Player Analysis

The New Fresh Look of Westbrook

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

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.

D-Rose and The Bulls

Derrick Rose is one of the elite point guards in the NBA today. His ability to get to the basket and dish out assists is extraordinary. What separates him though from other top-notch point guards? The answer is simple; his explosiveness is like no other player in the league.

Rose is so quick off the dribble and can accelerate to the basket at will. To complement Rose’s explosiveness, is his extreme dexterity. Rose is capable of duking out big men like Amar’e Stoudemire in midair while still finishing gracefully at the basket. To make matters worse for the opposing team, Rose has added a lethal jump shot to his offensive arsenal. Rose currently averages 1.6 3s per game which is literally 8 times the amount as what he did last year from 3 pt land. Aside from Rose’s ability to shoot and score, he has also shown he is capable of being an efficient passer averaging 8.1 assists per game. Throughout the season thus far Derrick Rose has been able to create open shots for his teammates.

In addition, Rose has also been helped tremendously by the Bulls off season move to acquire Carlos Boozer. Boozer has become a valuable asset to Rose’s passing game and together they lead their team with a record of 25-12. Rose has a very good all around game as well as being able to average nearly 5 rebounds per game. Rose has carried his team this season, and are now one of the top teams in the East. Although the Bulls are one of the better teams in the league they are not quite championship material for they lack a shooting guard and young Derrick Rose still needs to develop his game for the Bulls to have a shot at winning the championship.

Chris Paul’s Lust For Victory

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.

The Spirit of Basketball: Sasha Vujacic

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.

The Inner Mechanisms of Lebron James

Lebron James, the most hated player in the NBA, is almost as complex as he is talented. Lebron has made many bad decisions in the past year and a half that I am sure you all know about. But why hate on Lebron when he just wants to win a championship? If any other player in the NBA had made the decision to go to an extremely promising Miami Heat team they would not face half the criticism that Lebron faces on a daily basis. The thing that most people don’t understand is that Lebron has had no problem sharing his role withe Miami’s two other dominant players, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Everyone has said that Lebron would have a terrible season because he has two other superstars on his team that would demand the ball almost every possession. This is false, Lebron is averaging 25 ppg 7 apg and 7 rpg. He is still one of the top players in the league and now has a solid shot at winning the NBA title. This makes Lebron one of the best players in history and instead of booing him, fans should appreciate the high level of basketball he plays on a daily basis. Since Michael Jordan, fans have not seen a player who excels in every aspect of the game. Lebron is about as close as it gets to Jordan it’s even debatable that James surpasses him in some catagories such as rebounds and assists. Next time you see Lebron play, take a moment to appreciate his game before you decide to criticize him.

Kris Humphries

Kris Humphries is one of the best rebounders in the NBA and not a bad scorer as well. Kris has an extraordinary amount of energy and can score points in bundles. His size and amazing athleticism allows him to rebound over players bigger than him. Humphries’ game is multi dimensional combining a decent jump shot with an above average post game that allows him to score 10-15 on a decent night. Humphries is also unusually talented with more complex aspects of basketball such as spin moves and pump fakes. Defensively, Humphries is an animal, meaning that he has the full package. Humphries can rebound, block, and steal really well making him a force to be reckoned with defensively. Overall Kris Humphries is a great player with plenty of energy, look for him to average a double double if his starter minutes continue.

The Legend that is Kobe Bryant

Many things make Kobe Bryant the greatest NBA player in history. Lets count down what makes this guy so good. First of all there’s his jump shot. It’s one of the most dangerous in the game with its perfect form and pinpoint accuracy. Then there’s Kobe’s fadaway. The fadeaway is one of the most difficult shots to pull off in the game but Kobe does it so frequently and with such ease making him impossible to defend. Another weapon that Bryant has is the turnaround J, it’s like he memorizes the exact position of the hoop. Kobe also, when he’s in the zone, combines the turnaround and the fadeaway to create a shot that is extremely difficult to block and even harder to defend. (No wonder Lil Wayne chose to title a song after him). Looking away from Kobe’s shot momentarily, you have to regard his phenominal athleticism. Kobe can dunk over anyone, even Dwight Howard as shown below.

Kobe’s defense isn’t the best in the league but it is certainly formidable. Kobe has quick hands and can steal the ball if the guy he’s guarding lets up for even a second. What the most amazing though is that this guy doesn’t age. Kobe is 30 right now and is still playing first class basketball. You can be sure to expect Kobe playing at a high level well into his mid to upper 30s.