The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Friday, June 27, 2003
Welcome to the NBA

Funny column by Eric Neel on advice he'd give some of the draft picks. Definitely go read it.

Cassell will play at both guard spots for Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves traded forward Joe Smith and guard Anthony Peeler to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday for guard Sam Cassell and center Ervin Johnson.

My first reaction was, "What were the Bucks thinking?" My second reaction was, "This is so bad, Michael Jordan , front office demolition man, must have had a role in this."

How could you trade Sam Cassell and only get Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler?

"Joe Smith gives us a talented, athletic and experienced big man," general manager Ernie Grunfeld said on the Bucks' Web site. "He gives us versatility up front by being able to play all the front-court positions."

I think Ernie knows that's a load of crap and probably knows this is an awful trade, but that the order came from above. I mean, there's no way he actually believes Joe Smith is a "talented, athletic" big man who is "able to play all the front-court positions" right? I guess it depends how you define "play".

In the end this probably means Gary Payton will re-sign and be backed up by TJ Ford. You can't do this if you're the Bucks and don't have Payton in the bag. Although, where there's an MJ there's a way. We'll see. Either way this trade is awful for the Bucks. It's just a matter of how awful.


First things first. The ESPN talking heads kill me. Anything with Dick Vitale and Stuart Scott is bound to make your ears bleed and Jay Bilas isn't among my favorites either. That being said, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. It was no TNT though. Anyway, on to the picks.

1) Cleveland - LeBronn James: No kidding

2) Detroit - Darko Milicic: . . .

3) Denver - Carmelo Anthony: . . .

4) Toronto - Chris Bosh: Joins the "I need to eat meat club" with the charter members from last years draft, Juan Dixon, Jared Jeffries and Tayshaun Prince. Described as being "raw", which really means athletic but the basketball IQ of a rock. Toronto needed size though, so it seems like a good pick.

5) Miami - Dwyane Wade: I like Wade. I think this was a good pick by Riley. Now all he needs is some minutes. If I'm Eddie Jones, I'm seeing if there's a penalty to get out of my apartment lease. I wonder if anyone would actually take him (probably not).

6) Clippers - Chris Kaman: The Clippers drafted a tall stiff? No way. I guess with Michael Olowakandi on his way out they needed to pick one up to meet their quota.

7) Chicago - Kirk Hinrich: "Jay Williams got hurt?!?! Quick hit the panic button!" Hinrich at 7? Right . . . He can play and all, but 7th?

8) Milwaukee - TJ Ford: Look out below!!! Ford dropped hard and fast. This guy was supposed to be top 5 and he wasn't even the top point guard taken. He's short and can't shoot and the Bucks have two All-Star points (assuming they resign Payton), so where do the minutes come from? Can you say three guard lineup!!! You don't think Cassell can play the three? Me either, but wouldn't it be fun to watch?

9) New York - Michael Sweetney: In a very Clipper-esque move, the Knicks picked yet another undersized 4.

10) Washington - Jarvis Hayes: Breakikng from recent tradition, the Wizards drafted someone with muscles between the bones and skin. The Wiz resigned Jerry Stackhouse so we have a nother case of drafting full positions. I don't get it.

11) Golden State - Mickael Pietrus: Another instance of crowding. Now they have a bigger surplus of athletic guys who can score. Hooray! Also, the guy averaged 9.4 pts in the French League. "Euro Jordan" couldn't hit double digits in a French League? Makes you wonder.

12) Seattle - Nick Collison: The safe pick. Not super athletic, but you know he can play because the track record is there. Probably could use a steak or two.

13) Memphis - Marcus Banks: Dick Vitale at the end of a rant to Greg Anthony about Banks; "he's also a good defender and like another guard we know out of UNLV [Anthony] he can't shoot coming out of college." Got traded to Boston. Good move for Boston, bad for Memphis. I'll explain why later.

14) Seattle - Luke Ridnour: my favorite line of the night was from Jay Bilas describing Ridnour; "He couldn't guard the chair I'm sitting on." Runner up for best line involving Ridnour goes to Bill Simmons who said, "they're stockpiling white guys to go clubbing with Brent Barry."

15) Orlando - Reece Gaines: The Magic needed a PG because Jacque Vaughn obviously isn't the answer and Darrell Armstrong is one his last legs. Gaines should fit in nicely.

16) Boston - Troy Bell: Traded to Memphis. What the hell was Jerry West thinking. The entire deal was Bell and Dahntay Jones (picked at 20) for Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins (high school forward picked at 27). I hate to question The Logo, but Bell and Jones are second rounders. Right now, it loks like Boston swindled Memphis.

17) Phoenix - Zarko Carbarkapa: No idea who this is. Next.

18) New Orleans - David West: Good pick. NO is pretty soft inside and West is strong and can play down low. If you needa PF, seems that Xavier is a good place to look. Ty Hill, Brian Grant and now West.

19) Utah - Aleksandar Pavlovic: See pick 17.

20) Boston - Dahntay Jones: See pick 16 for my take on the trade involving Jones.

21) Atlanta - Boris Diaw: I think the Hawks actually made a decent pick for once. Diaw is a good ball handler with size and passes well. He could be a good compliment to Jason Terry in the backcourt. Diaw does the ballhandling and Terry throws up 20 shots a game while shooting his normal .430 FG percentage.

22) New Jersey - Zoran Planinic: Coming off a serious car accident. HAs good size, but questions remain about his comeback from the accident. Unselfish with size, so he should fit in NJ nicely if he is in fact fully recovered.

23) Portland - Travis Outlaw: If I hear the jokes involving his last name any more I'm gonna start throwing things. Outlaw has a good background, so this could signal a change in the Blazers philosophy regarding personnel decisions.

24) Lakers - Brian Cook: He instantly becomes the teams third best player. Lakers fans wish I was joking.

25) Detroit - Carlos Delfino: Billed as a stronger, slightly slower Manu Ginobli. Isn't Ginobli known for his quickness? If you're a slower Ginobli, doesn't that make you average? I'm just sayin . . .

26) Minnesota - Ndudi Ebi: Now if I'm Minnesota, I have a draft pick for the first time in about a decade and I'd be looking for someone to help me get out the first round. I got it! Let's take a high schooler who won't do anything for 3-5 years. Wha?

27) Memphis - Kendrick Perkins: Traded to Boston. See pick 16.

28) San Antonio - Leandrinho Barbosa: Ummm . . . he's Brazilian. Next.

29) Dallas - Josh Howard: A First team All American, ACC Player of the year. Well rounded. Think younger, better Adrian Griffin. Or maybe a Raja Bell that actually can play on offense.


For your reading pleasure (I hope), I bring you a bonus this year and give you orund 2.

30) New York - Maciej Lampe: Lampe must have been rockin the cement shoes at the draft because he sank fast. People were talking about him at #5 . . . overall. Word came from the league that his team was being a pain in the ass about releasing him from his contract, hence the drop. Could be a steal for the Knicks.

31) Cleveland - Jason Kapono: How does a guy who hasn't improved in 4 years get drafted? Kapono is the same player he was as a freshman. He shoots and that's about it. This is bad, even for Cleveland. At least they got LeBronn.

32) Lakers - Luke Walton: He becomes the fourth best player on the team. Again, Lakers fans wish that was a joke.

33) Miami - Jerome Beasley: 6-10 and the NCAA leaidng scorer last season. Good pick at this point. I wonder how he'll like this country after playing in North Dakota.

34) Clippers - Sofoklis Schortsanitis: I can't lie. I had to use copy and paste to get his name right. Gotta love the Greek guy named Sofoklis (pronounced like Sophocles). I wanted the Lakers to take him so we could have the Big Sophocles playing next to the Big Aristotle. Oh well. Looks like the Clips just get another tall stiff.

35) Milwaukee - Szymon Szewczyk: Should have gone to colege to play for Mike Krzyzewski. They could take spelling lessons together.

36) Chicago - Mario Austin: I thought Austin might actually slip into the first round, but it wasn't to be. Now he gets to sit behind Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler.

37) Atlanta - Travis Hansen: Was Utah's 24th career scorer. Who were the other 23?

38) Washington - Steve Blake: The Wizards are back to drafting with the idea that they have to pay by the pound. Despite this, I like the Wizards to win the ACC this year. How can you bet against Blake and Dixon? What? They're not in the ACC? Shit, they're screwed.

39) New York - Slavko Vranes: Yeah, uh huh. Okay next.

40) Golden State - Derrick Zimmerman: The Warriors did the worst possible thing here. They picked a PG. So now they might piss off Arenas, but they only have a second round caliber guy to replace him if they did. They should have gone PG in the first round or not at all.

41) Seattle - Willie Green: Traded to Philadelphia. Scoring 2 guard to back up AI. More likely to be glued to the bench.

42) Orlando - Zaur Pachulia: He's tall. That's all Orlando needed to know.

43) Milwaukee - Keith Bogans: Seems kinda skinny. Also, why did Milwaukee draft another guard?

44) Houston - Malick Badiane: Houston took an African big man. I doubt this one's is anywhere near as good as the last one though.

45) Chicago - Matt Bonner: ESPN says he's smart and can shoot. Read: Can be the 7th man on a below average NBA bench. Has some Steve Kerr potential. Hopefully he will be half the interview Kerr is.

46) Denver - Sani Becirovic: Kiki keeps his basketball UN going.

47) Utah - Maurice Williams: John Stockton he's not, but he could be a decent backup.

48) New Orleans - James Lang: High schooler. A big guys who can score and rebound. Always a gamble with high school players, but could be a steal for New Orleans if he develops. And yes, I know you could say that for anyone after pick 20 in every draft.

49) Indiana - James Jones: Just what the Pacers need, another SF.

50) Philadelphia - Paccelis Morlende: Traded to Seattle for Willie Green and cash. I like the cash's odds of making it in the NBA for either of these guys.

51) New Jersey - Kyle Korver: Korver ended up with the Sixers, but I'm not sure how. Either way, he plays about as much D as Ridnour. Great shooter, but no one cares if you can't guard a tree.

52) Toronto - Remon Van de Hare: Things working against him - 1) No one has ever made it in the NBA with 3 spaces in their name and 2) Has no draft profile on ESPN = wasn't supposed to get drafted = probably not that great.

53) Chicago - Tommy Smith: Skinny as hell. Let me put it this way, he has 14 inches on me but only about 30 pounds. And I'm not that pudgy. Maybe they'll save money on travel with him by faxing him from city to city loike the Sixers used to do with Manute Bol.

54) Portland - Nedzad Sinanovic: He's 7-1 and that's enough at the end of teh second round.

55) Minnesota - Rick Rickert: Early entry guy. Think he regrets his decision? At least he can keep his apartment from college since he's playing in the same town.

56) Boston - Brandon Hunter: Listed as PF, but is only 6-7. Seems a bit bulky to be a three also at 260.

57) Dallas - Xue Yuyang: I'm pretty sure he got traded to Denver to be the Asian representative at Kiki's UN meetings.

58) Detroit - Andreas Gliniadakis: See pick 54.

Bill Simmons Draft Diary

I know you all want the EotB draft post. It's in progress. To tide you over I give you Bill Simmons.

Monday, June 23, 2003

How can you name the site and not have exactly zero mock drafts completed 3 days before the actual draft? Just threw this one in cause I liked the irony.

CBS Sportsline mock draft

Ridnour at 11 to the Warriors seems high. Brian Cook seems a bit high at 14 also. I would expect them closer to 15 and 20 respectively from the other stuff I've seen.

Lot of good stuff on here - mock drafts, player and team capsules, etc.

Saturday, June 21, 2003 Mock Draft

Had some of the people who withdrew in there. Also, these people are on crack. Havethe Knicks taking David West at 9 and called Mike Sweetney the "most polished offensive player in the draft." Don't get me wrong, Sweetney can play. But the most polished offensive player in the draft? Seems like a bit of a reach. Mock draft

Seems to be a lot of names in there towards the middle and end that I don't recognize.

Friday, June 20, 2003
Let the draft fun begin

Here's my mock draft: LeBronn James, Darko Milicic, Carmelo Anthony . . . that's as far as I'm willing to go. But others are willing to go farther. So just like last year I'll be posting a mock draft(s) each day from various sources with some comments if I fell there are any to make. So wthout further ado . . .

ESPN Draft Index
Mock draft on the main page with various articles, player bios, etc. Have Chris Kaman going to the Knicks at 9. You know he's at home praying to get taken by anyone but the Knicks. Isn't being a 7 footer in New York a recipe for disaster if your name isn't Ewing. Think of the last 10 years. Chris Dudley, Frederic Weis, Michael Doleac. Elite company for sure.

Beware, still has players in there that have since withdrawn from draft. Mainly Pavel Podkolzine.
Update their mock draft weekly. New one should be up tonight I believe.

Williams in hospital with unspecified injuries

Jay Williams wrecked his motorcycle. Details are pretty sketchy at this point. Hope he has a speedy recovery.

Ayers hired by Sixers

Ayers was not exactly known for discipline in his years at Ohio State. Kind of concerns me with this team, but we'll see.

Sunday, June 15, 2003
The Caron Butler Award

Dan Lewis is starting this award which is "given to the US-born, non-juco, non-prepster in the NBA Draft who falls the furthest. Named for Caron Butler, the projected top 5 guy who all-but-inexplicably fell to #10 last year."

Personally I think the award is misnamed. Caron Butler should have received the 2002 Paul Pierce Award, but that's just being picky. I think its a good idea and it will be interesting to see who people pick. Follow the headline link to check out who the basic rules for determining the award winner and who Dan thinks are the likely winners (losers?).

And that's all she wrote

Spurs win in 6 as many predicted. The story not many people have really talked about much is David Robinson going out on top. Kind of cool for one of the classiest guys to play in the NBA. How many stars could have handled becoming second banana like he did when Tim Duncan got drafted? And speaking of Duncan, his line from game 6 was just silly: 21/20/10/8 in pts/reb/ast/blk. Think he wanted win? The guy was two blocks short of a quadruple double in the clinching game of the finals and one his second Finals MVP of his career. Plain and simply, Tim Duncan is gangsta.

Also interesting and of note, the Spurs had a 19-0 run and Duncan scored exactly zero of those points. Hell there was even a Speedy Claxton sighting. The guy who had managed only 24 total points in the first five games came up with 13 in teh game and 5 during the aforementioned run. This one wasn't all that pretty, but it was better than the previous couple. In the end, the Spurs get their rings and the attention now turns to the draft and free agency.

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Nets find right tempo to beat Spurs

Tempo my ass. They just shot good enough to win and no better. At least the game was tight. I understand that both teams were playing good defense, but you odn't shoot .289 (Spurs FG%) and .359 (Nets FG %) solely because of good defense. It was an ugly ugly game. The only redeeming quality was that it was close up to the end.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
My name's Tim and I've been a lazy blogger

Sorry folks. The beginning of the layoff was me being busy, the end was me being lazy. I'll try not to let it happen again. Anyway, to attempt to make up for itI have a bunch of things to hit on, so read down.

Pistons have second pick, will keep 25th

While this seems odd at first it actually does make sense. The Pistons can'ttrade future picks til they are out of draft pick debt and the Kings don't really want to pay another draft pick (see: Dan Dickau, 2002 NBA draft). This way the Pistons have all their pick debts settled and can include future picks in any trades they may want to make andthe Kings don't have to pay some rook to come sit the bench with Mateen Cleaves.

Spurs continue to prove their worth on the road

Spurs win game three. The momentum (what little there was) swung to the Spurs when Malik Rose just totally posterized Dikembe Mutumbo. Good defensive presence Deke. Nothing like getting hammered down on by a guy who is probably about 4 inches shorter than you. The Nets kept it fairly close, but the Spurs held on with Manu Ginobli hitting some key shots down the stretch.

On the topic of that Rose dunk. Check this exchange between Steve Kerr and a reporter:

Reporter (with perfectly straight face): "Have you ever dunked on Mutombo like that?"

Kerr (with perfectly straight face): "Years ago, when I was younger."

I love when reporters ask uninformed questions and the athletes respond back with stupid answers. We all know that Steve Kerr probably couldn't dunk on me at any point in his career let alon a 7 footer, but that reporter obviously didn't.

Happy Rockets GM 'jumping up and down'

Jeff Van Gundy signs with the Rockets. Looks like I (and most others) called this one.

Floyd's base salary: $4.8 million for three years

There was no one better available for Charlotte? Nothing like trading in Paul Silas for the losingest coach in NBA history. Apparently a .205 career winning percentage as a coach gets you just over 1.5M a year. Where do I sign up?

Owner Bob Johnson chooses Bobcats nickname

The other options were "Flight" and "Dragons". At least flight sort of made sense for the area. Why not just pick Wildcats? The NCAA has like 30 teams named that. Might as well have one NBA team named Wildcats.

Sloan, Malone moved to tears in tribute to No. 12

"Now that it's over, it's great. It was kind of like a hard workout," Stockton said after the ceremony. Stockton, known throughout his 19-year career for his modesty, admitted he would have much rather gone off into retirement quietly, but Jazz owner Larry Miller and Stockton's wife, Nada, talked him in to agreeing to the emotional event."

Typical Stockton. He deserves the accolades.

Sunday, June 01, 2003
Rating the NBA Swap Shop

Bill Simmons with this years trade values column. Just as with most of his NBA columns, this one is very good. Give it a read.

The coaching carousel is spinning and it makes me dizzy

So there has been a lot of coaching news over the last couple days, so I'll try to recap it all.

Silas to accept Cavs' coaching offer
I didn't think the Hornets should have let him go, but the point is kinda moot at this point. He now gets to coach LeBronn and the dysfunctional crew that is the rest of the Cavs. I think this was a good hire if Van Gundy wasn't gonna come.

Doug Collins got fired
Is anyone actually surprised by this?

As you all remember, Larry Brown resigned
This was followed by . . .

Rick Carlisle getting canned
Which was followed by . . .

The Pistons about face on Mo Cheeks talking to the Sixers
Coincidence that these events happen in that order? I think not. I would guess you end up with the following: Brown to Detroit, Carlisle to Portland and Cheeks to Philly - like a little three way trade of coaches. That would probably leave Van Gundy in Houston and DC, New Orleans, the Clippers, Toronto and the ATL out in the cold.

The guy those teams should consider is the Czar, Mike Fratello. Fratello's teams may be boring as hell, but he gets results. He did in Cleveland and those teams weren't all that great. However, Toronto has a list which reportedly (according to Lang Whitaker) includes Craig Neal, Brian James, Kevin O'Neill, Dwane Casey, Mike Woodson, Sidney Moncrief, Sam Vincent, Randy Wittman and P.J. Carlesimo. The Clippers obviously have no plan because they are the Clippers. That leaves DC, NO and Atlanta to their own devices to find a coach. Who knows who they will turn up? The carousel is spinning quickly though. The draft is at the end of the month and teams need to get coaches before then, so expect these vacancies to fill within the next two weeks.