Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mock Draft 1.0 (Picks 6-10)

By: Robert Kivell
6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Demar Derozan
(Needs: SG, C)

The T-Wolves could really use an upgrade at every position.  They made a big trade on draft day to get Kevin Love and Mike Miller for O.J. Mayo, but so far it is looking like the Grizzlies got the better end of the trade (when can you ever say that).  Minnesota could really use a 2-guard right here who can score points and compliment Sebastian Telfair in the backcourt.

7. Golden State Warriors- Jordan Hill
(Needs: PF, PG)

I think the Warriors could go two ways with this pick.  Monta Ellis is looking to be more of a shooting guard than a point guard, so it is possible the Warriors could take Brandon Jennings with this pick or Tyreke Evans if he is left.  They also need a big man to hold down the fort with Biendrins, so I like the Warriors to take Hill with this pick.  At this point in the draft, some would view the former Arizona Wildcat as a steal.

8. New York Knicks- Stephen Curry
(Needs: PG, C)

I don't know if Steph Curry is the best player left at this point in the draft, but I think he will be able to fit in nicely in the Knicks' run and gun offense.  Jennings could once again be a possible pick here, but if the Knicks are going to get "you know who" in 2010, Curry would make a better backcourt companion to LBJ than Jennings would.

9. Toronto Raptors- Gerald Henderson
(Needs: SG, C)

An aging Anthony Parker (33 years old) just will not cut it anymore for the Raptors.  Toronto has solid pieces to build around in Bosh, Calderon, and Bargnani, and Henderson would fit in nicely to round out the Rap's starting five.  If they could get their acts together, these guys should be able to make a run at one of the lower seeds in the playoffs next year.

10. Miluakee Bucks- Brandon Jennings
(Needs: PG, PF)

An absolute steal for the Bucks at number 10.  Jrue Holiday is a possible option here as is Dajuan Blair.  The Bucks have a lot of work to do, and Brandon Jennings could be a nice start for them.

Picks 11-15 will be coming later

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mock Draft 1.0 (Picks 1-5)

By: Robert Kivell
1. LA Clippers- Blake Griffin
(Needs: PF, SG)

Griffin is by far the best player in the draft and would fit right in in L.A.  With a starting lineup of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Al Thorton, Blake Griffin, and Marcus Camby, the Clips could make a big improvement next year and hover around the .500 mark.

2. Memphis Grizzlies- Hasheem Thabeet
(Needs: C, PG)

The Grizzlies could go two ways with this pick.  They can select Thabeet or Rubio.  It's all going to depend on how much patience they are willing to have with Mike Conley Jr.  If they are ready to label him as a bust, Rubio is the pick.  If not, Thabeet is their guy.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder- James Harden
(Needs: C, SG)

I see Russel Westbrook as a better point guard in the future than as a shooting guard.  If Thabeet falls to three, he is their guy, but once he is gone I see them picking Harden.   I would not be surprised however if they trade this pick with someone who is interested in moving up to take Rubio because he won't be left after the Kings pick.

4. Sacramento Kings- Ricky Rubio
(Needs: PG, SF)

The transition from Mike Bibby to Beno Udrich has not gone so well.  If Rubio is left here at #4 it would be a blessing for last year's worst team in the NBA.  If not, they could take Tyreke Evans or Brandon Jennings here.

5. Washington Wizards- Tyreke Evans
(Needs: PG, SG, C,)

The Wizards could really use a big man, but the quality of centers after Thabeet isn't good enough.  I like Evans to compliment Agent Zero in the Wiz's backcourt.

Picks 6-10 will be coming later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Finals Predictions

By: Robert Kivell

Game 1

The Magic won't know what to expect, and the Lakers will.  I see the Lakers storming out of the gate in this one to take a double digit lead.  The Lakers will be able to maintain that lead throughout the game and win game 1 in a blowout.

Prediction: Lakers by 12 (Lakers lead 1-0)

Game 2

The Magic are going to come out firing three's to take a early double-digit lead, much like the Lakers in game 1.  However this time the trailing team won't fade away.  Lead by Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, the Lakers will storm back to win in a close one.

Prediction: Lakers by 5 (Lakers lead 2-0)

Game 3

For the first time in the series the score is within ten at halftime.  The Magic are up a little despite shooting poorly from 3-pt range.  In a do or die situation in the second half, Dwight Howard takes over.  Superman is able to stay out of foul trouble and records a double-double in the third quarter alone.  Magic win by big, very big.

Prediction: Magic by 17 (Lakers lead 2-1)

Game 4

A tight one throughout.  Kobe Bryant cannot be stopped, but neither can the Magic's three point shooters.  Bryant matches Turkaglu, Lewis, and Alston shot for shot, and the Lakers win in a close one.

Prediction: Lakers by 3 (Lakers lead 3-1)

Game 5

Jameer Nelson returns to provide the Magic with a much needed lift.  Nelson scores 20 off the bench to propel the Magic to a road victory.  Meanwhile, Pietrus and Turkaglu hold Kobe to 30% shooting from the field.

Prediction: Magic by 7 (Lakers lead 3-2)

Game 6

Stan Van Gundy decides to reward Nelson for his outstanding game five performance by starting him over Rafer Alston.  Nelson has another gutty performance, but is overshadowed by Dwight Howard's dominance of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.  D-Howard puts up 40 and 20, forcing a game 7 in LA.

Prediction: Magic by 8 (Series tied 3-3)

Game 7

 The Magic get out to an early double digit lead, but the Laker deficit is trimmed to just a point at halftime.  

Stan Van Gundy throws and kicks multiple objects in the locker room to show his disgust to his team.  Stan the Man gives his boys one of the greatest pep talks of all time to get them ready for the second half.  Meanwhile, Phil Jackson is listening to music in his office while Kobe is getting his team ready for the second half.  Halftime result: Van Gundy over Kobe. 

 The Magic come out fired up and score three 3's to start the third.  The game goes back in forth for the rest of the quarter, but the Magic remain on top by double digits heading into the fourth.  Nicholson is starting to pull out his hair (or whatever of it is remaining), Shaq, who is in attendance, is smiling and thinking to himself (Hey Kobe, this is how my a** tastes), Lebron is smiling at home because if Kobe loses he can still say he is the best in the league, and Phil  Jackson has fallen asleep on the bench.  

Time for the fourth quarter, time for JJ Redick.  Two three's to start the fourth, and the Magic are up by 16.  It's over, right?  Wrong! The Lakers have Kobe Bryant.  They come all the way back to trail by 5 with 20 seconds left.  After hitting one of two free throws, the Magic lead by 6 with 17 seconds left.  Kobe dribbles the ball across half court, 14 seconds, puts a move on Pietrus, passes the ball to Shannon Brown?  Brown, as surprised as all of the fans throws up a three and drains it.  Magic by 3 with 8 seconds left.  Lewis is set to inbound the ball, but throws it right to Lamar Odom.  Odom has two options, go for the wide-open dunk with 6 seconds left to be down by one (DO IT!!!) or dribble out behind the three-point line and hope to get lucky.  On a sugar high from all of his candy he has eaten, Odom decides to do the smart thing, he puts up a layup.  Lakers down by one with 5 seconds left.

Magic inbound the ball to Lewis, who gets fouled by Gasol with 3 seconds left.  Gasol fouls out.  Lewis drains both foul shots, and runs back to his bench after the Lakers call time out.  Phil Jackson draws up the mastermind play that has worked every time he has called it over his career and made him the best coach in basketball (some would say).  Give the ball to Michael, I mean Kobe, and everyone clear out.

Fisher takes the ball out of bounds and gives it to Kobe.  3...2...1...he puts it up.  ITS GOOD.  WE'RE GOING TO OVERTIME. GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL-TIME.  But wait why is Pietrus screaming at the ref and pointing at the three point line?  He is saying Kobe's foot was on the line.  The refs look into the monitor.  Pietrus was right.  Kobe's foot was on the line.  It is only a two. Orlando wins by one.  MAGIC WIN. MAGIC WIN.