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Tag:Greg Monroe
Posted on: May 20, 2012 9:36 pm
 

Top 10 Big Men Under 25 Years Old

The league has quite a bit of young big men, and even it's best one in Dwight Howard is still relatively young himself. However, I'd like to talk about the ones that still have plenty of room to grow and a chance to get even better and progress into something special. This list is the ten best post players in 25 years old, at least in my opinion. And just in case I didn't make it clear enough, this list is going forward and not based on just this season or past performances.


1. Kevin Love (4 years pro; 23 years old):

2011/2012: 26.0 ppg 13.3 rpg 2.0 apg 44.8% FG 37.2% 3pt FG 82.4% FT 39 min./game

Just a flat out amazing big man with a versatile arsenal of scoring as well as a great rebounder; only guy in the league that can challenge Dwight Howard in rebounds. Like most other power forwards, his defense is lacking and that doesn't look to be getting better. However, rebounding is a big part of defense so his dominance on the boards factors in and can't be ignored. He broke out in 2010/2011 season and took another leap forward this year. What's in store for next year? 30 and 15 perhaps?


2. Andrew Bynum (7 years pro; 24 years old):

18.7 ppg 11.8 rpg 1.4 apg 1.9 bpg 55.8% FG 69.2% FT 35.2 min./game

Drew has so much talent, but so small of a brain. He could be even better than Howard if he just quit pretending like he already is, and having serious attitude issues without showing signs of maturity. Still, despite being a man-child he can score in the post as well or better than anyone and can own the boards. If just puts a little more consistent effort on defense, he could top the list and possibly surpase Howard for best center in the league.


3. Blake Griffin (2 years pro; 23 years old):

2011/2012: 20.7 ppg 10.9 rpg 3.2 apg 54.9% FG 52.1% FT 36.2 min./game

Blake Show has become one of the most hated players in the league because of his consistent highlight dunks on ESPN and him making sure you knew he just dunked on you. Call it arrogance, hate him for his flopping, call him a punk, but none of it takes away the fact that he has already had two 20 ppg 10 rpg and 3 rpg seasons in the the FIRST TWO seasons of his career. He doesn't have a jumper, and doesn't have a bunch of post moves, but he still scores 20+ ppg on 50+ FG%. He's a strong rebounder on both ends of the court and uses his strong leaping abilities to give him an advantage against alot of players. The most impressive thing to me is his passing; he has averaged over 3.0 apg in his first two seasons and the only big men who I could find that averaged 3.0+ apg in their first two years were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Yes, not even Tim DuncanKevin Garnett, Bill Russell, or any of the best passing bigs ever have achieved that feat. Not saying Griffin will be that good, but he's been very impressive so far in his young career.


4. Greg Monroe (2 years pro; 21 years old): 

2011/2012: 15.4 ppg 9.7 rpg 2.3 apg 1.3 spg 52.1% FG 73.9% FT 31.5 min./game

The Moose had his breakout year for the Pistons in his sophmore campaign. I've seen Monroe more than most, so I'm sure there isn't many as high on him as I am, but I think that will change in the next year or two. After watching him play as the starter for an entire year, I watched him display very strong post play with the ability to use mutliple different moves in the post to get the bucket, and as the year progressed his jumper did as well. He also showed the strong passing he was known for in college and was a versatile anchor for the Pistons. He has strong rebounding abilities and quick hands on defense, but does need to improve his help D and ability to protect the paint. I think he takes another jump next year and gets close to, if not reaching, 20 points 10 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Along with Brandon Knight, he will help lead this Pistons team back to glory!


5. Al Horford (5 years pro; 25 years old):

2010/2011: 15.3 ppg 9.3 rpg 3.5 apg 1.0 bpg 55.7% FG 79.8% FT 35.1 min./game

Despite getting hurt for most of this year on a freak injury, he still showed in the couple playoff games he played in that he's a strong post player especially on defense. He still has a well-rounded game that allows him to score, pass, and defend and a high level. I fully expect him to get back his regular form next season and remind everyone why he was talked about as a Top 5 center heading into this season.


6. Serge Ibaka (3 years pro; 22 years old):

9.1 ppg 7.5 rpg 3.7 bpg 53.5% FG 66.1% FT 27.2 min./game

Leading the league in blocks as well as giving the Thunder a defensive presence in the paint proved to be huge for his team this year that allowed them to nearly get the #1 seed in the West. He doesn't have a ton of offensive talent, but doesn't hurt them either on offense. His athleticism is just the beginning of makes him such a strong rebounder and shot blocker. It surprises me that he still plays under 30 minutes a game; hopefully he takes the next step next year and becomes an even bigger presence for the Thunder in the paint.


7. DeMarcus Cousins (2 years pro; 21 years old):

2011/2012: 18.1 ppg 11.0 rpg 1.6 apg 1.5 spg 1.2 bpg 44.8% FG 70.2% FT 30.5 min./game

It seems like he watched Bynum play and thought that was the standard way to act for a young, talented NBA big man. Everyone knew he had attitude problems coming into the league, but the also knew he had immense talent as well. So far, he's proven both to be very true. The problem is, which will end up coming out the most? His talent or his attitude? Hopefully he wisens up quicker than Bynum and focuses on improving his game. He's already a strong rebounder and pretty shot blocker, but like a young Howard and Bynum, he's been way too over-agressive on defense and gotten himself into consisten foul trouble. He led the league in fouls and fouls per game by quite a bit; not to mention he was 2nd in the league in technical fouls and first in disqualifications. And while scoring 18.1 ppg looks nice, the 44.8% FG makes it look a little worse.


8. Roy Hibbert (4 years pro; 25 years old):

2011/2012: 12.8 ppg 8.8 rpg 1.7 apg 2.0 bpg 49.7% FG 71.1% FT 29.8 min./game

He was able to help anchor the Pacers in the paint on defense get them into the playoffs as the 5th seed in the East. The Pacers had one of the league's tougher defenses this year, and it's quite obvious he's a big part of it. He's never going to be looked to do a lot of scoring, but standing at 7'2", all he needs to do is rebound and protect the paint and anything else is just gravy for the Pacers.


9. Kenneth Faried (1 year pro; 22 years old):

10.2 ppg 7.7 rpg 1.0 bpg 58.6% FG 66.5% FT 22.5 min./game

Coming out of college, everyone knew he could rebound (after breaking Tim Duncan's college record for most career rebounds in Division 1), but with concerns about the rest of his game he dropped to 22nd in the draft. Early on in the season, he didn't get alot of playing time with Nene anchor the Nuggets, but once he was traded Faried (and even shortly before when Nene and other bigs got injured) shown his talent. He was not just a strong rebounder, but also a good defender and shot blocker as well as showing the ability to use his athleticism and hustle to get points in the paint. 


10. Bismack Biyombo (1 year pro; 19 years old):

5.2 ppg 5.8 rpg 1.8 bpg 46.4% FG 48.3% FT 23.1 min./game

Yes, another one of my personal favorites, Biyombo did not have the kind of season I expected him to. Then again, I should have known not to trust the Bobcats to be smart and them having the worst season ever speaks for itself. However, despite the Bobcats being horrible, Biyombo's strong rookie season kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Early in the season, he rarely got any playing time. Despite that, he still averaged nearly 1.8 blocks per game on the year which put him in the Top 10 in blocks for his rookie year; only Serge Ibaka had more blocks per 36 minutes than Biyombo this season. Also, as he began to get playing time increased, he started to show his strong rebound as well and even added 5 double-doubles. I watched him a few games and he definitely has some strong defense and rebounding abilities; once he gets more playing time he will breakout and make believers out of more people than myself.


Honorable Mention: 

JaVale McGee (4 years pro; 24 years old):

2011/2012: 11.3 ppg 7.8 rpg 2.2 bpg 55.6% FG 46.1% FT 25.2 min./game

Everyone expected McGee to improve on his breakout year last year, and while starting well McGee faded towards the All-Star break as well as after it. Then he switched teams and was traded to the Nuggets in the Nene deal. He lost playing time and didn't have the kind of season people expected. Still, he's very young and has strong shot blocking and rebounding skills with loads of athleticism. Hopefully, he can earn a starting role with the Nuggets next year and fit in with their young team going forward.


Well that's my list. Feel free to make your own, discuss, and somehow find away to bring in LeBron James or Kobe Bryant!
Posted on: May 22, 2011 1:46 am
 

Detroit Pistons Draft Outlook

Well I was hoping to see the Pistons get lucky and move up in the draft from their originally slotted 7th spot, but instead it was the Cavaliers that got the lucky draw and the Pistons went the opposite direction and moved down one spot. With this draft lacking alot of potential huge stars, it's likely the Pistons won't be getting any player that is going to be able to be a future leading star for them. So the most important thing will be to draft a guy that not only has talent, but also can impact their team and be a great role player right off the bat. There are a few options, but I think it clearly comes down to two guys: Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.

When Chauncey Billups was at the PG helm for the Pistons leading their offense, they were contending for the East title each year and always at least in the ECFs. The won a title and went to back to back Finals appearances in the Billups era, but since trading him to the Nuggets they have dropped off significantly and that's really an understatement. Allen Iverson was one of my favorite players of all time, but that experiment failed miserably. They had picked Rodney Stuckey in the 2007 draft and had hoped he was going to be able to step up and be Billups understudy and eventually take the starting job once Billups got too old and had to step down. He showed flashes of amazing talent and ability to get to the lane and create offense; even in the 2008 NBA playoffs where he was penetrating the Celtics defense very well at time (and I remind you this was the #1 defense at the time that went on to win the title).

This is what gave Dumars the thought that he could trade Billups now, get Iverson and use his expiring contract to free up cap space in the 2010 super FA market to get players to go along with Stuckey and the other younger Pistons players to start the transition from the older 2004 championship players to a new Pistons team. Well as we have seen since, Stuckey hasn't stepped up and Joe D decided to use his extra money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, which has also proven to be disappointing. Stuckey has still shown those flashes, but has to be consistent enough to be that PG they need to lead the offense. Now he has shown horrible attitude problems and refuses to play for the team at the end of the year because of arguments with the coach. Well I say good riddance to him as he has obviously failed to live up to expectations and is now being a whiney baby that has no business being our point guard.

So now the question will be who will fill that spot? I love Will Bynum as he is a tenacious defender with quickness and lots of athletic ability (dude can throw down for a little guy), and I like how unselfish he is on offense always looking to pass first and creating open players by being able to penetrate the lane well. But I know he is never a guy that is going to be able to lead their team, so they will need to get someone he can. A guy that could do that is Kemba Walker. He has proven to be a strong leader and able to take a team on his shoulders and win them games. He has amazing scoring ability as well as some good passing skills (didn't use it a whole lot in college but he does have it when I watched him play games at UConn). He has the ability to get into the lane, stop-n-pop for jumpers, and get them big shots. Sound familiar? The next Mr. Big Shot maybe? Of course if they do this they need to try and trade Stuckey, and he still has talent and with some teams needing PGs I'm sure someone would bite. They would have a good two-man, inside-outside tandem with Kemba and Greg Monroe that could be the future of the new Pistons squad and possible start turning things around back to at least making the playoffs.


The other option is to look down low, which is most likely the bigger concern at the time. They got Greg Monroe last year and I really liked what I seen from him. He should be the main big for the Pistons for years to come. He's got size, good rebounding, good passing, and a developing offensive game that will get better each year. He can anchor them in the post on offense for sure, but while he's a solid post defender he's not the best help defender and is not great and helping on driving players. Ben Wallace was the doing this for the Pistons in his prime years (being the best defensive player in the league) and is doing it now at the twilight stage of his career. But he's not the young athlete he once was and is close to hanging it up and focusing on becoming a defense attorney upon his retirement (fitting isn't it?), and the question is now who is going to do that? The Pistons have turn things around on defense because that had been their identity for years and always what was the backbone of their success. A guy that could fill that role is Bismack Biyombo.

The young (or old depending whether you think he's 18 or 30) kid from Congo is not someone that was a big time draft prospect all year. He hasn't been playing in any big time college basketball, and has only recently been playing big time professional Euro basketball for Spain. However, what he lacks in experience at high levels, he makes up for freakish talent and athleticism. He can jump out of the jump, has energy galore, and a monstrous 7 foot 7 inch wing span. When I looked at his size, 6'9" 240 lbs, I thought to myself: "That looks familiar; I think that was Big Ben's size." Then I watched tape on him and I got a chill up my spine as Big Ben flashbacks went through my mind.

He is a very strong defender, with strong rebounding, great leaping ability, a long wing span, and lots of energy and hustle that just makes him a carbon copy of a young Ben Wallace in terms of physical attributes and abilities. I even watched a few highlights where he was playing up and pressing the ball handler after the ball was in-bounded, and the only other big man I ever seen do that was Big Ben. I'd love to put Bismack alongside Monroe and give them an excellent post duo for their future. Monroe can lead them on offense while focusing on man defense and Biyombo can do the dirty work, clean up the boards, swat shots left and right, and just straight out hustle. While I'm tired of watching the Pistons drafting European players and them failing to pan out (Darko ruined Euro players for me to be honest), the potential ability Bismack has to be the next "Big B" just has me hoping they get him at the 8th spot.

Either way it's time to end the transition phase and move onto to the new generation of players. Tayshaun Prince's contract is up and while I wish they would have been smart enough to get something out of him (someone would have wanted an expiring contract), it's time to cut ties with him and move on. Richard Hamilton will always be remembered and loved for what he did with the Pistons and is probably their best pure shooter in history and I think one of the best shooters running off screens of all time, his time has passed as well and they need to trade him along with Stuckey. Guys like Monroe, Bynum, Jonas Jerebko, Gordon, and Austin Daye are their future now and they can add another young gun to that group in a couple months with their 8th overall pick. Whether they choose to get a guy that can lead their offense in Kemba or a guy that can impact and improve immensely their post defense in Bismack, it's time to get the new era of Pistons basketball started. We finally have a new owner, Flint's own Tom Gores, and we can finally move past this phase of unbearable to watch basketball.

I want to be proud again to say............

DEEEEEEETROIT BAAAAAAAAAAAAASKETBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Joe Dumars, What is Wrong With You?!?!?!?!?

After watching all these go on over the last couple days before the deadline today, I can't believe not one deal was done by the Pistons. What was Joe Dumars doing, just sitting back and twiddling his thumbs? Was he expecting someone to come drop some great deal in his lap? It's very frustrating as a fan to watch all this activity go on and the Pistons just to sit back and do nothing when it's obvious they need to do some work to this team if they expect it to start improving and getting back to contending in the playoffs again. Why is Richard Hamilton just going to sit there and rot on the bench? Why is Tayshaun Prince's expiring contract to being used to entice some team into a deal? Why are they just going to sit back and hope it all magically works out and the team just transforms back to the 2000s Pistons?

I can't say I'm completely shocked to see they didn't do any deals as Joe D has really be slacking the last couple years. It's so obvious this team is just sitting in limbo and has no organization, no identity, no leadership, and no idea what the hell they are doing right now. They couldn't honestly think Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva were the answer. Those guys are excellent role players but come on, neither one is a guy I'm counting on to lead this team. They can't keep waiting around expecting Rodney Stuckey to suddenly transform into Chauncey Billups; sorry that's not happening any time soon and likely never. Rip and Prince are both guys that have been lost without Billups, as has the whole team, and neither can step up and lead this team. They've tried and failed miserably (making themselves worse in the process; Rip can't be a Kobe/Wade type of SG and Prince is no LeBron James but guys try to put themselves in those roles and can't get it done).

This team has very good young role players in Gordon, Charlie V, Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, Will Bynum, Chris Wilcox, and Jason Maxiell that can all contribute to a good team but none are guys you can count on to lead your team and/or run/be the center of your offense. Tracy McGrady has been doing his best to try and be some sort of a leader for this team, and he's actually help keep them at least competitive in some games, but he's not that kind of guy anymore. He's still a very good player, but he's not the answer. He could have been used as well as trade value.

They can't expect a rookie in Greg Monroe and an gray haired Ben Wallace to do it all in the post. Jason Maxiell and Chris Wilcox have shown some solid play in bursts but have overall not been doing much for the Pistons in the paint. Big Ben can't play much more than 20-25 minutes in a game anymore. He gives everything he has for those 20-25 min. and has still been able to rack up 8-10 boards in those short amount of times (as well as playing smart defense drawing lots of offensive fouls) but what happens for the other 23-28 minutes of the game? Greg Monroe has steadily been improving and been strong on the boards, solid on defense, very good at handling the rock and playing transition, but his scoring is not enough yet to anchor them in the post. He's showing flashes of what he could do (with a 27 point game the other night) but he is not a guy that can give them a respectable option to go to in the post. And when Big Ben, Wilcox, and Maxiell are nothing more than garbage guys on offense, that makes it even worse.

Rodney Stuckey can't lead a team, and it's frustrating and hard to say that after all the high hopes we've had for him. He's shown flashes of being amazing but he has yet to show consistently he's willing to play the role of facilitator as well scorer. He's also yet to show he can knock down jumpers on consistent basis. He can drive to the rim like a Derrick Rose when he wants, but he because he has no jumper to respect and because he isn't willing to feed his teammates enough, that diminishes his scoring and his overall value at times. He was unfairly expected to be the next Chauncey Billups for the Pistons right away as a rookie, but he could at least try to be a PG at times. Will Bynum has actually shown he's willing to be a facilitator and find his teammates, and also has a strong ability to get the rim. He also knows that his ability to get to the rim can be used to find his teammates (by drawing the defense to himself). He's also shown he's an intense, fiesty defender that really likes to put pressure on the ball handler for the opponent. He plays Lindsey Hunter like defense and uses his speed and quick hands to disrupt the opposing PG. But like Stuckey, he lacks a consistent jumper and he does at times fall in love with jumpers, even when he's not knocking them down and has gone cold.

I just can't believe Dumars did NOTHING before the trade deadline and Rip will continue to just sit on the bench pouting and not being used at all, and the Pistons will continue to be stuck between old and new in this transition phase that is just utterly disgusting to watch after we Pistons fans had watched them be contenders in the East for so long. I can understand all good things have to come to an end sometimes, but when your GM isn't in any hurry to try and fix and improve the team it's just frustrating as a fan especially when you watch all these teams be so active during these last couple of days. It's even worse when you've got a guy like Rip, who know is still a good player but just doesn't fit in with the team anymore, just sit there and waste away on the bench; and when you watch a guy like Rodney Stuckey, who you've been waiting to just turn into your team's star for awhile now, continue to lack the ability to step up and not improve on his game like you've been expecting.

I've been very patient with Joe D as he was one of the best players we've ever seen for this franchise and won us two titles and Finals MVP as a player, and then went on to orchestrate and manage a team that won another title in 2004 and contended in the East for most of the last decade. However, after breaking my heart and not resigning Big Ben, trading Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, using cap space to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva, and now standing pat during a very active trading deadline and letting Rip rot on the bench, I'm starting to lose my patience with him. I'm tired of watching the Pistons lose games when I can see if this team had any direction whatsoever they could be at respectable and in the playoffs. If Joe D doesn't make any moves this off season that can give this team more structure, an identity, and organization for their future then I'm sorry to say it but I think it's time for Joe D to go.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com