Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rookie Report

1. Emeka Okafor is doing great. He rebounds strong and I watched him
put some nice blocks on people tonight. Very good weakside help. And
his turn around jumper is proving to be a nice offensive move on the
low block.

2. Luol Deng. I believe I wrote earlier that I thougt Luol would be
very good and that he was being widely underestimated. He now leads
all Rookie scorers with 18.5 ppg and is also getting 7 rpg coming off
the bench. He has a very smooth effortless game with good perimeter
shooting and savy moves to the tin.

3. Dwight Howard. I underestimated this kid dramatically. He is
rebounding like a beast and could be in the midst of an Amare type
year. I think Grant Hill is really raising everybody's play on
Orlando so without him Dwight would be lower.

4. Chris Duhon. I frequently fail to understand why the NBA avoids
four year seniors who were leaders from good teams and displayed good
skill. Boozer comes to mind. And this years pick is Duhon. I wanted
the Celtics to draft this kid. He's coming off the pine to average
5.8 assists a game and is playing good hard man defense. I think he
would have been a better pick than Delonte West to be the Celtics
point guard.

5. Nocioni. He is the leading rebounder on the Bulls right now. This
tells you two things. He has a nose for the ball at the small forward
spot, but also that the Bulls twin towers are soft as hell.

Wait and See:

Celtics trio. Delonte West comes back this week. Al Jefferson looks
to be a mean rebounder and Tony Allen is very atheletic and appears to
be a very good rebounder. Problem is each is playing only 9 minutes a
game. This hurts the C's rookies a lot in the evaluation because
they just don't get the playing that Okafur and the rest on this list
get. We'll see how they keep contributing in limited minutes though.

All together though I have to say I think this was a really strong draft.

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