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Home - Dhruv Ohri's Basketball blog January 2011

  Dhruv Ohri's Basketball blog January 2011

Felton’s Resurrection
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 27, 2011

Raymond Felton has resurrected his game and established himself as a premier player at his position as a New York Knick this season. The explosiveness that we all saw Felton play with during his college years at UNC has has returned and shown itself through his drastically improved statistics.

Last season, playing for Charlotte, Felton wasn’t the most efficient player. He averaged a mediocre PER of 15.6 in his 33 minutes on the court. His statistics in that time period weren’t much to rave about either. Felton averaged a low PPG total of 12.1 and an average APG total of 5.6. These were the numbers that a slightly below average point guard in the NBA would put up. Felton’s scoring and passing abilities that he possessed in college seemingly failed to stick with him in the NBA.

This season however, Felton shocked his teammates and silenced his critics showing a miraculous improvement in his game and playing at a level that no one thought he was still able to play at. His PPG has gone up to 17.5 and his APG are at an impressive 8.9 making him much better than the average point guard in the NBA. His PER has gone up to 17.5 as well, making him a more efficient player. Felton’s game has shown a remarkable improvement this past season.

The Knicks demanded a lot out of Felton and he has exceeded the enormous expectations that D’Antoni had for him. Expect a strong season and a possible all star appearance within the next few years from this outstanding player.

Anthony Morrow Jump Shot Analysis
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 22, 2011

There’s a reason that Anthony Morrow’s jump shot is so deadly. He has nice distance above the ground to avoid blocks. Morrow shoots a good distance above his head so that he has a clear view of the basket and bends his arms enough to produce an arc on his jumper. Morrow also grazes the ball with his left hand in order to produce enough spin on the ball so that it has a higher chance  of rimming in. All these factors combined result in a deadly jumper.

Morrow’s distance above the ground on his jump shots is a key factor in why it is so good. This allows him to shoot over larger defenders and generate power from his knees. Then there is the distance the ball is above his head when he shoots. He gets the ball high so he can see the basket well. Morrow also bends his arms so he can produce a rainbow delivery which has a higher chance of going in than a line drive. Morrow is also able to generate spin on the ball by grazing it with his left hand. Spin makes it so that the ball has a chance of going in when it makes contact with the rim.

There is a reason that Morrow is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. He has the highest 3 point shooting percentage in history and amazing form in his jump shot. Morrow is a constant target for double teams and reasonably so.

The Wild Wild West
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 19, 2011

The NBA western  conference is notorious for great teams and even better players. It’s extremely difficult to make the all star team amongst all these big names. The guard positions in the western conference hosts some of the biggest names in basketball. Players like Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Monta Ellis, Russel Westbrook, Jason Kidd, Kevin Martin, Manu Ginobili, and Steve Nash all battle each other for 4 spots in this star studded team.

Heres a list of the balloting numbers in the West:

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,757,216; Chris Paul (NOH) 949,049; Manu
Ginobili (SA) 593,718; Steve Nash (Pho) 522,215; Deron Williams (Utah)
487,887; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 463,250; Tony Parker (SA) 355,993; Jason
Kidd (Dal) 303,164; Vince Carter (Pho) 277,430; Kevin Martin (Hou) 266,037

retrieved from here.

My opinion is that for the point guard position, Chris Paul will start with Deron Williams as a reserve as both are putting up phenominal numbers this year. Chris Paul is putting up 16.2 ppg 9.6 apg and a spectaculer player effeciecny of 25.6. Williams is averaging 22.1 ppg 9.4 apg and an impressive 23.4 player efficiency rating. All 6 point guards competing for these two positions are deserving of the role.

For the shooting guard role, I’d pick Kobe Bryant and Manu Ginobili. Kobe is having a spectacular season as always and although Manu’s stats aren’t the best, his team is arguably the best in the NBA and deserves at least one all star.

Stay Frustrated Brook
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 18, 2011

When Brook Lopez is mad, he becomes a better player. Brook becomes more aggressive, takes smarter shots, and plays tighter defense. Recently the Nets have lost 11 out of their past 12 games and Brook’s rage is beginning to accumulate and present itself on the court. In the past three games Brook has averaged 29 ppg 1.3 bpg and is shooting an incredible 64% from the field. This is the Brook Lopez Nets fans hoped and prayed for last season and now he is beginning to show his true colors. When the Nets get into a tough offense stretch which has occurred frequently this season, they need someone who is willing to sacrifice his body and drive to the rim. Brook is beginning to fill that role as he is averaging 9.5 free throw attempts a night over his last two games and connected on 86.3% of them. Typically, players make rash decisions that harm the team when they’re mad but Lopez is succeeding in concentrating his rage into great basketball.

This season hasn’t been the best for Lopez who is averaging career lows in field goal percentage at 46.6% and rebounds per game at 5.9 rpg. His true shooting percentage is also at 54% which is horrible for a center with a game like Brook. His offensive rating is only 105, a point below the league average and his player efficiency has dropped from 20 last season to a significantly lower 18.3. Brook’s scoring hasn’t been horrible this season at a shade under 19 but it’s much lower than the ppg total Nets fans expected him to put up which is around 22-23 ppg.

This season isn’t even close to over and there is a lot of time for Brook to improve his stats as well as get the Nets some much needed wins. Who knows, maybe he’ll drop 40 next?

The Carmelo Anthony Trade
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 17, 2011

Rarely do you see a professional basketball trade that has as much drama involved as a reality show or a broadway play. The Carmelo Anthony trade is one of those instances. Over the last four months, the Carmelo trade has gone through many twists and turns and captured a large audience in the mix. There are a couple of main characters involved in this overhyped deal that seems to resemble the typical broadway play. There’s the main protagonist, Carmelo Anthony who everyone tries their best to accommodate. There’s the main antagonist, The Denver Nuggets who want to get as much as they can out of Carmelo and prolong his departure at all costs. Then there is the desperate team that attempts to acquire Anthony and does so by working with the antagonist, who are the New Jersey Nets. Finally there is the team that the protagonist wants to go to but can’t due to several reasons which is the New York Knicks. Like most broadway plays, this deal will probably not have a happy ending and Melo will end up going to the Nets due to the upcoming projected lockout.

Now that we know what the projected outcome will most likely be, lets take a look at how it will impact the struggling Nets. The three main players involved in the deal are Carmelo Anthony of Denver, Chauncey Billups of Denver, and Richard Hamilton of Detroit. The Nets will be trading Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Ben Uzoh, Stephen Graham, and Quinton Ross as well as two first round draft picks to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter. The Nets will trade the expiring contract of Troy Murphy as well as Johan Petro to Detroit in exchange for Richard Hamilton. This will definately have a positive effect offensively on the Nets who are in desperate need of scorers and offensive talent. Carmelo Anthony scores the ball exceptionally well and his offensive skills are envied by many. Carmelo’s lowest season average of points per game in the past 5 seasons was 23.8 ppg in 08-09 and his lowest ever was 21 ppg in his rookie season. Melo’s true shooting percentage is at an impressive 53%. What worries me though is Anthony’s lack of defensive talent. His points allowed per 100 possessions is at a dismal 107 and his average wins contributed due to defense is only a shade over 1 which is not what you want to see from a superstar. Now lets take a look at how Chauncey Billups will impact the team both offensively and defensively. His age will impact his stamina and fitness level to a certain degree. Billups can still score the ball, averaging 16.3 ppg and has a true shooting percentage of 62% which is impressive. Billups also contributes 2.8 wins due to his offensive talent. The wins contributed stat for Billups and Anthony will change dramatically if they join the Nets. Now lets take a look at the most balanced player in the deal, Richard Hamilton. Hamiltons stats this season can’t relflect his level of play because he hasn’t played with much motivation and intensity due to his issues with Detroit. Richard’s a tough defender and has decent offensive talent and will help the Nets on both ends. Other players involved in the deal are only there to provide some sense of depth in the Nets bench which will be horrible if this deal takes place. The Nets get a lot older acquiring Billups, 35 and Hamilton, 32 but will get some much needed wins as well as new fans drawn in by Anthony.

This deal will also impact Denver significantly. Denver gains Devin Harris who is much younger and much more explosive than Billups, a sharpshooter in Anthony Morrow, and young talent in Derrick Favors as well as depth in their bench with Stephen Graham, Ben Uzoh, and Quinton Ross. Harris can score the ball about as well as Billups did as Harris averages 16 ppg and he passes the ball as well as Billups too at 7.0 apg. Harris’ statline is almost identical to Chauncey’s but Harris has the advantage over him in speed, stamina, and potential regarding his all star appearance two years ago. Harris is also more defensive minded and has quick hands which give him 1.1 steals a night. Anthony Morrow is the best three point shooter in NBA history percentage wise and is more than capable of knocking down a couple open jumpers. Denver has a couple players who can draw double teams and leave Morrow wide open. Favors is a work in progress but has the potential to be an all star power forward as shown by his high player efficiency of 14.03 in his rookie season as well as his outstanding atheleticism and size. Favors is also a great defensive player and can be sent in to guard big men. The Nuggets also get two first round draft picks making it really easy to rebuild once Melo departs.

Detroit won’t be effected much just cleared of some cap space with the expiring contract of Murphy.

This trade will be one for the ages involved tons of players and reshaping franchises. Perhaps it’s worth all the drama and attention that it’s getting.

The Tragedies and Triumphs of Darko Milicic
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 16, 2011

After seasons of playing horribly, Darko Milicic has transformed himself into quite the low post threat
Darko can now do a number of things extremely well, making him a dangerous offensive as well as defensive player. His stats have increased in every category, he is now averaging 9.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, as well as an incredible 2.2 blocks a night. His PER (Player Efficiency Rating) is now at 13.4 which taking into consideration his prior years as well as new role on the Timberwolves is great. His DWS (wins contributed by defense) is now up to 1.0 as well as his DRB% (percentage of total defensive rebounds grabbed) is up to 15.7  and taking into account that he plays along side Kevin Love, that’s not too bad.

Offensively, Darko isn’t too shabby. His USG (usage percentage by a team) is at 20.4% indicating that when the Timberwolves put him on the floor, he contributes. His ORtg (number of points scored per 100 possessions in up to 93 which is well above the league average. Darko also has a 9.1 ORB%.

Darko is also a team energy booster. He makes big plays that recharge the team during a tough stretch like a huge dunk or block. Darko has changed his game from a liability to his team to a strong overall player that is a presence down low. It is amazing how Milicic transformed himself to such a different player. When in 2003, he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons over players like Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, people had high expectations for him that he didn’t even come close to meeting. Now, 7 seasons in, he is beginning to find his game and play well.

Although Darko will probably never become as good of a player as the superstars he was drafted over, he is now beginning to serve his purpose and is making outstanding contributions to the Timberwolves. Darko’s story has been an interesting one and I as well as many other NBA fans are extremely curious to figure out where he will end up next.

Michael Jordan “A Basketball Fairy Tale”
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 15, 2011

Not  many people in the world find themselves getting cut from their high school basketball team and going on to become one of the best NBA players of all time. There’s a reason that movies, books, and posters are frequently made with Michael Jordan’s face on the cover. But the question is, how did he become so good? The answer is simple, he wasn’t hard-working, he wasn’t motivated, he just loved to have fun. If you enjoy doing something, you’re going to want to do it over and over again. Michael really enjoyed to play basketball, so it wasn’t “hard work” for him, it was simply a good time. The work he put in off the court like working out and running made it so he had a more enjoyable time doing what he loved, playing basketball.

Also Jordan loved to compete. Most people in the world would rather win than lose, rather do better than do worse, but there is a select few that love to excel in everything they do and will put in a crazy effort to do so. Jordan is one of this select few. He loved to compete in whatever he did and was always upset when his team lost. In the 1987 NBA playoff when the Bulls went up against the favored Celtics, Jordan scored 63 points and took the Celtics to double overtime almost singlehandedly but was still upset when the Bulls just fell short. Not many players would be upset about scoring 63 points and losing in double overtime but Jordan was because of his competitive spirit.

Many people say that Jordan was extremely skilled and that’s why he was so good. Jordan could jump pretty high and hit the mid range shot with efficiency but that was about it skill wise. Jordan’s aggression came from his lust for victory. His speed and muscles came from work off the court and even his jump shot came from practice. The only skill that Jordan had which few other players in the NBA had was his high jump.

Jordan was so good at basketball because he enjoyed it that much. Playing in a game wasn’t a burden for him, it was more of a good time. Jordan was about as good of a basketball player as there ever was because of his love for the game. No one can excel as much as he did in something that they don’t have passion for. I call Jordan’s career “A Basketball Fairy Tale” because well it had about as happy of an ending as a fairytale could have, he went from being cut from his high school team to one of the best players in NBA history.

The New Fresh Look of Westbrook
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 14, 2011

Russell Westbrook is an explosion of offensive talent and a threat to anyone guarding him. He has increased every aspect of his game since last season. His points per game have gone up from 16 to a whopping 22. His assists per contest are now up to 8 and his rebounds are stationary at an impressive five. Westbrook combines a Jason Kidd all around game with a Kobe Bryant scorers mentality. He has the ability to take over games and leave his opposition in the dust. The sad thing is though that no one recognizes Westbrook enough because he is constantly outshone by superstar and MVP candidate Kevin Durant. Sure Durant’s good and all, but potential wise Westbrook is better and Westbrook is a better all around player that Durant.

Durant can score as indicated by his 29 ppg and he can rebound too as he hauls down 6 a night. His assists though are a bit on the lower side and well he gets 39 minutes a night opposed to Westbrook’s 36. Durant also plays small forward and is 6’9 while Westbrook plays point guard and is 6’3. Durant’s job on the court is to score tons of points and get some rebounds and at 6’9 his body is built to do so. He scores 29 a night which outshines most small forwards but grabs 6 boards a contest which is only slightly abover average for a small forward.

Westbrook on the other hand is a point guard, a completely different position. Westbrook’s role on the court is to set other players up and score a fair amount while doing so. Westbrook scores way more than a fair amount, averaging 22 ppg while the average point guard in the NBA averages around 15 a night. Westbrook averages 8.3 assists per game which is also above the average NBA point guards assist total that is around 6. In addition to this Westbrook averages 5 rebounds a night while the average point guard hauls down around 2 a night. Also as icing on the cake, Westbrook also has 2 steals per game.

Durant has reached the pinnacle of his talent scoring around 30 a game and averaging 6 rebounds. That great that he can put up such great numbers, but there’s no room for improvement. Westbrook on the other hand has improved every season since his rookie year and has shown no sign of slowing down. It’s tough to say how much better Westbrook will get but it’s certain that he has not yet reached his maximum.

Chauncey Billups: Endless Youth
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 12, 2011

How many players in the NBA today are over 35 and are still putting up good numbers. I can only think of two, Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill. Billups of course being the better of the two. Chauncey is probably one of the toughest players in the NBA, his toughness was created and polished from spending eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Detroit is notorious for hard fouls, tough defense, and balanced offense. Back when Chauncey played for Detroit, they were not a team anyone wanted to tangle with. Chauncey also can hit the 3-ball with accuracy and consistency, shooting a blistering 41% from beyond the arc this season. His scoring and passing abilities haven’t gone down at all too. At age 35, Chauncey is averaging 17 points and 5 assists a game in 33 minutes a night. That makes Chauncey an extremely efficient player.

Chauncey’s fitness is also a factor that has kept him playing at a high level for so long. While most veteran NBA players have tired legs and are looking  to finish their careers on the bench, Chauncey is as competitive as ever. He still plays hard everyday and loves to win. At 35, the post season is like an extra mile after a long marathon that no one looks forward to running but Billups enjoys the competition and runs it with willingness and enthusiasm.

Chauncey’s love for basketball, fiery competitive nature, and unbelievable fitness not only allows him to play basketball well but also lets him extend his career long past other professional players. This makes Chauncey’s youth endless. He is no worse than when he was playing in his prime 10 years ago. Chauncey is and will be good for the next couple years.

Basketball Symphonies
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 11, 2011

When you see great basketball being played, it’s like a symphony. For those of you that don’t know what a symphony is, it is a collaboration of various musical instruments. In order for a team to become successful in the NBA, they need various player with various talents which serve as musical instruments to come together and for a symphony which is a team. In order for a symphony to sound good the instruments have to mesh well together much as players have to have good chemistry. For those of you who have read my previous articles, you know that I am a Nets fan and their team right now is horrible as their record is a horrendous 10-27. Within the next few days though, their team or symphony has a chance to improve drastically. The Nets are part of an enormous trade that would land them Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets, and Richard Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons as well as two other role players who don’t matter too much. To do this, the Nets are giving away Anthony Morrow, Derrick Favors and Devin Harris along with various role players including Johan Petro, Ben Uzoh and a disappointing Troy Murphy. This new team or symphony has a high chance of working out beautifully. Chauncey Billups will serve as the point guard or composer while Richard Hamilton and Carmelo Anthony are the two lead chairs. Players such as Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez make up the second row, and various role player fill out the rest of the spots. Chauncey Billups, the composer, has experience with the two lead chairs as he played with Hamilton in Detroit and Anthony in Denver. If this trade works out, it has the potential to become a great symphony and perhaps even land the Nets a spot in the playoffs.

Chris Paul’s Lust For Victory
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 5, 2011

Chris Paul is different from most players in the NBA in several ways. Paul is unselfish and prefers that his teammates excel rather than himself. Paul is extremely focused on victory and always does whatever it takes to achieve it. He is also aware of his exteremely high skill level and knows that he can score his share of points at any given moment. This is why Paul is considered the best point guard in the NBA, because he does whatever a point guard is supposed to do. Point guards role on the court is to set up their teamates for easy shots and score whenever neccessary. Most pointguards don’t do this and are more conserned with padding their own numbers. Paul knows that 20 points per game is useless if those 20 are garbage points. If a player scores 11 when his team is up by 30, those 11 points wouldn’t have helped the cause. Paul focuses the majority of the game on setting his teamates up and only scores when they require him to. Say there is a close game and no body is open, Paul will try to score. Say a teamate finds him an open shot then only will Paul think to shoot rather than pass. Chris Paul’s  understanding of his role allows him to excel in it.

Paul prefers his teamates excel rather than himself. A team with four or five players averaging 15 points per game is better than one player averaging 25 points per game. Paul knows that a championship requires a complete roster jam packed with offensive talent. If Paul doesn’t have one, he will do everything in his power to create one meaning that he will draw defenders and leave players wide open. He will give up the easy layup on the fast break. Chris Paul understands the value of victory and does everything he possibly can to achieve it.

Unlike most players, Paul is aware of his incredible skill but chooses not to boast about it. He does his trash talking on the court without opening his mouth unless he has to call a play. Paul finds that making plays and his teammates better is the only effective way to advertise his extraordinary skill. You won’t see him on a commercial hitting 50 foot shots or tweeting about his skill. This is what makes him the perfect player. No coach in the NBA would turn Chris Paul down if their team needed a point guard.

Chris Paul is one of the NBA’s elite not so much because of his numbers but more because of his mindset. He uses his talent for victory, whether it would be scoring the basketball or dishing an assist. This makes him different from most NBA players and in most cases different is better.

You’re Going to Be Big Someday Derrick Favors
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 4, 2011

Derrick Favors is a player that most people underrate and underappreciate but for what reason? Is it because his numbers aren’t gaudy? Is it because he is not a ballhog? Is it because he only goes about his business on the court and does what he is supposed to? Sadly, this is exactly why Derrick Favors is not a household name. Doing your job is not what NBA fans look for. Say a player is on a breakaway to the rim with no one in sight. Fans would prefer that that player does a 360 dunk instead of a basic layup. The point total for both is the same except the chances of missing a 360 dunk are much higher than the chances of missing a layup. The Nets coach Avery Johnson puts Favors on the court to grab offensive and defensive rebounds, get second chance points, and play with energy and passion. Derrick follows Avery’s orders and does these three things with excellency and efficiency. He has shown as a rookie that he is able to take on multiple roles and excel at them. This is why Derrick Favors will become a household name and an amazing player in the future.

Deviating back to my first point, Derrick’s numbers are not gaudy, but they are efficient. In less than 19 minutes of playing time, Favors scores over 6 points, hauls down over 5 rebounds, as well as .5 blocks and .3 steals. Say Favors was starting and received a starters role of 38 minutes a night. Assuming his numbers stay as they are, he would average over 12 points, over 10 rebounds, 1 block and .6 steals a night in his rookie season. The problem is that most people don’t look so far into his numbers. They see the stats that indicate that he’s averaging 6 and 5 and immediately judge him as a mediocre player. The thing that they don’t understand is that he’s doing all of this under 19 minutes, the guy is playing less than 2 full quarters and giving us this much. Knick’s rookie Landry Fields, who most consider better than Favors averages 12 points and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes of playing time. If Derrick played that much time every game, his numbers would easily equal or surpass Fields.

Secondly, Favors is not a ballhog. Favors takes shots he believes that he can make indicated by his 56% field goal percentage. Most rookies believe that in order to shine in the NBA, they must take difficult shots. Favors maturity level clearly surpasses that of the average rookie power forward who would have a field goal percentage in the mid 40s.

As you can see, Derrick Favors is an amazing and efficient player. I’d buy a Favors jersey soon, because in a couple of years they will be in extremely high demand.

Gilbert Arenas Road to Redemption
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 3, 2011

This season Gilbert arenas has shown that his two year term at a halfway house has not destroyed his immense talent. Gilbert has shown that he is still able to make jump shots with ease and hit layups with extreme finesse. Gilbert even hit an 85 foot jump shot against the New Jersey Nets showing that he is still as strong as ever. Gilbert may not be a top five scorer anymore but  who says he can’t play at that level again. He is currently playing off the bench for Orlando and still putting up starters numbers. Gilbert’s explosive nature and fiery personality is second to none and will surely propel him to the top once again.

Anyone who has seen Arenas play back in his glory days and even now knows that he loves to win. Back in Washington earlier this year, he was not given that opportunity as Washing ton had a dismal winning percentage as well the worst record in the East. Now that he’s with a squad that is capable of winning games and even contending for the NBA title, his attitude as well as play style have changed dramatically. Gilbert is no longer concerned with attaining amazing numbers and is now more unselfish than ever. He is now focused entirely on what he desires the most, an NBA championship. Being surrounded with solid players in Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu as well as all star talent in Dwight Howard who’s to say he doesn’t win one with Orlando.

To sum it up, Gilbert is a great basketball player who is extremely fun to watch and a gift to fans everywhere. Every human makes mistakes so lets not be so critical to Gilbert’s mistake. He has served his time in a halfway house for his mistake and is now prepared to rebuild his image. It would be too much of a loss to lose this fantastic player so fans, please root for Arenas and cheer every time he makes a shot. In high school people told Arenas that he wouldn’t make it and would amount to nothing, this has clearly had a significant effect on him and he tries his best every day to prove these doubters wrong. We as NBA fans should help him on his quest to do so.

The Spirit of Basketball: Sasha Vujacic
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 2, 2011

Although Sasha Vujacic is not a household name by any means, he expresses energy and spirit on the court to be envied by many. Sasha dives hustles and runs for loose balls with a seemingly endless amount of energy. Today against the Timberwolves, Sasha Vujacic scored his season high 22 points and one could not help but notice the positive energy he brought to the floor. Seeing him play and compete so actively was basketball played at his best.  Every time something happened on the court that was negative, Sasha seemed to use it to his advantage. If a shot was missed, Sasha chased down the rebound, if a turnover was committed, Sasha raced to the opposite side of the court. When Sasha took a shot, he was quick to sprint to the basket to grab an offensive rebound in case the shot was missed and it rarely was.

Vujacic is not a player that will get you big numbers or highlight plays, but the positive energy he brings to court is irreplaceable. At first I opposed the Terrence Williams trade but after seeing Sasha play basketball, I fully support it. Avery Johnson, coach of the New Jersey Nets, should play Vujacic more perhaps even start him in order to prevent the scoring slumps that the Nets often face. It may not show up on the stat sheet but Vujacic is speedy, flashy, and unpredictable which makes him difficult to defend. Not to mention his “lights out” shot that can go in even if he’s contested. Sasha isn’t a ball hog either, he’ll take smart shots that are high percentage. He’s extremely unselfish and is willing to dish the ball out to other players when neccessary.

Sasha’s will to succeed and love for the game is clear to anyone who watches him play. He is a true gift to game of basketball. His current role on the Nets should be far greater than what it is. Sasha’s explosive ball handling, pinpoint jump shot, and air tight defense make him a complete player and also a great one. Avery should do the NBA a favor and allow this talented young man a chance to shine in the New Jersey Nets starting lineup.

We Have The D-League For a Reason
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | January 1, 2011

The D-League was meant to develop players hence the name D-League. The thing that I don’t understand though is instead of developing young players in the D-league, NBA teams decide to play them in their rookie season for 15 minutes a game and expect them to become all star talent. The current view on the D-league is that it is a demotion and that view is completely inaccurate. The D-league gives players such as Derrick Favors of the New Jersey Nets a chance to shine and develop into spectacular players. The NBA only has a few players who have the complete package such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade as stated in my last article. There is a way to create more players with this level of talent, send all rookies that aren’t yet polished NBA players to the D-League for a couple months and then marvel at the results.

First lets take a look at what I mean by “a polished NBA player”. A polished NBA player is one who has no problem at all playing their role in the league. This is very rare for a rookie player and only happens for 3-5 players a season, examples being Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Tyreke Evans. If a player isn’t in the running for Rookie of the Year, they are not yet a polished NBA player. Then you have to acknowledge those players who have shown that they are ready for NBA level competition but have not put up amazing stats such as Derrick Favors of the New Jersey Nets. Although it might be a good idea to keep these kinds of players in the NBA for a while to familiarize them with the high level of competition, they should still be sent to the D-League for a brief time period. This time period should be about 3 weeks. The reason for this would be that success is something that must be learned, it does not happen instantly. If a player has average stats in the NBA, they should have phenomenal stats in the D-League. Entrusting them with a higher level of responsiblity and a larger role on a team is extremely beneficial. In the D-League, they can learn good judgement, good decision making, and most importantly how to excel in the sport of basketball.

The D-League is a resource that is currently underused. Instead of sending old players who have reached the end of their careers to the D-League, it should be a facility meant for honing young talent.

The NBA’s best broken down
Posted by: Dhruv Ohri | December 31, 2010

There are many factors that are necessary to winning a basketball game, especially in the professional level. There’s team chemistry, skill level, coaching, and determination. Although these are the more prominent factors, there is one that almost everyone seems to overlook, and that is intelligence. How is intelligence used on the court, you may ask. It is a dominant part of basketball, most people may not recognize it but players like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade are geniuses. They may not be the typical genius who excels academically and make contributions by inventing innovative software but they are geniuses none the less. Not everyone can make decisions in a split second that can impact a game positively but these players do it exceptionally well. Making a shot with .3 seconds left on the clock is extremely difficult. Think about all that the player has to do in that time period. They have to locate the rims location on the court, decide how much energy needs to be put on the ball in order to achieve an optimum result, and shoot the ball so that it cannot be touched by the defender. That takes an immense amount of brain power to do and 99.9% of the people in the world probably could not pull it off.

Even if you take a look at the typical play with 24 seconds on the shot clock, there is still a lot of decision making and judgement involved. Say, a player gets the ball at the three point line with 18 seconds left on the clock. Many things will impact what that player decides to do with the ball. If his team is ahead by 30 points, he may decide to take a relatively difficult shot or cross his defender over because even if his shot misses or move fails, the game is already won. Say his team is down by 2 points and there is a minute left in the fourth quarter. The player will most likely try to pass the ball to someone who is in the same situation as himself or has an open shot. The factor that separates the NBA’s best from the average player is that a player such as Lebron James or Kobe Bryant would try to make the play themselves. If the defense would expect them to pass, they would shoot or drive. Their unpredictable nature is what makes them so good. You may recall an NBA commercial from not to long ago when Mickael Pietrus stated that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA because of how unpredictable he is.

The two key factors that make an NBA player great are unpredictable nature and intelligence. Other factors are important but not neccessary. Larry Bird was poorly built and out of shape and was also one of the best NBA players of all time, wonder why?

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