Before we roll into the upcoming season, let's take a look back at this current roster set with a recap of their previous season (except for the rookies) and a prediction of what's coming up. We'll do this alphabetically starting with Azubuike and ending with Wright.
Up next is the Italian sensation, Marco Belinelli. He's perhaps more famous for his summer league performance and Tony's drawings of him as Stallone than for anything he did during the season.
Hit the jump for the recap and prediction. Hit the jump for the recap and prediction. Leave your thoughts, grades, and predictions in the comments.
2007-2008 Season Recap
Yes, the backcourt was crowded with Monta and Baron. Yes, he was just a rookie. But he never made an impact in a meaningful game. I think everyone was hoping for more of what he showed in that ridiculous summer league game where he dropped 3 after 3 after 3 with a sweet looking stroke. Would anyone care about Marco if that game never happened? I doubt it. He'd just be that other guy we drafted. But the memory of that one performance sticks around and fans continue to hope or maybe think that he'll be able to consistently repeat that scoring ability. I'll admit, I was one of those fans cheering for him to shoot every time he touched the ball in garbage time. It was fun watching him shoot in games that were already decided.
And it wasn't only his shooting, the other parts of his game stink too. I didn't see any ability to rebound the ball, pass the ball to set others up, or defend. He can dribble decently though I wouldn't count on him to handle the ball on a consistent basis. The most troubling thing? He looked lost on the court as he drifted around the 3 point line on offense and seemed to have trouble staying involved and active on defense.
As far as what he did well? The guy is a very good shooter when he sets his feet and squares his shoulders to the bucket. When his technique looks good, the shot goes in. The problem is, that rarely happens. If he's not fading one way or another, he's shooting off one foot or spinning 180 degrees to launch a turnaround 20 footer. If he could just be more disciplined in his shot selection, I'd think his future was brighter.
Did Nellie hold him back? I'm confident the answer is no. I just never saw any glimmer of hope from Marco the entire season. Up until that final meaningless game against the Sonics, he did nothing. All that said, I would have given him an F but because I can't get that amazing summer league performance out of my head I'm giving him a D-.
Prior to Monta riding a motorcycle, I would have said don't expect much from him this season - maybe 10 minutes per game for 65 games. But with one of the guard spot minutes freed up for around 2 months, Marco is going to get some significant playing time. Well, he better because if Nellie keeps him on the bench with Monta out and Nellie's "commitment" to playing the kids, I'd say send him to the NBDL.
I really don't know what to expect from Marco. He's a gunner so you know that if he touches it, when it leaves his hands it's most likely headed for the basket, an opponent or out of bounds rather than a teammate. I just hope he learns how to move his feet on D, studies NBA hoops so he's not lost on the court, and reads up on the definition of good shot selection. If he can not launch from any and everywhere and begins to work within the flow of the team, I'd say his season is a success.
As far as numbers? I'll throw some out there just for the heck of it. 72 games, 12 minutes per game, 7ppg, 2rpg, and 1.5 apg. And hopefully he gets more than the 9 freethrows he had all of last year.