If we learned one thing during the lockout, it’s that John Wall’s game is well suited for the pickup, free-flowing nature of exhibitions.
Say, like the Kentucky alumni game Monday night. Eric Bledsoe told John Wall he couldn’t score 40, so Wall scored 40 with 10 assists and 10 rebounds thrown in. Brandon Knight dropped 30 points, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 26 points and 14 rebounds. Plus, with this video there is a lot of Terrence Jones dunking.
Hat tip to SLAM.
We didn’t get to see Nerlens Noel in the NCAA Tournament because: 1) Kentucky sucked this year and didn’t make it (they were bounced in the first round of the NIT); 2) He had already blown out his ACL and was done for the season.
Yet he shows enough potential, and this is a down enough draft year, he could still go No. 1 overall. DraftExpress and other draft watchers currently have him there.
So it’s no shock that he announced Monday he would declare for the NBA draft.
“I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Noel said in a released statement. “I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for Coach (John) Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support. I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I’ve received from them during my rehab and decision-making process.”
Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, plus he led the SEC in blocked shots. Why he goes No. 1 is that he is a physical specimen with a lot of potential — he measured 6’10” without shoes, has a 7’4” wing span and runs the floor like a gazelle. He can be an impact defender early on in his career.
The drawback is he needs to get a lot stronger and needs to get a lot more polished on offense. His footwork is not going to remind you of Tim Duncan. He’s okay near the basket but has no midrange game.
Then there is the knee surgery in February — he tore his ACL on a chase-down block. He’s still going to be on the comeback trail as the season starts.
But you don’t draft a guy for what he can do his rookie year, you draft him for what he can do three years from now.
In a draft where there is not believed to be a franchise player, no lock No. 1, a draft where you gamble a little with the top pick, wouldn’t you gamble on a very athletic big man? Most likely a team will in the top spot.
We told you before that Anthony Davis had quite a night at the Kentucky Alumni Game last week, dropping 40 points. What we didn’t tell you is that he was not the game’s high scorer — DeMarcus Cousins dropped 42.
It was a summer show, not a real game. Meaning there was about as much defense as there was love for Louisville in the building. John Wall and rapper Drake served as the coaches. It was a night of entertainment not high level basketball.
But that leads to good highlights. Thanks to the guys at The Mars Reel for putting this together.