Posts Tagged ‘patrick patterson’

As promised, the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft was a strange one.  Some teams, like Miami and Chicago, dumped picks to better position themselves for the free agent derby.  Other teams, like Washington and Oklahoma City, were wheeling and dealing throughout much of the first round.  One thing that wasn’t different – a lot of teams made their draft picks strictly based on potential, not production.

I did get the first 12 players chosen right in my NBA Mock Draft 2010, although I didn’t quite have them in the right order.  On with the analysis…

Immediate Impact Picks
  • Top 10 – #1 – Washington Wizards – John Wall
  • Teens – #14 – Houston Rockets – Patrick Patterson
  • 20s – #20 – San Antonio Spurs – James Anderson
Best Future Potential Picks
  • Top 10 – #5 – Sacramento Kings – DeMarcus Cousins
  • Teens – #18 – Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Bledsoe
  • 20s – #27 – Atlanta Hawks – Jordan Crawford (pick made by New Jersey Nets)
Biggest Head Scratchers
  • #6 Ekpe Udoh to Golden State – Didn’t the Warriors say they traded Corey Maggette to free up playing time for Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright?  Doesn’t the pick of Udoh cause the same issue?
  • #15 Larry Sanders to Milwaukee – The Bucks need guys who can put the ball in the hoop.  Larry Sanders is not that type of player right now.  Also, isn’t he the same player as Luc Mbah a Moute?
  • #28 Greivis Vasquez t0 Memphis – Instead of drafting a big man with a lot of potential like Daniel Orton or Hassan Whiteside, the Grizzlies take Vasquez who is a lesser form of Xavier Henry who they drafted with the 12th pick.
 Best Trades for Picks
  • Oklahoma City – Cole Aldrich
  • Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Bledsoe
  • Atlanta Hawks – Jordan Crawford

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The NBA Draft can be a bit of a crap shoot.  You never know what angle a team may be taking as they enter the draft and you may be even more confused with what they are doing after they make their picks. 

For the most part the NBA Draft is about potential, picking the player that has a high ceiling, not the one that has proven in college or elsewhere that they can really play the game.  Sometimes it is all about the measurements.  Last month I shared my reactions to the NBA pre draft measurements at the combine.  Regardless, I always think the NBA Draft is a lot of fun.  The 2010 version should be no different.  Here are my picks for the first round.

1. Washington Wizards – John Wall, G, Kentucky

No mystery here. It was pretty clear that whoever won the lottery would be taking Wall. The dynamic point guard will bring some excitement to a team coming off a deeply disappointing season.

2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner, G, Ohio St.

Turner does not really fill a need for the Sixers but by all accounts he is the second best talent in the draft. His versatility will help him fit in around current talents Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holliday and Thaddeus Young. New coach Doug Collins will look to Turner’s playmaking and shooting ability to increase Philadelphia’s offensive effectiveness.

3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors, F, Georgia Tech

The Nets need bigs and shooters. At number three they’ll be considering Favors and DeMarcus Cousins. While offensively less polished than Cousins I believe the higher ceiling potential of Favors and his ability to complement Brook Lopez at the four position will make him the pick.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves – DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky

Minnesota needs a lot and has to take the best remaining talent with the fourth pick. I love Wes Johnson but I think he is more of a finished product and much of the NBA Draft is about projecting talent. A center with solid post moves and defensive ability will be just too much for the T-Wolves to pass up.

5. Sacramento Kings – Wesley Johnson, F, Syracuse

After an excellent 2009 draft in which they brought in Tyreke Evans and Omar Casspi the Kings will be looking to add more pieces to the puzzle. The addition of Samuel Dalembert solidifies the middle and the choice of Johnson will give the Kings a dynamic, explosive wing player to complement Evans.

6. Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Wake Forest

Defense is the area where Golden State could use the most help, ranking 29th last year in points given up at 109.4. They are not likely to use the sixth pick in the draft on a defensive stopper. Aminu is the best talent available and should help with rebounding, while providing some offensive contributions.

7. Detroit Pistons – Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas

As hard as it is to believe based on what they made their living on in the past, the Pistons ranked 26th in points allowed at 108.9. They are also desperate for big men. Aldrich has been sliding down mock drafts but I think his defensive and rebounding abilities will be enough to attract Joe Dumars to make him the pick.

8. Los Angeles Clippers – Gordon Hayward, F, Butler

Going into the draft the Clippers only have five players under contract for next season. Small forward is a need and Hayward is a high profile performer coming off Butler’s big run to the NCAA Championship game. This is a pick I think the Clippers will make as much to win the press conference as for Hayward’s talent level.

9. Utah Jazz – Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown

The Jazz will be delighted to see Monroe fall to them. He can instantly be inserted into the low post rotation with Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap and make an impact on the team. While he won’t be able to replace Carlos Boozer’s scoring or rebounding right away, he will add another dimension to the team as a playmaker in the high post.

10. Indiana Pacers – Paul George, F, Fresno St.

Point guard is a major need for Indiana but they are not likely to get one unless they trade back for Eric Bledsoe. George is a little bit of a raw talent who will be best suited coming into a situation where he can grow into a starting role. With Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger already there, he will not be feeling a lot of pressure early on with the Pacers.

11. New Orleans Hornets – Xavier Henry, G, Kansas

Henry has excellent range and should flourish with Chris Paul and Darren Collison driving and dishing to him behind the arc. He also has good height and a solid build, which should help him adjust to the physical nature of the NBA game.

12. Memphis Grizzlies – Ekpe Udoh, F, Baylor

Memphis had a solid season last year and they may have made the playoffs if they hadn’t wasted their 2009 pick on Hasheem Thabeet. Udoh will give them a solid defensive presence to work into the forward rotation and help them slow down the dribble penetration they were so susceptible to last season.

13. Toronto Raptors – Ed Davis, F, North Carolina

Sorry Toronto but I don’t see Chris Bosh coming back. The Raptors will be looking to rebuild and Davis will give them some defensive effort, a nice touch around the basket and solid potential.

14. Houston Rockets – Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall

Whiteside may have as much upside as anybody in the draft but he is very raw and there is some concern over his maturity level. Houston will be an excellent landing pad for him as the presence of veterans like Shane Battier, Trevor Ariza and Yao Ming will keep him focused while the hard working ethic of the team will help him approach his potential.

15. Milwaukee Bucks – Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada

The Bucks are desperate for scoring and Babbitt can put the ball in the hoop. His expected defensive deficiencies may be masked by a team that plays excellent defense at the other four spots on the floor.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves – Avery Bradley, G, Texas

Another team that really needs scoring, Minnesota goes with Cousins early and picks Bradley later in the round to help on the perimeter.

17. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Patterson, F, Kentucky

The biggest question for the Bulls will be whether they can lure LeBron to Chicago. In the mean time they have a chance to add another nice piece to their talented squad with the polished Patterson, who can add some low post scoring punch to the second unit.

18. Miami Heat – Daniel Orton, F, Kentucky

With only four players signed for next season, none of which has much value, the Heat have to take the best available talent. At this point that is Orton because of his long term potential.

19. Boston Celtics – James Anderson, G, Oklahoma St.

For a team that made it to the NBA Finals the Celtics have a lot of uncertainty going into the offseason. During their playoff run it was clear that they needed to add some outside shooting. That’s still the case whether they sign Ray Allen or not.

20. San Antonio Spurs – Kevin Seraphin, F, France

One thing we know about the Spurs, they are not afraid to take the international players. They need to strengthen their front line and Seraphin has the most potential of the options they have left with this pick.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Damion James, F, Texas

OKC is an up and coming team with an MVP candidate. With the collection of young talent and the salary cap flexibility they have, they are positioned to make some moves. If they keep this pick they’ll take the best available player. The rebounding ability and toughness of James will entice the Thunder.

22. Portland Trail Blazers – Eric Bledsoe, G, Kentucky

The Blazers will be excited to see Bledsoe still on the board with this pick. While his ball-handling is not yet up to the caliber of an NBA point guard, his potential is high, and playing behind Andre Miller for a couple of years will be a good learning experience.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves – Elliot Williams, G, Memphis

After choosing Bradley at 16, Minnesota again looks to add shooting by picking Williams. They’ll also gain in athleticism and hustle.

24. Atlanta Hawks – Solomon Alabi, C, Florida St.

The Hawks had an excellent season last year but will be in danger of a big fall in 2010-2011. Losing Joe Johnson as a free agent would be a big blow as would the continued deterioration of Mike Bibby’s game. With this pick I’ve got them going with Alabi, who should free up Al Horford to play the four more and provide some contributions on the defensive end.

25. Memphis Grizzlies – Devin Ebanks, F, West Virginia

Memphis will continue to look to get better on defense by adding Ebanks, who can guard three positions and rebounds well.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder – Larry Sanders, F, VCU

Sanders could be a defensive-minded low post shot blocker, which is something the Thunder could certainly use.

27. New Jersey Nets – Dominique Jones, G, South Florida

Looking for outside shooting the Nets will find some to add to their bench with the pick of Jones.

28. Memphis Grizzlies – Armon Johnson, G, Nevada

After filling out their front line with two forwards the Grizzlies will pick up a capable back up for Mike Conley who may be able to supply some scoring punch off the bench.

29. Orlando Magic – Jordan Crawford, G, Xavier

With J.J. Redick possibly gone via free agency and Vince Carter dropping faster than a one ton boulder the Magic need help in the back court. Crawford is an excellent cutting and slashing wing who has potential to be a good shooter.

30. Washington Wizards – Quincy Pondexter, F, Washington

With the addition of John Wall the Wizards will be looking to surround him with shooters and cutters to take advantage of his creativity with the ball. Pondexter is a solid glue guy who can defend and run the break.

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As the year started to come to a close it seemed clear that there were three solid NCAA championship contenders – Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse.  That is still the case, but I think there are six other teams that are capable of winning the title – West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown, Ohio St., Kansas St. and Duke.  After you get past those nine teams I think almost anything could happen in the tournament.

Here are my 2010 NCAA Tournament predictions:


First Round
#1 Kansas v. #16 Lehigh
#8 UNLV v. #9 Northern Iowa
#5 Michigan St. v. #12 New Mexico St.
#4 Maryland v. #13 Houston
#6 Tennessee v. #11 San Diego St.
#3 Georgetown v. #14 Ohio
#7 Oklahoma St. v. #10 Georgia Tech
#2 Ohio St. v. #15 UC Santa Barbara

Second Round
#1 Kansas v. #9 Northern Iowa
#4 Maryland v. #5 Michigan St.
#3 Georgetown v. #6 Tennessee
#2 Ohio St. v. #10 Georgia Tech

Sweet 16
#1 Kansas v. #5 Michigan St.
#2 Ohio St. v. #3 Georgetown

Regional Final
#1 Kansas v. #3 Georgetown


First Round
#1 Syracuse v. #16 Vermont
#8 Gonzaga v. #9 Florida St.
#5 Butler v. #12 UTEP
#4 Vanderbilt v. #13 Murray St.
#6 Xavier v. #11 Minnesota
#3 Pittsburgh v. #14 Oakland
#7 BYU v. #10 Florida
#2 Kansas St. v. #15 North Texas

Second Round
#1 Syracuse v. #8 Gonzaga
#4 Vanderbilt v. #12 UTEP
#3 Pittsburgh v. #11 Minnesota
#2 Kansas St. v. #7 BYU

Sweet 16
#1 Syracuse v. #12 UTEP
#3 Pittsburgh v. #2 Kansas St.

Regional Final
#1 Syracuse v. #2 Kansas St.


First Round
#1 Kentucky v. #16 East Tennessee St.
#8 Texas v. #9 Wake Forest
#5 Temple v. #12 Cornell
#4 Wisconsin v. #13 Wofford
#6 Marquette v. #11 Washington
#3 New Mexico v. #14 Montana
#7 Clemson v. #10 Missouri
#2 West Virginia v. #15 Morgan St.

Second Round
#1 Kentucky v. #8 Texas
#4 Wisconsin v. #12 Cornell
#3 New Mexico v. #6 Marquette
#2 West Virginia v. #10 Missouri

Sweet 16
#1 Kentucky v. #4 Wisconsin
#2 West Virginia v. #6 Marquette

Regional Final
#1 Kentucky v. #2 West Virginia


First Round
#1 Duke v. Play-In Winner
#8 California v. #9 Louisville
#5 Texas A&M v. #12 Utah St.
#4 Purdue v. #13 Siena
#6 Notre Dame v. #11 Old Dominion
#3 Baylor v. #14 Sam Houston St.
#7 Richmond v. #10 Saint Mary’s
#2 Villanova v. #15 Robert Morris

Second Round
#1 Duke v. #9 Louisville
#5 Texas A&M v. #13 Siena
#3 Baylor v. #6 Notre Dame
#2 Villanova v. #7 Richmond

Sweet 16
#1 Duke v. #5 Texas A&M
#2 Villanova v. #3 Baylor

Regional Final
#2 Villanova v. #5 Texas A&M

Final Four

So that leaves three one seeds and a two seed in the Final Four.  Also, while I didn’t pick a lot of upsets along the way there were a lot of early games I could have gone either way with, and will not be surprised if they go in the opposite direction.

Kansas v. Syracuse
Kentucky v. Villanova

I think the Jayhawks will find a way to beat the Orange zone by moving guys in and out of the free throw line and block areas, and then finding the open man.  They also have the big bodies down low to challenge Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson and force the Orange to rely on the outside shot.  Kentucky has a lot of talent and certainly speed, but against Villanova I think their big guys, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson, will make the difference.

National Championship Game

Kansas v. Kentucky

I think the Wildcats will score the mild upset victory in this great battle and be the ones cutting down the nets in Indianapolis.  I think Coach John Calipari will be very determined to beat Kansas and Coach Bill Self in this game after losing to them a couple of years ago.  I like Kentucky’s quickness, of course with John Wall, and their ability to match the Kansas frontline.

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