TREVISO, Italy — It’s important to the people in charge of the adidas Eurocamp operation to provide as legitimate a platform as possible for NBA teams to evaluate international draft prospects. That’s why both the way they measure players and the testing that they put them through in Treviso are not just similar to those done in the states at the pre-draft combine in Chicago — they’re one and the same.
Chris Grancio, Head of Global Basketball Sports Marketing for adidas, explains.
“Last year we started with BAM testing, which we’ve continued again this year to really make sure that as a true global scouting platform, it’s equivalent to what happens in Chicago for the pre-draft camp,” he said. “To ensure that they’re really apples to apples measurements, we fly the same guys over who do the Chicago testing to here, and it’s the same equipment, literally. So a general manager looking at information from here and from Chicago can trust that it’s identical.”
The results were released on Day 2 of the camp on Sunday, and can be downloaded in their entirety by clicking the links below. A few highlights:
– Lucas Nogueira wasn’t the tallest player measured at the camp, but he was measured as being the longest. His 90-inch wingspan and 114-inch reach were both camp highs, which helps explain (along with his skillset) why he’s projected to be selected mid- to late-first round of this year’s draft.
– Aquille Carr measured just 5’4.5″ without shoes, but was tested as having the highest vertical jump — 33 inches — out of all of the camp participants.
– Nemanja Nedovic, a strong and athletic 6’3″ guard from Serbia, tested the highest in two of the quickness categories — the 3/4 court sprint and the reaction shuttle. He’s projected to be a mid- to late-second round pick.
Russell Westbrook might not want to talk about his supporting cast distinctively, but it’s a real issue for the Thunder, who trail the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series.
Even Andre Roberson, who has impressively defended James Harden, brings a glaring weakness: free throws. Roberson is 2-for-17 from the line in the playoffs, including 2-for-12 in Game 4 yesterday. Houston even repeatedly intentionally fouled him late.
It was agonizing for all but the most partisan Rockets supporters – though even Houston’s bench, while at least implicitly mocking Roberson, appeared put off that he missed yet again.
Isaiah Thomas: ‘Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here’
“Mentally and emotionally I’m not here,” Thomas said after Game 4, the first time he has spoken publicly since his sister’s death. “So I just feed off of what the guys give me. They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me. Being here is what makes me sane and makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times.”
Thomas has played well for Boston, which won twice in Chicago to even its series with the Bulls, 2-2. It’s remarkable considering the heavy emotional burden and extra travel, going to Seattle for his sister’s funeral then joining the Celtics in Chicago.
His teammates have clearly rallied around him, and that surely helps. But I can’t even imagine how he’s simultaneously handling such a tragic family situation and the biggest games of his career.
Kyrie Irving knocks flamingo from Pacers fan’s hands (video)
Houston Rockets star guard James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3 of this first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Harden made the revelation to ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the Rockets’ 113-109 Game 4 victory on Sunday afternoon.
“It was pretty tough; we don’t make excuses,” Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. “We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there’s moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we’re going to have to get off to a really good start.”
Many players are grinding through injuries this time of year. Is Harden’s exceptionally bad? There’s no way of telling from the outside.
But he didn’t look quite right in Game 4, and if he’s hobbled, that opens the door slightly wider for Oklahoma City to come back from its 3-1 deficit.