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ESPN.com was twittering through the games, here's the section on Cavs-Lakers. (Ammo = Adam Morrison)





# Fyi-i'll be doing a live update on espn news at 7:15 eastern. Here comes the lakers vs. the shaqaliers.

# Danny Green starting for the Cavs. He was one of my favorite draft "sleepers".

# Green on Ammo. And fouled him on a shuffle cut.

# David Harrison playong for the Cavs. He does not pass the "eye test".

# Mustufa Shakur with the Lakers. Looks about the same as ever.

# I've always liked Tarence Kinsey's game. I think he can be a bucket getter off the bench. But an improved 3 pt shot would help.

# Darnell Jackson passes the eye test. Can he pass the "player test"?

# Alan Anderson doing some nice things for LA. Just "made two plays" (the name of my new blog) with a steal and finish.

# Eyenga is struggling.

# Robert Hite made a nice play for Cavs. He's right on the bubble to make a team.

# Harrison competing hard. But not too effectively.

# Danny for 3. He's a better shooter than people think.

# Danny Green is a scrapper. Nice when combined with long arms and a nice shot. He's interesting.

# Morrison still does not do much outside scoring. He is who he is. And he's still too skinny.

# There is only one 1st round pick on the floor. Ammo.

# Jackson is showing nimble feet. He looks like he can help someone.

# Ammo for 3 again. That's 4.

# Lakers win. Ammo with 22. Danny Green with 16.



Seems to like Green. That was a really nice pick, almost enough for me to stop crying about the Eyenga pick.

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There are plenty of reasons why it was a terrible pick. How many foreign players that were drafted to stash overseas for a couple years have ever become NBA all-stars? How many have even become rotation players? If you don't think you can find good Americans in the bottom of the first round, you really need to work on your scouting. How are guys like Josh Howard, David Lee, Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Trevor Ariza, Glen Davis and Leon Powe doing?


It's like the Robiskie debate, just because he's a good #2 receiver now doesn't mean he can't become a badass. If you can't coach up a guy with Sam Young's or Chase Budinger's athleticism (to go along with their actual talent and experience in the American game), just because they've been in college a few years, you're doing something wrong. The move just seems like Ferry trying to copy the Spurs, which would be fine if we had 3 or 4 rings, but right now we're in a pretty desperate win-now situation with a razor-thin (not to mention old) roster.


We need youth, we need depth, we need size on the perimeter. Young and Budinger are youthful, can contribute right away, and are big perimeter players. Two or three years from now, Eyenga MIGHT be the caliber of player those two are right now. Only by that time, Shaq, Ilgauskas and Parker are probably retired or on their last legs. LeBron might be gone. And we'd be left with a small forward from the Congo who might be okay.


Just seems like a stupid move from a cocky GM to me. If he turns out to be the next Manu Ginobili (who, by the way, was the 2nd to last pick in the entire draft), I'll be happy to eat all the crow you can serve up.

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They might have played a couple minutes a game during the regular season but once playoff time came around they would be designated to the bench. A rookie is not going to decide the outcome of a playoff game and certainly not going to decide LeBrons decision to stay or go.


You say we have to build this team to win now but drafting Buddinger or Young and expecting them to be an impact this year isnt very realistic. Plus you drafted Hickson and Jackson last year. Are you just going to give up on those guys? I liked what I saw in Hickson and Jackson and dont want to take minutes away from there development. Add in Varajeo, James and Parker playing some forward I dont see were those guys would get very much playing time.

So why not draft a guy that could be special, and let him play everyday and develope in another league. But then again maybe he surprises some people, plays really well in the summer league and leave himself a chance to make the roster this year. I just think its way to early to judge this pick, expecially when you dont no if Buddinger or Young can even contribute in the NBA.

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How about Leo Lyons being a stretch forward for us? Listed at 6'9, 244. He has 27 points and 9 boards (12/17 FGs) combined his first two games (averaging less than 20 mpg) in Vegas. Here's his profile from Draft Express....


One of the more skilled and physically gifted players in attendance, Leo Lyons put his strengths and weaknesses on full display here in Portsmouth. Since we last wrote about him prior to the season, not much substantial has changed, though there are a few observations to be made. While Lyons measured in at a strong 6’9.75 in shoes, it’s tempered a bit by his 6’10.75 wingspan, which is just average for his size.


On the offensive end, Lyons is an incredibly versatile player, capable of scoring inside and out in a variety of ways. Taking the ball to the basket, Lyons can attack with either hand while mixing in occasionally advanced moves such as spins, crossovers, or behind-the-back dribbles. He’s not an incredibly quick or explosive athlete, but he’s very smooth and coordinated for his size, and possesses very long strides with a relatively controlled handle. The main problem with Lyons’ dribble-drive game is his at times questionable decision-making, as he’s prone to forcing the issue or playing outside his limitations.


In the lane, Lyons is capable of finishing with either hand and has the fluidity to adjust in mid-air, using reverses, pump fakes, and finishing through contact with regularity. Interestingly enough, Lyons actually ranks third in our entire database (behind Blake Griffin) in free throws attempted per 40 minutes pace adjusted, telling you just how tenacious he is attacking the rim. Lyons does a good job of cutting to the basket without the ball and leaking out in transition, while he also has a lot of ability as an offensive rebounder, though he doesn’t always make use of his abilities consistently there.


Lyons’ jump shot has been up and down over his four years at Missouri, as despite showing great form and shooting touch at times, he’s prone to bad misses due to a lack of discipline in shot selection along with some sloppy tendencies. When he gets his feet set and his shoulders squared, Lyons is a very accurate shooter out to 18 feet, even when he’s fading away and/or contested. Unfortunately, though, Lyons is prone to rushing his shot at times, pulling the string on his follow through, or drifting in different directions unnecessarily, leading to inconsistency in his effectiveness. With better discipline and more consistent mechanics, Lyons has the potential to become a deadly mid-range shooter, and maybe more, as he’s shown brief flashes of range out to the college three-point line.


On the defensive end, Lyons has had many well-documented issues prior to this season, and while he’s made some strides, many of them still remain. On the positive side, Lyons’ attentiveness and activity level as a perimeter defender is definitely improved this season, however he’s still inconsistent in doing some of the little things--giving up too much space to shooters, not putting in the effort laterally, and not staying in a fundamental stance. It is worth noting that during Missouri’s NCAA tournament run, however, most of these problems were hardly evident at all, as Lyons looked like a different player on the perimeter, playing excellent fundamental defense, moving his feet well, aggressively hedging pick-and-rolls, and really showing what he’s capable of. On the negative side, Lyons’ post defense and boxing out on the glass has not been impressive all season, as he shows little grasp of leverage, doesn’t fight hard for position, and just is not very effective defending in the painted area.


Despite his considerable talent, he only averaged 23 minutes per game at Missouri, partially due to foul problems (4.3 fouls per per-40), and partially due to the large rotation Mike Anderson likes to employ in their very up-tempo “40 minutes of hell” style pressure defense. This also had a lot to do with his average awareness and basketball IQ, as you never quite got the feeling that Lyons was always on page with his coaching staff—who weren’t the ones who brought him to Missouri.


Looking forward to the NBA draft, Lyons will most likely be in a lot of second round discussions, as despite his flaws, he will be one of the most naturally talented players on the board as draft night winds down. The caveat to this is that in spite of his talent, Lyons is still a good ways away from putting it all together, as he has a lot of adjustments to make to his game in order to maximize his abilities and become a consistent all-around player.

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