Tag Archives: Ty Lawson

Quick Hits 4/27/09

NBA Playoffs Mini-Hits

1.  I will go on record as saying this has been the most entertaining and competitive opening rounds of NBA playoffs I can remember (minus Cavs vs. Pistons and Nuggets vs. Hornets).Loul Deng

2.  The current Chicago Bulls roster is a who’s who of Final Fours recent past.

  • Loul Deng – Duke 2004
  • Kirk Hinrich – Kansas 2003
  • Ben Gordon – UConn – 2004
  • Tyrus Thomas – LSU – 2006
  • Joakim Noah – Florida – 2006 and 2007
  • Derrick Rose – Memphis – 2008

3.  The Derrick Rose/Rajon Rondo triple-double “anything you can do, I can do better” showdown, is the single best match-up in the playoffs.

4.  The Cavs looked bored at times playing the Pistons, if it weren’t for the fact that the LeBrons were so much fun, I would have been bored.  It seemed like there were more Cavs fans at the games in Detroit than Pistons fans.

5.  Example of balance – in Game 4 of  the Sixers vs. the Magic, every stater scored in double figures.  Hedu Turkaglu finally showed up and hit a game winner when the Magic needed.  Philly’s Andre Miller is underrated and has been his whole career.  Andre Iquodala is showing the nonbelievers that he is a legit All-Star type player not just an athlete.

6.  The Hawks are talented, just not basketball savvy enough to take this series from DWade and the south beach bunch.

7.  If Kobe plays like he did in Game 4, the run to the Championship series will be short.  Carlos boozer has one of the nice jump shots, I would have never thought so at Duke.

8.  Yao looks tough and Von Wafer is the talk of the town in Houston.  PS – Portland.  FRONT YAO IN THE POST!

9.  Say good-bye to one of the greatest Dynastys we have seen.  Duncan is at the end of maybe the greatest career since Jordan and the Spurs will have to find another way to win, just not this year.

Side Note – The Pistons, as we knew them, are done.  The lose to Cleavland is the final bell and this team is be exploded all over the league.  No one is safe.

Draft Declarers Round 6 or 7 – just like the NFL draftGerald Henderson

Everyone not names Vasquez, go to the NBA.  The only one that is questionable is Smith.  We know what he can do, but I want to see him develop a better shot.  Personally, I would like Henderson to come back and lead a stacked Duke squad, and he still has the option without an agent.  Only Curry has signed with an agent, but I would expect the first three on the list to join him quickly.

ESPN”s Andy Katz voices his opinons on the underclassmen.

NDSU’s Woodside Workouts

Ben Woodside will be wearing NBA gear of at least four different teams, if only for a couple hours.  Woodside has work outs scheduled with the Timberwolves, Trial Blazers, Grizzles and Rockets and should expect more in the near future.

Many experts feel Woodside will not be drafted, but is almost guaranteed a free agent contact with an NBA team.

DraftExpress.com had this to say about Woodside durning the Portsmouth Tourney.

Random Hits

  • I would like to know how many people, who are not getting paid, actually watch the entire NFL draft.
  • I am not sure who started the trend, but I like seeing the players at home waiting to be selected.  Surround by people who have supported them not matter what jersey they wore.  Instead of with a bunch of people who are only cheering you because you wear their team’s jersey.
  • Boston swept the Yankees – suddenly, A-Rod is needed.

Congratulations to North Carolina: Upper Classmen Win

North CarolinaIt was a great performance and Roy Williams has done it again.  Congrats UNC.

In one of the most dominating championship games I can remember, North Carolina completed the mission and proved everyone right – UNC is the best team in the country.

As a basketball fan that has been very critical of Tyler Hansbrough, I must say that I was happy to see a TEAM led by upper clasmen who came back from testing the NBA waters and was able to finish the job.

Like Kansas, Florida, UNC in 2005 and UConn before, UNC had veteran leadership at every position and off the bench.  It proves home the point that you need upperclassmen to win a championship. 

Since the 1997 Arizona team that had a freshmen Mike Bibby running the point (still had Michael Dickerson and Miles Simon) and with the 2003 Syracuse team that was lead by Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara as an exception, every championship team has had strong leadership from juniors and seniors.

Look at the teams:

  1. 1998 – Kentucky:  Jeff Shepard, Nazr Mohammad, Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, Heshimu Evans, and Cameron Mills
  2. 1999 – UConn:  Rip Hamilton, Jake Voskuhl, Kevin Freeman, and Ricky Moore
  3. 2000 – Michigan State:  Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell, and AJ Granger
  4. 2001 – Duke:  Shane Battier and Nate James
  5. 2002 – Maryland:  Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Byraon Mouton, Steve Blake, and Drew Nicholas
  6. 2003 – Syracuse:  Kueth Duany
  7. 2004 – UConn:  Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, and Taliek Brown
  8. 2005 – UNC:  Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel, Melvin Scott, and David NoelTyler Hansbrough
  9. 2006 – Florida:  This is a slight expection to the rule, the leaders were sophomores, Al Horford, Jokin Noah, Turean Green and Corey Brewer.  But you still had Lee Humpry and Chris Richards play key roles.
  10. 2007 – Florida:  See above.  Juniors and Seniors this season.
  11. 2008 – Kansas:  Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kuhn, Russell Robinson, and Brandon Rush. 
  12. 2009 – UNC:  Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green,  and Bobby Fraser                      *Marcus Ginyard played only three games due to injury and will apply for a medical reshirt. 

While “one-and-done” maybe the fade, the teams with the titles have juniors and seniors on their rosters.  That last sentence, is a double edge sword for coaches.  Do you recruit the top tier recruits who may leave after on year?  Or do you search for the four player who has the potential to get better every year?

This is where Roy Williams has a leg up on the the rest of the country.  As a freshmen committing to UNC, you know that the chance to get enough minutes to get looks from NBA scouts if tough.  So you come back. 

UNC will reload next season and should be competing again for an ACC title, but the young Tar Heel may struggle in certain situations.  Williams will look to relatively “new” players to lead the powder blue nation in tough games.

Either way, this team was impressive.

Carolina Vs. Michigan State

To set the right mood for this post, please imagine the guy with the crazy deep, resonant voice from the movie previews.  Now you can continue to read the following. 

Ford Field – music swells.

Two teams – spot lights on teams.

Two quests – cue video montage of highlights from season.

One Shining Moment. – Crowd roars – Cue music and explosions. 

Add own confetti for added flair and mess. 

Now we are all in the right state of mind to look at the last game of the 2008-09 Men’s College Basketball Season.  I will not “breakdown” these teams, we all know them well.  Instead, I will highlight a few aspects that could change the outcome or guarantee victory, or do neither.

1.  Pace – MSU has a more control tempo and chooses it’s spots to fast break.  While UNC throws it in fifth and punches the pedal the whole game putting the opposition in tough positions. 

2.  Rebounding – More specifically, offensive rebounding.

3.  The Referees – If the refs call it tight, the advantage goes to UNC.  If the refs let them play, Michigan State will have a chance.  Either way, I would rather see it called a little looser. 

4.  Raymar Morgan – Morgan must continue to be aggressive and affect play like he did against UConn, even if he is not scoring.Tom Izzo

5.  Coaching – Roy Willams is a great coach, but Tom Izzo is very Bill Belichick in his game planning. 

*Fashion conscious side-note– Izzo is a much better dresser than Belichick.

6.  Three point shooting – Both teams jack-up alot from distance.  MSU averages 15.2 shots from three a game and UNC 16.4.

7.  Share With The Other Kids – Out the six loses MSU has lost this season, five times their opponent had more assists.  

8.  Home Court Advantage – The game is in Detroit but UNC will not be scared.  It could give MSU a needed lift.

9.  Mascot – The Spartan carrys more fear and more of the “I’m going to kick your ass” factor than the Tar Heel.  I still have no clue what a Tar Heel really is.  I don’t think it is a ram.  Anyone? 

10.  Who I Want To Win – I would like to see Izzo and Michigan State complete this season “tie to legend”, with Bird and Magic in ’79.  Much like Kansas did last year with the anniversary of “Danny and the Miracles”. 

Even though I am an admitted Duke fan, I think I will feel a little bit of sympathy to UNC and the players that came back to win a championship and did not.  You rarely see that kind of dedication in the One and Done Era.  I have great respect for the talent of those players and for Williams. 

11.  UNC in Close Games – UNC has not won a tournament game by less than double-digits.  In the regular season, the Tar Heels had only ONE win that was fewer than eight points.  That was a 69-65 victory on the road at Miami in mid February.

Ty Lawson12.  Point and Counterpoint – Ty Lawson or Kalin Lucas.  Both players are the main reason their teams are still playing.  Who ever plays better, their team will win.  Speed vs. Speed. 

 13.  Bench Production – MSU’s bench score 28 points per game, UNC’s scores 13.2 but even fewer in closer games.  Izzo expects production from the bench no matter how close the game.

 14.  Foul Trouble – Obvious I think.

15.  Annoucer – There have been a ton of combo’s with ESPN and CBS, but for all the is holy, Gus Johnson needs to calls this game!  PLEASE!

That covers it, everything that could possibly shift this game to either side.  I mus say that this is the best breakdown/preview I have done, EVER.  So much in depth details and just filled with vital data.

Enjoy the game.

I almost forgot – Prediction:  UNC 74, MSU 81

Final Four Preview – UNC vs. ‘Nova

Both Final Four games offer great match-ups.  In the UNC vs. Villanova game, however, the game boils down to two specific match-ups.  Let’s take a little look-see.ty

1.  The ‘Nova backcourt vs. Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson is one of the best point guards in the country.  Good toe or bad, he runs the transition game at an extremely efficient level.  He’s one of those guys who is able to run just as fast dribbling the ball as he does without it.  He’s also a pretty solid offensive threat himself, he’s been averaging about 20 points to go along with his 7 assists in the tourney so far.  People can say all they want about Hansbrough, but Lawson is the key to them winning.

However, if there is one team who can slow him down, it’s Villanova.  In their athletic backcourt you will see:  Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Reggie Redding, and Corey Stokes.  They’ve already slowed down some of the best guards and shooters they’ve faced in the tourney so far (Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, Levance Fields, Jrue Holiday).  The game will be decided in the backcourt.

2.  Tyler Hansbrough vs. Dante Cunninghamdante

I’m hoping they’ll defend each other, because this is an interesting match-up.  Cunningham is certainly the more athletic of the two, but he may have trouble with the bigger Hansbrough.  Cunningham is averaging 19 points and 8 boards in the tourney, and is really the leader of the team.  If Psycho T is defending Dante, I suggest ‘Nova employ a similar tactic to Oklahoma, give Cunningham the ball early and try to get Hansbrough on the bench with foul trouble.

Though it’s clear that Lawson is the best player for the Heels and is the floor leader, Hansbrough is the emotional leader.  When he gets going and starts banging his chest, it makes their fans go crazy, the TV commentators usually start drooling over him, and the Tar Heels are tough to stop.  But, if ‘Nova and Cunningham and neutralize him with foul trouble like Oklahoma did, and make some outside shots, unlike Oklahoma, it could be a very good game.

Interesting Side Story: Lawson and Cunningham used to play together as kids.

I’m picking with my heart on this one.  In my opinion, the Big East has proved to be better than the ACC, and ‘Nova has played tough teams all year.

Prediction:  ‘Nova 82, UNC 76

Sweet 16 – Day 2 Preview

Well day 1 of the sweet 16 brought some surprises.  Apparently Missouri has a good basketball team.  And Duke seemed to forget that the round, orange thing is supposed to go into the round metal thing placed 10-feet above the floor with a net hanging from it.  But let’s talk about tonight.

Game 1: Arizona vs. Louisville

Louisville hasn’t exactly walked through their first two games, similar to Pitt.  However, their defense causes just enough chaos to get by, and I’m sure that will be the case tonight.  While Arizona has a future lottery pick in Jordan Hill, the ride for the 12-seeded Wildcats is over.  They weren’t supposed to get past the first round (or make the tourney, for that matter), so kudos to them on wearing this year’s glass slipper.  The only thingblake2 that could get in the way of Louisville’s advancing is their free-throw shooting.  Their best player, Terrence Williams, shoots an embarrassing 57% from the charity stripe. 

Prediction:  Louisville 68, Arizona 59

Game 2: Oklahoma vs. Syracuse

This is tonight’s best game in my opinion.  We get to see player of the year Blake Griffin take on a very tough team in Syracuse.  I will be cheering for Oklahoma as I really like how Griffin plays the game, but I don’t think they can handle Jonny Flynn and the Orange.  The Big East has been impressive thus far, and Syracuse is as good as their conference peers.  Something to keep in mind, however, is that Griffin is averaging 30.5 ppg so far in the tourney, and Syracuse won’t have an answer if he starts taking over.

Prediction:  Syracuse 76, Oklahoma 72

Game 3: Kansas vs. Michigan St.

It will be fun to watch Sherron Collins vs. Kalin Lucas.  Both are very quick point guards, although Collins could easily pound Lucas in a fight. Michigan St. won the teams’ first meeting on Jan 10 by a convincing 13-points, but I think that will change tonight.  Cole Aldrich has turned into a serious beast in the paint (remember colehim handling Hansbrough last year?), and he will be the difference after he posts a solid 20 & 12 tonight.

Prediction:  Kansas 63, Michigan St. 56

Game 4: Gonzaga vs. North Carolina

Can Gonzaga take advantage of UNC’s achilles heel?  Or, in this case, Ty Lawson’s toe?  While Psycho-T gets a lot of attention, it’s clear that Lawson is the one that makes this team tick.  I’m cheering for the Zags, but the Tar Heels will advance.

Prediction:  UNC 81, Gonzaga 68

In future Division I basketball news, the Hopkins boys team won their semi-final game last night despite their opponent, undefeated St. Cloud Tech, employing a complete stall of the game (no shot clock in MN).  Hopkins led at halftime 16-15.  They went on to win by about 20.