Are the Yankees Done?

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

We are going to take a break from Brett Favre and Michael Phelps stories and talk about another historic event that might take place within the next month and that is the MLB playoffs…without the New York Yankees.  After a second straight loss to their arch-rivals the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees are on the verge of getting swept at home against the team that every Yankee fan hates.  Last nights loss put them seven games behind the redsox and 10.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Ray’s.  Even though the Sox and the Ray’s are in the Yanks division, they cannot forget about the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins who are in a dogfight for the AL Central division title.  The Yanks are third in the wild card race behind the Red Sox and the Twins.

For the past few seasons, everyone was questioning the Yanks playoff chances because of how slow they started.  The difference between this season and previous ones, is that it is August and the Yankees are not in control.  Instead, they are falling out.  Isn’t this the same team that has come back from multiple games back in the final month?  Yes, that is why fans are questioning their playoff life and not just writing them off.

1993: In 1993 Michael Jordan won his third straight Championship, Rodney King testified in court, and Bill Clinton was just starting as President.  That year was also the last time the Yanks missed the Post Season.  Every year the Yankees are expected to make the playoffs and every year they have delivered…until now.  They have no more than 30 games left in the season and to have any shot they must win at least 23 of them.  I understand that they have been marred by injuries to key players such as Joba Chamberlain, Chin Ming Wang and Jorge Posada, but shouldn’t a team with a 206 million dollar payroll have extra talent on the backburner?  You would think yes, but from what we have seen recently, it doesn’t seem like it.  Are the Yanks officially done?  No, but it is not looking good and if you ask my opinion, I would say RIP Yanks.  It will be very difficult to come back and if they want to, they better bring back guys like Paul O’neill, Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson, but even with them, they might just be in too big of a deficit to fight back.  Yankee magic has proven itself before, but is there enough magic in the moonlight to keep their playoff dreams alive?  You tell me!

DRAFT GRADES

 

For some, Thursday’s draft was an amazing night while for others like Darrell Arthur, it was a very frustrating one.  Trades were made for not only picks, but marquee players as well.  As your NBA expert, I am writing in my opinion how the teams did.  The grade that I select for every team is based off what moves they made on draft day/night between their picks and trades.  A is the best grade and F is the worst.  The team that had the best draft gets an A+.  Lets get started….

Atlanta Hawks:  No selections

Due to the trade for Joe Johnson back when, the Hawks selection was transferred over to the Suns.  Grade:  N/a

Boston Celtics: J.R. Giddens (30), Bill Walker (47), Semih Erden (60)

Like I said originally, in retrospect, this draft does not matter for the C’s too much.  Giddens on New Mexico, not only averaged 16 ppg but he also averaged close to 9 boards and at least 1 block per game.  Very impressive statline for a player who ended the first round.  Bill Walker from Kansas state was another good pick because not only did he average 16 ppg, but he also shot 46% from the field which is steller.  Erden who was the last pick in the draft is a 7-1 Turkish Center who I doubt will make the team, averaged only a few boards per game, and it seemed like Danny Ainge picked him simply because if this guy is actually good in the summer league, he might be a good back up for Kendrick Perkins next year.  Grade:  A-

Charlotte Bobcats:  9. Charlotte – D.J. Augustin (9), Alexis Ajinca (20), Kyle Weaver

Here is what I don’t understand about picking Augustin at 9.  The Bobcats already have a young talented point guard in Raymond Felton.  Felton averaged 14.4 ppg, 7.4 assists and even 1.2 steals every game.  That stat line is impressive for a point guard.  I really thought that the perfect player for this team would have been Brook Lopez.  They need a center more than another point guard and if they wanted another one, they could have selected Chalmers with the 20th pick, but now they have to focus on dealing Raymond Felton.  If they do deal Felton, this pick could work out for the best.  Ajinca is not the answer for a Center.  This guy is too skinny, lacks aggressiveness, and hardly rebounds.  He plays like hes a foot and a half shooter than he really is.  Kyle Weaver was a good pick for them because he is a good shooter and scorer to add to this team.  The ‘Cats also get a slight deduction on their grade for making Brook Lopez cry.  Grade: C

Chicago Bulls:  Derrick Rose (1),Omar Asik

We have been talking about Rose for months.  Obviously the best player in this draft and Chicago had him all the way.  History has shown though that you should never waste a pick in the draft, even if it’s the 60th.  However the Bulls made a slight mistake trading Weems who they picked over Douglas-Roberts.  Now they are stuck with Asik from Tukey who is 7-1 but only averaged 5.5 boards.  This guy appears to be useless.  You cannot pass up a guy like CDR.  Grade: A-

Cleveland Cavaliers:  J.J. Hickson, Darnell Jackson

The Cavs chose very wisely in Hickson who average nearly 15 and 9.  The Cavs need some big men and this guy I feel is the right fit for them at power forward.  Jackson is another power forward from Kansas that shot 62% from the field.  Both picks are solid.  Grade: A-

Dallas Mavericks:  Shan Foster (51)

The Mavs had one pick in this years draft and they drafted a guy who averaged 20 ppg, but do they really need that?  They have enough scoring and this guy is a shooting guard who scores and that’s about it.  They get some credit because it was late in the second round.  But every pick matters and this team has enough scorers.  Grade: C-

Denver Nuggets: Sonny Weems (39)

After trading their pick to Charlotte, Denver still felt that they should be apart of this draft.  They traded for a small forward in Weems who can score.  Once again, another team who has a lot of scorers, just bought themselves another one and it cost them 2 future second round picks.  I don’t think it was worth it, though Weems is a bit bigger and still averaged 15 ppg.  Grade: C- 

Detroit Pistons: Walter Sharpe (32), Trent Plaisted (46), Deron Washington (59)  

When Detroit drafted D.J. White I was impressed and confident in their new regime that they are apparently starting.  But then they traded him and got Sharpe and Plaisted who could be good but it is not a sure thing.  Sharpe averaged 14 and 7 at 6-9 for UAB which isn’t bad, but nothing to write home about.  Plaisted is a 7 footer who averaged nearly 16 and 8 which is also not that impressive.  Washington is another scorer as well.  I still would have kept D.J. White though.  He seems more of a player than Sharpe or Plaisted.  However the combination of the three is still very decent.  Grade: B-

Golden State Warriors: Anthony Randolph (14), Richard Hendrix (49)  

The Warriors needed big men and they drafted two outstanding college big men.  First Anthony Randolph from LSU has tremendous upside.  He averaged almost 16 and 9 and has a tremendous wingspan.  He can jump and Hendrix, who played for Alabama averaged 18 and 10.  Both were great picks and be aware of the Warriors though, they might be without Baron Davis next season.  Grade: A

Houston Rockets: Donte Greene (28), Joey Dorsey (33), Marty Leunen (54), 2009 second round pick.  Houston had a pretty solid draft.  Greene has a good amount of upside but maybe should have stayed in school another year.  He averaged 17 and 7 at Syracuse and has good reach.  Dorsey is a 6-9 PF who averaged over 9 rebounds per game for Memphis last year.  The pick though that I am most interested in is Marty Leunen from Oregon.  He avvereged 15 and 9.  All three picks I approve and will help Houston out primarily defensively.  Grade:  A

Indiana Pacers:  Brandon Rush (13), Roy Hibbert (17), TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Josh McRoberts, Jarrett Jack

The Pacers are starting fresh,  Some of these moves are grand while others are hard to believe.  Why would the Pacers trade for 2 pgs in Jack and ford?  It is a very interesting situation.  Getting Brandon Rush will add to the scoring talent of Dunlevy and Granger.  Nesterovic and McRoberts are throw ins and Hibbert has huge Bust potential because of how slow he moves.  What’s the point of having a 7-3 guy if he can’t run up and down the floor to block shots or get rebounds?  Grade: B-

LA Clippers:  Eric Gordon (7), DeAndre Jordan (35), Mike Taylor (55)

This year, the Clippers drafted a pure sg in Eric Gordon and a player with high Bust potential in Jordan.  Both good picks, but risky.  Taylor is a combo guard who can score but that is just about it.  Jordan needs to be able to play at his height but he is a huge project.  Grade: B   

LA Lakers:  Joe Crawford (58)

Lets all meet the man who will be one of Kobe’s many back ups.  This guy is useless for this team because he is 6-4 so he can’t play small forward and all he can do is score, and the Lakers have many scorers.  They should have drafted at least a guy who can average many rebounds or even 6 or 7.  That is how they got shut down in the finals.  Boston’s D was tenacious and the Lakers need to step it up on defense.  Grade: F

Memphis Grizzles:  O.J. Mayo (3), Darrell Arthur (27), Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner.  Hopefully Darrell Arthur isn’t as big of a bust as many teams believe he will be because the Lakers failed to aquire a veteran big man.  ‘toine is done, and Kwame Brown and Darko are not the answers for Memphis.  Although, OJ Mayo is an excellent player and Marko Jaric is a prolific scorer and Arthur is determined to make all of the teams that passed up on him regret not taking him.  Did you have to trade Mike Miller though?  Grade: B

Miami Heat:  Michael Beasley (2), Mario Chalmers (34), and a 2009 2nd round pick

I would like to send my congratulations to Miami for having the best draft of any team.  Not only did they make the right move by drafting Beasley and not trading the pick but then they fulfilled their other need by getting a very solid point guard in Mario Chalmers.  They fulfilled both their needs of a point guard and big man.  Now they just need a Center and the Heat will be a contender next season.   Grade:  A+

Milwaukie Bucks:  Joe Alexander (8), Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute (37), Richard Jefferson

Here is what I don’t understand.  The Bucks traded for Jefferson a small forward and then drafted a small forward in Alexander.  Between Desmond Mason, Jefferson and Alexander, the Bucks are now flooded at the three spot.  Can Alexander play PF?  Don’t think so.  Mbah a Moute is a shoot first point guard which is frowned upon in the NBA.  He can’t do anything else.  Getting Jefferson though will make this team better.  Grade: C

Minnesota Timberwolves:  Kevin Love (5), Nikola Pekovic (31), Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins, 2 future second round picks, cash.  Let’s forget about Pekovic for a minute because he’s a long term project and focus on how the T-Wolves made an amazing trade getting both Mike Miller and Kevin Love.  Cardinal and Collins won’t do too much but expect Miller to be a good mentor for Corey Brewer because Miller can teach Brewer how to create his own shots and set himself up for shots off of screens.  The ‘wolves also needed a big man to help out Al Jefferson and they got exactly who they needed.  Love is a banger and will be good for this team.  Him and Jefferson will provide the defense that the ‘wolves need.  Grade: A

New Jersey Nets:  Brook Lopez (10), Ryan Anderson (21), Chris Douglas-Roberts (39), Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian  The Nets had a pretty solid draft because not only did they free up cap space, but they also got Yi who can score and rebound, a good shooter in simmons, and 3 solid picks.  It is hard to tell how good Lopez will be but he’s 7-3 and that adds tremendous height to the Nets Roster.  Douglas-Roberts could be the steal of the draft but it is undetermined, he will be a good back up for Devin Harris and Anderson was also a good pick who averaged 21 and 10 last season.  Solid draft for the Nets.  Grade: A-    

New Orleans Hornets:  Cash Considerations 

The Hornets traded Darrell Arthur for cash, they are relying on free agency.  Grade: N/A

New York Knicks: Danilo Gallinari (6)  

Welcome to NY Danillo.  You were told by a few of the analysts that you would be greeted with boos and you were.  It is hard to tell if you were booed more than Renaldo Balkman when he was picked two years ago.  The Knicks decided with the 6th pick to pick who they thought has the best overall talent.  The pick made more sense after the Donnie Walsh interview.  The thought is that as much as the Knicks needed a pg, they believe that a rookie can not turn this franchise around.  Walsh made it a point to say that they will be very active during the summer in aquiring a point guard.  Regarding Gallinari, this pick really deserves a C, but because there was some strategy because D’Antoni has had a lot of success with international players, he can make this guy into the next AK-47 or Toni Kukoc.  Or he will just be another Darko.  We will have to wait and see.  He has a lot of upside though.  Grade: B-

Orlando Magic:  Courtney Lee (22)

They wanted a shooting guard and they passed up Douglas-Roberts for a very risky pick in Lee.  He averaged 20 ppg and almost 2 steals.  I would say they got what they needed but It was still risky.  Grade:  B

Philadelphia 76ers: Marresse Speights (16)

I love this pick for the sixers.  Speights is just what they needed because Dalembert is inconsistent.  Speights is more than a 14 and 8 guy.  He is a banger and aggressive and I think he is the perfect Complement to Dalembert.  He can block too.  All around good pick because the Sixers needed more height and they will be satisfied with Speights.  Grade: A    

Phoenix Suns:  Robin Lopez (15), Goran Dragic

This draft for them has such high bust potential because noone knows how good Robin Lopez can be.  But Lopez on Stanford was only useful for garbage points.  If Shaq takes him under his wing and teaches Lopez how to be aggressive, than this draft can really work out well for them, however Lopez is a very risky pick and this could end up being a complete waste. 

Grade: B-

Portland Trail Blazers:  Jerryd Bayless (11), Nicolas Batum (25), Ike Diogu, 2 2009 2nd round picks, 2 future 2nd round picks

Noone expected this to happen.  Now Portland has a premier point guard in Bayless and Batum is expected tobe good from France as well.  Bayless though is seen as a shoot first pg so they will have to be careful, but getting Bayless could be a smart move for them.  They are loaded with future draft picks though.  Grade: B   

Sacramento Kings:  Jason Thompson (12), Sean Singletary (42), Patrick Ewing Jr. (43)

This was a very risky draft for the Kings.  They selected a guy projected to go 2nd round in the lottery.  I don’t have a problem with Thompson, I just think his competition on Rider was not as fierce as what he will face in the NBA.  I think this pick was very risky.  Ewing Jr. will not add anything special to this team.  Singletary though is a good playmaker and can be a benefactor on this team but overall the Thompson pick really brings their grade down.  Grade: C

San Antonio Spurs George Hill (26), James Gist (57) Malik Hairston (48), 2009 2nd round pick, Cash.  The Spurs drafted 3 scorers.  They don’t need two much and only Hill it seems like has the best shot at making the rotation.  Grade: B-

Seattle Supersonics:  Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), D.J. White (29), DeVon Hardin (50), Sashsa Kaun (56)  The Sonics got what they wanted in Westbrook.  Westbrook is a good scorer and defender and when questioned about him being a pure point guard, Westbrook assured Stephen A. Smith that he was a natural pg.  Ibaka is a project so you wont see him for a while.  D.J. White is a possible Steal of the draft.  He had a great career on Indiana and I’m sure on this team, he will not disappoint.  Grade: B+

Toronto Raptors:  Nathan Jawai (41), Jermaine O’Neal

This whole draft for the Raptors was based off getting Jermaine O’neal in which they did.  Regarding their pick, they just wasted it because they got O’neal.  Jermaine has been in the league for 11 seasons, and he has shown signs of aging and has gotten hurt a lot recently.  Was it the right move?  You decide.  Grade: C+

Utah Jazz: Kosta Koufos (23), Ante Tomic (44), Tadija Dragicevic (53)

These picks were very wasted.  I don’t buy Jay Bilas’s rant on how good Koufos is.  He is 7-1 and doesn’t even average 7 rebounds a game.  Tomic and Dragicevic are also iffy on whether or not they make the team.  Grade: F 

Washington Wizards:  Javale McGee (18), Cash

This pick is very iffy because Mcgee is a lot like Blatche who they have already.  This pick can either work well or not.  This guy is really good on defense,, but I don’t think he is the right fit for this team, but still not a bad pick.  Grade: C+

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

The REAL Decision ’08: THE 2008 NBA DRAFT  

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls and Children of all ages, lets put the politics aside for one minute and talk about something that really matters; The NBA Draft.  We all know McCain and Obama have their issues and platforms to defend, but so do another entity in this country; The Chicago Bulls.  If you think choosing your next president is hard, choosing the future of your franchise is even harder.  Good luck to you John Paxon, let’s see if your selection can match the efficiency of your three-point jumper.  We all remember game six of the 1993 NBA finals when Paxon hit the game winning three to bury Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, “Thunder” Dan Majerle and the rest of that Phoenix Suns team that fell victim to Jordan and the Bulls.  Now it is time for Mr. Paxon to come through in the clutch once again as the fate of the Bulls future rests on this pick.   Besides the Bulls though, there are other teams in this draft that can benefit from this talented draft class.  I am proud to present, one week before the draft, my second and final mock draft.   Since my last draft we have seen players stocks plummet and rise.  Brook Lopez’s stock has fallen nearly out of the top 10 while Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook’s have risen.  But are we in store for an even bigger stunning surprise in Miami?  I’ll explain that in a moment.  Let’s get started.  I have analyzed the entire first round.

1st pick:  Chicago Bulls

I cannot stress enough how important this pick is for this team.  They had a 1.8% chance of getting it and they beat all of the odds without even having a ridiculous good luck charm present with them at the Lottery.  On one end you have an amazing point guard and on the other hand a phenomenal combo forward.  After doing my research I have to agree with realgm.com that this league is now a guard dominated league and I think in order for the Bulls to be able to run with big boys, I think that they need the same the New Orleans has, a point guard.  Without Chris Paul, that team is not what is now and I still think that you can go either way with this pick and still have success.  If you hear of Ben Gordon being traded to the Knicks or another team, don’t be surprised.  That event will clinch Rose as the number one pick.  Experts are pretty split down the board and the Bulls can’t go wrong with either player.  I have made a final decision though and I’m not 100% confident but it makes the most sense.  J-Fense Pick:  Derrick Rose

2nd Pick:  Miami Heat

The latest rumors say that the Heat might pull a fast one at the draft and leave Beasley on the board if Rose is selected at one.  This shocked me because a player like Beasley is very valuable and a great asset to have on a team.  Hey Pat Riley, I think all of that gel that you’ve been putting in your hair over the last 30 years has finally reached your brain and is effecting your decision making.  The Heat are considering taking OJ Mayo over Beasley with their pick.  I like Mayo, but I like Beasley more.  Imagine a front court of Beasley, Marion and Mourning or Earl Barron, sounds good.  I just don’t think Mayo and Wade can co-exist in the backcourt.  It doesn’t make any sense.  If the Bulls pick Beasley first, reports say that the Heat will select Rose.  J-Fense Pick:  Michael Beasley

3rd Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves

Bottomline, the T-Wolves need a shooting guard.  They have none.  I hope OJ Mayo likes the Midwest because that is where he will go if the Heat don’t pick him at 2.  If by chance, Riley picks Mayo, just pick Beasley and figure a way to transfer Corey brewer into a shooting guard.  A backcourt of Randy Foye and Mayo would be stellar. J-Fense Pick: O.J. Mayo         

4th Pick:  Seattle (for now) Supersonics

I would just like to say that the rally was very impressive to keep the Sonics in Seattle.  Gary Payton was there along with 3,000 other Sonics faithful.  This pick has already been decided so don’t expect any surprises.  With the fourth pick in the 2008 NBA draft, the Seattle Supersonics will select Jerryd Bayless from the University of Arizona.  I still don’t think Bayless will save the Sonics from their assumed fate, of moving to Oklahoma, but hopefully for the team, him and Kevin Durant will mesh well together.  J-Fense Pick:  Jerryd Bayless

5th Pick:  Memphis Grizzles

  Memphis needs a big guy.  Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic, and Jason Collins (sorry Tommy T), are all failures.  You can go one of two ways here as there are two big men out there who have had impressive workouts and no Brook Lopez is not one of them.  I’m talking about Anthony Randolph and a certain nephew of the lead singer of the greatest American classic rock band ever, The Beach Boys, KEVIN LOVE!  He looks a lot like his uncle Mike Love but that’s besides the point.  Right after the lottery, experts had this guy going between picks 9-14 and now the experts have changed their tune on Love.  Love is an excellent inside player and is easily seen as averaging a double-double and his workouts have been very impressive.  Anthony Randolph is not only an accomplished scorer, but he can also play defense and has nice ups.  My only beef with him and this is why his stock has fallen a bit, he doesn’t play up to his height.  He is nearly seven feet and didn’t average 10 boards last season.  That’s a bit problematic.  I have faith though that both would make this team better.  I have to go with the guy who I think is more aggressive.  J-Fense Pick:  Kevin Love

6th Pick:  New York Knicks

I am sorry but to all you Italian New Yorkers, the “Italian Stallion” Danillo Galinari will not be selected with this pick.  His stock has fallen tremendously.  He is too raw and the Knicks are not willing to take the risk.  There are reports that that out of anyone that has worked out with New York, Donnie Walsh was most impressed by Russell Westbrook.  I called this guy a few weeks ago to be a possible selection and now it appears he is a finalist.  However, there is another player in this draft that has impressed me time and time again and his name is D.J. Augustin.  Bottom-line:  The Knicks need a point guard of some sort and I think Westbrook would fit the system well but I like Augustin better because he is a natural point guard.  The Knicks have enough scorers and now they need someone who can create and penetrate.  J-Fense Pick:  D.J. Augustin

7th Pick:  LA Clippers

There seems to be three people who the Clippers are interested in:  Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook and Danillo Galinari.  The reason why coach Dunlevy likes Galinari is because apparently his basketball IQ is amazing.  I still wouldn’t pick someone based solely off of that.  I personally like the other two options for them.  Shaun Livingston is too injury prone to depend on so I think someone who can play the point at least a little bit would be good for them.  That is why I think Russell Westbrook is a great fit for them.  He not only can play the point, but if the Clippers need him to score he will.  He will need time to develop but I think he will fit well with their system.  J-Fense Pick:  Russell Westbrook

8th Pick:  Milwaukee Bucks

Experts say that this situation is confusing but I really don’t see why.  Chad Ford says the Bucks biggest need right now is a small forward to help out Desmond Mason.  Oh, and don’t worry about Michael Redd.  Scott Skiles assured him that he wouldn’t be traded despite the rumors so that won’t effect the Bucks pick.  I think the Bucks should go with a guy like Danillo Galinari.  I really am confident he would fit better for them than Joe Alexander.  I think with his B-ball IQ, he can really help this team out on all ends.  If the Bucks don’t take him, the Nets will.  If worse comes to worst, you start Mason until Galinari develops more.  He could be a good role player off the bench because of his quickness and versatility.  J-Fense Pick:  Danillo Galinari

9th Pick:  Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats are a big man away from becoming an unbelievable force in the East.  I am very excited about this team and Portland personally.  My original pick for the Bobcats was Kevin Love, but experts say that he will be picked by Memphis so I think the next best player for them is Brook Lopez.  Lopez is 7-3 and with Okafor by his side, just Lopez’s presence will help on the defensive end.  Okafor is a confident scorer and rebounder.  That front court of Gerald Wallace/Adam Morrison, Okafor and Lopez would be amazing with J-Rich and Felton in the backcourt.  Lopez is the most sensible pick for the ‘Cats and he will step up this team on the defensive end and take care of the garbage points as well.  J-Fense Pick:  Brook Lopez

10th Pick:  New Jersey Nets

The Nets need to build on their frontcourt.  They have the scorers taken care of between Jefferson and Carter alone.  I think you need to add more depth because when I look at their front court of Williams, Boone, Kristic and Swift, the only reliable player I see is Williams.  This is why I think the Nets should pick Anthony Randolph which would add a lot more depth and pep to their step.  They don’t have to start him right away because they have other players that can fill the void temporarily, but long-term I think Randolph can be the Nets PF of the future.  Him, along with Sean Williams, can make a fantastic front court along with Jefferson unless the Nets decide to start Kristic instead and have Williams continue coming off the bench.  Rumor has it though, that the Nets have “guaranteed” Danillo Galinari that he would be their pick if he was still on the board.  Rumors are not always true though.  J-Fense Pick:  Anthony Randolph

11th Pick:  Indiana Pacers

Indiana can go one of two ways.  They can either select a sharp-shooter in Eric Gordon or PF Marreese Speights.  This all will depend on Jermaine O’Neal and where to place Dunlevy and Granger.  Will Jermaine O’Neal be a pacer next season?  Nobody knows.  I really want them to select Gordon, but I think because A. they don’t know what will happen with J.O. and B.  because Dunlevy and Granger can play the 2 and the 3, I think that for liability reasons, the safe bet and the best bet for the Pacers would be to go with Speights.  J-Fense Pick:  Marreese Speights

12th Pick: Sacramento Kings

The Kings are also in a messy situation because the on and off rumors of Ron Artest being traded have surfaced yet again.  This could effect their pick.  Unfort. I do not think Eric Gordon would fit well on this team because they seem to have enough at the guard-small forward spot.  I think they should concentrate on getting a power forward because they need defense.  If the Pacers do select Gordon with their pick, I would say that the Kings should pick Speights, but if not, I think the next best avalable PF for them would be Darrell Arthur.  They could also take a risk and draft JaVale McGee but I think Arthur has less bust potential then McGee. He is also more of a PF then McGee and that is the position that they need because Brad Miller is still a force at Center.  Arthur is quick and explosive and can play both ends of the floor.  J-Fense Pick:  Darrell Arthur

13th Pick:  Portland Trailblazers

Portland will most likely trade their pick because they have just about everything they need.  I can see them trading to a team who wants to draft either Eric Gordon or Joe Alexander.  I think Joe Alexander would be a great fit for this Portland team if they do decide to draft.   However, Portland has a good thing going at the 3 spot with Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw.  At the point guard spot they have Steve Blake and Jarrett Jack.  I have severe doubts that this team will be selecting at 13 because they have a great system ready for them and the only thing they lack is veteran leadership.  The team that trades with them will prob. At this point draft Eric Gordon if he is still on the board.  If I am forced to make a decision I will have to say Joe Alexander because Portland could use Alexander as a backup PF to LaMarcus Aldridge.  J-Fense Pick:  Joe Alexander (If they draft)  MY REAL PREDICTION:  The team that trades with Portland will draft Eric Gordon or Joe Alexander

14th Pick:  Golden State Warriors

The Warriors need a big guy who can rebound.  This is where I would select either DeAndre Jordan or JaVale McGee because both are big men with tremendous upside.  The Warriors need some defensive help and they need it now which is why I think Jordan would be too much of a risk because he is underdeveloped.  I think McGee who averaged nearly three blocks a game last season for Nevada and would fit well for this team and help them step it up on defense.  J-Fense Pick:  JaVale McGee

15th Pick:  Phoenix Suns (from Atlanta)

The Suns situation is interesting because there are rumors that they are trying to trade Raja Bell and/or Boris Diaw.  Normally I would have them drafting Gordon, but I believe that Shaq and Amare alone are not enough to handle the beasts of the west.  They need an off the bench big man.  Shaq is not half of what he used to be in his prime and will need help.  The most sensible pick at this juncture would be either DeAndre Jordan or Donte Greene.  I like Jordan better, he just needs to be motivated and if Shaq takes him under his wing, he can become a beast like Shaq was.  Jordan is a seven footer.  J-Fense Pick:  DeAndre Jordan 

16th Pick:   Philadelphia 76ers

They need a PF and the next best available seems to be JJ Hickson.  Good scorer and rebounder.  J-Fense Pick:  J.J. Hickson

17th Pick:  Toronto Raptors

The Raptors want another big man who can be compared and related to Brook Lopez.  Oh yeah his brother Robin is in the draft as well and the Raptors want him.  J-Fense Pick: Robin Lopez

18th Pick:  Washington Wizards

It is unknown whether the Wiz will have Antawn Jamison on their team next season due to the fact that he’s a free agent.  I think a perfect replacement for him would be Donte’ Greene from Syracuse.  Hes a scorer, just like Jamison and also a pretty solid defender and 6-10.  J-Fense Pick:  Donte’ Greene

19th Pick:  Cleveland Cavaliers

Big Z and Joe Smith’s career’s are just about over so the Cavs need a big man.  Standing at 7-1 is Kosta Koufos from Ohio State.  He is 19 but has a lot of upside.  J-Fense Pick:  Kosta Koufos

20th Pick:  Denver Nuggets

They have a lot of scorers and this is also tough because Carmello might not be on the team next season.  Let’s assume that he is, Denver needs a young point guard and I like Mario Chalmers.  J-Fense Pick:  Mario Chalmers

21st Pick:  New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)

The board is there’s.  They can go with anyone at this point.  On my board I’d say go for Eric Gordon.  VC needs a back up and won’t play forever.  J-Fense Pick:  Eric Gordon (He will be selected earlier most likely via trade)

22nd Pick:  Orlando Magic

They are in dire need of a SG.  They have none.  Brandon Rush would be a great fit for them because it will up their scoring even further. J-Fense Pick:  Brandon Rush

23rd Pick:  Utah Jazz

They need a SG, why not pick a guy who has a great shot and can slash to the rim as well.  That is the only thing they are lacking.  J-Fence Pick: Chris Douglas-Roberts

24th Pick:  Seattle Supersonics (from Phoenix)

History has shown that the Sonics like the foreign big men.  They need a big man.  I think that due to their history, there is an international PF waiting to be selected by them.  He is 18 and is from Congo. He’s 6-10.  J-Fense Pick:  Serge Ibaka

25th Pick:  Houston Rockets

I agree with Chad Ford that at this point in the draft, you take the most talented available player.  Here is a SF from France that is said to be very talented and they can use the extra forward.  J-Fense Pick:  Nicolas Batum

26th Pick:  San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs were very successful when they had the twin towers of Duncan and Robinson.  Maybe with this pick the twin towers can be resurrected.  They do need a big man after all.  J-Fense Pick:  Roy Hibbert 

27th Pick:  New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets need another shooter in my opinion and I think Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky is the right choice.  He’s a scorer and a slasher and will work well with Chris Paul.  J-Fense Pick: Courtney Lee

28th Pick:  Memphis Grizzles (From Lakers I guess:   Not Confirmed)

In my opinion, if Memphis takes love, I think I found a decent replacement for Gasol that would fill the PF void.  Jason Thompson from Rider averaged 20 and 12 last season.  Maybe Memphis will have twin Towers of their own.  J-Fense Pick:  Jason Thompson

29th Pick:  Detroit Pistons 

If Joe Dumars wants to clean house and try something new, there is a Center out there who I have been reading about and Chad Ford also said, has been most impressive in his workouts.  He is 7-1 and from France and is compared to LaMarcus Aldridge.  J-Fense Pick:  Alexis Ajinca

30th Pick:  Boston Celtics:    

This pick matters very little to the champs.  Kyle Weaver from Washington State is a good combo guard who can come off the bench and score.  He’ll do.  J-Fense Pick:  Kyle Weaver

 

THERE IS YOUR FIRST ROUND.  THERE IS A LOT OF TALENT TO GO AROUND THIS YEAR WITH THIS DEEP DRAFT.  EXPECT A FEW SURPRISES AND YES ERIC GORDON WILL GET DRAFTED.  I PROMISE.  I JUST ALSO WANT TO GIVE A SHOUT-OUT TO MY PARTNER BEARD WAGMAN FOR CALLING THE CELTS OVER THE LAKERS.  PROPS TO YOU BEARD, GOOD CALL.

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman   

 

 

So, in the previous article as he usually does, Mr. Beard gave us an amazingly in depth analysis previewing this year’s NBA Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics.  I agree with what most of the article says especially the key matchup between Pierce and Kobe.  One thing that could effect that outcome of the series that I wished Mr. Beard expanded on was the coaching advantage.  If the NBA Finals has shown us anything over time its that good coaching wins finals.  If you look for instance at the last 17 years on which teams won titles you would see that since 1990-1991 season, Phil Jackson has won 9 titles, Greg Popovich has won 4 titles, Rudy Tomjanovich has won 2 titles, and Pat Riley and Larry Brown have also each won a title.  Notice something familiar here?  I sure do, All great coaches.  Afterall, everyone knows that Michael Jordan would not have been the player he was without Phil Jackson’s dicipline as his coach.  When Jackson took over the reigns after Doug Collins was fired, Jordan was still the “One man show” which was his reputation in the 80’s.  As the “one man show” Jordan could not take down the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons of the 80’s who were coached by Chuck Daly, anotehr solid coach, FYI.  When Phil Jackson diciplined Jordan and explained to him, that he was the coach and that he would not see playing time if he didn’t utilize his teammates, the following year in 1991, the Chicago Bulls swept the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals after losing in the playoffs to them the previous three years.  Even after Jordan retired after winning his third straight title in 1993, the following year the Bulls were still seen as a contender in the playoffs, as they pushed the number one seed of the East, The New York Knicks, to the limit.  The 1994 series was brought to 7 games, and the Knicks ended up pulling out the victory.  The point of that example was that even without Jordan the Bulls were still able to win and I claim Phil Jackson fully responsible for that.  He taught players like Jordan, Pippen, Tony Kukoc and others how to be floor leaders and it resulted in more titles than fingers on a hand (6). 

 

The Lakers:  When the Lakers signed Shaquille O’neal in 1996 and drafted Kobe Bryant the Same year, the Lakers struggled for the first three years the two superstars were together.  Del Haris coached the Lakers the first two years of that and Kurt Rambis coached the other year.  During that time, they could not even win their division with the team of Kobe, Shaq, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel.  When Phil Jackson came around in 1999, both Van Exel and Jones were gone and before you know it, the Lakers Won their division in 2000, Jackson’s first season as coach, and then went on to win the title that same year and then 2 more after that.  It wasn’t a fluke that the Lakers won the title in the years ’00, ’01 and ’02.  Jackson made that team better, teaching Kobe and Shaq how to co-exist and bringing up a stud point guard in Derek Fisher which would result in the dangerous triangle offense that the Lakers have had.  It was Jackson who is responsible for the Lakers success.

This year:  This year’s finals features the two top teams in the league; the Lakers and the Celtics.  Any coach, including Isaiah Thomas, can win at least 50 or more games with this Celtics team.  I know the Celts won 66 but if I’m going to include Isaiah Thomas in this stat who is the worst coach ever, I have to give some looseness to this stat, but yes Isaiah could win 50 games with that team.  If the Celtics had a decent coach they would win the series but the fact of the matter is that Doc Rivers is, as Beard stated “the worst coach in the NBA not named Isaiah Thomas”.  You are putting him up in this series against one of the top two coaches in NBA history.  It is hard to say who a better coach is/was between Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson, but I’m still going to go with Red. by a hair, but it is still debateable.  Doc Rivers barely got thsi Celtics team out of the first round against the Atlanta Hawks who were 8 games under .500.   Then, they barely got passed the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers.  After two series the Celtics had a road record of (0-6) which is disgraceful considering the Celtics ended with the best record in the league.  Regarding the Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit, if Chauncey Billups was healthy, the Celtics would be on the golf course right now.  The Lakers had a completely different kind of road to get to the NBA finals because of how amazing the west is.  Each seed won at least 50 games.  Their first round opponent was against the 50-32 Denver Nuggets who they swept.  Their next opponent was against the 54-28 Utah Jazz who they defeated in six.  Their previous opponent was against the 56-26 San Antonio Spurs who they defeated in five games.  Let me remind you that they did all of this without Andrew Bynum.  I understand that their should have been a foul called on Fisher at the end of game four.  But, do you know how many calls players like Jordan, Wilt, Magic and Bird got in their favor back in their hayday?  You cannot say that something is a conspiracy theory because of that.  Also, didn’t brent Barry try to jump into Fisher?  Maybe that’s why the call was made.  I saw a lean in by Barry and as far as that is concerned, that could have been more of an offensive foul than a defensive one, but that is up for debate, it wasn’t the most obvious foul anyway.  

The bottom line:  The Lakers have had a much tougher road to the finals and history has shown that great coaches win titles.  Phil Jackson is one of the best in history and Doc Rivers is a loser.  He was a loser  in Orlando and let’s not forget, when he was the coach of the ’04-’05 Celtics team, they won their division but still managed to lose in the first round of the ’05 playoffs.  He has never made it out of the first round until this year, that says something.  It says how terrible he really is as a coach.  Every season he coached the Magic they were .500 or better and they still failed to make it out of the first round.  This season, has caused people to forget about his past because he is in the finals.  That team is expected to make the finals without a coach running the bench.  He gets no credit what-so-ever for this season.  I give it to the players completely.  I’m not saying to not pick the Celtics to win the Championship this year, I am just saying that history has shown that winning the NBA Finals has really come down to one thing…Good Coaching!  And that is something that the Celtics lack.

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

As the countdown to the NBA draft has begun, the Chicago Bulls are stuck between two studs coming into the NBA.  Derrick Rose, a Memphis point guard, and Michael Beasley, a Kansas State combo forward.  It’s a really difficult choice for many reasons.  Everyone knows that the NBA has become a guard dominated league, and the best teams in the NBA, aka the teams still in the playoffs all have solid to great point guards.  The Celtics are excluded because they have three legit superstars on their team, though I will put in a bid for Rajon Rondo as I think him and the Cavs, Daniel Gibson do have potential to be excellent pg’s.  The Spurs have Tony Parker, who has proven himself time and time again to be a great play-maker and and a solid defender.  The Lakers have Derek Fisher, who is responsible for the triangle offense of the Lakers back when they had Kobe and Shaq.  He is a proven winner and has multiple rings to show for it.  Chauncey Billups is a former finals MVP, he was the main reason the Pistons won the title back in ’04 and I think without him, Detroit is not nearly as good.  Now let’s talk about the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls have an oppertunity to take a great pg in Derrick Rose, but the problem is that they are flooded at the guard spot with players like Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon, Ben Gordon and Larry Hughes and even Thabo Sefolosha.  That is a flood almost as big as one that a hurricane would cause.  But can the Bulls really pass up Derrick Rose, a premier pg?  This guy reminds me of Chris Paul.  He can turn this team around.  The bulls ended last season with a 33-49 record.  Yuck.  I think Rose would be the perfect solution for this team, but then they must get rid of at least 2 of those guards.  Hinrich and Duhon both have value.  A team (like the Knicks) could use one of them.  Trade them and keep Rose in Chicago.  Afterall he is from there.

Why the Bulls might go with a guy like Michael Beasley is simple.  An all-around player.  This is the kind of guy that if you needed him to be a clutch performer and play center in a big game.  He would do it.  Magic Johnson did it in 1980, his rookie season after Kareem went down.  Magic played center in game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals and was successful.  This guy is a lot like that.  He can shoot, ball-handle, rebound, block and lead a team.   Kansas State over USC in March madness was no fluke.  (Sorry Wagman).  Beasley led that team passed USC, rightfully so.  Some of the Bulls forwards include Andres Nocioni, Luol Deng, Drew Gooden, Tyrus Thomas and they can switch around Joakim Noah as well.  Between Deng and Gooden alone, they can provide a fantastic combination of speed, defense and shooting.  Why waste your pick on a player who in a sense you already have.  Also, even though he’s been a dissapointment thus far, Tyrus Thomas could turn out to be a good player afterall, so if the Bulls did take Beasley, they would be putting Thomas on the back-burner where his athletic ability will be wasted. 

In conclusion, there is no wrong way the Bulls can go, and so far a few of the experts are saying that they are thinking Beasley, but if you want my opinion, to be able to compete in this league with the best, you need a good playmaker and that is why I think that if the Bulls do select Derrick Rose, he will make all of those forwards, including Tyrus Thomas a lot better.  J-Fense Pick:  Derrick Rose

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

THE 2008 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY WAS A BUNCH OF BULL…LITERALLY
By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

For all of you fans who think they should not watch the annual NBA draft Lottery because they’re team has a two percent chance or lower of getting the 1st overall pick in the draft, think again. Last night the Chicago Bulls, with their 1.7% odds, took home the Number One overall pick over the Miami Heat who had a 25% chance. The Bulls needed this pick more than ever because of the horrible season they had last year. The last time they had a top two pick, they selected Tyrus Thomas, who has shown thus far that he is filled with a terrible attitude and not as much talent to match it. This year though, they cannot lose because their are two elite players in the draft to choose from who will obviously go the first two picks. Besides the two elite players, this draft holds a very deep selection of talent. As of the results from last night, I am going to give an analysis and experts opinion on what each of the 14 non-playoff teams should do with their lottery pick. As the draft gets closer, my partners and I will update you on what each team is thinking of doing with their pick.
1ST PICK: CHICAGO BULLS
The Bulls cannot lose, but at the same time these next few months will be harder for them then any other team going into the draft because they have two different players to choose from. First Derrick Rose, G, Memphis. Rose is a Chicago native, but that should not be the main reason that the Bulls would pick him, he is very versatille and can lead a team, as he did on Memphis bringing them to the National Championship. Rose is a first team All-American and has proven himself on the court. THE PROBLEM: The Bulls right now have three guards who they will try to move. (Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon). What happens if the Bulls can’t move them by the start of the season? They will have four guards and really no toughness on the inside. Michael Beasley, F, Kansas State: All around good combo forward. He can not only run floor, handle the rock, shoot the three, but he can also play defense. People are calling him a future smaller Kevin Garnett. Wouldn’t you like that on your team. If the Bulls do manage to move one of their guards by draft day, expect Derrick Rose to be the first overall selection of the 2008 NBA draft. Jay Bilas says they will take Rose. J-Fense says that they cannot lose with either one of these picks, but try to alleviate themselves of their guards anyway because its clearly not working for them.
2ND PICK: MIAMI HEAT
Clear and simple, whomever the Bulls do not take, they will. Imagine a backcourt of Rose and Dwayne Wade…Scary huh? Or imagine a team with Wade and Beasley on it covering all ends collectively…Still scary. The Heat can’t lose.
3RD PICK: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES.

The Timberwolves are in a very unique position because by the time they choose the elite players will be off the board. Now I understand that Al Jefferson is considered a “Center”. But, he is only 6-10. Imagine a front court featuring Brook Lopez, C, Stanford, and Jefferson, it would completely turn them around defensively because Lopez is 7-3 and plays like he’s 7-3. Now from the other end, can Randy Foye play the point? If he can then you do not go with Jerryd Bayless, G, Arizona. In fact, he should not even be a thought to the Timberwolves. The T-Wolves need scoring so if they do not want to consider moving Jefferson to the PF position, then the obvious choice is USC’s own OJ Mayo. Mayo is a scorer and considered combo guard. If the Wolves select Mayo, they will have a nasty, quick backcourt of Foye and Mayo with Jefferson as their big guy in the middle. This is a very tough pick for the Wolves, but in the end how can you pass up a 7-3 Center, who plays like a 7-3 Center. Or, how can you pass up a scorer like Mayo. Ford says Mayo and I completely agree. (J-Fense pick: OJ Mayo), but I also think Lopez should be considered. I just don’t think you can move Jefferson because that might cause a problem in the inside, but it’s a tough call. They better decide between Lopez and Mayo though.
4TH PICK: SEATTLE SUPERSONICS
The Sonics are in a very unique position because eventhough they have three seven footers on their team (Francisco Elson, Johan Petro, and Robert Swift), are any of them a good fit for the Sonics? It’s hard to tell. Now Luke Ridnour has proven himself to be a decent point guard despite his miserable season last year (6.4 ppg, 4 assists). I think the Sonics have given up on him and are ready to choose Jerryd Bayless, who could be a good fit with Kevin Durant. If they do want another option though they could consider OJ Mayo or Lopez, but Mayo might harm the growth of Durant and Lopez would become the fifth Center on the team. J-Fense Pick: Safe bet is choosing Bayless because they have such an unbalanced team and he would seem to work best with Durant. Ford agrees with me.
5TH PICK: MEMPHIS GRIZZLES
Memphis needs a solid big man!!! Kwame Brown, Jason Collins and Darko Milicic will not cut it for them. The idle situation would be to choose a PF, but their really is no elite power forward. If they choose Lopez, they must transfer Kwame Brown into their new starting PF. They might also want to consider Anthony Randolph who avereged nearly 16 points and 8.5 rebounds for LSU. Maybe Kevin Love? Who knows. They have Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, and Mike Conley, so I do not see where OJ Mayo would fit for them. J-Fense pick: Anthony Randolph. If Brook Lopez if he is still on the board, he should be considered because they are in dire need of a big man and once they get that solid big man, they will be good again. Should they overdose themselves on Centers though? Hmmmm, tough call, see you out there.
6TH PICK: NEW YORK KNICKS
The New York Knicks prayers unfortunately were unanswered last night as they will not be selecting Derrick Rose. Now they have to go with plan B. The 6th pick is rough because it is not garenteed that a scorer like OJ Mayo will be left on the board. The Knicks need everything, but waht they need most is a consistant scorer or PG. Mike D’Antoni wants this team to run and score big. If they can get Mayo, than maybe he would be a good fit. I am throwing this out there though. There is an Italian forward who can both shoot and drive the lane, kind of like a smaller Dirk. His name is Danilio Galinari. The problem with European players is that they are very hit or miss. This guy not only brings strength, excitement and scoring, but for a 19 year old player, he has such explosiveness that would fit the D’Antoni system. Remember, D’Antoni was very successful by winning two titles overseas as a coach before coming to the NBA, so you would think he would know how to work with a guy like this and plus he played ball overseas with his father as well. Now, if you really want a PG that badley you will now want to consider Russell Westbrook from UCLA. Not only is he a 6-3 PG but he might be the sleeper of the draft and is the best prospect from UCLA. If the Knicks want a PG they should choose Westbrook for his size, and quickness. Another option could be Texas PG DJ Augustin. It is a tough call because D’Antoni is successful with foreign players but the Knicks need to focus on a PG and DEFENSE!. J-Fense pick: Russell Westbrook (For now).

7TH PICK: LA CLIPPERS
I’m sorry, but I think it is time to cut the chord with Shaun Livingston. He is injury prone and the Clippers need a g player to run the floor. This is a simple choice because when you have a team that has upside with Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, and Al Thornton, you need someone to be able to place them and that is why I think Russell Westbrook or DJ Augustin would be a wise selection by the Clippers. Now if they have faith that Livingston can play a whole season without getting hurt, then your next option is to go with Eric Gordon because not only is he a good shooter, but with him, Mobley who avereged over 12 ppg last season, will come off the bench, making the Clippers a very deep and scary team with many options. J-Fense pick: A guard being either Gordon, Westbrook or Augustin. It will depend on if they have faith in Livingston or not. I would go with the pg because with Westbrook or Augustin, you will have immediate success, I predict.
8TH PICK MILWAUKEE BUCKS
The experts think that they should choose Eric Gordon, and I think they are sadly mistaken. Michael Redd is still in his prime and is a top scorer. Shame on the experts. The Bucks do not have a bad team, but something obviously isn’t working. Bogut proved himself this year, avereging nearly a double-double and if Charlie Vilanueva stays healthy, he will be a really strong PF. Remember they also have Yi Jianlian. What the Bucks need now is a scoring Small Forward and if they get that, they will be back in the playoffs next season. I think that if the Knicks do not take him at 6th, the Bucks might want to try out Danilo Gallinari because he is an explosive SF that is high scoring and can drive. He is a better Desmond Mason, who they already have. They need this guy because he can provide the SF role that this team needs. The projected lineup becomes Mo Williams, Redd, Gallinari, Yi or Vilanueva, and Bogut. Sounds pretty good to me. J-Fense pick: Denilo Gallinari.

9TH PICK: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
The Bobcats are one player away from building up an empire and that player is a PF. Raymond Felton, Adam Morrison, Jasonn Richardson and Emeka Okafor are all ready to go but they need a little more on the defensive end, which is why I think Kevin Love would be their best bet. They are calling Love the next Wes Unseld who was a TOP 50 player historically. Love will not only provide, the Bobcats with what they need on the defensive end, but offensively he has some nice inside moves and once him and Okafor come iinto synch with each other, expect them to become the new twin towers. They could also go with Anthony Randolph who would be monsterous as well, but I think of the two, Kevin Love would be the best bet for the Bobcats. Expect them to be beastly next year with a lineup of Okafor, Love, Morrison, Felton and J-Rich with Gerald Wallace, Nazr Mohammed and Earl Boykins coming off the bench. J-Fense pick: Kevin Love.

10TH PICK: NEW JERSY NETS
All of you Nets fans should not be surprised with who I’m going to defend. Anthony Randolph. A strong PF who is 6-11. You already have Harris, Carter and RJ, now you need to focus on your inside game. Anthony Randolph can be trained as either a PF or C because we are still unsure of which position Sean Williams will play. With the two of them combined, (Williams and Randolph) your inside game improves tremendously and you will be back in the saddle, once the team falls in synch with each other. Another option you might want to consider incase both Randolph and Love are off the board is Darrell Arthur from Kansas another 6-10 PF. I doubt that Randolph and Love will both be off the board by the 10th pick. J-Fense pick: Anthony Randolph

11TH PICK: INDIANA PACERS
The Pacers can go with a few options. The experts think that Jamal Tinnsley is on the downside and I disagree. I don’t think you need to think long term with this team. The Pacers need a big man. Will Jermaine O’Neal be on the team next season? Who knows? They still should focus on getting a PF and that is why I think Darrell Arthur would be the most prime selection for this team. I see him working well with Jermaine O’Neal. He will not interfere and with his size, he can provide the defense Indiana needs in order to sneak into the playoffs next year. If not Darrell Arthur, then I guess they could take DeAndre Jordan who is a 7 foot center but he played for Texas A and M like an undersized ball player avereging 8 pts and 6 rebounds, but Arthur from the stats is a lot better for them because if they need Jermaine O’Neal to play center, he will and can do it. Arthur avereged 12.8 pts and 7 boards. J-Fense pick: Darrell Arthur.

12TH PICK: SACRAMENTO KINGS
They seemed to be filled at most positions. Brad Miller at Center, Artest at SF, Kevin Martin at SG are the top three on the team. For some reason though I not convinced that Beno Udrih is the future for them. He might be good for now and he was decent last year, but if they have any shot at getting DJ Augustin, take him and run. They need a solid back up pg. Also, they have no PF which might actually take priority. I actually think Donte Greene from Syracuse or JaVale McGee from Nevada would fit. Both have tremendous upside, and McGee especially has speed and is 7 feet tall and listed as a PF and Brad Miller is very slow so McGee could speed up the transition of the front court and him, Artest and Miller would become a dangerous front court. Greene is more of a scoring threat, but is plenty athletic. J-Fense pick: JaVale McGee
13TH PICK: PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
I think everyone can agree that this team is going to destroy next year. The board is open for them. I think if they go with a guy like Joe Alexander, you get a guy with great offense, 16.9 pts last year for West Virginia and he avereged over 6 rebounds. He is also 6-8. As the experts say, for their pick Donte Greene might also be good for this Portland team but they do not seem to be lacking in the big men category. Alexander seems like he would be the best fit to this already stacked team. J-Fense pick: Joe Alexander
14TH PICK: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
The Warriors need a Center and I think Marreese Speights is the perfect fit for them. He is often compared to Elton Brand and has a pretty good inside game and avereged over 8 boards for Florida and the Warriors need a defensive game. Another option to consider is DeAndre Jordan, but Speights statwise seems like he would fit better for them and work well with Baron Davis. A front court of Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson and Speights would be a great combo of height, toughness and scoring. Speights is the right man for this team because they do not have a Center right now. J-Fense pick: Marreese Speights
That is it for now, but as the draft comes closer, we will have a better understanding of what these teams want. Expect this year to be a very exciting draft because of the amount of talent in it.