NBA Draft profile: Tobias Harris has skills, for the right team

2 Comments

Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris to me symbolizes a lot of what we see in this draft — it’s a question of fit.

He says he’s a three and he seemed more comfortable there in college, but there are questions if he is athletic enough to do that on the NBA level plus he only hit 30.3 percent from three (although he hit 50 percent early in the season). Teams thought of him as a four but at 6’8” he’s a big undersized for that position (although he had a good vertical of 37 at the NBA Draft Combine. Basically, he’s a tweener.

Whatever you call him, Harris can play, but you have to put him on a team where his talents will fit in.

He’s a versatile player and averaged 15.3 points a game, most importantly he was consistent on the court for a Tennessee team that had plenty of off-the-court distractions. He also played his best basketball late, averaging 21 points a game in March.

That versatility has advantages — he is a good ball handler who makes smart decisions. He can score at the rim. DraftExpress called him one of those guys who is very good at taking what the defense gives him. Those kind of guys seem to find a way to adapt in the NBA and make an impact.

But he needs to be used properly. Put him on a fast-paced team where he can handle the ball or make the right play in transition. Put him on a team that uses a lot of motion in its half court sets (think Jerry Sloan Jazz flex sets) where his versatility and hoops IQ can be put to use.

That’s how I feel about a lot of guys in this draft — they have skills that if used in the right system can help teams. But it’s a question of how he develops over time as to how he really works out.

Steve Alexander at NBC’s Rotoworld has him going No. 18 to the Wizards (a team that plays up tempo and should play more that way next season, so there is a fit). DraftExpress says No. 19 to the Bobcats, Chad Ford at ESPN thinks No. 22 to the Nuggets (another good fit).

Clippers blow 18-point lead, lose in final 2 seconds on putback to Kings (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Clippers had a rough go of things against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Up by 18 with more than five minutes to go, LA blew their lead and were left to watch as the Kings sealed the game late.

The final possession for Sacramento came on a missed corner 3-pointer by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The Kings got the outlet pass out on the rebound, but Ben McLemore took it to the rack and missed. That’s when Willie Cauley-Stein stepped in, cleaned up the board, and put the game-winning shot home with less than two seconds left.

Los Angeles lost in spectacular fashion, and became the only team this season to lose given their game situation.

Here’s a compilation the NBA put together of Sacramento’s epic comeback:

Meanwhile, Chris Paul called it the worst regular season loss of his career.

The Clippers peaked too soon. Like, the first 20 games of the season too soon.

Russell Westbrook throws incredible halfcourt bounce pass vs. Rockets (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star notched 13 assists in the loss to the Houston Rockets, 137-125, and one of them came on a nifty pass to teammate Victor Oladipo.

The play happened with the Thunder on the fastbreak early in the third quarter. Westbrook was moving from left-to-right across the middle of the floor with the ball while Oladipo streaked down the right wing.

With the Rockets defense collapsing, Westbrook reached halfcourt and fired a bounce pass that sliced through the opposition.

Oladipo finished with the clean dunk.

Still not sure it beats this one, but I think we’ll have to compare once the season comes to a close.

Kobe Bryant on race for Podoloff Trophy: “We might see our first co-MVPs this year”

6 Comments

The race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the 2017 NBA MVP has narrowed to a two-man race toward the end of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is averaging at triple-double this year, and the Houston Rockets guard is doing things nobody has ever done on a basketball court before.

It’s a tough decision to decide between them, so much so that even former Los Angeles Lakers great and 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant can’t do it.

Speaking on ESPN on Sunday, Bryant said he thought the league might have to just bite the bullet on Westbrook vs. Harden.

“We might see our first co-MVPs this year,” said Bryant.

That would be a huge step for the league, but I’m not entirely sure they would do it. There have been co-NBA All-Star Game MVPs in years past, but never league MVP.

Still, can you decide between Russ and Harden? The Mamba can’t.

Watch Rockets C Nene lead the break, eurostep past Enes Kanter (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Houston Rockets center Nene is from Brazil, but on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder the South American native went full euro.

On a fastbreak possession, Nene took on Thunder big man Enes Kanter near the rim and absolutely shook him with a nasty eurostep.

The play was so good that it forced Oklahoma City to call a timeout as James Harden and the rest of the Rockets bench met Nene on the court to celebrate.