When you talk to people about North Carolina center and likely lottery pick Tyler Zeller, that is the word that keeps coming up. Solid. Guys move up the draft board because they get the word “upside” attached to them, but if you can get a solid big man who can step in and play now late in the lottery you’ve done well.
And that’s what you get with the 7’0” Zeller, who likely gets drafted in the 11-15 range.
Philadelphia is in that range, so CSNPhilly.com talked to some scouts about what they see in Zeller.
“He has some polish. He’s NBA-ready, in terms of, he can get out there on the court, ready to play. He’s a really, really fundamentally solid player. He knows everything. I’m not sure how high his ceiling is, but he has a very good understanding of the game and does a lot of the little things.”
There’s that word again, solid. Here is the take of the second scout.
“I think he’s a finished product, but it’s a good finish. He’s one of those kids that got better every year at Carolina. He’s a really good north-south runner. He can shoot the ball. He’ll be decent around the basket, but I think he’ll be more of a limited scorer around the basket in our league. I think he’ll be more of a pick-and-pop, trail on the break, step into shots off the break (type of player). I think he can do that.”
It’s not sexy, Zeller is not a risky pick. It’s a solid one.
But a solid big late in the lottery is a good find.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.