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The latest on Yi Jianlian, Kevin Seraphin's visa and the Wizards


I've got this -- so far. (Getty Images)


He's done pull-ups on the rim, stared down the opposing bench after a vicious slam and pummeled opposing big men to dunk on them. The lone Wizard playing in the FIBA world championships in Turkey has been putting up one of the better individual performances through the first two games of the tournament. Yi Jianlian, the new face of the Chinese national team as it moves forward in the post-Yao Ming era, has averaged 26 points and 11.5 rebounds as China has gone 1-1.

China faces a difficult challenge in making it out of Group C, which features host Turkey, Greece, Russia, Puerto Rico and Ivory Coast. The top four teams advance to the next round, but Yi is embracing his role as team leader and go-to-guy, and his teammates are looking to him -- though not often enough.

Yi struggled in his final tune-up before the world championships -- when he scored just 11 points in a loss to Puerto Rico in an exhibition in New York. But he has come back fired up. Yi carried China to its first win on Sunday, with 26 points and nine rebounds in an 83-73 victory against Ivory Coast. With Ivory Coast lacking much size, the 7-foot Yi had his way inside, backing down defenders and showcasing his low-post game with bank shots and jump hooks.

He also was especially aggressive. On one sequence, Yi got the ball near the foul line, pump faked, took one dribble and soared toward the rim for a vicious two-handed jam. He followed the dunk by doing a pull-up on the rim that surely would've been a technical foul in the NBA (international rules allow those kind of post-dunk theatrics on the rim). Afterward, Yi tapped his fist against his chest, showing the American influence on his game.

His best outing, though, came in defeat on Saturday, when Yi scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds China played a surprisingly competitive 89-81 loss to European power Greece, one of the favorites to win the Group. Greece was playing without Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who were suspended for their roles in a brawl during an exhibition with Serbia, but it was still expected to have a relatively easy time against the young team from China.

Yi let it be known early on that China wouldn't go down easily when he had a rebound put-back dunk on a miss by teammate Wang Shipeng and stared down at the Greek bench. It may have been a little personal since Greek Coach Jonas Kazlauskas guided China for three years, including the 2008 Olympics. "Yi had a great performance. He gave us all we asked from him," China Coach Bob Donewald told reporters in Turkey on Saturday.

Yi will be back in action on Tuesday against Puerto Rico, and it will only get tougher from there, with Russia and Turkey to follow. His production will likely drop against superior foes -- remember, Greece was without two of its best big men and Ivory Coast has none of merit. But so far, so good for Yi.


I finally made it to D.C. (Ouest-France)

Wizards first-round pick Kevin Seraphin probably would've liked to have been on the floor when France upset heavy favorite Spain to open the world championships, but he wasn't complaining too much. Seraphin's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, said his client has received his work visa and arrived in Washington on Saturday. Seraphin was cut from the French team after he was unable to recover from his minor knee injury suffered during the French league championships last May.

Ndiaye said that Seraphin would begin rehabbing with the Wizards' training staff on Sunday. Seraphin, who reached a buyout agreement with his French team, Cholet, last month, was unable to participate in the rookie training program because he had not obtained his work visa. When asked if Seraphin was pleased to finally have his paperwork completed to come to the United States, Ndiaye said, "Of course."

The Wizards have 12 players under contract heading into training camp, and that likely will not change much over the next few weeks. They have extended training camp invites to Lester Hudson and Cartier Martin, but the team has not decided whether it will enter the year with 13, 14 or 15 players.

The Wizards are unlikely to sign second-round pick Hamady Ndiaye for the upcoming season, according to a league source. They still retain his rights, but the source said that Hamady Ndiaye is also looking into playing overseas next season. The 6-foot-11 center whom Coach Flip Saunders affectionately likes to call, "H," had an uninspiring showing in summer league, as he averaged just 3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in limited minutes. He had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the finale against New York, but the Wizards are not pressed to put him in uniform just yet.

Note: I just wanted to let you guys know that I will be taking a little break for the next few weeks to recharge and get ready for the upcoming season. I encourage you all to keep coming to the Wizards Insider to engage in discussion and debate while I'm gone. I'll have a few updates in the meantime.

Also, be sure to check out Yi and D.C. native Kevin Durant as he leads the U.S. national team in its pursuit of the America's first gold medal in the world championships since 1994. Have fun.

By Michael Lee  |  August 29, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  Kevin Seraphin , Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Wizards season schedule breakdown: Part I

Comments

re: Yi, hope all this spills over into our season and just as I said earlier being "The Man" could be helpful....but keeping expectations low. Dominating physically inferior, smaller players is exactly how he was drafted in the first place so these performances are nothing new.

Seraphin to begin rehabbing with Wiz staff? Hope that's just poor wording, because his "minor" injury that was reported as 3-4 weeks happened in May and it's now September....was expecting he'd be close to full strength and just need to get in shape.

Posted by: divi3 | August 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity. and for the sake of fantasy and discussion.

Ways to keep Denver from getting LeBron'd

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=2ef4892

Denver's plus is obvious

76ers get rid of two heavy contracts and logjams at sg, plus getting a swifter PF to play a more uptempo game (who can also result in huge cap relief), and a more veteran point guard to back holliday

wolves get a veteran sg and a young sg, plus were likely going to trade telfair anyway

I wouldn't think Philly would trade iguodala, but there's been talk: http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/06/20/is-andre-iguodala-outta-here/

Posted by: crs-1 | August 29, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Come on man theres barely any Wizards news going on. You can't leave. Truth About and Bulletsforever better write more. I can't live without Wizards news

Posted by: liltruco2010 | August 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"was expecting he'd be close to full strength and just need to get in shape."

Didn't they say by training camp?

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

They said like August or September for Seraphin. It's just so easier to go off some tweet someone posted and run with that though. I mean better that than what Ernie said.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 29, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Yi's going to do well with JWow giving him easy baskets. The question is whether he's in the future plans of Les BouleS.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 29, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

'Grunfeld said he expects him to be back on the court running full contact drills in August.'

Posted by: divi3 | August 29, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

And if you need Wiz Tickets. I got a great guy up @ Verizon Center. 202-527-7508 and ask for Bryce

Posted by: BAdams3 | August 29, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

What is this "minor" knee injury anyway? I don't think we have ever been told. Did it require surgery?

Posted by: MeviousMan | August 30, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse


Why Carmelo in Washington Works

Any time an article starts with "Take it for it's worth," you can rest assured that what's to follow probably is worth only a grain of a salt, if that, but a recent piece by the Washington Post's Michael Lee suggesting that the Wizards have officially inquired about the availability of Carmelo Anthony is more than a little intriguing.

Of course, the fact that the Wizards made a phone call about Melo is hardly news—28 other teams have undoubtedly made that phone call, too—but the fact that Anthony grew up less than an hour away in Baltimore, and that the team would be left with some really interesting pieces even after trading away half their team to lure Anthony in makes this particular destination one of the more interesting ones.

Understand that Washington isn't trading first overall pick John Wall, and no team in their right mind is absorbing four years and $80 million worth of Gilbert Arenas, but there are still a few things they could do to match Melo's $17+ million salary for 2011.

A deal could eventually be made starting with Kirk Hinrich as the major chunk of salary (he's only got two years left on his deal, the second of which is a reasonable $8 million), but by throwing in Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee, you'd start to have a deal that at least looked as interesting as anything else being thrown out there by the Knicks or Nets.

A trade like that, however, leaves the Wiz pretty much vacant in the frontcourt, but with a core of Anthony, Wall, and Arenas you'd likely see veteran free agents lining up to snag the vet's minimum to be part of what could potentially be a championship team with the right pieces around it.

While it may not leave the team with a whole lot, it very well could be enough to catapult the Wiz into one of the top four spots in the Eastern Conference with the right free agent pieces to put around those guys. It's a longshot, but it may not be Anthony's worst suitor, especially with the hometown connection he's got to the D.C. area.

Posted by: suliman215 | August 30, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Seraphin to begin rehabbing with Wiz staff? Hope that's just poor wording, because his "minor" injury that was reported as 3-4 weeks happened in May and it's now September....was expecting he'd be close to full strength and just need to get in shape.

Posted by: divi3

I believe EG said Seraphin would be ready to participate in full contact drills in August. Which doesn't mean he's done 'rehabbing', which is sort of a vague term these days. At this point, it might just mean continuing to build strength in the stabilizing muscles around the knee. Who knows?

The only info I remember seeing about Seraphin's knee injury was that it was a ligament tear. Never heard what ligament or how bad of a tear. I'm sort of assuming it was a partial tear, because if it was a complete tear, I don't think he would have been able to work out with the Wiz in July, etc.

Given the Wizard's recent experiences with knee injuries, I'd rather they take the time to make sure he's 100% (Blatche too for that matter) instead of rushing him back to meet a timetable set months ago.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

In terms of Yi, I saw a good bit of the China / Greece game. He looked ok. He was clearly the most athletic big man on the court, and he did what he was supposed to do, which is put up numbers. He's the 'finisher' for the China team a la Durant for the US, so 1 assist doesn't bother me. A few more blocks would have been nice. He did look a little slow to react in certain situations. Tough to complain about a guy who pulls down 14 boards, but it looked like there were a few more he could have gotten, he just didn't seem to react fast enough.

Then again, he was pretty much carrying the entire load for the team. Their guards were not good. China seems to be able to develop FIBA caliber big-men, but good point guards elude them for now.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Watching Spain I will go ahead and say I'm positive Rubio will never be a major impact player in the nba. Not that he cant play in the league, but the stuff Kahn has been spinning regarding him being the missing piece or franchise is a pipe dream. He is ok but really not that good. Kudos to EG for seeing through the rubio hype. Definitely a fun player to watch though, between all the steals and highlights pass attempts.


Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Watching Spain I will go ahead and say I'm positive Rubio will never be a major impact player in the nba. Not that he cant play in the league, but the stuff Kahn has been spinning regarding him being the missing piece or franchise is a pipe dream. He is ok but really not that good. Kudos to EG for seeing through the rubio hype. Definitely a fun player to watch though, between all the steals and highlights pass attempts.

Posted by: divi3

I don't know if he'll ever be a superstar, but he could be an all-star caliber player eventually. The kid's 20, so he's still got some developing to do. But I think if he's serious about being an NBA player, he needs to quit fooling around and come over.

On a team where he doesn't have to be a scorer and where he has active cutters to find, he could do very well offensively in the NBA right now. Unfortunately for him, Minnesota is not yet that team, and personally I don't think the Triangle offense (at least as I undestand it) is suited to his skills. But he needs to get here and start adapting his game to the NBA. Eventually I could see him being a 10pt / 10-12asst kind of PG in the NBA. If he can get close to 'average' defensively, that would probably be good enough.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Watching Spain I will go ahead and say I'm positive Rubio will never be a major impact player in the nba. Not that he cant play in the league, but the stuff Kahn has been spinning regarding him being the missing piece or franchise is a pipe dream. He is ok but really not that good. Kudos to EG for seeing through the rubio hype. Definitely a fun player to watch though, between all the steals and highlights pass attempts.

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse
...........................................

Rubio and Curry would have been better than Foye. Rubio will be fine (he's only 19 btw), the NBA guys Rubio was playing against raved about him. Grunfeld = FAIL

Posted by: closg | August 30, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

As I said it before, I would much prefer Wiz traded for Beasley than Yi (both were giveaways during this offseason). Beasley is higher risk (with off court issues), but also potentially higher reward. Yi does not have the baggage like Beasley, but the probability of him making teams regretting giving up on him isn’t that high.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 30, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Rubio and Curry would have been better than Foye.

Rubio's not better than anyone until he actually comes to the NBA (and stays, unlike his teammate JCN).

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I just dont see any offensive skillset. How many nba PGs nowadays dont have FIBA 3pt range??? Maybe a few, but they can penetrate and defend whereas I'm imagining the lack of handchecking in the nba could be disastrous for Ricky and he certainly has shown no ability to penetrate or finish. Hopefully he comes over soon and we can see what's what.....and watch JWall ruin him! ;)

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

How many nba PGs nowadays dont have FIBA 3pt range???

How's Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, Tyreke Evans and Wall for starters? Common theme? They're all young. We all expect that they all will improve their shooting (except maybe Rondo....oy) as they mature, as many players have before them. Why not Rubio?

I don't think he'll ever be a great scorer in the NBA, but I think it's too soon to say he won't have an offensive game.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Did you miss the part where I said the others can defend, penetrate, and finish? Rubio has supposedly been working on his shot for a few years now and it still sucks. He cant get to the rim in FIBA, and they have the whacked out continuation rules. I cant think of a solid pg in the nba who cant penetrate, finish, nor hit open Js consistently. Let alone an all-star as you suggested he'll be. So if no one else thrives with that skillset, why would he?

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to EG for seeing through the rubio hype.

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

***********************************************************************************************
Yeah, kudos to EG for having absolutely nothing to show for last year's number five pick. Well, at least we won 19 games with Ernie's two one and done pick ups.

Posted by: sonny2 | August 30, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Did you miss the part where I highlighted just the line about his 3pt range?

Just making the case that the player that he is at 19 (20 in October) may not be the total package he'll be when he's 23 or 24, as with most players. And as is usually #2 on the McGee-will-be-an-All-Star list..."He's still young, he's still developing".

Just making the case that lots of players come in with suspect jumpers and get better in the NBA.

Just saying that on the right team, because it's five-on-five, not one-on-one, with his passing ability, he could average 10 assists game, which in and of itself would garner him consideration for the All-Star team.

If you're saying he'll struggle on D, I tend to agree. But being bad on D never kept anyone from being an All-Star. Plus if the game vs the US was any indication he may get the "CP3" pseudo-D props by getting steals.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, kudos to EG for having absolutely nothing to show for last year's number five pick. Well, at least we won 19 games with Ernie's two one and done pick ups.

Posted by: sonny2

26, not 19. 19 wins was the season before.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yi sucks.

Sorry, had to say it again.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yi was like most Chinese men who come to the league and are not anywhere near ready physically so people lose faith after a year or so in the player

With that said, he is still fragile and still will not be a FANTASTIC player. Good? Yes. Great? No

Posted by: Bious | August 30, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Between Percheroff, missing Mark Gasol at 47 in the draft, Yi who was a gimme, Serafin with the already mysterious knee injury... We are doing absolutely great in the Euro department... Maybe we need to use a learning curve-- San Antonio to Washington?

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | August 30, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: yetanotherpassword

Psssst. Yi's not a Euro.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, kudos to EG for having absolutely nothing to show for last year's number five pick. Well, at least we won 19 games with Ernie's two one and done pick ups.

Posted by: sonny2

26, not 19. 19 wins was the season before.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse
***************************************
You're right, I confused one bad season with another. EG used the number five pick and a change of coaches to add seven victories.

Posted by: sonny2 | August 30, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Why Carmelo in Washington Works

Posted by: suliman215 | August 30, 2010 10:49 AM

It's just as much of a pipe dream now as it was the last time you posted it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 30, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: yetanotherpassword

Psssst. Yi's not a Euro.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:37 PM

Very important distinction there ts- kudos to you and ur boy. beware the truth though.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | August 30, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

You're right, I confused one bad season with another. EG used the number five pick and a change of coaches to add seven victories.

Posted by: sonny2

The trade wasn't the problem, the underlying assumption behind the trade was the problem.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

On a team where he doesn't have to be a scorer and where he has active cutters to find, he could do very well offensively in the NBA right now. Unfortunately for him, Minnesota is not yet that team, and personally I don't think the Triangle offense (at least as I undestand it) is suited to his skills. But he needs to get here and start adapting his game to the NBA. Eventually I could see him being a 10pt / 10-12asst kind of PG in the NBA. If he can get close to 'average' defensively, that would probably be good enough."

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 12:27 PM

Capable outside shooting is pretty much a must for guards in the triangle. Aside from Phil (who had the services of MJ and Kobe) has any modern NBA head coach successfully implemented the triangle?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Very important distinction there ts- kudos to you and ur boy. beware the truth though.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword

I'm thinking you'd have problems finding "the truth" with two hands, a map and a flashlight. Start small, like with getting your facts straight.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Capable outside shooting is pretty much a must for guards in the triangle. Aside from Phil (who had the services of MJ and Kobe) has any modern NBA head coach successfully implemented the triangle?

Posted by: kalo_rama

Teams have incorporated concepts, but nope, as far as I know, no one else has had success with it. I think Jim Cleamons tried to implement it when he was a head coach, but quickly had to scrap it.

Part of the advantage, at least as Phil (via Tex Winter) has implemented it, is that you don't need a playmaking PG with the system. Of course, it also helps if you have someone the caliber of MJ or Kobe to bail you out when it doesn't work.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"I think Jim Cleamons tried to implement it when he was a head coach, but quickly had to scrap it."

Yeah, he tried it during his cup o' coffee as Mavs coach and it failed miserably. Until Rambis (another Jackson disciple) tried it with the Wolves, I hadn't heard of any other coach trying to fully implement it since then.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ts35
bla bla bla... go wiz

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | August 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Part of the advantage, at least as Phil (via Tex Winter) has implemented it, is that you don't need a playmaking PG with the system. Of course, it also helps if you have someone the caliber of MJ or Kobe to bail you out when it doesn't work."


I wonder how much of an advantage that really is, though. I know it's supposed to democratize the ballhandling/playmaking responsibilities, but that's really only theoretical. When it's been successful (at least in the NBA), the PG duties were basically shifted to another player who could essentially serve as proxy--PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 30, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Ok Folks, here's the deal, Yi serves 2 purposes (1) he's a cheap, competent/fairly talented backup to Blatche and (2) he's great for public relations and marketing. Verizon Center resides in Chinatown. Need I say more? Next, forget the 5th pick of last year. If we had gotten Rubio or Curry, we wouldn't have Wall right now. Which would you prefer at this stage? Things happen for a reason and I'm truly glad we dont' have Jamison, Butler, Stevenson, Sangalia, Etan, Haywood & Pecherov. With those guys we were the most unatheletic team in the NBA. Stop looking at the glass as half empty, but look at it as half full. With a potential starting line up of Wall, Arenas, Howard/Young, Blatche and McGee will be competitive enough to be in most games. No one should be expecting an NBA championship next season anyway. Just want to be competitive, develop certain players and gain experience.

Posted by: garrybrown | August 30, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much of an advantage that really is, though. I know it's supposed to democratize the ballhandling/playmaking responsibilities, but that's really only theoretical. When it's been successful (at least in the NBA), the PG duties were basically shifted to another player who could essentially serve as proxy--PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama

I think the advantage, as far as Phil and Tex were concerned, was that they had Pippen and Jordan already, and they didn't have to worry about trying to find a classic PG. Someone who could bring the ball up a bit and shoot was good enough. It also occasionally let them use someone like Derek Harper as the "PG", which enhanced the D without really compromising the O. It also meant they could get contributions out of limited players like Bill Cartwright and Luc Longley (again having MJ and Pip helps).

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"(2) he's great for public relations and marketing. Verizon Center resides in Chinatown. Need I say more?"

I live in chinatown and as far as I can tell the old school chinese people around here might not be aware there is a basketball team in the neighborhood.

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Yi wants to be good and he competes. What he isn't good at, he gets mad at himself instead of submitting. That's what atheletes of my day almost all did. He wants it from inside of himself. That's a unspoken team winning leader. We need many more like him with talent, this is up to management to provide--or not. The Wizards are a long unrespected finesse team, and the few that try to change that--gets beat down.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | August 30, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

It's just going to be exciting to watch the Wizards this year to see how these young guys emerge & develop with Wall, Booker, Seraphin, Yi, Blatche, McGee, Young, Thornton, and Armstrong, as well as seeing how Arenas and Howard come back... all of these guys are more or less unknowns.

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

There are two main advantages to the triangle. One involves passing angles. When three players form a triangle and get the spacing right, it is nearly impossible to guard the ball, your man, and the basket.

The second is that since the two players that are outside of the triangle normally go to the weak side, doubling on defense is very hard as long as players maintain spacing.

Lots of teams that don't run the Triangle run plays that set up a basic three man triangle. It's done to get the ball into the post quite a bit.

Since there are few plays ran in the actual Triangle offense it gives the players freedom to create. But at the same time it takes players that understand the principles and are on the same page.

It's worked for Phil since he's had teams that have kept their core together so that his players almost know what the others are going to do.

The way the Timberwolves are wheeling and dealing, I doubt they'll have the roster stability to make it work.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 30, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"I think the advantage, as far as Phil and Tex were concerned, was that they had Pippen and Jordan already, and they didn't have to worry about trying to find a classic PG. Someone who could bring the ball up a bit and shoot was good enough. It also occasionally let them use someone like Derek Harper as the "PG", which enhanced the D without really compromising the O. It also meant they could get contributions out of limited players like Bill Cartwright and Luc Longley (again having MJ and Pip helps)."

Which was fine for the Bulls, as I've already said. But the triangle wasn't specifically developed for use by Jordan and Co. I was questioning whether there's any evidence of it actually working in a circumstance where the team didn't have a an all-time great player who could take over when it broke down. Because that's what it was actually designed for, more or less: to spread the offense around and keep everyone involved.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 30, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Jordan/Pippen, Kobe/Shaq....really doesnt matter what offense you are supposedly running, what's really going on is a coach allowing his all-world players to run the show on the floor. Spoestra can run the triangle this season or the Reston pee-wee league offense and the Heat will win 60 games. Phil's bazillion rings have absolutely nothing to do with him running the triangle offense and everything to do with him having the best players and being a superb manager of egos and the consummate motivator.

Posted by: divi3 | August 30, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo

I hear what you're saying. There's no instance I can think of of anyone running it long-term in the NBA without a all-time great player available. So, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn. Obviously Tex ran it with success in college. But in the NBA, especially these days, talent trumps scheme. Are there any offensive schemes that don't inevitably need a player to take over when play breaks down?

I don't know how many other teams would even consider trying it. Phil has always had the benefit of having the guy who wrote the book on the offense at his disposal.

To a limited extent though, even with MJ's/Pip's ability, I think the offense did do what was intended. It gave a structure for the other players to get their offense without Jordan or Pippen having to create it for them. But I don't know if it didn't any better than any other offensive system might have.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It probably also simplified the playmaking duties for Jordan and Pip.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Phil's bazillion rings have absolutely nothing to do with him running the triangle offense and everything to do with him having the best players and being a superb manager of egos and the consummate motivator.

Posted by: divi3

Mostly true, but I don't think it's totally true. They faced teams that had more talented rosters and players in the neighborhood of Jordan in terms of talent. Once you got past Jordan and Pippen, and to a lesser extent Grant, the rest of the guys were average to mediocre. I think the triangle did allow them to get the most out of the other players they had.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

As far as Rubio in the NBA, I don't see him having to worry much about playing defense. He's intelligent and he works hard at it, which sets him apart from most NBA point guards. You look around the league, and outside of Rondo and players like Devin Harris or Hinrich, you don't see many PGs making an effort -- Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, Steve Nash, Brandon Jennings -- those guys range from half-hearted to turnstile.

So even if he can't stay with guys like Paul or Jennings, they're not going to interfere with him on the other end, either. As far as the 3 point shot, well, many of these same PGs don't shoot it as well as Ricky does now.

I sure don't think he's a superstar, but as far as PGs go, he looks to me like a really good one.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 30, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Combining Yi and Hinrich gives you.... Yich.

Good job, Ernie.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | August 30, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

"He's intelligent and he works hard at it, which sets him apart from most NBA point guards."

So you're saying most nba point guards are stupid and lazy??

Even if his shot improves, he's never going to be the kind of marksman Nash is...which leads me to think he'll struggle in the nba. If you cant score, it's much harder to get dimes. I cant think of any solid PGs who cant shoot, penetrate, nor defend. So imo, he needs to develop more than just a decent J to become an above-average nba player.

Posted by: divi3 | August 31, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Tiago Splitter is just want TimVP needs, could be too little too late at this point, but he'll make the Spurs much better so long as Duncan stays healthy. A 7ft Oberto on roids.

Posted by: divi3 | August 31, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I've got to agree with Darnell, lots of unknown on this roster, a little diffeent then when you could pencil Jamison, Butler, and Haywood into 3 spots and had a good idea what their production would be before injuries started to eat into it.

I think the Yi's experience on the Chineese team will be good for his confidence. Being the "go to" guy is going to be different for him and can force his game to grow.

A lot of young bigs that jump to the NBA too soon seem to have a problem with their games developing a "go to" mentality. They're reluctant to ask for the ball,
and when they get it, they often turn down the opportunity to make a move.

Blatche's extra year in summer league really seemed to prepare him to take a step up in his game last year. Hopefully Yi's time at the World's will help his. With some added assertiveness Yi could be a bigger pickup then Splitter.

When you start comparing Rubio to other young points, it gets hard because his game is really so different and he resides in a different league. He doesn't rely on pure quicks to blow by a player like most of the young American points. No hand checking in the American game has changed what coaches look for in points over here.

Rubio seems to be more of a throwback, he's a taller guy that has those deceptive herky jerky moves like a lot of the 70's guys had mastered. How he will mature is still a question, there's a lot of talent to his game, how it transltes into the current NBA is still up to conjecture.

A guy with a throwback game maybe so different that he can be hard to handle. Since his game really isn't that based on driving to the rack, and his strength is as a passer, the triangle might be the right offense for him to reside in as an NBA point.

The reason the Triangle worked so well for the Bulls is that the spacing made it so hard to double MJ. When a team did, guys like Kerr and Wenningham got flat out wide open looks.

It also allowed a guy like "the worm" to hangout on the weakside baseline and have a full view of the shooters. If a player left Rodman alone he was a near automatic for an offensive rebound.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 31, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

""He's intelligent and he works hard at it, which sets him apart from most NBA point guards." posted by samson151

"So you're saying most nba point guards are stupid and lazy??"posted by divi3

LOL no, but that last comment is. I'm saying many NBA PGs put little effort into defense. The modifier 'which sets him apart...", refers to the hard work, not the intelligence.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Even if his shot improves, he's never going to be the kind of marksman Nash is...which leads me to think he'll struggle in the nba. If you cant score, it's much harder to get dimes. I cant think of any solid PGs who cant shoot, penetrate, nor defend. So imo, he needs to develop more than just a decent J to become an above-average nba player.
Posted by: divi3"

Ricky isn't a great athlete, but he's a dedicated defender along the lines of a Hinrich. He should be among the best transition PGs in the NBA from the moment he arrives. Which makes him 'above-average' already.

As far as refining a jump-shot, we'll have to see.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I dont see the dedicated defender, I see a guy who plays for the steal as Gil used to. Also see a player who relies very heavily on hand-checking who is never going to be able to stay in front of nba guards. IMHO, comparing him to Hinrich defensively does a disservice to Kirk.

Posted by: divi3 | August 31, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"I dont see the dedicated defender, I see a guy who plays for the steal as Gil used to. "

That's not what the US guards said about him a few days back...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

If you cant score, it's much harder to get dimes. I cant think of any solid PGs who cant shoot, penetrate, nor defend. So imo, he needs to develop more than just a decent J to become an above-average nba player.
Posted by: divi3


"Can't shoot" - Rubio will at some point have to develop a consistent jumper. He doesn't have to be the marksman the Nash is though to be effective.

"Can't penetrate" - If we were talking one-on-one, I'd accept this, but since it's five-on-five, I disagree. He *may* not be able to beat people flat off the dribble. But penetration is not all about quicks, it's about getting your opponent off-balance. Ricky needs to get a little stronger to be more effective once he gets into the lane. Plus, in the context of an offense, where teammates can set picks and do other things, I don't know if this argument holds up.

"Can't defend" - The US guys he played against definitely gave him a degree of props for being a willing defender. At the same time, playing focused D in a short tournament is one thing, focusing over 82 games is another. He's got some tools to be an ok defender, well just have to see if he brings it to the table.

--

Saying Rubio can't shoot or penetrate the way other NBA guards can, imo, doesn't totally speak to how good he will (or won't) be in the NBA, because most of those guys don't have his passing ability. It's akin to when they talk about scorers who don't need a lot of room to get off their shot. Rubio doesn't need a lot of room to get off a great pass.

I have no idea whether Rubio will translate well to the NBA or not. The jumper will be an issue. But I've seen enough of the kid to say that it's possible he could be very good.

Posted by: ts35 | August 31, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Saying Rubio can't shoot or penetrate the way other NBA guards can, imo, doesn't totally speak to how good he will (or won't) be in the NBA, because most of those guys don't have his passing ability."

What I'm saying is the passing ability imo is the only all-world skill he has and that isnt enough to become an above-average nba player. What would Rondo be if he wasnt a great defender and couldnt get to the rack?

As far as not being able to penetrate, I'm basing that on his play in europe where he consistently struggles to score and cannot finish around the rim. He's not taking only 5 shots because he loves passing SO MUCH, he just isnt able to get his shot off that well. In europe, land of Juan Carlos Navarro MVP scoring king.

Basically I see a very one-dimensional player whereas the hype surrounding him 2yrs ago was along the lines of Wilbon stating the Wizards had just passed on a league-altering talent who would be all-everything for years. Not Rubio's fault in anyway the hype got like that....but I'd bet we all agree we'd take Wall 100x out of 100


Posted by: divi3 | August 31, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is the passing ability imo is the only all-world skill he has and that isnt enough to become an above-average nba player. What would Rondo be if he wasnt a great defender and couldnt get to the rack?

All Reggie Miller could do at an all-world level was shoot the lights out. It's not just what you're capable of, it's how you use it. And finding yourself in the right situation to be successful.

Plus, I think you're making a lot of assumptions about what you think Rubio will and won't be able to do in the NBA based on his play in Europe. It's not a 1:1 comparison. Look at Brandon Jennings' Euroleague season. You mentioned not being able to hand-check will hurt his defense. It may likewise help his offense.

And I think you're making a lot of assumptions about what a 19 year old kid will be able to do when he's 24 or 25.

I definitely don't think he's a game-changing talent, but I do think on the right team, it's possible he reaches being all-star caliber. We'll have to wait and see if and when he ever decides to come over.

Posted by: ts35 | August 31, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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