3 min read

Monday Bolts – 5.24.10

Monday Bolts – 5.24.10

Is John Wall the next Russell Westbrook?: “Entering the 2010 Draft, John Wall is essentially Russell Westbrook, only with 457,000 times the hype. Both players have dynamic athleticism. Westbrook has improved his outside shot, but it’s still a work in progress. Wall’s shooting percentage plummeted when SEC teams dared him to shoot from the perimeter. Even given his improvements, Russell Westbrook would never be anointed as a savior of one of the NBA’s worst franchises. Why then, should Wall be considered the saving grace for the Wizards simply because he is more hyped?”

Jeff Van Gundy says OKC-LA was the best series so far: “Van Gundy says the Lakers-Oklahoma City Thunder first-round series has been the only “really compelling” one, and “a very choppy schedule has led to very boring series for the most part. … I don’t want to say it’s been tedious, but there hasn’t been a lot of excitement yet.”

Mike Baldwin says KD is a lock for Team USA: “Nine players from the 2008 gold medal Olympic team are on Team USA’s 31-man roster. But LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard still haven’t committed to playing in this summer’s World Championships in Turkey, which is why Kevin Durant is viewed as a lock to make Team USA’s final roster.”

Baldwin on OKC’s chemistry: “Every time you hear someone suggest Presti should ship Green to Toronto in a sign-and-trade swap for Chris Bosh or sign a free agent like Kyle Korver, the more likely scenario is Presti won’t sign any free agents this summer. Sometimes the status quo isn’t a bad option. Veteran forward Nick Collison has played for five different coaches during seven NBA seasons. Since he was the No. 12 overall selection in the 2003 draft, Collison has played with 62 different teammates. That’s why Collison said continuity — same coach, same system and same core group of players — were the biggest factors in the Thunder’s startling 27-win improvement.”

Mike Brown has officially been canned.

Shoals on the draft: “Plain and simple, the NBA draft is a minefield. Throwing someone out there year after year, especially without the luxury of picking top three, is going to make for some high-profile mess-ups. Very often, it’s impossible to tell whether it’s the GM, player, or coach who is at fault. But the GM bears the brunt; he’s the face of the front office, and is the guy who has to drag himself back into the war room a a year later with blood on his hands. Someone like Elgin Baylor built up a reputation as failure, a loser, based on the Clippers picks. The Kevin Pritchard Effect cuts both ways — a guy like former Bucks GM Larry Harris picked Andrew Bogut (took a while, could have had Chris Paul or Deron Williams) and Yi Jianlian (could have at least gone with Joakim Noah) in an attempt to rebuild, and was out before the 2008 draft.”

Simmons with a scary thought in his column on Mikhail Prokhorov: “The summer of 2011, when MRMC needs to start getting serious. He’ll have his trusted people in place by then. He’ll have been learning the NBA business for a solid year, enabling him to come to conclusions like, “I like the guy who runs that Oklahoma City team, maybe I will offer their owner $20 million for the chance to hire him away.” He’ll have cap space (assuming he doesn’t blow it this summer, and I don’t think he will) and another lottery pick. He’ll have the Brooklyn move looming. I think he makes a MAJOR (all caps) run at Carmelo. Just a gut feeling.”

Amare Stoudemire on committing to the Suns long term: “It’s still 50-50 and it’s still going to be that way until a decision is made,” Stoudemire said after the Suns practice Saturday morning. “I don’t know where this guy [ESPN’s Chad] Ford is getting his information from, but it’s not coming from my agent, my manager or from myself.”

Chris Sheridan has a little more on the Bosh list.

Thabo on being appreciate in his role: “It’s big. I’m happy about that. I work hard at it. It’s always good when you get recognition for what you do. At the same time, there’s a lot more I want to add to my game, especially offensively. It’s good to be known as a defender. At the same time I don’t want to be just that. I have a long summer ahead of me, a lot of work. I want to add pieces to my game.”