Just because everyone’s all a-Twitter about it, here’s Andrew Bynum with – all hyperbole and kidding aside – one of the silliest threes ever taken in the NBA. Bynum is now 1-of-7 on threes in his career, with the sole make a meaningless one coming last Sunday to cap a loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. Interesting time to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan…
At the halfway point of the crazy fast 2011-12 NBA season, BallinEurope flexes the university professor muscles a little bit this morning with midterm assessments of individual performance by the big league’s Continental Players. We’ll be using the European grading system, with 5 being the top score possible and 1 the lowest; the Americans may consider the numbers roughly equivalent to the A-F system of U.S. high schools.
Listed along with the player’s name and team are a few metrics employed in handing out the marks, chief among these current Player Efficiency Ratings as devised by ESPN’s John Hollinger.
Now, class. Ready for the second half…?
5. Head of the class
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors (22.1 PER, 23.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (19.23 PER, 15.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 1.0 spg, 38.1 mpg)
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (22.32 PER, 19.4 ppg, 8.1 apg, 1.1 spg)
Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves (22.38 PER, 12.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 0.7 spg, 24.4 mpg; in February, 17.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 0.8 spg, 32.2 mpg)
How do you say “Linsanity” auf Deutsch?
BallinEurope supposes that the vocabulary term isn’t quite so necessary in Germany but, according to officials at one Bundesliga club, the phenomenon just might have been visible in Europe last season.
Back in 2010, few observers of the NBA Summer League had an eye on the NBA’s current imagination-catcher (and whoa, did the hype ‘round Ricky Rubio die down quickly, eh?) Jeremy Lin. The lion’s share of attention during that exhibition season was no. 1 draft pick John Wall – this despite Lin’s very nice 13-point, four-rebound, two-steal performance against Wall’s Washington Wizards side.
(As the top-liked comment on the below YouTube notes, “John Wall is a total hipster. He was getting owned by Jeremy Lin before it was cool…” Zing!)
According to a tweet from one Djordje Matic (“one of the 6 billion humans”): “Acie Law didn’t comeback to Partizan from 7 days holiday in USA. As I know New York Knicks [are] interested in him.”
In the midst of the NBA’s labor issues, Acie signed with Partizan Belgrade from the Golden State Warriors as a free agent to a contract containing no opt-out clause should the player lockout be lifted. Nevertheless, he informed coach Vladimir Jovanica that he wouldn’t continue with the Grobari into 2012. Partizan officials, as they say, accepted his resignation.
Okay, after that Xmas distraction, BallinEurope is ready to write up some more stuff about good tidings and cheer*, namely, the start of the NBA season. With hours to go, BiE’s got just enough time to get in the part two of the Euro-centric big-league preview in this brief look at the teams in the Western Conference – plus Official Fearless Predictions™, guaranteed to be as accurate as they are popular.
*Los Angeles Lakers fans, over whom a huge cloud of doom hangs to start this season, excluded (sigh).
As in the Eastern Conference preview, BiE seeks to keep an eye on those players who contributed a stint in Continental ball this summer during the lockout period and even, to some, extent participants in Eurobasket 2011. BiE believes that the running start from real game-time situations plus the suddenly intensive NBA season will give the Euroballers an advantage in the short-term against more laggardly opponents not in “basketball shape.” And with the shortened regular season, a jump start will provide lasting effects.
To BiE, it looks something like this.
In the wake of the NBA lockout, those players from the big league not hawking their wares in Europe or elsewhere overseas are looking to schedule alternative games. Though a big-name international tour appears to be stalling at present, this weekend will see quite an exhibition in the four-team “Las Vegas Superstar Challenge” headed up by former Beşiktaş signee Allen Iverson.
While the game apparently won’t be broadcast on television, an outfit called iLinkSports.com is offering folks worldwide a chance to see the games involving names like Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Amare Stoudemire and Andre Iguodala online. See below for the press release detailing the deal; in short, $4.99 (just over €3.50 by today’s exchange rate) before Friday will get you a pass to see the Vegas games.
Some news from organizers of the upcoming interesting Holland-based EuroJam 2011 tournament, which pits NCAA men’s and women’s sides against European national teams.
Confirmed for the tournament are NBA Dutchmen Francisco Elson of the Utah Jazz and Dan Gadzuric of the New Jersey Nets – BallinEurope can’t help but speculate as to whether the latter will be using his off-time during the tournament to field offers from European clubs, what with the mass exodus of Nets to the Continent. (NetsDaily hints that Gadzuric’s appearance in the tournament may depend on insurance issues.)
The Sacramento Kings’ Omri Casspi is slated to play for Team Israel in the tourney as well; more on this below.
Last night, wires began reporting that Sonny Weems of the Toronto Raptors has already reached an agreement in Europe. Though reports “did not specify which team Weems would play for,” sources indicated that “Weems is in the process of signing a one-year contract and will remain in Europe for 2011-12, even if owners and players were to find a way to solve their differences and salvage the NBA season.”
Weems is currently in Spain with fellow Raptor Jose Calderón at a youth basketball camp, immediately leading BiE to speculate that Weems will be playing for some ACB side in ‘11 – perhaps Caja Laboral Baskonia, with whom Calderón played for five seasons…? The presence of DeMar DeRozan at said camp also makes one wonder about this possibility.
Finally blessed with a bit of time to peruse ESPN’s compelling financial stats as presented in its magazine’s “All About the Money” issue (check them out if you haven’t already; big numbers are fun!), BallinEurope just couldn’t help, well … noodling around with the numbers some more!
Over at the big network’s Chicago Blackhawks blog, links to table of various athletes’ salaries is presented, after introing with, “A list of the best-paid athletes from 182 countries reveals some surprising salaries and begs the question: Are they worth it?”
Well, are they? Let’s play…
The tweet from Draft Express rang out at 4.30am CET and posed quite the complex question. To wit: “What does Curtis Stinson – a guy no team in the NBA or Europe has any interest in – winning MVP of the D-League, say about the D-League?”
Such consternation clearly comes from one with an encyclopedic memory, because even for hoops diehards outside of Iowa, the man’s name will mostly elicit an answer of “huh?”
After writing his name throughout the Iowa State Cyclones record book, Stinson went undrafted in 2006 and could not stick with the Golden State Warriors after playing summer league ball with them. And so Stinson took a route familiar to many such players post-NCAA: He sought a job in Europe.