Burks does it all.
Yesterday we talked about Utah first lottery pick Enes Kanter but today it was all about their second lottery pick in that draft in Alec Burks. Burks notched 31 on a very impressive 10-12 shooting from the field. He got into the lane nicely and when he got into position he was more then capable to not only finish in traffic but draw contact and still finish. This is not at all remarkable considering Burks came out of college as a more attacking SG rather then a shooter. He was also very capable when put in the paint and asked to finish. This is the exact reason why his FG total's were so high. He only had one made 3 pointer but the rest were taken from high percentage shooting areas such as in the paint and inside the 3 point arc. If Burks can develop some range and consistency on his jumper then he could be a very dangerous threat for the Jazz down the road.
Harkless down but extras are impressing.
The 76ers not only lost against the Jazz today but lost their 1st round pick Maurice ''Don't chu call me Mo'' Harkless to a hip flexor mid way through the game. Harkless, who had played poorly against the Pacers only played 9 minutes and scored 2 points on his time on the floor. This hip flexor might explain his form yesterday but as for the 76ers it is not good considering that neither of their 1st round picks from this year are now not on the court. But on a good note the other starters for the 76ers have been fantastic and two names in particular are standing out in Jacob Pullen and Justin Holiday. Holiday is the older brother of Philly's PG Jrue Holiday and has been on a mission to impress the 76ers. He was intent on putting the ball in the basket and whenever he got into position he was not afraid to jack it up. Extremely impressive attacking the rim and causing trouble inside. He proved to be a great high energy for the 76ers coming off bench but the 76ers main man was PG Jacob Pullen who scored 23 on 8 of 14 shooting from the field. He was 4-7 from the 3pt line and what struck me about Pullen was his consistency with his shot and his lack of fear from taking a shot if offered to him. He does however need to keep a hold of the ball better and cut down on the turnovers.
Too many questions.
In a day of one man performances Lance Stephenson threw his hat into the ring with a exceptional performance against the Thunder. It was Stephenson's type of tough rugged game and he dominated scoring 28 on 10-14 with 7 Assist's. He controlled the Pacers offense and brought his teammates into the game extremely well but most of all he took the game by the scuff of the neck and made it his. He used his size extremely well and abused his opposite number Reggie Jackson on numerous occasions by driving to the bucket and drawing the foul. He also was proficient from 3pt range shooting 50% but while Stephenson's performance was the highlight there was a lot of performances that certainly left me scratching my head(No I don't have lice). Perry Jones was ok during his second game. His stats were average but he did have 3 blocked shots which was very good to see but the worrying thing was his ankle injury at the end of the game. Cole Aldrich who I wrote about yesterday seemed to perk up in today's game and was able to get to the free throw line more and showed a lot of energy on the boards. One big question that i've had on my mind while watching the Pacers is ''Could Miles Plumlee be the right man for the job?''. Regardless of if the Pacers reached or not Plumlee could be the PF that complements Roy Hibbert(If they re-sign him) needs? Plumlee has shown that he's got some learning still to do but has been quite handy scorer and rebounder in his first two games. While he doesn't have the toughness or defensive prowess he does have a scoring touch which I think could be similar to David Lee(Just my thoughts).
Knight and Daye and life after Dwight.
Yes, it's the commentators dream that shares it's name with a completely forgettable movie staring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Both players had a very good game but guess what? Daye pulled a Burke and Stephenson by going off for 24 in 22 mins shooting 8-10 and 5-5 from 3pt land. Daye was unreal from the 3pt line and he was the only one that had it going from downtown for the entire game. He and Knight had a great connection going all night and it was kind of fun to watch both players feed off each other. As for Orlando the play of these guys could count a lot more then we think because quite frankly if Dwight is to be traded(Which he kind of has to otherwise Orlando fans will lynch their GM) then the play of Andrew Nicholson and in particular Kyle O Quinn is key to this team's future. Quinn is nothing short of a bull on the court, never takes a shift off and contributes on both ends of the court. Whether it's getting to basket to crash the offensive boards or coming up with blocks on the other end he brings bull like toughness and relentlessness on the court. Nicholson showed more of the player we thought he would be today. More of the finesse pick and roll type shooter like say David West today then working down low and dirty like he did in his first game but still the most encouraging thing I heard out of him was that he WANTS to be in the paint and fighting for scores and boards.
Well that was weird.
It sort of felt like I was in the twilight zone watching the Nets vs Celtics game because everything seemed to be the opposite of what I knew before. Marshon Brooks playing a good game, Kris Joseph actually playing to his potential and most scary of all, Adam Morrison managing a double-double. Scary right? Ok I kid on that first and last one but not on Joseph. He was the top scorer for a Syracuse team that had the 4th pick in the draft on it's team so you would expect that he has potential and yet he's come up short on delivering on so many occasions but today he showed some promise and had 11 points on 4-9 shooting and came up big down the stretch when Boston came from behind to win. I however was particularly impressed with the play of Marshon Brooks and Tyshawn Taylor. The pair formed a very handy back court combo which had it's way with Boston for periods at a time. Brooks was particularly effective when he drove and kicked to the open man in the corner for the 3. However the real killer in this game was Tyshawn's Taylor's 7 turnovers. While he's athletic and a good scorer.....the man can't hold onto the ball to save his life or at least he couldn't tonight.
>Enes Kanter had a 10pt and 8 Rebound game against the 76ers. Still ways to go for Kanter but he's showing that he can be a talented presence inside on both ends.
> If you have not checked out Kanter's back up Salah Mejrl it might be worth taking a look at. Mejrl is a 7ft monster with a tendency to make highlight reel type plays on both ends. Especially on defense where through two games he is averaging 3 Blocks.
> While it was a good day for Marshon Brooks who had an abysmal performance in the first game the same cannot be said for Orlando Johnson who went 0-10 from the field. It can only get better right?
> DeAndre Liggins has become the sacrificial lamb for Orlando. Over the past two games he has drawn 6 charging foul's.
> Andre Drummond had a very quiet game with 3 points to go along with 3 boards a block and a steal. While his performance was not spectacular he did manage a personal best from the free throw line by hitting at least the backboard on each one of his 4 attempt's(Only 1 went in but small steps, right?).
> And finally I am proud to dub Lazar Hayward ''Mr. Cockblock'' for his uncanny ability to break-up plays without getting the steal. Lazar managed to prevent multiple fast break and scoring opportunities by using skills that would have made any NFL Defensive Back proud.
(Hoped you enjoyed part duce of the diary. Looking forward to Pacers vs Jazz and Celtics vs Pistons tomorrow, lots of good matchup's.)