There’s a big risk that comes with draft Nerlens Noel.
And not just his torn ACL.
Noel played only 24 games last season, and although that’s more than twice as many as Kyrie Irving did his lone season at Duke, it’s still a pretty small sample. I think Noel proved enough to justify becoming the No. 1 pick if his injury checks out OK, but I’d be more confident if he had played more.
NBA teams typically have access to college practices, so they should have more info than the rest of us. It’s sound like that’s especially true of the Cavaliers with Noel.
John Calipari, via Mary Schmitt Boyer of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer:
“Chris Grant has been in our building more than any other GM. That’s no disrespect to any other GM. That’s just a fact. He and his staff are very thorough in what they’ve done.
If Noel (again, assuming there are no additional red flags with his injury) impressed Grant in the moments the rest of us couldn’t see, Cleveland will will probably draft the Kentucky center. If Noel didn’t, the Cavaliers might pass.
Either way, this means the Cavaliers should get this pick right – if they can correctly diagnose his injury future, which is another matter entirely. But this is a first step before tackling that larger issue.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.