Jeremy Tyler took the Brandon Jennings formula one step too far when he decided to leave high school after his junior season to play professionally in Israel. It would have taken a remarkably mature high school junior to succeed under the circumstances Tyler chose to embrace, but he apparently had enough faith in himself to take the plunge.
Probably not the best idea. Tyler’s stay with Maccabi Haifa was short-lived for rather predictable reasons, and while having a year in the states dunking on his high school competition wouldn’t likely have done wonders for his development, it would have been something to keep him on the NBA radar. Instead, these days Tyler is already treated as a cautionary tale, a year before he would even be eligible to play an NBA game.
Thanks to the NBA age limit, Tyler still has one more year to burn before declaring for the NBA draft, and according to the Associated Press, he’ll spend it with the confoundedly named Tokyo Apache of the Basketball Japan League.
And how about this for random trivia: the Apache’s (or is it Apaches’) coach is former Pacers, Spurs, and Sonics coach Bob Hill.
Tyler has another year to improve his draft stock, but he squandered an opportunity playing for a legitimate international club in Haifa and will likely fall a few spots because of it. If Tyler could have played well — or at least lasted a full season — in Israel, he could’ve seen his draft worth benefit from a post-Jennings bounce. Instead, he couldn’t make it through the trial he chose to undergo, and now will play in a far less impressive international league.
Someone is going to take a chance on Tyler due to his size and athleticism, but it seems his legitimate chance to be the No.1 overall pick in the 2011 has been destroyed by his own devices.
Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay fine after scuffle (video)
Plumlee lowered his head and tried to barrel through Butler’s chest on a Butler screen. Butler fell and retaliated by putting Plumlee in a leg lock, causing Plumlee to fall.
You might remember a leg lock as what Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova did to Bulls forward Taj Gibson during last year’s playoffs. For all the talk then of Dellavedova being a dirty player, Butler seems particularly aggrieved after getting a technical foul, which comes with a $2,500 fine – the same penalty Dellavedova eventually received. (Plumlee got a flagrant foul.)
“He thought he was playing football for a second there,” Butler said. “Almost had to let the Fort Greene Projects out of me, Brooklyn, you know what I’m saying?”
It was said tongue in cheek considering Gibson was a few feet over and Butler wanted to draw some laughs. Gibson is a Brooklyn native and grew up in the Fort Greene Projects while Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas.
It was no laughing matter when he said he would find a way to approach Plumlee about the fine money, jokingly suggesting he would have his agent email him at “Mr. Dukie@yahoo.com or something” and made a joke about Mike Dunleavy applauding Plumlee’s act.
Plumlee and Dunleavy are products of Duke University.
“Yeah, he cost me 2,500,” Butler said. “I’m not happy about that. Gonna ask him to pay me back and I’m not playing.”
“It’s nothing punitive,” Skiles said after the Magic’s shootaround.
“It’s just we feel like we’ve got to try to find a little bit better balance. I’d like Victor to have some more opportunities like he’s had a little bit in the past where he can be on top of the floor and attack and get a little bit more vertical and not only get to the rim but just be a little bit more on the attack but not necessarily start the game that way.”
Here are the offensive/defensive/net ratings for the
Former starting lineup: 94.7/111.2/-16.5
New starting lineup: 117.2/90.3/+26.8
The new unit has played just 33 minutes in two games, so major sample-size caveats apply. But I like idea of seeing more of what has worked.
I suspect Skiles also wants to keep his players from becoming content. At 6-8 and coming off three straight seasons outside the playoffs, they should have no reason to feel satisfied, but the hard-driving Skiles will be proactive.
If Oladipo – whose defense Skiles values – can get sent to the bench, anyone can.
At some point, the Magic must determine whether Oladipo and Payton – both below-average 3-point shooters – can share a backcourt. But it’s also worth knowing whether Oladipo can excel as a super sub leading bench players.
This switch might help the Magic win now, but at worse, it’ll give them more information for evaluating their young roster. Seems smart all around.
Dwight Howard says he’s cleared to play back-to-backs
Houston’s defense is 1.9 points per 100 possessions better this season when Howard is on the court and the Rockets are stronger on the glass. The problem is the offense is 7.8 points per 100 worse with Howard on the court. How much of that can be changed with some roster tweaks — like limiting the time James Harden and Ty Lawson share the court — and how much is due to Howard demanding touches and not doing enough with them we will find out quickly.