Nothin' but net. (Photo: nba.com)
It has been a long time since the Warriors got this much press in the span of a few months. From the late regular season hot streak to becoming the darlings of the playoffs and now to the Belinelli lovefest, people once again know that the Warriors exist. After only 3 games, Marco has made quite the impression on the scouts and media, but he's also made Mullin and Nelson look even smarter. Everyone loves this guy's game and he's in consideration for steal of the draft. His play even has me pumped up and I'm not a big fan of the summer league. Our Summer League correspondent, dreamleague, was just telling me on the phone, "You have to see this guy play." I will.
Marc Stein at ESPN has also taken notice as he hands out his first half Summer League awards. Belinelli makes not one, but two appearances.
It's simply impossible not to pick the Italian. He's become such an instant favorite with the Vegas crowds -- averaging 25.0 points through three games and generally commanding Best Player So Far status from coaches and personnel types in attendance -- that most of his misses from outside are met with a disappointed groan from fans.
"But he's not just a shooter," said one Western Conference executive. "Don't be mistaken. He had [Philadelphia's Rodney] Carney isolated at the top of the key, beat him with a super crossover and finished at the rim over two people. He's going to fit right into the way Golden State plays. And he's not as bad defensively as people thought. Philly tried to iso him a few times in that game and he did a decent job."
No contest. Again.
Will the lovefest continue? Probably. He'll continue to launch shot after shot with no conscience. And most likely, he'll continue to score at a high pace stroking 3 after 3 after 3 He's shooting 67% from 3's so far (but like a true Warrior, he's shooting just 63.6% from the line). Check out his stats at nba.com: Marco Belinelli
I'll continue to ride the Belinelli train until the end of the Summer League and readily wait for the start of training camp just to see what he can do against real competition. All this hype around him is fun, but in the end may pump his expectations in the eyes of fans up too high. From 3 games, just for fun, here are some predictions for the regular season.
- He finishes top 5 in Rookie of the Year voting behind Durant (winner), Oden, Horford, and Brewer.
- He averages just under 15 points per game.
- He drops 30 in the regular season more than 3 times.
What are your predictions for Marco in the regular season? (Just for fun of course)