NBA2K14 Ratings Leaked

Hello all! I know it’s been a while since we’ve posted, but the leaking of the NBA2k14 ratings seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back into it! This article will cover the top 3 players in each team, the first 22 selected rookies of the 2013 NBA Draft and how they rated and finally, I’ve looked at every player who had a rating of above 80 and ranked them in order of rating.

TOP 3 RATED PLAYERS IN EACH TEAM

EAST
Philadelphia 76ers

Thaddeus Young 79
Evan Turner 75
Jason Richardson 74

Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young leads a weak 76ers team in terms of 2k ratings. The 76ers are ‘tanking’ this year as they are looking for a high lottery position in the 2014 draft. Jason Richardson possibly rated a little too highly with an aging body, but three-point threats tend to rate higher in virtual sports.

Charlotte Bobcats
Al Jefferson 84
Kemba Walker 83
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 77

Al Jefferson

Newly acquired Jefferson leads a Bobcats team in the ratings, but the youthful trio of Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller will ultimately determine how many games this team wins. Cody Zeller has possibly been underrated a little from 2k with a rating of just 68 probably not doing justice to this Rookie of the Year contender.
Milwaukee Bucks
O.J. Mayo 81
Caron Butler 80
Larry Sanders 79

Larry Sanders - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn NetsLarry Sanders

O.J. Mayo leads this Bucks team, another of these fringe playoff teams last season tanking this season. With the Bucks on the rebuild, the 2014 Draft would be the best place to start and GM John Hammond has realised this. The wing duo of Mayo and Butler partnered with the interior presence of Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova could sneak the Bucks a few upset victories, but don’t get you’re hopes up Milwaukee fans.
Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose 92
Joakhim Noah 81
Luol Deng 80

Derrick Rose Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls reacts after a slam dunk against the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Bulls defeated the Suns 115-104.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose leads the 2k ratings and will lead this well oiled Bulls machine deep into the playoffs once again this season. A legitimate MVP candidate, Rose’s rating is definitely justified in his play. The Bulls are always a fun team to play 2K with as ‘cheesing’ with Derrick Rose is one of the best parts of the game. In real life though, his supporting cast of Deng, Noah and Jimmy Butler will maintain the Bulls precense as one of the best two-way teams in the league.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving 88
Andrew Bynum 86
Jarrett Jack 79

Kyrie Irving - BBVA Rising Stars Challenge 2013Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is the best young player in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers are possibly the best young team in the NBA. Coincedince? Definitely not. Irving is hands down in the the top 5 point guards in the league and would arguably be the most exciting player in the league. Tipped to be the man to give DRose and Chris Paul a run for their money as the number 1 point guard, expect Irvings already lofty 88 rating to further improve in years to come. Superstar.
Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo 90
Jeff Green 79
Avery Bradley 78
Rajon Rondo - Chicago Bulls v Boston CelticsRajon Rondo
I believe that Rajon Rondo will be transferred out of the Celtics by the end of this season. Whether it be before the start of the season is the real question. The Celtics are another of about a 7-strong list of teams playing for draft picks and Rondo only improves them. As shown by his 90 rating, he is one of the stars of the game and as shown by the 11 point difference to the next best player, he has no one around him. The Celtics will not be one of the most popular teams to play as in NBA2K14.
Atlanta Hawks
Al Horford 81
Paul Millsap 80
Lou Williams 79
Paul Millsap - Utah Jazz v Atlanta HawksPaul Millsap
New addition Paul Millsap was a good one for the Hawks.
He and Horford (shown above) will have to become nearly
the leagues best frontcourts for the Hawks to come
anywhere close to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Atlanta Hawks are a well-rounded, middle of the road type team. This is exactly how they’ve been ranked, with just 3 points separating their best and fourth best players. (Elton Brand 78). The Hawks can be expected to have another bland season where they finish satisfactorily, not poorly but not brilliantly. This has been the case for the last 6 years, with the Hawks always making playoffs but not once advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami Heat
LeBron James 99
Dwyane Wade 91
Chris Bosh 82
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs: Game 5LeBron James and Dwyane Wade
As long as the Heat have these two, they’re going to be one of the best teams in the NBA. LeBron’s rating of 99 just examplifies that he is nearly the perfect player. A man who could go down as the second best ever deserves the rating. Playing with the Heat on videogames is effectively cheating nowadays, with LeBron being able to do everything and anything and DWade not being too shabby himself. Expect the Heat to be there at the pointy end of the season once more.

New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony 92
J.R. Smith 83
Iman Shumpert 82
Amare Stoudemire 82
Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony
The leagues scoring champion and clear second best scorer Carmelo Anthony is perfectly at 92. With the game being nearly all about offence, it makes sense that ‘Melo would be one of the highest rated in the business. As far as the others go, the only query I have is why Tyson Chandler is rated below Raymond Felton. Chandler is a top 5 centre, albeit in an extremely weak centre class, and Felton is an aging point guard, with limited untapped upside. Although I understand the game is offensively based, the Knicks second best player should still be rated far above the 77 he is rated at in this years version.
Orlando Magic
Victor Oladipo 76
Arron Afflalo 76
Jameer Nelson 76

Victor Oladipo
When a rookie who hasn’t even seen a minute of NBA action is your equal top rated player, you’re in trouble, It’s even worse if all three of you ‘best’ have the same strongest position. That’s the exact position the Orlando Magic find themselves in. Oladipo is the future for this tanking Magic, and if they do become the worst team in the league, as they were last season, he and a 2014 draft pick will make this team an exciting prospect for the future. But for now, gamers won’t be rushing to play as the Magic.
Washington Wizards
John Wall 85
Nene Hilario 79
Emeka Okafor 78
John Wall - Washington Wizards v Brooklyn NetsJohn Wall

John Wall is a star. Tucked away in Washington, the former top draft pick hasn’t been viewed as living up to expectations, but this year will be the year that everyone will see how good Wall truly is. Although some might argue that 85 is far too high a rating for Wall, it is just about perfect in my view, as this guy can really ball. The Wizards will be a team to look out for this year with youthful wing combo of number 3 draft picks Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. partnered with Wall, an experienced frontcourt and a decent bench, they’ll be good to watch in reality and fun to play as virtually.
Detroit Pistons
Josh Smith 87
Brandon Jennings 83
Chauncey Billups 81
Brandon Jennings - Milwaukee Bucks v Dallas MavericksBrandon Jennings
The Detroit Pistons are a weird team. The three highest rated players on this team are all offseason additions and all are confusing moves that will either see the Pistons hit the jackpot or stay in the obscurity they’re currently in. With Josh Smith, they’ve brought in a top 3 Power Forward who is terrible at shooting beyond the paint to play Small Forward and do exactly that. They’ve brought in a shoot first Point, which will mean guys like Greg Monroe (80) will see much less of the ball. With the three point threats of Jennings and Billups and the dunking ability of Smith, Monroe and Andre Drummond, one thing is certain, the Pistons will be great fun to play with on 2k14.
Toronto Raptors
Rudy Gay 86
Kyle Lowry 83
DeMar DeRozan 77
Rudy Gay - Toronto Raptors v New York KnicksRudy Gay
The Toronto Raptors are an extremely fun team to play virtual sports with. Whether it be dunking with Jonas Valanciunas, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan or hitting threes with Gay and Lowry, this team is good fun. The rankings maybe give the Raptors a bit of silver lining, with Gay and Lowry both being above their actual rating, but they certainly will be a team to look out for this year. Offensively they boast one of the best wing combos in the game and defensively they look solid as well. The Canadian boys will improve this year.

Brooklyn Nets
Deron Williams 88
Paul Pierce 84
Kevin Garnett 82
Deron Williams - Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets - Game SevenDeron Williams

The Brooklyn Nets, wow. This team will be one awesome team to play with when NBA2k14 does come out! With their lowest rated started Brook Lopez having a rating of 80 if you don’t mind, the talent is everywhere! Although they’ll be great to play with, it’s hard not to disagree with some of the ratings. Firstly, Deron Williams shares an 88 rating with players such as Kyrie Irving and James Harden and is above players the caliber of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Williams had a poor season and a more suitable rating would be 83-85. Also, an aging Kevin Garnett above career-year Brook Lopez? I believe the producers have just gone with KG’s reputation on this one.
Indiana Pacers
Paul George 87
Roy  Hibbert 80
Danny Granger 80
Paul George - Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game SixPaul George
2k sports has rated the Indiana Pacers very well. Paul George is one of the best young players in the game and deserves the 87 rating, whilst Hibbert and Granger are both deserved of the 80 rating.  The wings at the Pacers will be very crowded this year, with two stars in Granger and George, it will be hard to play both at once and get maximum productivity. A possible Granger trade is still very much on the cards, a move that would help the Pacers and definitely another team. Expect the Pacers to make a run and they may be the team that finally beats the Heat.

WEST
Dallas Mavericks
Monta Ellis 84
Dirk Nowitzki 83
Shaun Marion 79
Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks v Denver NuggetsDirk Nowitzki
Monta Ellis above Dirk Nowitzki? Think again 2k! Whilst Ellis can be exhillerating and can light up a game with his smooth stroke, Nowitzki is the heart and sole of the Mavericks and is still one of the best players in the league. More suitable ratings would be Ellis 82 and Nowitzki 85. Although Dirk is no longer the player he once was, he is still an absolute star and with that unstoppable fadeaway, he is a complete player. Other than this, the Mavericks have actually been rated quite well in this version and will be an interesting proposition in the 2013-14 season.
Denver Nuggets

Ty Lawson 85
Wilson Chandler 81
Nate Robinson 80
Kenneth Faried 80
Ty Lawson - Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets Ty Lawson
The Nuggets fired Coach of the Year George Karl this offseason, in a surprising move that made sense to absolutely no one. They also moved along their two best defensive players in Andre Iguodala and Kosta Koufos. What does this result in? A team that is 100% offensively minded and a team that will be extremely fun to play 2k with! With the addition of Nate Robinson, this team has four players above the 80 rating and they look to be an extremely exciting team. Danilo Gallinari can count himself as unlucky, receiving a rating of 77 despite being arguably the teams best player. Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson have been boosted in the ratings, but overall, they look fairly right.
New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday 87
Eric Gordon 83
Tyreke Evans 82

Jrue Holiday
The New Orleans Pelicans have had a total makeover this offseason, and not just in the name and jersey department. With the additions of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, the Pelicans now have one of the best starting line ups going around. As shown with the 2k ratings, the backcourt duo of Holiday and Gordon is a brilliant one. If the two stars gel, playoffs could be coming to New Orleans. With another year of development into Anthony Davis, I have no doubt that he will be in the top 3, if not the top of these Pelicans ratings next year.
Houston Rockets
Dwight Howard 90
James Harden 88
Chandler Parsons 77
James Harden - Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets James Harden
The Houston Rockets are a legitimate title contender for the first time since Hakeem Olajuwon retired. Boasting one of the best duos in the NBA, the Rockets won’t just be relying on The Beard (Harden) and Superman (Howard). Although only given a rating of 77, Chandler Parsons is an absolute star in the making, whilst Jeremy Lins gradual improvement at Point should steer them nicely. Between dropping 3′s with Lin, Harden and Parsons and dunking with D12, playing 2k with the Rockets is guaranteed to be exhillerating.
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan 87
Tony Parker 86
Manu Ginobili 86
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker - Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs: Game 6Tim Duncan and Tony Parker
The San Antonio Spurs seem to be ageless. Commonly referred to as the Benjamin Buttons of the NBA, this team just seems to get better with age! With Tony Parker improving to become a top 3 Point Guard, this team made it all the way to the NBA Finals last season. But the 2k developers seemed to miss this improvement. Parker is rated exactly the same as his teammate Manu Ginobili, despite having an undoubtedly superior season. Whilst Ginobili went missing in big moments, the Frenchman stood up to be counted. I believe even Kawhi Leonard 82 could be rated above Ginobili after last season. Either way, the Spurs are still definitely one of the best teams in the league, as shown with four players being rated above 82.
Phoenix Suns
Eric Bledsloe 82
Marcin Gortat 79
Goran Dragic 78
Marcin Gortat - Phoenix Suns v Chicago BullsMarcin Gortat
Nobody can quite be sure if the Suns are deliberately tanking or actually trying to improve this season. If it’s the latter, they’ve failed. My best guess is that by bringing in Eric Bledsloe, they’ll try to run a college-style two Point Guard system, but that rarely works at NBA level. Otherwise, Bledsloe will have to play an undersized wing, a position that he may be able to handle in offense, but will struggle defensively. The ratings for the Suns are all about right, with the mediocrity of the team being the only thing really shining through. Expect this outfit to be a bottom three team in a clustered Western Conference.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant 94
Russell Westbrook 91
Serge Ibaka 84
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento KingsRussell Westbrook and Kevin Durant
OKC have been the second best team in the NBA for a couple of years now, with an NBA Finals and a Western Conference Finals appearance to show. However, Kevin Durant hasn’t been shy in expressing the fact that he wants more. He wants to win. He is the second best player in the NBA by far and is one of the frontrunners for the NBA MVP this year, after improving his passing and rebounding last season. With these improvements, it doens’t seem to make sense why he’s dropped a rating point from last year. If anything, KD should have moved up a point. Nevertheless, the Thunder have been rated fairly well in other areas, with Serge Ibakas marked improvement being recognised in these ratings. If OKC have a healthy KD, Westbrook and Ibaka, watch out Miami, this team could knock you off.
Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love 86
Kevin Martin 81
Nikola Pekovic 78
Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston CelticsKevin Love
The Timberwolves are one of the more intriguing teams in the NBA at the moment, with a playoff caliber squad, but they’re one of the mose injury prone teams in the NBA. This is examplified by Kevin Love only receiving a rating of 86 despite being one of the top 10 players in the league when fit. Kevin Martin is intruiging at 81, with his three-point shooting clearly boosting his rating. With the two Kevins onboard, dropping treys with the T’wolves will no doubt be a highlight of 2k14.
Portland Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge 84
Damian Lillard 84
Nicolas Batum 78
LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers v Boston CelticsLaMarcus Aldridge
Damian Lillard has been rewarded for an outstanding rookie season, with a highly deserved rating of 84. It’s hard to see the Rookie of the Year taking a step back this year. Despite Lillard being rewarded for a great year, LaMarcus Aldridge deserves to feel a little hard-done-by, with the All Star Power Forward receiving a rating of just 84. The stretch 4 is arguably the best Power Forward in the game, a suitable rating would have been 86 minimum. Other than LaMarcus, it looks as if the rest of the team, including the newlyfound bench depth is rated adequately.
Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry 88
Andre Iguodala 85
David Lee 81
Stephen Curry - San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are the most injury prone team in the NBA, but they’re also the team with the most upside. With a healthy roster, this team could be the darkhorse in the NBA Championship race. Steph Curry deserves the 88 rating that he’s received after an amazing season, where he had the best 3-Point season of all time. With the addition of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors are now a well rounded team defensively as well as an exciting offensive team. This team is also great to play with on 2k, with Klay Thompson and Curry dropping treys and Iguodala, Lee and Andrew Bogut dunking, this team is super fun to play with virtually, as well as watch in real life.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul III 94
Blake Griffin 84
Darren Collison 79
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin - Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game SevenChris Paul and Blake Griffin
The Clippers are everyones favourite 2k team. Nothing brings more satisfaction than CP3 chucking up an ally-oop and BG  slamming it down. When Chris Paul first moved to Lob City, the team was reinvigorated. It was no longer Griffin throwing it down in meaningless games, it was a playoff vibe, with a 17 game win streak the result. The ratings are accurate, with CP3, the leagues best Point Guard being rated as such. Although, on the same level as Durant? Maybe not. Griffin is also rated fairly, with 84 being around about where the big man is at right now.
Memphis Grizzlies
Zach Randolph 83
Mike Conley Jr. 83
Marc Gasol 81
Mike Conley - San Antonio Spurs v Memphis GrizzliesMike Conley Jr.
One of the most perplexing ratings in this years edition of 2k. Mike Conley being rated alongside Randolph as the Grizzlies best player, despite common opinion being that Marc Gasol is in fact the Grizzlies best. Granted, Conley Jr. had a wonderful playoff series, but he is nowhere near the player Gasol is. This rating is especially surprising in an offense dominated videogame, whilst Conley is a defensive player. There’s no doubt that the Memphis guard is a good player, but best player on the Grizzlies? I think you’ve got this one wrong 2k.
Utah Jazz
Derrick Favors 78
Trey Burke 73
Richard Jefferson 72
Hi-res-175801876_crop_northTrey Burke
The Jazz are tanking. Whenever a team trades away it’s two best players (Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap), it’s clear that they’re probably not too concerned about winning. When number 9 draft pick Trey Burke, who shot under 25% in the Summer League, is your second highest rated player, you’re not going to win too many games. In terms of the ratings, they’re all fairly accurate. 
Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins 79
Carl Landry 76
Marcus Thornton 75
DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings v Miami HeatDeMarcus Cousins
The Kings are looking good for a top 5 selection at next years draft. With their only real talent being loose cannon DeMarcus Cousins, things aren’t looking up in Sacramento. The Kings have been rated fairly, with DeMarcus actually being rated on performance for once, it’s a nice change. 6th man of the year contender last year Carl Landry has also been rated fairly accurately. Kings fans, lets hope you get some luck in the lottery: you need it.
Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant 93
Pau Gasol 80
Steve Nash 80
Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles ClippersKobe Bryant
Perhaps the greatest disappointment of the 2012-13 season was the LA Lakers. With the best starting line up in the game, they looked like a surefire Western Conference Finals team. But yet, they weren’t. Steve Nash and Pau Gasols poor years were reflected in their ratings, whilst Kobes efforts in carrying the team were shown in his rating. The Lakers won’t make the playoffs this year and their ratings reflect that.

Rookies
For the rookies, I will just write ‘under’ or ‘over’. Under being that I believe they have been sold-short from the 2k developers and over meaning that they are maybe rated too high. If I believe they’ve got it right, ‘perfect’ will be beside the players name.

1. Anthony Bennett 76 Over
2. Victor Oladipo 76 Perfect
3. Otto Porter 74 Over
4. Cody Zeller 68 Under
5. Alex Len 57 Under
6. Nerlens Noel 72 Under
7. Ben McLemore 72
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 70 Over
9. Trey Burke 73 Over
10. C.J. McCollum 72 Perfect
11. Michael Carter-Williams 61 Perfect
12. Steven Adams 57  Perfect
13. Kelly Olynyk 62 Under
14. Shabazz Muhammed 65
15. Giannis Antetokounmpo 60 Under
*16 Lucas Nogueria will be playing in Brazil this season.
17. Dennis Schroeder 68 Perfect
18. Shane Larkin 70 Over
19. Sergey Karasev 60 Under
20. Tony Snell 62 Perfect
21. Gorgui Dieng 64 Over
22. Mason Plumlee 61  Under
other notables
24. Tim Hardaway Jr. 69 Over
27. Rudy Gobert 52 Under

And finally, here is the rankings of every player who has a rating of above 80.

  1. LeBron James 99
  2. Kevin Durant 94
  3. Chris Paul 94
  4. Kobe Bryant 93
  5. Derrick Rose 92
  6. Carmelo Anthony 92
  7. Russell Westbrook 92
  8. Dwyane Wade 91
  9. Dwight Howard 90
  10. Rajon Rondo 90
  11. Kyrie Irving 88
  12. James Harden 88
  13. Stephen Curry 88
  14. Deron Williams 88
  15. Paul George 87
  16. Tim Duncan 87
  17. Josh Smith 87
  18. Jrue Holiday 87
  19. Andrew Bynum 86
  20. Rudy Gay 86
  21. Tony Parker 86
  22. Manu Ginobili 86
  23. Kevin Love 86
  24. Ty Lawson 85
  25. Andre Iguodala 85
  26. John Wall 85
  27. Al Jefferson 84
  28. Paul Pierce 84
  29. Blake Griffin 84
  30. Monta Ellis 84
  31. Serge Ibaka 84
  32. LaMarcus Aldridge 84
  33. Damian Lillard 84
  34. Kemba Walker 83
  35. Zach Randolph 83
  36. Mike Conley Jr. 83
  37. Dirk Nowitzki 83
  38. J.R. Smith 83
  39. Eric Gordon 83
  40. Brandon Jennings 83
  41. Kyle Lowry 83
  42. Chris Bosh 82
  43. Amare Stoudemire 82
  44. Iman Shumpert 82
  45. Eric Bledsloe 82
  46. Kevin Garnett 82
  47. Tyreke Evans 82
  48. Kawhi Leonard 82
  49. O.J. Mayo 81
  50. Marc Gasol 81
  51. Al Horford 81
  52. Wilson Chandler 81
  53. Chauncey Billups 81
  54. Kevin Martin 81
  55. Joakhim Noah 81
  56. David Lee 81
  57. Brook Lopez 81
  58. Caron Butler 80
  59. Luol Deng 80
  60. Pau Gasol 80
  61. Steve Nash 80
  62. Paul Millsap 80
  63. Brook Lopez 80
  64. Nate Robinson 80
  65. Kenneth Faried 80
  66. Roy Hibbert 80
  67. Danny Granger 80
  68. Greg Monroe 80
    In my opinion, 2k got it right this year. Nearly all players are ranked to their potential, although the rookie rankings leave a bit to be desired. As with everything, opinion is going to be varied when it comes to something like this and whilst I personally view some players got unders and others overs (in terms of how I’d rate them) you can never please everyone. I look forward to NBA2K14 coming out, as I believe most basketball fans do. Well done again 2k sports for another great effort.Yours in Basketball….
    Elliott03

Duncan vs Garnett

Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are two of the best power forwards in the game. Perhaps more remarkably, even now into their late 30s they are still essential pieces on their respective teams. Garnett’s stifling defensive presence and Duncan’s well-rounded game have provided the foundation for two teams that are slowly heading into the twilight of success (the Celtics doing so more quickly than the Spurs, of course).
 
One main question that comes to mind: why isn’t this comparison made more frequently? A two-pronged explanation helps de-mystify the reason that two future Hall of Famers are not considered rivals or rarely even compared. For one, Duncan has had a remarkably more successful career in terms of championships. As you will see in my awards comparison below, Duncan owns Garnett in all of the main award categories (MVPs, Finals MVPs, and championship titles). So a comparison of legacies is not very fruitful. Second, this comparison is often not made because of the fact that scorers are the primary attraction in the NBA. Think of the main comparisons everybody from analysts to you, as an NBA fan, discuss. Kobe, LeBron, Jordan, Durant…generally people want to hear about those guys. Duncan and Garnett have a severe disadvantage here: they rely on guards to get them the ball.
 
Think of this comparison like a chance to give some attention to the guys who do the less glamorous work. In terms of individual performance, this complete comparison will acknowledge all facets of each players’ game but will try to put performances in context. Clearly Duncan has the greater legacy, but who was truly the better player?
 
Regular season statistics provide a solid foundation for the discussion and a glimpse into the fact that these two stars really are close in terms of career productivity.
 
Regular season
Kevin Garnett
Tim Duncan
Points
19.2
20.2
Rebounds
10.5
11.2
Assists
4.0
3.1
Steals
1.3
0.7
Blocks
1.5
2.2
FG percentage
.499
.507
FT percentage
.790
.691
Games played
1300
1153
 
Although they are very close in age (Duncan is a less than a month older than KG), Garnett has played in two more seasons, having been drafted as a teenager. Regardless, it’s incredible to see the equality in career output. In the above chart, Duncan and Garnett each own exactly half of the eight categories. Delving into the advanced metrics, Duncan creates a marginal separation with an edge in win shares, PER, and eFG%. So yes, even though Duncan had the reputation of a quiet guy, he put up big numbers.
 
The peaks of their careers are also quite similar. Garnett averaged 24/14/5 in 2003-04 on the Timberwolves, and Duncan averaged 26/13/4 in 2001-02. But unlike in career per game averages, in a comparison of these two seasons, Garnett has the slight edge in advanced metrics like PER and win shares.
 
As if these numbers aren’t close enough, the 02 Spurs and 04 Timberwolves had the exact same regular season record, at 58-24. Moreover, both teams had top-10 offenses and defenses although the Bruce Bowen led the Spurs to one of the (top-five) best defenses in the NBA. Ironically, both lost in the playoffs to the Los Angeles Lakers but KG’s T’wolves actually made it one round further overall. Even in terms of player personnel, both were similar although the Timberwolves were anchored by an aging Sam Cassell at point and the Spurs had a promising rookie point guard, Tony Parker. Both even took home MVP honors during these peak statistical seasons. Regular season performances of these all-time greats were nearly identical.
 
Playoffs
Kevin Garnett
Tim Duncan
Points
19.5
22.3
Rebounds
11.0
12.1
Assists
3.5
3.4
Steals
1.3
0.7
Blocks
1.4
2.5
FG percentage
.476
.501
FT percentage
.787
.679
Games played
125
190
 
For completeness, a look at the playoffs is necessary. Here, as common knowledge would indicate, Tim Duncan owns Garnett. In 65 more games played, Duncan’s body of playoff work is complete and he has proven that he can provide the foundation for players to succeed when it matters most. As Spurs coach Greg Poppavich said, “Tim is the common denominator…He’s [had] a different cast around him [in] ’99, ’03 and ’05. He’s welcomed them all. He’s found a way to help them all fit, feel comfortable in their roles, and not many players can do that.” The same cannot be said for Garnett, whose lone championship run was anchored by Paul Pierce for the most part.
 
And as mentioned earlier, the award comparison strongly favors Duncan. (But nobody is debating that Duncan has a greater legacy.)
 
Awards
Kevin Garnett
Tim Duncan
Championships
1
4
Finals MVPs
0
3
Regular season MVPs
1
2
Defensive Player of the Year
1
0
Rebounding titles
4
0
All Star appearances
15
14
 
The point is that Duncan has played on better teams. While Garnett has made helped some Timberwolves teams succeed, Duncan has had the luxury of playing with complementary players like David Robinson, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. In 2002-03, for example, the next highest Timberwolves scorers were the potent Wally Szczerbiak, Troy Hudson, and Rasho Nesterovic. Not only that but from 1996-2007, the Timberwolves had five 50-win seasons. In Duncan’s 15 full seasons as a Spur, San Antonio has won less than 50 games only once.
Thanks Ryan
Image

NBA Aussie Style’s Mock Draft

An NBA draft is an extremely hard thing to predict. Most people do not have insiders information and are just doing it as they see it. Here are my predictions.
*Draft order based on current standings

1. Charlotte Bobcats – Nerlens Noel 6’11″ Kentucky PF/C

The Charlotte Bobcats are in a terrible situation. They are one of the worst teams in basketball history and do not even look like improving at the moment, but that could all change. The addition of Nerlens Noel would be a long term solution to this problem and despite the fact that he is out for at least the first half of next season, he will be a great long term addition, look at Blake Griffin for the Clippers as an example of how this can work. With many of the prospects stock sliding during March Madness, it seems Noel’s injury could be a blessing in disguise. A Bobcats team with a cornerstone of Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nerlens Noel looks like one that could challenge in the future.

2. Orlando Magic – Ben McLemore 6’5″ Kansas SG

Ben McLemore is arguably the safest pick in this whole draft. He has been outstanding all year for the Kansas Jayhawks, averaging 15.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds. Even though the Magic already have Arron Afflalo at the 2 Guard position, McLemore would be a nice upgrade. Drafting the efficient McLemore would allow the Magic to use Afflalo as an impact player off the bench, a position he played brilliantly with the Denver Nuggets. McLemore has long been projected to be a top 3 pick, even number 1, but his disappointing performance against Michigan did hurt his stock. Tends to go missing in the clutch, but could well be the best prospect of this draft.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers – Otto Porter 6’8″ Georgetown SF

The Cleveland Cavaliers need a small forward. Otto Porter is the best small forward in this draft. The two are a nice match. Porter has been lighting it up this year for Georgetown and is the most well-rounded prospect in this draft. The small forward averages 16.2 PPG and 7.1 RPG, whilst also being one of the best defenders in this class. He has shot 48% from the field for Georgetown this year and is a high impact player. Could develop into one of the best rebounding small forwards in the game. With Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Otto Porter, the Cavs should be primed for a playoff push not only next year, but in years to come.

4. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Smart 6’4″ Oklahoma State PG/SG

Phoenix is a team with no identity and no direction. With Goran Dragic the only player that does not need serious upgrading, selecting the best available player seems like the best option for the Suns. Marcus Smart is an athletic combo guard who is a good decision maker and a natural leader. He is a brilliant defender for a guard, one of the best in this class. Although naturally he is a point guard, he has all the fundamentals of a shooting guard and with improved shooting, could become a great combo guard.

5. Detroit Pistons – Victor Oladipo 6’5″ Indiana SG/SF

Victor Oladipo is an outstanding athlete and a great defender. He is a beautiful finisher at the rim and can slash most defences, can hold the best offences and can hit an open jump shot. He is still raw with his outside game and his jump shot doesn’t always fall, but for the high-energy leadership he provides, Detroit would be stupid not to take him. Oladipo would be a great upgrade from Rodney Stuckey.

6. New Orleans Hornets – Trey Burke 6’0″ Michigan PG

Trey Burke may just be the best player in this draft. He has the best assist to turnovers percentage in the nation and can hit a jumper with ease. He is one of the best facilitators in the nation, but can also step up and go himself when necessary. Burke has a smooth release and an easy shot, allowing him to be cool in the clutch, as evident against Kansas in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen where Trey hit a clutch three to tie the game and send it into overtime. A solid defender and also a good dasher, if he were a little taller, he would be a much bigger prospect. Despite New Orleans already having Greivis Vasquez, Burke would be a much better long term point guard for the improving Hornets.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Toronto) - Cody Zeller 6’11″ Indiana PF/C

Cody Zeller has seen his draft stock fall recently, with Syracuse’s defence completely smothering Zeller’s effectiveness. But the upside of Zeller is what OKC will be looking at and it is better than the other centre options remaining (Len, Olynyk, Plumlee).  He is very good in the post, can run the floor well for a big man and can find his way to a layup with ease. Needs to improve his rebounding, but brings back memories of a young Brook Lopez. Will get solid minutes behind Kendrick Perkins and could develop into a nice piece for the Thunder.

8. Sacramento Kings - Michael Carter-Williams 6’6″ Syracuse PG

Michael Carter-Williams has been brilliant throughout the Big Dance, leading the Syracuse Orange to the Final Four. He is a true point-guard with the size and vision to make it in the big league. He handles ball very well, defends like a pro and gets to the rim nicely. Would be a good addition to a Sacramento team lacking leadership and direction. The inclusion of Carter-Williams would allow the Kings to bring Isaiah Thomas off the bench as an impact player or spot-up shooter, a position that would suit him nicely.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Anthony Bennett 6’7″ UNLV SF/PF

Anthony Bennett was projected to be a top-5 pick before the NCAA Tournament, but with UNLV’s early exit, his stock has fallen. He has a nice inside game, complemented by a smooth outside game. Bennett is a solid rebounder for his size and has nice range with his 3-Point shot. He plays Power Forward, but is only Small Forward size. We have seen this go horribly wrong before, I’m looking at you Michael Beasley, and this is why some of the higher teams will avoid Bennett. The Timberwolves already have solid starters in all positions, so they can afford to take a risk on the high-reward Bennett.

10. Washington Wizards - Shabazz Muhammed 6’6′ UCLA SF

Shabazz Muhammed is an intriguing prospect. Once viewed as the top prospect of this draft, his stock has fallen drastically. In UCLA’s first match of the NCAA tournament, Shabazz did score 20 points, but hit just 6 from 18 from the field, including 0 from 6 from beyond the arc! Muhammed is a volume scorer who will go missing some days and will score 30 others. He already has an NBA ready build and will never not play hard. Concerns about his rebounding, defending and passing have caused his stock to slip, but he could still form a great scoring wing combination at Washington with Bradley Beal. If Muhammed is on the board when the Wizards are selecting, they’ll have no hesitation in taking him.

11. Philadelphia 76ers – CJ McCollum 6’3″ Lehigh PG/SG

CJ McCollum is an energetic shooting guard who can take the reins of the Point if need be. He is a little undersized for a 2-Guard, but his nice rebounding makes up for that. He is the purest scorer in this class, using his basketball IQ to create open shots and to get himself to the basket. Does need to improve from beyond the arc, but that will come in time. The 76ers could use some life off the bench, and CJ McCollum can provide them with that.

12. Portland Trail Blazers - Alex Len 7’1″ Maryland C

Alex Len’s stock has risen throughout the season, to the point where he could be a top 10 draft pick. But if he is not, and he is still available when Portland are selecting, they should have no trouble selecting the Maryland Centre. Len is an old fashioned centre, one that can score points in the paint fluently, as well as rebounding and blocking shots regularly. With Portland’s troubles at the Centre position, Alex Len seems like a nice selection. With Damian Lillard there to distribute to him, Len would be able to contribute handy points as well as solid defence.

13. Dallas Mavericks – Kelly Olynyk 7’0″ Gonzaga PF/C

The Dallas Mavericks need a new centre. With Chris Kaman’s one year deal expiring, the next best centre they have is Bernard James. Olynyk is an athletic player who can score in the paint well. He is a good rebounder and  a solid defender who can also hit a jump shot and run the floor. Olynyk may not be the interior presence that is needed of a centre, so may end up being a long term stretch Power Forward, but Dallas should be willing to take that risk.

14. Phoenix Suns (from LA Lakers)  - Mason Plumlee 6’11″ Duke PF/C

If the Los Angeles Lakers finish the year in 9th, their selection will be conveyed to the Phoenix Suns. After already selecting Marcus Smart earlier in the draft, the Suns will try to select a big man to partner Marcin Gortat down low. Mason Plumlee is a solid Power Forward who can score in the paint and grab rebounds at will. One of the best players in this draft in the post, he can score freely over both shoulders from this position. Plumlee also excels at grabbing offensive rebounds and has an NBA ready body. The Suns will hope to start him in his first year.

Bolters
These players could find their way into the Lottery, if one of these teams particularly has their eye on them.

Isaiah Austin 7’0″ Baylor PF/C
Austin is an intriguing prospect. He is a 7 footer who is more comfortable on the perimeter than in the post. He can still take rebounds, but his position at the highest level is unclear. Needs to develop a Post Game if he is to be a successful stretch 4. One of the most interesting prospects in recent years who needs to add bulk before being an NBA starter.

Glenn Robinson III 6’6″ Michigan SF
GR3 is one of the brightest prospects in this draft, he can run the floor, hit a three and can hit a conjested shot. He is explosive and has a brilliant basketball IQ. Robinson III is still very raw, but is the sort of player a team such as the Blazers or the Mavericks would take a punt on.

James Michael McAdoo 6’9″ North Carolina SF/PF
McAdoo was projected to be a top 5 prospect heading into the 2012-13 collegiate season, McAdoo’s stock has dropped significantly. He is a talent though, he can defend both forward positions, can rebound nicely and is a solid scorer. Concerns still remain over his ability to create his own shot and get others involved, but McAdoo would be a steal for any of the non-lottery bound teams.

Well, there you have it, this is our Mock Draft,
Yours in Basketball,
elliott03.

 

The NBA’s 10 Best Current Home Uniforms.

It’s been a while since we posted an article, but with the Playoffs approaching, we felt an article was necessary.
I will start off with the 10 Best Current Home Uniforms.

10. Oklahoma City Thunder

There is nothing to exciting or unique about the Thunder’s home uniform, but it just works.  Maybe it’s the white base with the Sky blue, orange and yellow flair, but something on this jersey just clicks. No one else in the league uses this electric colour scheme, but the Thunder manage to pull it off. This jersey is simple and effective.

9. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets jersey shouldn’t work. With sky blue, yellow and white the three colours, this jersey shouldn’t look as cool as it does. But it does. The way ‘NUGGETS’ is written looks very classy, with the yellow and black lining on the lettering, with a matching number. The trimming suits this jersey perfectly and really highlights the white. Despite this, the sky blue, yellow and white is a boring colour scheme, with that being the reason this jersey didn’t rank higher.

8. Orlando Magic

Jameer Nelson Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic brings the ball upcourt against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game on November 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

All Orlando jersey’s are some of the best in the league and this is no exception. The pinstripes make this jersey look classy and sheikh. The trimming is suitable and helps the uniform to get that classy look. The lettering and number both suit this jersey to perfection, adding a little colour to an otherwise white jersey. The only criticism is the bland colour scheme, with a little more blue variety required to make this a top 5 jersey.

7. San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio have been wearing this uniform since the beginning of time. Okay, so maybe not that long, but their jersey doesn’t change a lot. The classic colour scheme of white, black and grey can never go wrong, making the jersey look very slick. This jersey would be a little bland, but the classic Spur in place of the ‘U’ just adds a magical feel to this jersey. Add some Big 3 brilliance and you get one of the best uni’s in the NBA.

6. Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz jersey is innovation at it’s best. Whether it be the ‘J’ made into a musical note, the Navy, Green and Yellow colouring system or the 3-dimensional numbers, they just seem to work.
These jerseys go underrated in the league, with the Jazz having limited success of late, but if the Salt Lake City based team go into championship contention, expect these jerseys to be very popular.
The numeral on the uniform not adding any excitement or flavour to the jersey is this brilliant uni’s only downfall.

5. Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers home uniform is awesome.
With the slanted writing, neat number and cool slanted horizontal stripes, it just works.
The red, black and white colour scheme just works, with the unique touch of the  red and black stripe adding flavour to this appealing uniform.
Portland have rarely changed this jersey throughout their time and rightfully so!
Without a doubt one of the best in the NBA, Portland got it right.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

The LA Clippers uniform is classy in every way. The blue font on the ‘Clippers’ looks extremely stylish presented with a red outline. It is slanted nicely to give a nice difference to the bold red number. The trimming of this jersey is a top class job, as a blue or red outline would make the jersey overpowered, but the plain white looks very cool. The neck is unusual in the NBA, the only jersey with it, but it does look good, add the LAC just below it and this jersey is special.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers jersey holds the most tradition of any jersey in the NBA. Many stars of this league from Wilt Chamberlain & Magic Johnson to  Jerry West & Kobe Bryant have worn this jersey with pride.  But beyond the tradition, this is just an all round great jersey. The yellow, purple and white go beautifully together and the basic nature of the jersey really works. The trim for the neck and shoulders is second to none, whilst the font is very nice. The purple stripe down the side of the jersey is a nice touch also. A great jersey.

2. Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls home uniform is much like the Lakers, in the tradition it holds. But this uni goes further than the Lakers. The large red font on the jersey, with a slight black outline is truly marvelous. The trimming on the jersey, with red, black and white is plain, but it just works. The red diamond on the shorts, with a black outlining is a very nice touch, with the bull in the middle adding character. This jersey was made by the likes of Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen, with some people saying that it was just the players making it nice, that it wasn’t a good jersey, but if it can look good on Joakim Noah, it can look good on anyone.

1. Brooklyn Nets

The best home uniform in the NBA also happens to be the newest. With many predictions on what this jersey was going to be like, Jay-Z and the team at the Nets produced one for the ages. The basic structure of this uni is what makes it stand out. As we covered with the San Antonio Spurs, the Black and White colour scheme never fails, but Brooklyn have taken it a step further. The trimming is very clean, with the ‘V-Neck’ adding to the already classy look. The font is excellent and is matched perfectly by a slightly larger number. On the shorts, a small Brooklyn logo is all that is required, not giving it a ‘try-hard’ feel. This uniform works on every level.

Well, that’s all from me today. I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to more in the near future.

Yours in Basketball,

Elliott03. 

Interesting New Basketball Analysis

Now, as you may have picked up by the nature of some of my blog posts, I’m a big fan of statistics, I try not to be to technical with them but I definitely think they are very useful for determining a players skill, utility or value on a team. When I saw this new analysis, I new I had to share it.

Go to the article

I’ll let the article explain, but basically, a statistician and basketball fan at a data visualization has taken the box score of hundreds of basketballers and determined 13 new positions which better determine a players play style on the court, and help coaching staff to better organize their playbooks and rosters. By making sure to have players of all specific spots, a team can better organize the team and get the best out of their roster.

Its interesting to see how players such as Rajon Rondo and Shane Battier have so much in common whereas Derrick Rose and Tony Parker, both Point Guard players, are miles apart.

If I were to categorize myself to one of these play styles, I would have to split between ‘Scoring Rebounder’ and ’3-point Rebounder’. Its probably a bit late for NBA 2K13, but I would love to see this sort of category when creating a ‘my player’ and for roster-building purposes in a ‘season’ game mode in future installments of the NBA 2K franchise.

Team of the Week – Olympics

Carmelo Anthony Shoots

Once the NBA season is underway, I will be naming a ‘Team of the Week’ each week, with the best player of that week and why. This will be the first edition and it will be for the Group Stage of the Olympic Games so far.

Point Guard
Patrick Mills (Australia)
Mills has been in fine form for Australia, leading the points scoring tally alongside Luis Scola. Mills has scored 90 points this Olympics so far, averaging 22.5 points per game. He has been Australia’s go-to man on offence, with his ability to set up and also score himself. Mills has a brilliant ability to get through the defense and create his own shot. This has been utilised beautifully by the Boomers. He stamped his authority in the first match against Brazil, as he challenged the Brazilian’s zone game and kept Australia in the play offensively and defensively in what could have been a big win for the South Americans.

Shooting Guard
Manu Ginobili (Argentina)
Ginobili has been  outstanding for Argentina so far these games, averaging 21 points per game and leading the steals with 2.5 per game. The San Antonio Spurs shooting guard has been the main player that the Argentine’s have looked for in attack and has set up many plays with his excellent passing game, as well as going himself. He has been easily the standout #2 with players such as Kobe Bryant and Nicholas Batum not having their best games. Look for Ginobili to be a pivotal part of Argentina’s game plan in the finals.

Small Forward
Carmelo Anthony (USA)
‘Melo has been in red-hot form coming off the bench for the USA, averaging 20.5 points per game. After scoring 37 points in 14 minutes, Anthony has established himself as one of the greatest Olympic basketballers ever! He may not be the greatest defender, but when you can score like that, who needs defense? ‘Melo has been Team USA’s main shooter from beyond the arc and has not disappointed, shooting at a remarkable 64%! Expect Carmelo to get even better during the knockout stages.

Power Forward
Luis Scola (Argentina)
Scola is the equal leading point scorer so far with Patty Mills, with 90 points in 4 games. Scola is Argentina’s most important factor in getting a medal, because he can single-handedly win a game off the back of his shooting. He can shoot from just about anywhere, including down low, a great quality in a power forward. He has also proven that he can get opposing players in foul trouble this Olympics, which will be key against teams like Spain and the USA.

Centre
Yi Jianlian (China)
The Chinese’s best player has once again proven that China can adapt to ‘life without Yao.’ Yi had a brilliant start to these games, scoring 30 points against the Spanish team. He hasn’t been in such red-hot scoring form since then, but on the defensive end, Yi has been the star of this team. He is averaging 2 blocks per game and 9.2 rebounds per game, an outstanding effort for a man who is also China’s attacking focal point! Yi has provided great leadership to a young Chinese team and has been the best centre so far these games.

B-Team
PG Tony Parker (France)
SG Alexey Shved (Russia)
SF Andrey Kirilenko (Russia)
PF LeBron James (USA)
C Salah Mejri (Tunisia)

Yours in Basketball,

Elliott03.

London Olympics Starting Line-Ups for each nation.

Patrick Mills of Australia shoots, whilst Frenchman Nicholas Batum defends.

The following is the starting teams for each nation and the predicted group outcomes. Usual power-houses the USA, France and Spain all have good teams once again, with teams such as Argentina, Australia and Brazil also having strong squads.

Group A

Argentina
PG Pablo Prigioni (8) New York Knicks
SG Manu Ginobili (5) San Antonio Spurs
SF Carlos Delfino (10) Milwaukee Bucks
PF Luis Scola (4) Phoenix Suns
C Juan Pedro Gutierrez (9) Obras Sanitarias

Prediction: Will fight for second with France in this company. Bronze medalists.

France
PG Tony Parker (9) San Antonio Spurs
SG Nicholas Batum (5) Portland Trail Blazers
SF Mickael Gelabale (15) BC Khimki
PF Boris Diaw (13) San Antonio Spurs
C Ronny Turiaf (14) Los Angeles Clippers

Prediction: Game against Argentina will determine second.

Lithuania
PG Mantas Kalnietis (5) BC Zalgiris
SG Martynas Pocius (7) Real Madrid Baloncesto
SF Jonas Maciulis (6) Panathinaikos B.C.
PF Linas Kleiza (11) Toronto Raptors
C Jonas Valanciunas (14) Toronto Raptors

Prediction: Should progress, albeit in fourth.

Nigeria
PG Tony Skinn (4) Ironi Ashkelon
SG Chamberlain Oguchi (9) Panteras de Miranda
SF Al-Farouq Aminu (7) New Orleans Hornets
PF Ike Diogu (6) Capitanes de Arecibo
C Alade Aminu (14) Élan Chalon

Prediction: Worst team in London, last.

Tunisia
PG Marouan Kechrid (8) US Monastir
SG Mourad El Mabrouk (7) Ezzahra Sport Rades
SF Macram Ben Romdhane  (12) Etoile Sportive du Sahel
PF Mohamed Hdidane (9) Stade Nabeulien
C Salah Mejri (15) Etoile Sportive du Sahel

Prediction: Will beat only Nigeria.

U.S.A
PG Chris Paul (3) Los Angeles Clippers
SG Kobe Bryant (10) Los Angeles Lakers
SF Kevin Durant (5) Oklahoma City Thunder
PF LeBron James (6) Miami Heat
C Tyson Chandler (4) New York Knicks

Prediction: First in this group. Gold medalists.

Group Standings
1. USA 5-0
2. France 3-2
3. Argentina 3-2
4. Lithuania 3-2
5. Tunisia 1-4
6. Nigeria 0-5

Group B

Australia
PG Patrick Mills (5) San Antonio Spurs
SG Joe Ingles (7) FC Barcelona Regal
SF Brad Newley (8) Valencia BC
PF Matthew Nielsen (14) BC Khimki
C David Anderson (13) Mens Sana Basket

Prediction: After beating France in a lead-up game, the Australians look good chances to get through this group.

Brazil
PG Marcelinho Huertas (9) FC Barcelona Basquet
SG Leandro Barbosa (10) Indiana Pacers
SF Marcus Vinicius (14) CR Flamengo
PF Anderson Varejao (11) Cleveland Cavaliers
C Nene Hilario (13) Washington Wizards

Prediction: The experience of this strong team will get them through a tough group.

China
PG Liu Wei (5) Shanghai Sharks
SG Sun Yue (9) Beijing Olympians
SF Zhu Fangyu (8) Guangdong Southern Tigers
PF Yi Jianlian (11) Dallas Mavericks
C Wang Zhizhi (14) Bayi Rockets

Prediction: A big-bodied team that could cause an upset in London.

Great Britain
PG Andrew Lawrence (5) College of Charleston
SG Kyle Johnson (14) APOEL
SF Luol Deng (9) Chicago Bulls
PF Joel Freeland (11) Portland Trail Blazers
C Robert Archibald (10) CAI Zaragoza

Prediction: Will go out in the first round, with Deng the only offensive threat.

Russia
PG Anton Ponkrashov (14) CSKA Moscow
SG Alexey Shved (4) Minnesota Timberwolves
SF Andrei Kirilenko (15) Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Viktor Khryapa (10) CSKA Moscow
C  Timofey Mozgov (5) Denver Nuggets

Prediction: Have a good team, sleepers in this group. Will progress.

Spain
PG Jose Calderon (8) Toronto Raptors
SG Juan Carlos Navarro (5) Barcelona Basquet
SF Rudy Fernandez (7) Real Madrid Baloncesto
PF Pau Gasol (4) Los Angeles Lakers
C Marc Gasol (13) Memphis Grizzlies

Prediction: Unbeaten in this group, but will lose to USA. Silver medalists.

Group Standings
1. Spain 5-0
2. Brazil 3-2
3. Australia 3-2
4. Russia 2-3
5. Great Britain 1-4
6. China 1-4

I predict that Team USA will defeat Spain in the gold medal match 87-81. Spain will fight it out and cause trouble for scorers such as KD and LeBron when USA is on attack, but the USA’s quality of player will ultimately out class the Spanish ‘Big Four’ of Jose Calderon, Serge Ibaka and the Gasol brothers. In the third place playoff, Argentina will get revenge on losing to France in the group stage and will take home the Bronze medal. The frontcourt will out-muscle the French and the Argentinian defence will not let Tony Parker run the show as fluently as he would like. Argentina 78-72.

Well, there it is. Every starting line-up for London and group predictions.

Yours in Basketball,

Elliott03.

Rockets Projections

Hello Basketball fans, Jack writing,

As you know, its off-season, so its time for the projections, here’s my next one in a long line of projections.

The rockets have been sitting stationary for the last few years, not going well enough to make the playoffs, and not bad enough to get into the lottery and have a shot at a good draft spot. For the last 3 years, the Rockets have had the best win record of all the teams who didn’t make the playoffs. I commend them, because they have hung in there and haven’t tanked a season to get a good draft spot, they have kept fighting but have failed each season. This year, though, they are looking like they are on the way up. Only recently have the rockets won the battle with the Knicks for star Point Guard Jeremy Lin, who rocketed, no pun intended, the Knicks into the playoffs. The Rockets management are looking for him to do the same thing with their team.

As well as Obtaining Jeremy Lin, the Rockets have held onto some players which helped them to maintain their consistently average performance. They keep their 6’7″ Guard Kevin Martin, who averaged a solid 17.1 Points per Game. They also held onto Chandler Parsons, the 6’9″ Forward who averaged 45.2% from the field in the 2012 season. Omer Asik is going to help the Forwards as a new addition to the team. These four players will be an important part of the Rockets Team going into the new season, and the Rockets performance will rely almost fully on how well the team performs. Kevin Martin and Omer Asik will be the key players on defense, and Asik will have to cover for the sometimes sloppy defense from the rest of the interior.

If Jeremy Lin performs, I would not be surprised to see the Rockets jump up a few spots to as high as 6th or 7th, maybe even 5th, if they go really well. As is the case with any Point Guard playing for the new team, Lin will have to gel well with the Rockets to get the offense started. If Lin doesn’t perform as well as he did for the Knicks, then there isn’t much hope for the Rockets, as he is going to be the cornerstone of the team going into the new season. Expect to see the Rockets make their first playoff appearance in a long time, and see them make a bit of a surprising splash in the Western conference.

Battle of New York

Deron Williams for the Nets.

The formerly New Jersey Nets relocating to Brooklyn has introduced a new rivalry into the NBA. The Nets have done very well this off-season, keeping Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries, whilst acquiring Joe Johnson from Atlanta.

The Nets are looking better than ever this season and are looking like they will be a contender in the East. But to be the best in your conference, you have to be the best in your city. New York have one of the best frontcourts in the league featuring players such as Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, whilst Brooklyn have possibly the best backcourt in the league, with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. With so many great players, it will be intriguing to see how this rivalry pans out.

The following will be a player verses player comparison in each position and the bench, with a prediction and an overall verdict.

Point Guard:
Deron Williams v Raymond Felton
With Brooklyn having one of the best point guards in the competition, the point here has to go the the Nets. Williams averaged 20 points and10 assists per game in 2011-12, whilst being an All-Star and being selected for the USA’s Olympic team! He is a wonderful player, with good defence to match is brilliant offence. On the other hand, Felton is truthfully a poor point guard at the best of times, with a poor shot, fading defence and struggling play making skills.

Nets 1
Knicks 0

Shooting Guard:
Joe Johnson v J.R. Smith
Johnson was a brilliant acquisition for the Knicks, as he provides experience, point scoring prowess and play making ability. He averaged 18 points per game at 45% for Atlanta in 2011-12, and with Williams by his side, he may increase that figure into the 20′s. Against the Knicks, Johnson will have a field day as Smith’s lack-luster defensive game. Whilst the inconsistent Smith can score regularly and fluently when on song, Johnson is one of the best perimeter defenders in the competition and won’t be giving any opportunities to Smith. The point here goes to the Nets.

Nets 2
Knicks 0

Small Forward:
Gerald Wallace v Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo is one of the best players in the league offensively, often scoring from the wings and the corners. He has a beautiful passing game, and sets up plays extremely well. However, Wallace is one of the best and most underrated defenders in the league, but will have to be at his very best to contain Carmelo, a man who has averaged 24.7 points per game throughout his career. The Nets did well in getting Wallace from Portland, and his offensive game should thrive alongside Williams and Johnson. But Carmelo still gets the point.

Nets 2
Knicks 1

Power Forward:
Kris Humphries v Amar’e Stoudemire
Over their respective careers, Stoudemire has obviously been extremely more influential than Humphries, but currently, it is a lot closer between the two. In the 2011-12 season, Stoudemire averaged just 17.5 points per game, 48% from the field and 7.8 rebounds, his worst numbers in six years! Stoudemire’s recurring back injury has also slowed him down and lessened his explosiveness. Stoudemire has never been a brilliant defender, but recently, this area has gotten worse. So does he beat Kris Humphries? Possibly the best at recording double-doubles in the NBA. Humphries is 27, healthy and coming off career best numbers last year, with 14 points per game and 11 rebounds per game. Humphries has a big upside. Does this mean the point goes to the Nets? No, Stoudemire’s experience and point scoring ability still better Humphries rebounds. But only half a point goes to the Knicks

Nets 2
Knicks 1.5

Centre:
Brook Lopez v Tyson Chandler
Chandler is the starting centre for Team USA in London this year. He is also one of the best defenders in the world. Lopez offensive game is very different to a normal NBA centre, as he likes to shoot from beyond 15 feet from the basket.  However, the problem with this is, Lopez shot isn’t that great and he shoots only 40 percent from this range, this figure will not be helped by Chandler’s ability to defend beyond the basket. Chandler will also cover Lopez around the rim, so scoring options for the Nets Centre look bleak. Chandler is also a better rebounder, averaging 9.9 rebounds per game to Lopez’s 4.7. Chandler will be used more on offense against the Nets than usual, because Lopez is not a great defender. Chandler will out-muscle Lopez under the basket will score highly in this New York rivalry.

Nets 2
Knicks 2.5

Bench:
This match-up is quite even, with Marshon Brooks and Reggie Evans up against Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd. In Kidd, the Knicks have an experienced bench player that will provide good leadership and will keep the offence running. Camby is a good rebounder and shot blocker who can play well in limited minutes. The Nets have a solid, high-scoring 6th man in Marshon Brooks who had a good rookie year last season, whilst Reggie Evans can provide solid minutes off the bench. Neither team has much outside of the 6 and 7 , but the Knicks still have much more depth of the bench. Point Knicks

Nets 2
Knicks 3.5

Team Chemistry:
Unselfish players provide better team players than selfish ones. Team chemistry comes down to excellent ball-movement, which you cannot achieve with a ball-hog.  Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire stop ball movement all too often, by try to go themselves or taking unnecessary risks. J.R. Smith is also selfish. Felton is mildly overweight and most of the offensive play will come from Carmelo and Stoudemire, not Felton. Anthony constantly being caught in the middle of basketball and media commitments do not help this teams chemistry either. Over in Brooklyn, the Nets look much better, with Williams one of the best pure-point guards in the NBA and Johnson is a good passer for a 2. Expect the two to gel quickly in their first season as a backcourt combination. The Nets players are all good team players, whereas this is an area for improvement for the Knicks. Point Nets

Nets 3
Knicks 3.5

Overall, the Knicks are better individually, but the Nets look as if they will fit together better as a whole. The frontcourt of the Knicks is only slightly better than the Nets, whilst the Nets backcourt is far better than their New York rivals. This year, the Nets will finish above the Knicks, because of team chemistry, the Knicks defensive lapses and an injury plagued New York team (Camby, Kidd, Stoudemire). The Nets guards will be able to set up scoring opportunities better than the Knicks and their forwards will benefit greatly. The combination of Williams and Johnson will be too good for the Knicks, unless Carmelo can score 30+ regularly. Over the regular season, I predict it will be 2 all, with both teams winning all matches at home. I predict the Nets and Knicks will finish fourth and fifth respectively in the East, but the Nets will win in the playoffs 4-2, because of the backcourt combo. It will be interesting to see how this new rivalry pans out.

Yours in basketball,

Elliott03.

Blake Griffin Injured

Hello basketball fans, Jack writing,

For the last week or so, the USA Olympic mens team have been training together in Las Vegas, in preparation for the Olympics in London. They have been based there for a while, training, eating and living together. But in the latest turn of events, Blake Griffin has injured his knee, which puts him in doubt for London.

Griffin took part in yesterdays practice and scrimmages without any reported issues, and seemed fine for the rest of the day. But he woke up the next morning with pains and swelling in his left knee, and was flown back to Los Angeles to be looked at by the Clippers team doctor.

It is still uncertain whether or not Griffin will make the trip to London, but it is looking like he will. Whether he will get any playing time or not, that is a different question. Anthony Davis has been called in to replace him for tonight’s game against the Dominican Republic.

This is just another injury to add to the list of stars who didn’t make the team due to health. Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups and LaMarcus Aldridge  are all missing out due to injuries.

Blake Griffin will probably make the trip to London, but will have to wait until further word from doctors before team manager Jerry Colangelo makes his decision on him.

Anthony Davis is one of 3 players, along with Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay, who initially didn’t make the 12-man squad, but have since been called up due to injuries.

Blake Griffin will probably make the trip over to London, but will sit out the game against the Dominican Republic as a precaution. Anthony Davis will come in to replace him against the Dominican Republic, and may make the trip over to London if Blake Griffin is unable to do so.

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