First one of these posts in a while...
- There's a Tim Povtak-penned article in the print version of this morning's Orlando Sentinel regarding this week's pre-draft camp and, to a lesser extent, the Magic's draft strategy. He spoke to Magic assistant GM Dave Twardzik for some insight. Here are a few pertinent quotes:
"In all likelihood, we'll probably stay where we are [at 22]. And there is a chance our guy could be here [at the camp]," Twardzik said. "But there is a better chance that he won't be."
The Magic are expected to conduct personal interviews and private workouts at the RDV Sportsplex with a handful of players immediately after the draft camp. Twardkzik said the Magic likely will take the best player available at 22, regardless of position.
Question: if the best player available is a point guard, will the Magic still draft him, despite their glaring need for a true power forward? Honestly, I don't think I care. The Magic haven't drafted well and it's unlikely anyone of consequence will still be on the board when the Magic pick. I've yet to form an opinion regarding whom the Magic should pick because, well, I don't watch college basketball. Based on the scouting reports, I favor Brandon Rush and his "high baskeball I.Q."
- I updated the Mock Draft Watch page today. Incredibly, ESPN's Chad Ford has us selecting Bill Walker, a small forward from Kansas State. Um, what? With Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu -- the third and second options on offense, respectively -- already manning that position, the Magic would be mad to draft another one, unless he can also play shooting guard.
- Tom Ziller breaks down the "pure point" vs. "combo guard" debate (using stats and graphs!) and asserts that no one kind is "better" than the other. Three of the four point guards still playing (Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, and Rajon Rondo) are combo guards and the other (Derek Fisher) is a small two-guard. Conclusion? Assists are overrated.
- And here's an interesting note for Jameer Nelson detractors: using this scale, he's a "purer" point guard than Kirk Hinrich, T.J. Ford, Billups, and even Devin Harris, among others. Of course, as Ziller notes, "purity" has nothing to do with "quality," but it dispels the notion that Nelson is a shameless, selfish gunner of a PG whom the Magic need to dump immediately. Nelson's not on the graph, but here are the raw data Ziller used.
- Bethlehem Shoals and co. announced today that their book, FreeDarko presents The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Style, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game, is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. If you're a basketball geek (and you'd have to be to read my site, frankly) you owe it to yourself to order this book now.