OT: My thoughts, hopes, and fears of the 2016 NBA Draft

Every year I tell myself that I am not going to watch the NBA Draft because it is so stupid, yet every year I find myself tuning in to see the first three picks and then I am just stuck on it for the entire evening.  I watched the 2000 NBA Draft while hanging out with a girl in my basement.  I have no idea what this girl’s intentions were with the 14 year old me, but I am absolutely positive she was disappointed to hang out in an air conditioned basement for several hours alone with me while I threw a fit for some time on how Marcus Fizer was going to have no business in the NBA, and I couldn’t truthfully make words come out of my mouth after the Celtics picked someone named Jerome Moiso at number 11.  That was one of the worst drafts, and that girl was just set up with disappointment from the beginning of inviting herself over to my house.

I do not get excited at all for the actual order of players picked.  Teams make terrible decisions based on fruitless data like: this guy is one inch too short.  I get more pumped up for the trades, and this 2016 NBA draft appears to be loaded with potential trades.  All top 5 teams have set out their intentions to make some deals on draft night.  I think the Sixers may be entertaining trades because they realize they want to take the high road and be thoughtful enough to not ruin just one more person’s life.

I’d love to be the guy that just yells into Mitch Kupchak’s ear that the Lakers should trade the number 2 pick for General Manager that knows what he is doing.  Most people day dream about living the lifestyle of a NBA player, but I fantasize about telling Steve Kerr that trading for Shaq was his worst decision as a General Manager; or telling David Kahn that he was the General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team and not the General Manager of the Target Center concession stands when he drafted Johnny Flynn.  Don’t forget, on top of drafting Flynn and Ricky Rubio over Steph Curry, the Timberwolves picked Ty Lawson at 18 but traded him for a future draft pick – which they ended up using to pick Luke Babbitt the following season.  They also took Wesley Johnson over DeMarcus Cousins in the 2010 draft.  Seriously, David Kahn…

Anyway, I am a lifelong Celtics fan, and the Celtics have a pretty bad history of drafting picks.  JEROME MOISO.  Sorry, I just randomly scream-type his names.  It’s a condition. Thanks a lot Rick Pitino, you’re a threat more serious than the Emperor to me. So, yeah, terrible draft history, but Danny Ainge has a done a solid job to make draft trades happen to get the best out of what he can.  This is probably a condition of his full intentions in the past of wanting the team to tank as much as possible, but Paul Pierce willing terrible rosters to be 7 or 8 seeds in the East.  As a Celtics fan, I clearly hate that the 76ers and the Lakers are picking in front of them…and I even have reasons for taking interest in what the Suns and Timberwolves will do at 4 and 5.  Here are some random fears, thoughts, and hopes for the NBA draft.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have been one of my least favorite times for as long as I can remember.  I’m not an overly religious person, but I used to pray a lot over a four year period that Kyle Korver would get traded to anyone else (but mainly the Celtics).  This was after I spent some time thinking that Rodney Buford just belonged there.  I have no idea what that comment is supposed to mean, so I welcome your suggestions.  Either way, we need to update Buford’s wikipedia page to reflect his new coaching position with the Omaha Chargers.

Even though I hate the 76ers, I fully understand how pivotal this draft is for the franchise and how huge of an opportunity Bryan Colangelo has in front of himself to instantly turn this franchise around.

The Sixers are taking Ben Simmons with the number one pick, and will have nearly 60 million dollars of cap space to play with.  With a front court of Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid – who has still yet to play an NBA game, and now Ben Simmons, the Sixers should be looking into trading one of these post players for an actual adult.

The Hawks are consistently in the rumor mill to trade one of their point guards.  Could a Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel for Jeff Teague be likely?  Or even throw something similar, yet more far fetched, to the Chicago Bulls for Derrick Rose.  Either of these two alone, with the addition Simmons, could improve Philadelphia from 10 wins to at least 20 in one year.

It’s not like one of these trades are the only options for the Sixers to get a point guard and some experience on their roster.  They could throw some money at Rajon Rondo, who almost no one else wants; Lance Stephenson, who I doubt the Grizzlies want back; Dion Waiters, who the Thunder probably wont be able to match qualifying offers for; Eric Gordon, who could probably be pretty cheap to prove that he can be healthy enough to be a contributor; Mario Chalmers, who is somehow an upgrade at point guard for the Sixers; and really just some NBA veteran who might seem like a risk, but could benefit the Sixers in the short term of their rebuild.

I’m not very fearful of the Sixers for the 2016-2017 season at this point, but this draft could really be a turning point for the organization to be back in the playoffs and be a competitor in the East again in a few years.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have stated that they do not want to be on a long term rebuilding plan, but the Lakers say a lot of things so who the hell knows.  Still, the Lakers do not want to be what the Clippers used to be in Los Angeles.  Almost every mock draft has the Lakers selecting Brandon Ingram, but there still has been a high degree of uncertainty around this.  Not so much that they will not pick him, but more uncertainty that they will actually want to keep him on the roster, or that he will even turn out to be a decent enough NBA player.  He appears like he would have a similar career to Charlotte Hornets’ player Marvin Williams, who was also picked number at number 2.  The Lakers have been rumored so far to trade away the number 2 pick, or De’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Julius Randle.  Okay, so they’ve been rumored to trade their entire roster.  Man, that Kobe Bryant was all about the team and organization!

The Lakers want to be a part of the run for Kevin Durant, they want to have their name out there for DeMar DeRozan, and really just every big time free agent.  The fear for the Lakers may not be who they pick in the NBA draft, but if they can actually pull off a blockbuster trade, which they have a history of pulling off.  I completely feel like I will be watching what the Lakers do in the 2016 NBA draft with the same level of shock in the 2007 draft when the Celtics put together what were pieces for the eventual moves to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.  Those to moves eventually helped them quickly turn their team around with additionally signing veteran free agents James Posey, Eddie House, PJ Brown, and eventually Sam Cassell for one of the best put together rosters since 1990.

Boston Celtics

As much as I love the Celtics, I always have to turn away whenever they’re on the clock to make a pick.  I live in fear that I will damage my own property when I hear the stupid pick they have made.  What the hell am I supposed to do with my Joe Johnson Boston Celtics jersey?  I just made my dog wear my dog wear it for humorous photo opportunities.  Say the name Kedrick Brown to me in public, I dare you…I dare you… We’re not going to get in a fight or anything, you’re just going to be able to tell your children about the most ridiculous time you made a grown man cry in a public.  I still run into a panic attack when I hear Jerome Moiso’s name.

My only friends who actively engage in shit talking about the NBA with me are Suns fans, and we’ve had our fair share of THE RAJON RONDO TRADE WORKED OUT BETTER FOR US THAN YOU arguments, so the Celtics and Suns picking 3rd and 4th will most likely begin many years of frustrations.  The Celtics have discussed either trading the 3rd pick, or drafting Dragan Bender, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown, Marquese Criss, or Kris Dunn.  My fear of Bender is that this is one of those Well it Worked Out for the Knicks type of draft picks because of Kristaps Porzingis.  It reminds me of the late 90s to mid 2000s when NBA teams were rashly picking high school kids because they might be the next Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant.  The NBA was so fun back then just watching a bunch of 18 year old uncoordinated kids flush out like a group of terrible child actors from the movie industry.

It seems to be concluded already that either the Celtics or the Suns are taking Bender, and I am pretty excited to make fun of my friends for it either really working out for the Celtics or it not working out for the Suns.  This is a completely illogical statement, but it also, like, completely makes sense.  Am I right?

The Celtics still have a lot to figure out as far as who they are actually going to keep on their roster with Jared Sullinger, Evan Turner, and Tyler Zeller all as free agents; and several young assets on the roster that are tradeable.  This is why a draft day trade makes an incredible amount of sense for the Celtics.  Someone just take Marcus Smart, please!

I can’t imagine who the Celtics will actually take.  I cannot even put anything in the suggestion box.  The roster is weird at the moment, and it does not really seem like anyone available at number 3 would be an immediate impact to the team so my hope is just that they trade the pick with Marcus Smart for a veteran and 2017 2nd round draft pick that will eventually land a lesser known Tra-Deon Hollins…

Phoenix Suns

I am fully confident to say that I think the Suns are the worst ran team in the NBA (after the Sixers), and still have a Suns fan not argue it too heavily.  It’s not so much that the Suns are historically bad at picking players, but they do have a steady and miserable history of trading away guys right before they become stars; or signing average free agents to huge bloated long term contracts.  Just try and play the NBA Trade Machine with their roster, it’s almost impossible to make anything work out.

I thought of a hypothetical trade to get some blood flowing for my Suns fan friends.  Brandon Knight, some throw in to make the contacts work out, and the number 4 pick to Toronto in a sign and trade deal for DeMar DeRozan – which I think they would have to wait for free agents to officially be able sign to make the deal legitimate.  A back court of Derozan and Eric Bledsoe with Devin Booker off the bench to create a little new aged Durant, Westbrook, and Harden type of roster.  I doubt Robert Sarver even entertains this as an idea for his organization.  I mean, Joakim Noah is out there for them to throw everything they’ve got for 48 minutes a night of Noah and Tyson Chandler at center.  That’s pretty hard to pass up for a guy who apparently hates the citizens of Phoenix.

I know NBA teams are recommended to go after the best overall player and not most needed position, but should they take a guard to lump together with Bledsoe, Booker, and Knight if the top guy is a guard at number 4?  Would Hield or Dunn even be playable on the Suns roster?  Am I psychotic for thinking it would be in the Suns best interest to take Henry Ellenson or Marquese Criss at the 4th pick?  Though, I really don’t think Suns management can pass up on a guy named Dragan Bender.  It’s just too fun of a name to not have on your roster.

Minnesota Timberwolves

I have never hated or loved the Timberwolves.  They are the closest NBA team to where I live, so I have always felt a little desire for them to be decent enough to make for a reason to drive to Minneapolis for a game.  With that in mind, it seems to be getting closer and closer to the day that the Timberwolves are in the post season again, right?

The organization seems serious about getting to the playoffs with exceptionally good young basketball players, mixed with a few veterans, and now Tom Thibodeau as their head coach.  Think about that: The Minnesota Timberwolves got the head coach that was at the top of the list of every team with a vacancy this off season.  This could be huge, or it could all come crumbling apart dramatically…we’ll see.

The team does not necessarily have a lot of room to attract some top free agents this summer, and they have made it clear that they are incredibly open to the thought of trading the 5th pick.  That’s when you know it’s going to be a terrible draft, when 4 of the top 5 teams are trying pretty hard to get rid of their picks.  The team’s highest paid player, Ricky Rubio has even stated that he would be cool if they traded him.  Someone will take Rubio, like the Sacramento Kings who seem desperate at the moment and have a voice mail greeting of “This is the Sacramento Kings General Management office.  Press 1 for us to accept your trade.  Press 2 for Lost and Found.”

If they cannot work out a trade on draft day, it almost makes sense for the Timberwolves to take Buddy Hield as they are in desperate need for a shooter after finishing 25th on the season in three point field goal percentage.  But, cheap shooters are out there in free agency, and having Hield and Andrew Wiggins on the court at the same time seems like a defensive risk.


Other random stuff –

It doesn’t appear that Nebraska’s Shavon Shields will get selected in the 2nd round.  He is a likely candidate to get onto a Summer League team and work his way into the league.  A frequent knock at him is that he’s not quick enough to play the 3 in the NBA.  There is a spot somewhere with the right team for Shields in the NBA, maybe not big minutes, but Hornets, Nuggets, and Rockets come to mind as places for him to at least just make the roster…or at least on their NBDL teams.

As much as this may shock you, there will be no one picked from the Summit League.  Max Landis and Obi Emegano could be guys that make Summer League rosters and try and work their way into the NBA or NBDL

 

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Some observations from the Mavericks’ Midnight Madness

Twice this week I was up past midnight watching sports.  Tuesday night for the World Series, and last night for the Oregon Ducks-Arizona State game.  Today could be rough, but I am still on a Baxter Arena high, so there is that.  Here are some random observations from last night’s Midnight Madness event.

  • Mikaela Shaw informed us that the student section for basketball games will be right behind the visitor’s bench.  I love that, great move.
  • Are the curtains going to be down for most of the sections during basketball games?  Like, I get it.  But what if a visiting team’s fans wants to come in and buy out one of those sections?  We wont turn them down, right?
  • The taco cannon shot a taco right next to me.  I was 2 seats away from a free taco.  I have also realized that I will probably never recognize the person holding and shooting the cannon as a person.  I just see a taco cannon and I do not recognize a person, I just see a taco cannon that is floating around on it’s own shooting out bliss wrapped in tortillas.
  • I saw Rylan Murry walking around and I really wanted to scream “Skinny Love!” into his direction and then run away like I’m a 4th grade girl.
  • The women’s scrimmage was nice.  None of the women had their numbers on the back of their jersey, so every time a new player touched the ball I would have to ask who the heck that was, since there are so many new players.
  • In the Summit League teleconference, Brittany Lange talked about how impressed she was in newcomers Ellie Brecht and Amber Vidal, and they do look very impressive.  Vidal’s point guard skills are fantastic.  Really excited to see her run the team’s offense.  Like, I want to create her as a player in NBA 2k16 and have her run my team.
  • All the women’s team appears to show a lot potential.  The hype in their recruits might be real.  This team could be stacked next year too if they keep everyone together and add in their transfers in 2016-2017.  Incredibly curious how the minutes get divided up though.
  • I am glad that Rodney Rogan is not a professional referee.
  • I was sitting on the side where the men’s team was warming up, so I was watching them warm up instead of the women.
    • The freshman that I have heard the least about, Zach Jackson, looks like he could be a really good player.  I do not think that he missed a shot in warm ups, or even in the team’s scrimmage.  Seriously look up any photo of him though, he might be incapable of smiling.  Looks like he has some pretty good ball handling too, but let’s get a real game under our belts and see whats up.
    • Can we give Zach Pirog the nick name of “The Mile High”?  I watched Zach Pirog take the ball coast to coast and get a dunk, so my life is complete.
    • I was actually really impressed with Ben Kositzke.  I know it is all based on an open scrimmage and warm ups, but he was showing some good stuff:  hitting some jumpers, keeping guys out of the low block, putting on a couple post moves.  Also, I am a Millard South guy, so to be impressed with a Millard West guy should mean something.
    • Speaking of Millard South, Kyler Erickson had a crossover that changed my life.  By the way, when I was in high school I badly wanted to make fake letter jackets that said Millard East.  I would wear it all over town and convince people there was a Millard East High School that was just atrocious and undersized in basketball and football.
    • Daniel Meyer looks like he has bulked up, like he just goes to the rocky mountains and lifts boulders and pushes cars up mountains just for the thrill.  All in blue jeans too.  I also watched him take the ball coast to coast.  Scrimmages, man.
    • Jake White just looks overall healthier, a healthy Jake White could really be a an All Conference player.
    • Marcus Tyus got to play, his knee looks fine.  Boo ya!
    • Tra-Deon Hollins is going to bring great defense, sweet dunks, and another great passer to his team…not a bad thing to have at all.
    • Randy Reed was hitting the three on command in warm ups, and handling the ball in the scrimmage really nice.  Granted, it’s not like Devin Patterson and Hollins were trying to poke the ball away from him constantly, but I can be optimistic about things.  Randy Reed can fly too, he might be a super hero.
  • The shooting competition was pretty fun, but for some reason the basket on the side where the visiting team’s bench is lost every single time.  Jake White couldn’t miss on the other end, but then couldn’t make it on that end.  I am convinced that side is cursed.  The Mavs are going to lose the first half of every game.  By the way, I have been a Celtics fan my whole life.  Even through the Rick Pitino era, so I sometimes scare easily with basketball.
  • The student that shot for free tuition made the lay up and free throw pretty easily, but the three pointer was rough.  Josh White shagged the ball for him for a little bit.  Josh White might be the best passer in Maverick history.  I call for Josh White shagging the ball for every shooting challenge this season.
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman did not have a great dunk competition.  It made me sad.  Tra-Deon Hollins won it (see previous tweets).  By the way, Omaha Central has 4 players from their 2013 state championship team in division one.
Quite possibly the greatest photo ever.
Quite possibly the greatest photo ever.  Photo by Mark Kuhlmann

Two weeks until college basketball.  Two of the longest weeks of the year.  It will be like when you drive from Denver to Omaha and it all goes pretty quickly until you get to Grand Island and time slows down because it hates you.

A little bit of preview for UNO versus Oral Roberts and IUPUI

After playing the two teams in the Summit League with the best defensive field goal percentage, the Mavs will now have to play Oral Roberts, who has the 4th best defensive field goal percentage (Western Illinois is 3rd).  Then they have to play wildcard IUPUI.

The Mavs came close to North Dakota State and not so close to South Dakota State last week.  They know they need to move on, but now they have a road test against, historically, one of the best teams in the Summit League.  The coaches and players know and feel that they were a couple plays away from starting out conference play at 3-0, and Mike Rostampour is just pissed, and the senior leader should be.  Nothing comes easy in any conference and after starting league play at 1-3, now is the time to make those plays that would have put the Mavs at 3-1 now.  It is not the time to press the panic button.  NO BODY PANIC!  Actually, I’m not really sure if there is a panic button.  Other than possible CBI and CIT seedings and births, there is not really much of a difference if the the Mavs finish this year in the Summit between placing 2nd and 9th in the standings.  If the Mavs win the regular season, they do get some hardware, but it is not like they are going to get a participation medal for coming in 9th in the conference.  Mom, this is literally a medal for sucking.  But morally, we want to prove ourselves, that we know we belong here.  We’re not quite at the point of trading away all of the assets and tanking for the draft.  I am sorry, I am a Celtics fan, so I am bitter about some NBA things at the moment…  


Oral Roberts

Okay, I am going to throw something at you here.  The Mavs are going to have to go deep into the bench in this game.  Why would the Mavs have to go deep into the bench on a team that has the worst field goal percentage in the entire Summit League?  The Golden Eagles get to the line more than any other team in the Summit League, they shoot nearly 26 free throws a game.  They have the second worst three point field goal percentage in the league at 32.5%, so they are a team that needs to get to the basket, and with two of the best wings in the Summit League, they get to the basket.  Mike Rostampour will pick up a foul in this game, maybe even two, or maybe even five…  So the Mavs may have to get Daniel Meyer, Rylan Murry, and Randy Reed on the court more than they usually get out there.  In case you are curious, when the Mavs win Murry shoots 57% from the field, 55% from downtown and in their losses he shoots 35% from the field and 25% from long range.  So he might actually be a little more of an X-Factor than you might think.  Just saying.

RPI wise, Oral Roberts had the best win of the season against Tulsa to open up their season.  Maybe similar to the Mavs, they realize this was a long time ago, and now that they are 8-8, they have something to prove themselves.  Maybe the Mavs should not run the typical Mavs pace in this one.  The Golden Eagles average 65 points per game (not including their win over Haskell).  When Oral Roberts gets above 65 points they are 7-1.  Maybe UNO does not need to slow down the pace, but clearly, they need to play strong defense for all 40 minutes.

Obviously the Mavs need to shoot better coming off their two worst shooting performances of the season.  Oral Roberts may be in the top half of the league as far as defensive field goal percentage goes, but they have had a few poor shooting nights themselves so far, so here is an incredibly generic thing to say.  The Mavs need to play better on offense and defense.  That’s simple.  Well we are done here.

Here are some other random Mav numbers for you (not counting Iowa Wesleyan):

  • The Mavs are 5-1 when they hit more threes than their opponent, only loss to North Dakota State
  • The Mavs are 1-6 when they hit less threes than their opponent, only win to South Dakota
  • The Mavs are 0-3 when they hit the same amount of threes than their opponent

Hey, remember how Oral Roberts has the 2nd worst three point field goal percentage in the League?  They have also made the 2nd least amount of threes in the Summit League.  But again, they get to the line, A LOT.

  • The Mavs are 0-4 when 40% or more of their field goals taken are three point field goals

So it’s not exactly like they should just start jacking up threes, especially after a 1 of 16 performance, but they need to hit the open shots that they found against South Dakota State but could not convert on.  Seriously, how generic sports talk can this get?

With the talent they have, I am not even sure if they could beat Kentucky right now.  Crap, I am thinking about the Celtics again.

The Mavs do need to contain the wings for Oral Roberts.  Obi Emegano in his last five games has averaged 23 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists,  3.6 steals, and he has shot 50% (36-72) from the field.  He has also made 10 threes overall in the last 5 games after going 9 games in a row without a three.  Korey Billbury in the last five games has averaged 17 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and shot 39% from the field.  Billburry also made a total of 9 threes in the last 5 games, after only hitting a total of 5 in the Golden Eagles’ first 11 games.

This game is a homecoming for Tim Smallwood, a Tulsa native, so maybe he will play better.  Is that dumb to think that?  Seems like guys play better in situations like that, or on their birthday.  Seriously, you should see my career averages on my birthdays.  I was a quadruple 2 guy my whole life, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game.  On my birthday, I averaged about 14 points and 5 rebounds a game.  Not to brag, okay I am bragging, but in intramurals at UNO, I had to guard a guy that had played at Midland University and he was about 5 inches taller than me, but I had 17 points with 5 threes that game.  It was literally my birthday.

Like Opponents?

Lost 72-66 to North Dakota State in Fargo.

Won 66-57 at Western Illinois


IUPUI 

Seriously everyone was sleeping on the IUPUI Jaguars before the start of the season, and many still are trying to wipe the morning fog out of their eyes.  They lost 6 in a row at one point, but now have gone on a win a game, lose a game pattern for their last 7 games.  If they continue the pattern, they would lose to South Dakota State and win at UNO.  That is how stats work, right?  They are 2-1 in the Summit with a wins over preseason league favorites IPFW and Denver, so this should have caught the attention of people…who pay attention.  They also took that team I was just talking about, Oral Roberts, to overtime.

There is not much size to the Jaguars, nor is there much experience, and their best players are currently sitting out due to transfer rules.  They do not make many threes, they have made the least amount of total threes in the conference, and they have the worst three point field goal percentage in the league.  They are just a little better than UNO at free throw percentage at 70% to UNO’s 69% but they do not get to the line nearly as much, UNO shoots 27 free throws a game, while IUPUI shoots 18 per game.  They average the second least amount of rebounds per game, after Denver who they defeated, but IUPUI has picked up more rebounds as of late.  The Jaguars also average the most turnovers in the league, so UNO who averages the most steals in the conference should be licking their chops.  Is licking chops still a saying?  What are chops?

None of their wins have been a beat down.  Of their 6 wins, the biggest amount of points they won by was 6 points to South Alabama.  One thing I have noticed about the Jaguars as compared to other Summit League teams, they have not played an opponent that was not division one.  So that whole thought process of In Order to Get Better You Have to Play the Best Competition might be coming together for IUPUI, as they are finally starting to pick up some wins.

One thing I notice while looking at all 6 of their wins, a low amount of threes taken.  Their three point attempts on wins, 10.6 attempts per game.  Their three point attempts on losses, 17.2.  Clearly, with the poor percentage and total number of made three point field goals, it is an area they struggle in, so they desperately need to get to the basket.  The Mavs need to keep them on the outside, just let them take threes.

UNO has yet to lose to IUPUI as Summit League opponents, and if the Jaguars pick up a win against the Mavericks this year, given how bad their roster is, I may just lose it.  They defeated IUPUI by 28 and 22 points last season.  CJ Carter has averaged 15.6 points, 4 assists, 2.3 steals, and has shot 19-30 in 3 career games against IUPUI.  In his sophomore season, Marcus Tyus averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, and shot 12-22 against the Jaguars.  Mike Rostmapour has 18 and 9 in his first meeting against IUPUI and 9 and 8 in his second match up with IUPUI, and he also shot 9-13 on those two games.  Devin Patterson averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.5 steals, and shot 9-18 versus IUPUI last season.

For real, why do they think tanking for the draft is a good idea?  Has it ever worked out for them before? Drafting players is not their thing, draft day trades is their specialty!  Aw crap, sorry, the Celtics, they are getting to me.


A suggestion from a guy that has no business giving suggestions to a college athletics program:

Bring Marcus Tyus off the bench.

Okay, I hate the idea of it too.  I think Marcus Tyus has been the Mavs most efficient player this season, and has been huge.  It is nothing personal against Marcus Tyus, in fact, I hope this is a compliment.  Really, it should not matter to a player if you start the game or come off the bench, as long as you are on the court at the end, or your team has won.  This team does need a high energy guard off the bench, and Marcus Tyus is definitely a high energy player who can bring a spark off the bench.

You can not really put Patterson on the bench because of his ball handling ability, and for his control of the offense.  No one wants to put Carter on the bench, who has started all but three games in his career, and is the teams’ top scorer.  So unfortunately, Tyus is the nomination.

The 2013-2014 season, the best season for the Mavs so far in division one, Marcus Tyus came off the bench for half of the season.  With injuries to Justin Simmons, Tyus got the nod to start, and he played great, there is no question of that.  Last season, UNO was 8-8 with Tyus coming off the bench and 7-7 with Tyus starting, so it’s not like any of this makes sense with that in mind.  Four of the losses that he came off the bench though:  @ Iowa by 8, @ UNLV by 3, @ IPFW by 4, vs. IPFW by 1.

Whether Jake White gets back into the starting line up or not, the Mavs will have either he or Tre’Shawn Thurman coming off the bench in the post for a key role, but the Mavs do not really have a guard to come off the bench that has produced enough for that second wave of energy and activity.  If Justin Simmons was starting last season, Tyus and Phillips were both coming off the bench.  If Simmons was hurt and Tyus was starting, Phillips was still providing some energy off the bench.  Matt Hagerbaumer was always providing defensive energy in the post off the bench.  Reed and Smallwood have not produced as advertised, Rylan Murry has slipped in the last month, and walk on/great guy Kyler Erickson has been the guy to step up off the bench.  I am not sure who to start between Reed, Smallwood, and Murry.  Reed or Murry would provide more height, and the Mavs could start the game contesting the shots other teams’ 6’4″ – 6’6″ wings a little better, then BAM, Marcus Tyus off the bench for 8 quick points.  I am not saying this is a big time solution to anything, it is just a thought.


Some milestone notes:

  • Marcus Tyus is 11 points away from 700 career points
  • Mike Rostampour is 18 rebounds away from having the 2nd most rebounds since transition
    1. Matt Hagerbaumer – 401
    2. John Karhoff – 384
    3. Mike Rostampour – 366
  • Marcus Tyus is 4 steals away from having the 3rd most steals since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 128
    2. Devin Patterson – 90
    3. Caleb Steffensmeier – 73
    4. Marcus Tyus – 69
    5. Justin Simmons – 69
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman is 22 points away from having the 2nd most points in a season by a freshman since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 303
    2. Marcus Tyus – 185
    3. Tre’Shawn Thurman – 163
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman is 3 rebounds away from having the most in a season by a freshman since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 105
    2. Tre’Shawn Thurman – 102