% from the foul line.  After finishing runner-up in the ROY voting, Mayo is posed to do more in Memphis.  The only question, is the Answer – Allen Iverson.  And how Iverson’s need to have the play in his hand will effective Mayo.  Because Mayo has the same need.

D.J. Augustin – When the Bobcats drafted Augustin, I think everyone was surprised.  You had a strong starting point guard in Raymond Felton, but maybe Charlotte was looking for another option off the bench.  In 26.1 minutes a game, Augustin added 11.8 ppg and 3.5 apg.  All while shooting 43% from the field, 44% from three-point range and 89% from the charity stripe.  Side-note: In twelve starts last season, Augustin averaged 17.8 points and 5.6 assists.  Expect to see more minutes for this tiny, yet talented guard.

Eric Gordon – In his one season at Indiana, he was involved Kelvin Sampson scandal.  So going to the Clippers was probably not as shocking as it would have been for other players.  Many people under-rated him as a player coming out of college.  But the LA choose home and he did not disappoint, and the Clippers needed him to take on a large load of he offensive.  16.1 ppg, 46% from the field, 39% from the floor and 85% from the foul line.  I would expect him to turn into more of a spot-up shooter who will live off the double teams of Blake Griffin.

Danilo Gallinari – To say that the Knicks faithful were shocked by the pick Gallinari, would be an understatement.  While limited to on 28 games by a back injury, there were hints of ability in his limited time on the court.  He can score from the perimeter, shooting 45% from the field and 44% from distance.  Gallinari is not a great athlete and can be a below-par defender, but has the ideal head coach in Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun offense.

Mario Chalmers – When the Heat trade for Chalmers, it probably was not in the plan to have him start all 82 games. But this quick, defensive guard could prove to be exactly what the Heat need.  A pass first point guard (4.9 apg), who can put constant pressure on the ball (2.0 steal per game), shoot a good percentage from the field (42%), and score when need (10 ppg).  Going into his second season, Chalmers should continue to put impressive numbers in regards to his assists and steals.  But needs to improve from distance, as he only shot 37% from distance.

Kosta Koufos – After a less than impressive freshmen season at Ohio State, Koufas declared for the draft.  Being drafted by the Jazz was an ideal situation as he was not needed to start from day one, and had time to learn under some talented players.  But Koufas is talented and has a good offensive game for a player his size (7’0″) and his age (20 years old).  Look for more playing time, and in that, a more appealing stat line.

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Ricky Rubio

Ricky RubioI have stayed away from really discussing Ricky Rubio.  I don’t know why, but I have.  Maybe for me it was a one of those situations that,  if you don’t talk about it, it will take care of itself.  And as of this week, it did not take care of itself….or did it?

Rubio is just eighteen years old.  While he has been playing in Spanish professional league’s, he is still only eighteen and has a lot that he can learn before coming over to the NBA.  If that is what he really wants to do.

With his former team, DKV Joventut, Rubio was making around $70K a year.  Not that much for a board line international phenomenon who showed just what kind of player he can be by holding his own against the US Men’s Team which feature Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Understatement of the day: The Minnesota Timberwolves picked a lot of point guards in June’s draft.

Four in all.

Jonny FlynnAfter making a Rubio the fifth selection, the T’Wolves picked Jonny Flynn at No. 6, Ty Lawson at No. 18 – Lawson was later traded to the Denver Nuggets.  Then finally with No. 45, MN choose Nick Calathes and traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks.  Since then Calathes signed a contract to play in Greece with Panathinaikos.

The only non-point guard the Timberwolves picked was UNC Star Shooting Guard Wayne Ellington at No. 28.

So, the main question everyone would like to pose to new GM David Kahn is this: Why choose Rubio and Flynn is you actually thought Rubio was going to come to the NBA?  And a completely legit follow-up would be:  If Flynn was the player you wanted, why not pick Flynn and Steph Curry or DeMar DeRozan?

Kahn has responded to like question saying that he fully believed that Flynn and Rubio could play int he same back court.  But everyone who knows anything about those two players knows they are almost the same player.  Rubio and Flynn are both pass-first point guards.  Neither one is dominant scorer and is at their best when others players get easy buckets.

That being said, Flynn did average 17.8 point a game in during the 2008-09 season – his last at Syracuse.  Flynn also average 6.7 assist per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.  While last season Rubio averaged 9.8 points per game and 5.8 assists and he has never had a season where he has been a double figure scorer.

One major difference is that Flynn has been the leader of his team the past couple years, while Rubio has not.  But the confidence to lead and the ability to be a leader can come with age and experince.

So after all that, what do you do?  Put yourself in Kahn’s shoes.  The answer is easy.

Start Flynn, Ellington, Love, Jefferson and Corey Brewer and let them grow.  Let them struggle to win.  Let them make their mistakes and let them lose.  And through that they will acquire more lottery picks and then when the time comes to reevaluate “if” the Timberwolves want Rubio, they will.

In two or three years, Rubio will only be 20-21.  And by that time the Timberwolves, if they can keep the pieces of the puzzle together, you have the potential to add an exciting-young player or you could also trade his rights and get a couple other pieces.  Either would be a solid move to cement a team that should have come together and be a playoff contender.

To summarize. I would not have picked Rubio if Flynn is “your guy”.  I would have gone with Flynn and DeRozan or Curry.  But after the fact, Rubio staying in Spain is th ebest option.  It is like a piece of relaestate that will only go up in value. – or something like that.

Quick Hits 7/14/09

So I have taken a couple days off, mostly because I was not moved to write.  But with the shocking news of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo splitting-up, I felt compelled to voice my concerns.

Jessica and Tony

So, you’re saying there is a chance?  No, there is not.

Timberwolves Coaching Search

The rumors out there is that the TWolves are looking at Mark Jackson, Kurt Rambis and Rockets assistant Elston Turner.  I would be OK with Rambis or Turner, but not Jackson.  HE HAS NO HEAD COACHING EXPERINCE!!

Maybe Jackson will have the respect of the players, but still, I am not ready to throw the team Mark Jackson.

NBA Summer LeagueJonny Flynn

The TWolves rookies have been playing well and Jonny Flynn looks legit.  Wayne Ellington is playing well.  Check out the highlights at ESPN.com.

Ellington has scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in two games.  Ellington pulled down 8 rebounds in the first game and then scored 22 points in the second.

In two games Flynn is averaging 11.5 points, 10.5 assists and 6.5 turnovers.  But looks to be able to control a team and get to the basket and finish against bigger players.

I just wish they would trade Rick Rubio.  Say good bye to the Spanish wonder and get some draft picks or young talent.

Blake Griffin had a steller debut. 27 points and 12 rebounds.

I am putting it out there – Rookie of the Year comes down to Griffin, Flynn, Steph Curry at Golden State, James Harden at Oklahoma City and Tyreke Evans at Sacramento.  Girffin may not get as much PT with other bigs in his way. file_23_8

Soccer T-Shirt

I am eagerly awaiting this original Landon Donovan inspired soccer t-shirt I bought at www.objectivo.com.

They have some pretty original shirts.  Check them out.

FIFA Rankings

In the ranking releases on July 1st, Brazil claimed the No. 1 spot after their championship in the Confederations Cup in South America.  Moving up from No. 4

The US moves up two spots to No. 12 while the Spainish team fell to No. 2.

Ranking Team Pts
Jul 09
+/- Ranking
Jun 09
+/- Pts
Jun 09
1 Brazil 1672 4   384
2 Spain 1590 -1   -171
3 Netherlands 1379 -1   -63
4 Italy 1229 0   -63
5 Germany 1207 -2   -171
6 Russia 1161 3   -6
7 England 1135 -1   -90
8 Argentina 1091 -1   -112
9 France 1082 1   15
10 Croatia 1031 -2   -169
11 Greece 1001 6   79
12 USA 983 2   36
13 Switzerland 930 3   -1
14 Serbia 925 6   55
15 Denmark 909 9   73

www.fifa.com

Random Basketball Awesome Fact of the Day

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are a part of what elite group that Carmelo Anthony has the possibility of joining?

If Carmelo wins an NBA title, they will be the only three players since 1979 to win a NCAA, NBA and Olympic Championship – I think.  I am trying to find info to say other wise.

Now prior to the high school revolutiona and the one-and-dones, it was seen more often.  But I am struggling to find others in the last 30 years.