Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:56 am
He's a Top 10 PF in the league and maybe a Top 5 PF by next year. Everyone called me crazy in the off-season threads for saying Millsap would be this good, but each game he plays he is proving me more and more right. People thought I was crazy for saying he's better than Carlos Boozer, but that's looking more and more spot on as each game is played. Paul Millsap started out the season almost splitting minutes exactly with Derrick Favors, but since he's started to get the majority of the minutes at PF, he's exploded into the player I've always said he's capable of being. He's been averaging nearly 20 ppg and 10 rpg over his last 13 games (19.7 ppg 10.6 rpg). Here is Millsap's numbers on the year:
Millsap: 16.8 ppg (13.2 shots/game) 52.6% FG 78.9% FT 9.5 rpg (3.3 offensive) 1.9 apg 1.5 TO/game 1.5 spg 31.3 min/game
The most impressive thing is that he's doing this while sharing time and touches with 3 other big men in Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter. Big Al is getting 33 min./game and taking 16.6 shots/game, and Favors is getting 20.8 min./game and taking 6.3 shots/game (Kanter gets 14.5 min./game and taking 4.1 shots/game). When you look at all the other top PFs in the game, they don't have share as much as Millsap has had to with their big men. For example:
Dirk Nowitzki shares with Brendan Haywood and Lamar Odom. Haywood takes nothing away from Dirk on offense and Odom has had a down year where he's not doing a ton to take away from Dirk either.
Kevin Love shares with Darko Milicic and Derrick Williams. Milic does very little outside of playing defense and Williams hasn't lived up to his hype yet.
Blake Griffin shares with DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Evans. Jordan isn't usually an offensive threat and Evans is only playing 15 minutes a game this year
LaMarcus Aldridge shares with Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. Camby might be the reason he doesn't average alot of rebounds, but neither takes away offense from Aldridge.
Chris Bosh shares with Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem. Rebounds? Maybe, but they do nothing else to take away from Bosh.
Amar'e Stoudemire shares with Tyson Chandler and that's pretty much it.
Carlos Boozer shares with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Noah has had a down year, and Gibson is not doing nearly as well as he's down in previous years.
All of these top PFs, other than Dirk and Boozer, are getting alot more minutes and taking alot more shots per game/getting alot more overall touches.
Dirk Nowitzki - 31.8 min./game 14.1 shots/game (19.5 ppg 6.9 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Kevin Love - 39 min./game 17.8 shots/game (22.9 ppg 12.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Blake Griffin - 36 min./game 16.5 shots/game (21.1 ppg 10.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
LaMarcus Aldridge - 36.4 min./game 18.3 shots/game (22.8 ppg 8.6 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Chris Bosh - 36.2 min./game 14.8 shots/game (19.9 ppg 7.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Amar'e Stoudemire - 34.4 min./game 15.5 shots/game (19.1 ppg 8.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Carlos Boozer - 30.4 min./game 12.7 shots/game (17.4 ppg 10.1 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Millsap averages 19.4 ppg and 10.9 rpg per 36 minutes, and as you can see, that's comparable with most of these guys (with Love the only one standing way out on stats). I don't think anyone can doubt anymore that Millsap is the real deal and is a Top 10 PF in the NBA. If he were the go-to guy like alot of these PFs, he could very well be putting up 20 and 10 + numbers and be getting alot more credit. I also think it's hilarious that I heard some people before the season saying Derrick Favors is a better big man and should start over Millsap. Not only was that laughable, but has looked like a very foolish statement to this point.
People seem to forget Millsap is only 26 years old and just in his 2nd year as starter for the Jazz. He could very well get even better than this and should be able to develop into the 20 ppg and 10 rpg player I said he was capable of way back in his 3rd year in the league.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:54 pm
With only a few days until the NBA season starts, I felt like getting my predictions out now. So instead of wasting time trying to talk them up, here they are:
- MVP -
Durant is primed to have his best season yet and I think everyone seen it coming as early as watching him light up the summer leagues. No, I'm not naive enough to say that is the reason why he's going to win the MVP, but if you can't tell his best overall scorer in the game, you just haven't been paying attention. KD can score from anywhere on the court and just continues to improve on defense each year. This should be the year he explodes for well over 30+ ppg 8+ rpg 1.5+ spg 1.5+ bpg and finally over 3 apg this year (improving his passing, which has really been the weakest part of his game). He's going to put up the stats and he's likely going to lead his Thunder to a top seed in the West and contend for a title.
Runner Up - LeBron James
I hate him, you hate him, everyone hates him. Doesn't change the fact that he's got more talent than anyone in the game. If you put a brain of a smarter player in his body (yes, we can play ChiTownCliff's game for a minute here) he would have won a couple titles on top of his two MVPs already. What makes him even more likely to be an MVP is that he's got the talent to dominant on the defensive end as well, and juding by last season, he's starting to focus on that end quite a bit more. If he does that as well as continuing to be a threat on offense, he's going to make another MVP run without question. Only thing holding him back is his other superstar teammate in Dwyane Wade and star big man in Chris Bosh. But even those guys can only slow him to 27 ppg 6 apg and 8.4 rpg, which is still MVP stuff. Heat will obviously be one of the top teams again and contending for the title, so there is no reason to think LBJ can't win another title unless he defers to Wade and Bosh more than he did last year.
Dark Horse - Dwight Howard
I don't care what team this guy plays for, he's still the best big man in the game, the best defender in the game, and the most dominant presence the paint on both ends of the floor. His offensive game continues to improve (although a little slower than you'd hope for) and he's always going to own the boards and swat shots. He has the ability to impact a team even more than perimeter players like LBJ and Durant because he can control the paint, and it's been proven on many occasions if you can control the paint, you have an inside track to winning lots of games. If he developed any time of a passing game, he would take his game to the next level and be a real threat to win the MVP.
- Defense Player of the Year -
See above. No one can impact a defense like Howard can. Sure, there hasn't been any other real great defenders in awhile to challenge Howard, but that doesn't change the fact that he is still a 3 time DPOY and could tie Big Ben Wallaceand Dikembe Mutombo for the most all time this season.
Runner Up - Andrew Bogut
He's a great rebounder, strong post defender, and a top notch shot blocker. He's got the skills, but his health has kept him from being looked at very highly, and rightfully so. I think he will be able to stay healthy in this shortened season and put up the strong play on defense all year long and get the Bucks into the playoffs. Maybe I'm being too optimistic for an injury prone guy like Bogut, but he's got be healthy at least one full season, especially when it's only 66 games instead of 82 right?
Dark Horse - Gerald Wallace
When he was with the Bobcats he was a DPOY contender a couple years as he's a strong rebounder and excellent help defender. He didn't get as much time and action with the Trail Blazers last year as LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicholas Batum didn't leave tons of minutes for him. However, this year without Roy, I expect Wallace to take an increased role with the team. Aldridge can lead this team on offense, but not on defense and that's where Wallace will have to step up. If he gets back to 8-10 rpg and 2+ spg and bpg like he was with the Bobcats and the Blazers have a good season behind Aldridge and Wallace, he could be a DPOY candidate.
- Rookie of the Year -
He didn't win a national title by accident; he's the real deal. Kemba has alot of thigs going in his favor this year that easily point to him as the ROY. First of all, who the hell else do the Bobcats have? D.J. Augustin? Boris Diaw? Yeah, not like Kemba is going to have a tough time taking over this team. He's going to be thrown into the fire as the leader right out of the gate and after watching him play at UConn, I think he's up for the task. This guy just seems like a natural born leader and winner. Excellent scorer and a pretty good passer as well. He may not put up Blake Griffin rookie numbers, but they will still be impressive nonetheless and earn him the DPOY.
Runner Up - Brandon Knight
Biased Pistons pick? Maybe, but let me at least make a case before you call me a homer right off the bat. I know the easy way to discount him right off the bat: "The Pistons have too many other guards. He has to fight Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, and Will Bynum for minutes." Ah, but it's not that simple. Gordon is a 6th man and no matter how much money is thrown at him by the stupidity of Joe D, it doesn't change that. He is able to put up some points off the bench and light up the scoreboard at times, but you can't trust him on defense or to be consistent and fit well with his teammates on offense. Stuckey is no longer a PG, he's an SG and that's how new coach Frank will use him. He doesn't have a shot, but has a great slashing ability to get to the rim and has the size to play the spot and not be a weak spot on defense.
Bynum and Knight will be the PGs this season and while I love Bynum and he has spurts of great play, both I and coach Frank know he's not the future. Knight may start on the bench, but it won't be long before he gets the starting job and takes over as the PG of this team. He's already shown to be a willing passer and does well at getting his team involved and finding open shooters (which the Pistons have plenty in Gordon, Daye, and Charlie V). He's also shown the willingness to give effort on defense and pick off passes and turn them into transistion offense. Then there is the obvious that everyone knows: he's a strong shooter and can beat his man to the paint. Knight and Monroe will provide a great inside-outside core to this young team for many years to come and show glimses this season of a team on the rise and on it's way to getting back to the playoffs.
Dark Horse - Bismack Biyombo
This was the guy I was begging for the Pistons to get. However, that was before I knew Knight would drop all the way to the Pistons. Still, I would love to have this guy next to Monroe. He's the best defensive prospect since Howard and has rare explosiveness, wingspan, and leaping ability. He's going to get time with the thin front court of the Bobcats and as long as he's not completely incompetent on offense, he'll get enough time to put up some impressive numbers on defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see 8-10 rpg and 2-3 bpg. Future DPOY is in Biyombo's future.
- 6th Man of the Year -
From what I've heard and understand, despite him being traded from the Lakers to the Mavericks, he's still going to be used in the 6th man role off the bench (with Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki starting at the two forward spots). With his role not changing much and going to a team that needs rebounding and bench scoring (after losing Tyson Chandler on the boards and Juan Jose Barea for the bench scoring), I don't see any reason for him to not win the 6th man award again this season.
Runner Up - Jason Terry
Yes, the 6th man will come from the Mavericks. Terry is still going to put up points and with Kidd gettin ga year older and no more Barea, he'll have to run the point at times for the Mavs and play an important role in the Mavs having another shot at the Finals.
Dark Horse - Austin Daye
Another Pistons player? Yes, I can't help myself. Daye wasn't very good last year; he looked very uncoordinated and horrible on defense. If he couldn't shoot the ball so well, he wouldn't have gotten any time at all. However, this year under a smarter coach and one that is actually teaching the young players and giving them direction, Daye looks to be responding well to coach Frank. What's most impressive is he looks focused especially on the defensive end. He got 5 blocks in the first preseason game and 2 more in the second game. He's got lots of length at 6'11" and can shoot the ball very well. He looks to take a big step this year and the only thing that might keep him out of contention for this is that he gets moved to the starting lineup.
Most Improved Player of the Year
I don't believe Iggy was as bad as he played last season. I know he's never been a great #1 option for a team and I would expect his numbers to drop off some when he got other good players around him in Philly, but I never thought he'd be that bad. It wasn't just on offense either. He use to be a strong defender, but last year lost alot of that strong play as well. He was banged up quite a bit last season as well, and is reportedly in much better shape this season dropping 10 pounds and not having any lingering injuries. I expect him to bounce back closer to his old self; maybe not as many assists this time around as he's Jrue Holiday looks ready to take over as PG, but I expect to be scoring well and back to his strong defensive play.
Runner Up - Andrew Bogut
All he has to do is stay healthy, that's it and he will be a contender to win this award.
Dark Horse - Richard Hamilton
Giving the best attacking PG in the game a shooter like Billups is dangerous for the Bulls and makes it so much more diffcult to defend them. After the big MVP season Rose had last season, I can't see teams just inviting him to score and dominant. Thus, Rip will get plenty of open looks and chances to knock down shots like he was with the Pistons. I don't expect him to score anywhere near 20 ppg, but scoring about 15-16 ppg on a lot higher FG% than he did last year is a big improvement from what he was doing last season for the Pistons.
- Coach of the Year -
The Grizzlies seem to come out of nowhere at the end of last season and making a strong playoff performance. This year there will be no "surprise factor" for the Grizz and there are big expectations out of them from alot of people. In order for them to deliver, it will be coach Hollins job to make sure they can duplicate that late season success and even improve on it. The tricky part will be doing it this time with Rudy Gay in the lineup as he was hurt when the Grizz made the late season run. Chemistry is a huge part of teams and he's got to make Gay and Randolph able to work well with each other as well as the rest of their teammates. If he can do that, this team will be in the playoffs again and maybe even make a run at a Top 4 seed.
Runner Up - Tom Thibodeau
The Bulls had a great season under coach TT last season, so it's kind of hard for them to get any better right? Wrong, they were without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for big chunks of the season last year, and also had no respectable shooter to take pressure off Rose. They have the shooter in Rip now and Noah and Boozer (at least for now) are healthy. If they stay together all season long, the Bulls will not only be one of the best regular season teams, they could get to the Finals this time around.
Dark Horse - Nate McMillan
He no longer has Roy as his franchise player and now has Aldridge as his go-to player. However, that doesn't seem to be a huge deal for the Blazers and Coach McMillan as they still made the playoffs. Aldridge will big improved with another season under his wing, Wallace should be even better in a full season with the Blazers, Batum should improve in a bigger role, and they have couple new guards in Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton to make the loss of Roy not sting as much. Blazers should again be the playoffs and maybe have a shot at being a dark-horse team in the West.
- All NBA Teams -
All NBA First Team:
G - Chris Paul
G - Dwyane Wade
F - Kevin Durant
F - Blake Griffin
C - Dwight Howard
All NBA Second Team:
G - Derrick Rose
G - Kobe Bryant
F - LeBron James
F - Dirk Nowitzki
C - Al Horford
All NBA Third Team:
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Eric Gordon
F - Paul Millsap
F - Kevin Love
C - Andrew Bogut
All NBA Defensive First Team:
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Dwyane Wade
F - LeBron James
F - Gerald Wallace
C - Dwight Howard
All NBa Defensive Second Team:
G - Chris Paul
G - Russell Westbrook
F - Josh Smith
F - Bismack Biyombo
C - Andrew Bogut
All NBA Rookie First Team:
G - Kemba Walker
G - Brandon Knight
F - Derrick Williams
F - Marcus Morris
C - Bismack Biyombo
All NBA Rookie Second Team:
G - Kyrie Irving
G - Darius Morris
F - Jan Vesley
F - Tristan Thompson
C - Enes Kanter
That's all folks! Discuss, make your own predictions, or just rip mine if you can't think of anything better to do.
Posted on: October 31, 2010 10:10 pm
Yeah, I said and I mean it. Paul Millsap has had to sit on the bench behind for 3 years but this year he is finally the starter with Carlos Boozer going to the Bulls . I've said before that if Millsap was a starter he could be a Top 10 Power Forward and I will stick with that statement going into his first year a starter. Watch and see this guy become better better the Boozer was for the Jazz . You may not think much of him because he's only 6'8", but the guy has athleticism, strength, and hops to make up for not having the size that Boozer did. He has proved to be just as good or better of a rebounder than Boozer, so I guess his stature isn't a problem.
Millsap has already started off this averaging 21.3 ppg 12.3 rpg 3 apg 1.3 spg 63.4% FG after having a monster night for the Jazz tonight putting up 30 points (12-19 FG 6-8 FT) 16 points 6 assists and 2 steals in a win for Utah over the Thunder . It's not like this guy hasn't shown he had this potential before; he's given us plenty of flashes in the last two seasons of how good he could be. Do you remember back in the 08/09 season when he became the starter for a stretch when Boozer went down with an injury and went on to post 19 consecutive double-doubles and finished with 29 double-doubles on the season? How about last year when he had a few huge games when Boozer didn't play or had limited minutes? The guy has shown when he gets starter minutes, he produces like a damn good big man.
The biggest advantage Millsap gives you is his hustle, defense, and health. Those are three things you don't think of when you think of Boozer. Boozer has regularly been injured and is already missing the first month and a half (or more) of this season with an injury. In Boozer's six years with the Jazz, he's only had 3 years of playing more than 70 games a year, and only 1 year where he played 80+ games in a year. In Millsaps 3 years with the Jazz he's played 75+ games each time where two of the season he played the ful 82 games in both.
The Jazz proved they would rather have Millsap over Boozer by matching the offer sheet the Trail Blazers had made to Millsap in the off season and did a sign-and-trade with the Bulls to move Boozer. Don't be surprised that even when Boozer is healthy and playing for the Bulls, you see Millsap still out performing him this year. Don't forget this is only Millsap's 4th year in the league and he's just starting his career. He's going to have a break-out year and prove to be better for the Jazz than Boozer was.
Posted on: December 4, 2008 7:24 am
With last night's performance from Paul Millsap against the Heat, I just can help but being impressed with how great this guy is playing. I don't hear anyone ever talk about him, yet he is continually playing at a such a high level this year. The big man is just unbelievable right now coming off the bench. He has started a few games this year (7 to be exact), but for the most part he is coming off the bench. Whenever he starts and/or gets big minutes, he plays like top power forward.
In his last 6 games, he's got 6 straight double-doubles is averaging:
16.0 ppg 11.8 rpg (4.3 offensive) 1.5 spg.
On the year he is averaging:
13.0 ppg 7.9 rpg (3.0 offensive) 1.1 bpg 54.2% field goal shooting 73.6% free throw shooting 28.9 minutes per game.
He has always been a good defensive player and rebounder, but this year he has been stepping up with his scoring as well. He has scored 20+ points five times this year for the Jazz. He is so good at getting offensive rebounds, and he gets a lot of second chance points. He is developing into a very good player, and if it wasn't for Carlos Boozer he would be starting full time for the Jazz. He could definitely start for quite a few other teams in the league.
Right now he has been amazing, and I think he is the front runner for 6th man of the year. I just wanted to shed some spot light onto Millsap because he's a guy that doesn't get much credit or mention, and I think he deserves it. He has been a big part of the Jazz success this year (especially when they didn't have Deron Williams), and I think the Jazz should think about trading Boozer soon to let this guy start full time. He is a much better defensive player, can rebound just as well, and is starting to learn how to score much better as well. Soon I think could be even a better player than Boozer.
Posted on: October 18, 2008 4:38 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 6:40 pm
PG - Chris Paul:
The best point guard in the leauge; he can do it all. He can pass, he can shoot, he can defend, and he can lead his team. He makes whatever team he is on better, and is always a big time threat on both sides of the ball. He showed that is no one of the best playres in the league, and he can take any team deep into the playoffs.
Derek Fisher: A perfect back up for Paul. He has tons of veteran experience especially in the playoffs and getting to many NBA Finals with the Lakers. He has great leadership, good defense, and is a clutch player when it matters. He can mentor Paul, and give my team lots of leadership and clutch play to get me to the Finals and possibly even the championship.
SG - Manu Ginobili:
A top 5 shooting guard, no question. You can love him or hate him, but in the end you can't deny how great he is. He can drive the lane and make unbelieveable lay ups, and he can hit the outside shot. He isn't a great defender, but he isn't a bad one. He does flop a lot, but hey, he gets away with it and gets a lot of calls his way. If you think Bowen is a good defender with all his dirty play, then you have admit Ginobli can play some good D to. He is just great player that contributes a lot to championship team. He has won 3 rings with the Spurs, a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics with Argentina, and many international titles as well. Combined with Chris Paul, he makes my backcourt the best.
Bruce Bowen: Bowen is a great guy to have, especially off the bench. He has good perimeter defense and can get a little rough if need be. You might not like him (I don't), but he gets the job done when you ask him to. He can come off the bench and provide great defense when I need it.
Jamario Moon: Moon is the perfect back up player off the bench for my team. Like Marion, he has tons of athleticism and can be huge for my team on the fast break. He is also a good defender, and uses his great athleticism to get lots of blocked shots and rebounds. He provides lots of energy off the bench for us on offense and defense.
PF - Yao Ming:
Yao? At power forward? His height causes so much mismatches when he plays center, imaging how much more he can causes as a power forward. He his that unstoppable hook shot, the short jumper, and many other post scoring moves (not to mention he is a great free throw shooter). He is so difficult to cover for anyone, and with Paul giving him the rock, it should make it even harder on the opponents. He can play either post position for us, and play great at either one.
Paul Millsap: This is another one of my energy players off the bench. Millsap is very atheltic for a big man. He can crash the boards and gets lots of rebounds on defense and even offense as well. He is a very good defender and uses his big body to keep the post player from getting too deep on the block and getting easy shots. He is coming off the bench for the Jazz, but that's only because Boozer is there. He could be a starter for a lot of teams. He is pefect off the bench for me because he provides lots of energy and good defense as well as some offense.
C - Chris Kaman:
Kaman showed last year why has been the most underrated big man. He is very good rebounder and defender. He also can score well in the paint as well. He is a big guy that just works hard and contributes a lot to his team. He can hold his own against all the other great centers in the league, and knows how to help his team. Good offense, and great defense makes him a perfect player for my team.
He is a great player to have. He can rebound, play solid defense, and give you some good post scoring as well. Big Z is a perfect big man to come off the bench for me. He can come in and give us that good defense, good rebounding (especially offensive rebounding/ tip backs), and post scoring with his turn around shot and tip backs.
Good luck to everyone with the tourney, and don't forget to keep track of the schedule so you know when to turn your gameplans in.