Wally’s World Needs a Reality Check

By: Freaknick

I live in Atlanta, Georgia.  Home of the Hawks, and formerly the home of one Josh Childress.  So naturally my conversations about the Euroleague start quite similarly: “How’s that Childress fella doing?”…or something like that.  I briefly touch on his triumphs and his troubles, and most folks focus on the latter.

This is when I hit them with my qualifiers and conditions to justify Childress’ lack of statistical success: “Well, Childress’ game really isn’t ideally suited for the style of play over there, which can take some getting used to.  He makes up for it with his athleticism, but it’s not fair to expect him to dominate from day one.”

Inevitably, then, the follow-up: “What do you mean?  How is it any different?”

So I give my oral presentation of a few keys to succeeding in a Euroleague backcourt:

  • high-percentage shotmaker with decent range
  • clever and crafty without the ball
  • the ability to dribble drive and finish with authority—even occasionally—separates the stars from the contributors
  • smart, productive passer who can execute the pick and roll (nearly to perfection)
  • Effective on-ball defender who is-at the very least-skilled enough to funnel the ball toward his help.  Again, excellent defense is a plus.

Based on those little bullets, it sounds like there are a few folks riding pine in the NBA that could reinvigorate their careers with a little hop, skip, and a jump overseas.  Exhibit A: Wally Szczerbiak.

After averaging 10 or more points per game in each of his first nine seasons (with a high watermark of 19 as recently as ‘06), Szczerbiak has had to sacrifice minutes and attention playing for the Cleveland LeBrons over the past season and a half.  In those 95 games, he’s averaged under eight points in only 20 minutes per game, and both of those numbers look to drop with the addition of 2-Time Euroleague MVP Anthony Parker, who will likely fill his role as a shooter who can guard 2’s and 3’s.  To make matters worse, Cleveland has not even made him an offer this offseason.

So imagine my dismay to hear that Szczerbiak turned down an offer from Real Madrid to play, most likely Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 months, 1 week ago at 2:36 pm.

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Can Hedo that? Turkoglu pulls a fast one

By: Freaknick

So we broke the news in our most recent podcast and thought we were pretty on top of it.  Turkoglu to the Blazers!

Oops.  Make that…um…the Raptors!

As Hedo becomes the latest player to use the NBA Finals as a catapult to an inflated contract (James Posey being last year’s big winner), I’m looking beyond the 5 years and 53 million.  What we care about is the implications this signing will have on European basketball.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

The fallout from the Turkoglu deal could hit European hoops from a few different angles.

1.  Rudy Fernandez: After letting the Blazers brass know he was perturbed by their courtship of Turkoglu, they laid the offer at Hedo’s feet anyways.  As it is, Rudy believes he could make more money in Europe, and maybe this Hedo saga will be enough to make him reconsider.  He has already had informal discussions with Olympiacos, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow.

2. Anthony Parker: FACT: Parker is a 2-time Euroleague MVP.  FACT: The Raptors drafted USC’s Demar Derozan to be his replacement.  FACT: Anthony Parker can still shoot lights out and defend.  GUESS: Parker will be back in Europe again in a few months.

3.  Shawn Marion: This is a long shot, but Marion has often griped about being disrespected and undervalued in the NBA, and big European money could remedy the  chip on his shoulder.

4.  Carlos Delfino: The Raptors are expected to renounce the rights… Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 3:03 pm.

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Free Agent Frenzy

By: Slam

Let’s take a look at the 5 best NBA Players that could possibly go over and play in the Euroleague next year:

Will an NBA team want him? Or is Europe his only Option?

Will an NBA team want him? Or is Europe his only Option?

1.  Allen Iverson

Yes, the NBA icon Allen Iverson could be looking to play overseas next season.  It sounds like Detroit doesn’t want him back and there are very few teams in the league he could fit into.  He still has  a lot of talent and quickness but he is starting to age pretty fast.  Iverson would still be an instant stud in the Euroleague as his talent would be superior to anyone out there.  Iverson is 34 and his body has taken a beating over the years but I’d still expect a big name team such as Maccabi Tel Aviv or CSKA Moscow to make a run at him.

Artest will have to shape up his behavior if he wants to play abroad

Artest will have to shape up his behavior if he wants to play abroad

2. Ron Artest

Another NBA star could be making his presence felt in Europe.  Artest would be an undersized power forward in Europe who would be stronger than almost any player in the league.  He could dominate with a devastating ability to get to the basket because very few defenders could handle him once he gets in the lane.  Artest still has a good amount of basketball in him, but Euroleague teams might be scared of his behavior in the past.  Look for a team that isn’t quite good enough to be among the elite Euroleague teams but still has money, like Efes Pilsen, AJ Milano, and the always willing to spend Olympiacos, to try and aquire him.

Linas could make a lot of money in Europe

Linas could make a lot of money in Europe

3. Linas Kleiza

Kleiza is a Lithuanian product who has been playing his NBA ball with the Denver Nuggets.  He was a key cog in getting the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals.  He is a very long small forward with a deadly outside shooting touch.  He can play both forward positions which will make some NBA teams covet him this off season. Kleiza though could be a monster in the Euroleague with his ability to shoot outside and drive to the basket, his offensive talent would be hard to match.  Most all Euroleague teams would be excited about the prospect of adding Kleiza as he is entering his prime.   There always is a chance he wants to go home and play for Zalgiris too. Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 1:31 pm.

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Slam’s Draft Diary: Part 1 (The Lottery)

NBA Draft Diary

I managed to do a running diary of the entire NBA draft, 5 whole hours, 2 rounds, 7 cups of coffees, and 1 diary.  Here is the first part as I will release it in 4 parts, it’s very long.  Check out Freaknick and I go at it right after the first round ended on the podcast.

Hello World this is your resident hoopologist Slam checking in with his first of many running diaries.  I’m going to be you analysis on the 2009 NBA Draft, also known from this point on of Draft de Complementary Players.  If you’re looking for a stud in this draft outside of the top 5, then you might as well move along, this draft is tailor made for teams looking for role players.  Now let’s get into some pre-game talk, Stu Scott takes us away.

7:02 p.m. - We just got word the Dick Vitale is going to be making an appearance, everyone get your earplugs out.

7:03 - Who has more hair gel Andy Katz or Rick Bucher?  I say tossup.

Andy Katz loves the hair gel OR Ric Bucher might love it more

7:06 – John Barr tells that there is “tons of excitement” around the Shaq trade, then why does he sound so unexcited?  Between Shaq, Richard Jefferson, and Vince Carter getting traded I think the most valuable guy is Richard Jefferson.  Shaq won’t be able to have back to back monster seasons and Vince Carter’s greatest achievement is winning the Dunk Contest

7:11 – All the analysts are praising Orlando for getting Vince Carter but doesn’t this mean they can’t sign Hedo Turkoglu?  Hedo was their ball handler in the clutch last year and isn’t he more valuable to the team than Vince “I need my shots” Carter, let’s think big picture here.

7:13 – A camera in the Clippers war room: an inside look on how to screw up an NBA team.

Got to love that nose

7:21 – Some Ricky Rubio talk FINALLY. We even have an interview EUROLEAGUE BABY.  Let’s rate Ricky: English- C- Style- D Nose- A+.  Ricky loves the beaches in California, is that an open petition to try and be a Sacramento King?  I hope not but Rubio is going to be the funniest point guard to watch for the next 10 years so let’s hope he doesn’t end up in purgatory in Sactown.

7:32 – “New York home of the Knicks and Liberty” thanks David Stern but I think we all agree you can shorten that statement next year. But HERE WE GO, some NBA Draft.  I say Blake Griffin goes one, call me crazy.

7:35 – OO yes a montage of Clippers #1 draft picks, the Kandi-Man made a jump hook, really? They can do anything with video nowadays, the Clippers can’t mess up Blake Griffin, I think.

7:38 – Blake Griffin first pick what? Who? When?  Yes this was a can’t miss pick; he scored at will in college and grabbed rebounds from all over the place.  If Griffin can get a go-to post move and he can be a killer on the fast break, look out.

7:43 – Exclusive Mike Dunleavy interview.  He says “We’re going to look and see what’s the best decision for our team.” I’m going to go with that’s the opposite of what he has been doing since he’s gotten there.

7:45 – Hasheem Thabeet is our 2nd pick, do I have to wait or say it now: BUST.  As a Syracuse fan I watched UConn all year and Thabeet has zero offensive game.  Yes he can change the game defensively but he is abysmal offensively, think Ben Wallace but with injury concerns cause he’s so big.

7:52 – NOOOOOOO… Continue Reading…

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Posted 3 months ago at 1:22 am.

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