Bumped. Something to note for all recruits aspiring be to part of next edition of Ben Ball warriors. GO BRUINS. -N
ESPN's David Thorpe covers the rookies in the NBA, a subject of interest for many Bruin fans as three of our own are included on the list. Recently he went over how they are adjusting to playing defense at the next level:
Guys like Lee, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Mario Chalmers remain in their teams' rotations because of what they bring on the defensive side of the ball. And fittingly, if the playoffs were to begin tonight, they'd be the only rookie guards/wings to get rotation minutes in the East.
He's likely the best perimeter defender in this class. But I wonder what he was thinking when he tried to defend Boris Diaw on Saturday, because he certainly never had to guard a player that versatile in his life.
When you are challenged to defend the other team's best offensive player each night, as Mbah a Moute seems destined to be by the Bucks, then you have to be prepared to defend all sorts of talents and sizes. Explosive athletes, terrific shooters, constant movers. And a guy like Diaw, who can back you down, face you up, make his teammates better and generally frustrate the heck out of you.
Heading into a matchup against Mayo and the Grizzlies on Tuesday, Love has put together the best two-game stretch of his young career, scoring 37 points and grabbing 20 boards in the Wolves' back-to-back wins.
It's easy to suggest that Memphis got the better end of the Love-for-Mayo deal, but it's still too early to declare the winner. Mayo will always be the bigger star, but that was assumed from the start. Love's toughness and hoops IQ, plus his size and skills, also give him a chance to anchor winning teams in the future.
Westbrook has not disappointed his coaches on either side of the ball. He notched his third five-steal game of the season on New Year's Eve after scoring 31 points two nights earlier. The Thunder were expecting the steals, but not the points this early in his first season. He's scoring well while still not being a good shooter, a skill that can be improved over time. That bodes well for both Westbrook and the Thunder.
Yes, I know. "They don't play defense in the NBA". Unless you played for Coach Howland. I'll bet these guys still hear CBH yelling in their ears whenever they blow an assignment. Recruits take note: CBH's system works.