Biggest Steals of the 2011 NBA Draft

Whether they’ve begun to produce already or not, there are some notable draft picks in the 2011 NBA Draft that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Whether they garnered concern over injury, attended a less-reputable school, or are simply undersized, they all fell, for one reason or another. The question is, who fell for the wrong reasons? Furthermore, who will overcome such and emerge as one of the more memorable picks of this draft? Storm Sports answers those questions below.

JaJuan Johnson, F, Boston Celtics (First Round, Pick 27 from New Jersey Nets)
With the loss of Jeff Green, whether that be for one season or his entire career, JaJuan Johnson’s value has skyrocketed. He was the leader of a very good Purdue team, named Big Ten Player of the Year, and quite frankly, should have been a lottery pick. He can score, rebound, pass, and defend, and he’s a much better fit as the Kevin Garnett’s protege than Green was. While Green may be the better all-around player, Johnson is the more Garnett-esque player, and with the proper guidance from the future Hall of Famer, he should be the Celtics starter for years to come. If his work ethic reaches his talent level, he should be a starter on an All Star team someday.

Jimmy Butler, F, Chicago Bulls (First Round, Pick 30)
The final pick of the First Round was one that people didn’t feel would amount to much. Upon closer examination, one thing can be said to all of those people: if you actually watched Marquette play, you’d know how good this kid is. Butler can do a little bit of everything; he can shoot with decent range, he’s a 75-80% free throw shooter, and is an excellent passer. On the defensive end, Butler is the type of player who knows how to disrupt a team’s rhythm. He has great timing and anticipation thus forcing turnovers, blocking shots, and reading double-teams well enough to re-position himself quickly. Additionally, his rebounding is supreme for his size. He fits right into the Bulls’ defense-first system, and should emerge as one of their key role players by the end of his second year in the league.

Chandler Parsons, F, Houston Rockets (Second Round, Pick 38)
The former Gator has already surpassed expectations, starting games for the Rockets in his first year in the league. He’s shown better-than-expected rebounding, and between he and the Rockets’ First Round choice, Marcus Morris, has been the best of the Rockets’ rookie forwards. Parsons career may not bring him to any All Star Games, but he’ll certainly be a valued Role Player for quite some time if he continues to play with efficiency. The biggest knock on him may be the higher upside of his First Round counterpart.

Darius Morris, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (Second Round, Pick 41)
As the Lakers are desperate to find an improvement at Point Guard, which Storm Sports has suggested from the start, they’ve appeared to be blind to what they possess internally. The former Wolverine is capable of dishing and scoring, something neither Derek Fisher nor Steve Blake has been able to do over the past two seasons. That’s exactly breeding Morris as the Point Guard of their future should start right away. Fisher, who is an excellent leader and as clutch as any, can help Morris hone the intangibles. Blake is a reliable player with great range, thus making him a valuable player in helping Morris develop his shot. While Ramon Sessions is a player who has an upside higher than he’s given credit (Storm Sports projects him to be an All Star if given playing time), Morris is a few years younger and offers the Lakers a home-grown future starter.

Andrew Goudelock, SG, Los Angeles Lakers (Second Round, Pick 46)
For a team with no First Round Draft Picks, the Lakers are turning out to have had one of the best drafts in the league. Goudelock has been the best scorer on the Lakers outside of Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum, reaching double figures in 3 of his past 4 games. Already nicknamed “Mini Mamba” by the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant, Goudelock has shown all the signs of being a lights out shooter. He’s also an intelligent player, which is why he’s been seeing such an increase in playing time. He needs to improve as a passer, and his height at 6’3″ is a concern, but overall, Goudelock is exactly what the Lakers need: a consistent shooter on the wing. He’s proving to be the biggest steal of the draft, thus far, as his talent meets the Lakers needs 100%.

Josh Selby, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (Second Round, Pick 49)
Selby is a freak athlete, one heck of a scorer, and an improving passer. It’s unlikely that the former Jayhawk will ever pry the starting job from Mike Conley, the player the Grizzlies have financially and verbally proclaimed one of the pieces of their future, but he has all the makings of a starter elsewhere. If his production is consistent with his talent, he has all the makings of a Star. Selby should be a valuable asset to the Grizzlies, offering them a solid 1-2 punch off the bench with O.J. Mayo. Supplanting Jeremy Pargo as the backup Point Guard goes a long way to assuring that.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Sacramento Kings (Second Round, Pick 60)
The last pick in the draft has been playing just as well as any rookie taken before him. Thomas has averaged 18 minutes a night in December, and has reached double-figure scoring in 4 straight games. Over that stretch, Thomas has averaged 12.8 points per game, along with 4.5 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2.3 three-pointers made. He has done well to replace Marcus Thornton, who is out with an injury, and is proving that his talent is much more important than his size disadvantage. The question for Thomas will be whether he’s another Nate Robinson or if he can be a pure Point Guard. While neither are bad, he’s more likely to find success if he can be the latter. So far, he has been.

Article written in full by Maxwell Ogden, lead writer for Storm Sports. All statistics credited to ESPN.

General Sports

3/24 Episode of Poor Man’s PTI: Busted Brackets

Vin and Ryan recap the first weekend of the NCAA Tourney, bad bracket picks, and other random sports news.

You can download this week’s podcast directly (running time 90 mins) or subscribe to the feed.

If you use iTunes, just click here and then click subscribe and iTunes will take care of the rest.

This week’s topics include:

  • NCAA Tournament
  • Lawrence Taylor: Sex Offender/li>
  • Fab Five Documentary
  • Dave Duerson suicide and organ donation
  • Kobe’s illegitimate child and baby Mama in Italy
  • Top 10 Selling MLB jerseys in 2010
  • Vin’s Top Ten List of Women Who You Didn’t Know Used to be Hot
  • Some other stuff

We’re on Follow poormanspti on Twitter. So follow us and make us feel special.

Hope you guys enjoy the podcast. If you did enjoy it, please give us a good rating on itunes so we can rise up in the rankings. If you didn’t, send us an email ([email protected]) and give us some suggestions. Thanks for listening.

College Basketball

48 + 1 thoughts from the 2010 NCAA Tournament

After watching 98.6% of the NCAA basketball tournament over the last 4 days (hey, the NCAA wrestling finals are on too as I discovered when I inadvertently switched to ESPN), I’ve concluded this has to be the best opening week in tournament history — well, at least in my tournament watching history. (There should be a rule that people who weren’t alive at the time should not be allowed to try to argue some nonsense such as YA Tittle was somehow the most underrated QB in NFL history or wax philosophic about the heyday of John Wooden. If you did not exist, you should not be able to comment on a team or player of that era.)

After upsets galore on opening day, the tournament gave us a tremendous OT win by Purdue over Texas A&M to end the weekend. Oh, and there was that little matter of Northern Iowa beating Kansas in between.

So, in honor of opening weekend, here are 48 + 1 thoughts (do the math) on the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Some are good, some are mediocre, and some are clunkers — yep, just like the games.

General Sports

3/18 Episode of Poor Man’s PTI: The most wonderful day of the year

The first day of March Madness is the best day of the year. It beats Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and any other day you can think of. And the 2010 version did not disappoint. OTs, upsets, buzzer beaters. All that within the first 6 hours. We discuss the first day and more.

You can download this week’s podcast directly (running time 120 mins) or subscribe to the feed.

If you use iTunes, just click here and then click subscribe and iTunes will take care of the rest.

This week’s topics include:

  • March Madness
  • Keys to winning your pool
  • Vin’s new theory on picking against certain schools
  • Texas Rangers manager all coked up
  • Tiger Woods sexting
  • Miscellaneous: Agassi vs Sampras, Chuck Knoblauch, David Beckam.

We finally joined Follow poormanspti on Twitter. So follow us and make us feel special.

Hope you guys enjoy the podcast. If you did enjoy it, please give us a good rating on itunes so we can rise up in the rankings. If you didn’t, send us an email ([email protected]) and give us some suggestions. Thanks for listening.


Boston Basketball in Literature Part I: Review of Michael Connelly’s “Rebound”

By Ryan McGowan

Neil Swidey and Michael Connelly have a lot in common, it seems.  Both grew up in Boston or the surrounding area, write for local media outlets (Swidey for the Boston Globe and Connelly for the Boston Herald, and both have recently written books about sports, culture, and racial issues involving the city and its basketball tradition.  One thing they don’t have in common: Swidey’s book The Assist: Hoops, Hope, and the Game of their Lives is a must-read, while Connelly’s Rebound! Basketball, Busing, Larry Bird, and the Rebirth of Boston pretty much sucks.

Seattle Supersonics

An Open Letter to Sonics Fans

By Scott Gilmour

Dear Seattle;

First off, we would like to officially welcome you to our hell. You see, our city is a charter member of that small fraternity of places that know what it’s like to lose their team. Actually, let us rephrase that: have their team ripped away from them under the watchful eye of a short, New York-living commissioner with a law degree. More than that, we felt that we should pull you aside for a man-to-man, city-to-city talk. The kind of talk that almost certainly has to take place in an old bar over a tall pint of beer.

General Sports

The Top Five Moments Of The 2008 Sports Year

The 2008 sports year has already offered us some unbelievably memorable moments.  Here is a list of the top five momnets in sports in 2008.

NBA General

The Convoluted Picture that is the 2008 NBA Draft

By David J. Cohen

The NBA draft is extremely crucial toward building success and ultimately championships. Every team is one great pick away from possible glory. However, this year the draft shook out in an order that hurts many of the teams. If trades don’t happen early and often a lot of square pegs could find themselves in round holes. Here is a mock draft rundown of what the teams should do, and then what I think they will end up doing if they are picking at their respective spots.

NBA General

The NBA’s Thirty Most Interesting Players of 2007

We are about to embark on another journey through the NBA as the 2007-2008 season is upon us. There will be many interesting stories that will be told throughout the year, but how about the players themselves? Who are the most interesting players in the NBA. Lets take a look team by team to see.

NBA General

Sunday Night Lights

It’s a breezy Sunday afternoon on the basketball courts of Valle Verde 5 and the familiar sound of the ball bouncing on the parquet floor reverberates in the surrounding areas of the park. Inside the grounds, the court is littered with men in sneakers and basketball jerseys. On one bench, one player is doing his stretching. On the other bench, another one is lacing up his sneakers. On the other end of the court, two players take turns hoisting up 30 foot three-pointers. In the distance, another two are engaging in NBA small-talk.