We fans of the game tend to put a lot more importance on what a potential NBA draftee does in the NCAA Tournament than NBA teams do. By the time a player reaches that late in the season, scouts have their impressions and perceptions of a player they have seen a lot and another game or three isn’t going to move the needle much one way or the other. Private workouts will move guys up and down a lot faster than another college game.
That said, we’d like to know what some college basketball experts are thinking about the potential draftees left in the Final Four.
The guys over at our sister blog CollegeBasketballTalk (or is that brother blog? Not sure how one determines the gender of a blog) watched a lot more of these players than I have had the chance to do. Raphielle Johnson posted his thoughts on a number of players, something you should go read all of. Go ahead, we’ll wait. But if you’re impatient here are a few highlights.
NBA success: Thomas Robinson [Kansas] (may be undersized for an NBA ’4′ but he’s got a motor and athleticism that would more than make up for that; he’ll be a lottery pick this summer)
NBA success: Anthony Davis [Kentucky] (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would also qualify here; no school has ever had the top two picks in the draft and that’s possible should these two enter the same year)
NBA bust: Terrence Jones [Kentucky] (Jones put together one of his best all-around games of the season against Baylor but consistency is the issue here; he’ll be a lottery pick but what happens after that would be up to him)
NBA success: Jared Sullinger [Ohio State (Sullinger can be successful in the NBA and that’s the expectation here; as his body matures Sullinger will fit into the role of an NBA ’4′ and it’s important to keep in mind that he’s still playing out of position at the ’5′)
Kawhi Leonard scored 16 straight points for the Spurs at the end of regulation to give San Antonio the lead and a chance. Then Mike Conley hit a floater in the lane forced overtime.
There Mike Conley hit a floating bank shot that had the Grizzlies up three with :47 seconds left, only to have Leonard answer with a three to tie the game. Marc Gasol would break that tie and get Memphis the series-evening win.
Conley and Leonard traded blows through the clutch parts of Saturday’s epic Game 4 between Memphis and San Antonio. It’s worth checking out the highlights again.
There’s not going to be many plays better than this in the entire playoffs.
There wasn’t a lot for Wizards’ fans to cheer in Game 3, the Hawks took control early and routed Washington, making it a 2-1 series. But there was this, John Wall going coast-to-coast with the ball, going around-the-back and throwing it down left handed.
Wall is just so fast end to end.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.
Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.
The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.
Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 32 points, while Damian Lillard added 31.
The Atlanta Hawks owned the Washington Wizards from the opening tip Saturday, making it a 2-1 series with an easy win.
It’s a series now — and that includes trash talk.
Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.
The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”
Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.
“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”
These two have already had a beef this series.
Game 4 in this series just got a lot more interesting.