3 Draft Picks to Watch

Summer league has passed and it is now that time for draft picks to get antsy if they haven’t signed a contract yet with their new teams. Of course there are many first round draft picks who have signed large contracts and will be players to watch shine the following years to come. However it is often exciting to keep tabs on those players who are unexpected to do well in the NBA.nbadraft2009

1) Chase Budinger- First mention goes to Chase Budinger. For those who know me well of course I’m going to talk about his recent multi-year agreement with the Houston Rockets. Here’s a player that came into Arizona recruited by Lute Olson himself who felt Budinger was the best high school recruit that Arizona had ever landed! That is a big deal coming from coach Olson who had recruited many current and past NBA players to Arizona. Budinger put up great overall numbers in his three years at U of A but never truly reached his potential. Perhaps it was due to having 3 different coaches in his 3 years with the program and off-the-court distractions. Either way he averaged 17 points a game with 5.8 rebounds in his 3 years in the desert. This resulted with him earning the 44th overall pick in the 2009 draft. He went from a McDonalds All-American to the 44th overall pick in the NBA draft? The Houston rockets were quick to catch on that Budinger must have had his problems in college but that he was still an amazing player. That is why this past week he was signed to a multi-year contract with the organization after leading the club in scoring through out summer league play. Having watched Budinger at Arizona for 3 years I think he will surprise many with his offensive talent in the league.

2) Terrance Williams With the 1tth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft the New Jersey Nets grabbed Terrance Williams. Now williams did draft quickly and is expected to do well in the league but it seems his talent is still overlooked. Williams averaged 2.3 steals a game this past year at Louisville and is as quick as lighting for a 6’6″ wing. His average of 11 points per game in the 2008-2009 season was the result of playing amongst a team of all-stars in which he did not have to score excessively. With the exclusion of Blake Griffin in this discussion, Williams is my pick to win rookie of the year in the 2009-2010 NBA season. He will certainly have opportunities to shine on the court playing for New Jersey this year which is a huge part of winning the ROY award. Without the chance to play you can’t possibly win the award which is why I’m thinking he’s got the green light.

3) Eric MaynorSet all kinds of records for his college Virginia Commonwealth which might as well be a junior college? Maybe its just hard to keep track of all colleges these days because until the 2009 tourney I had not heard of it or of Maynor. Either way after some research and after watching his first round performance it’s easy to say that Maynor is an amazing point guard. I expect him to have a successful NBA career although I’m not sure if it will happen in Utah behind Deron Williams. Perhaps this first year he will grab some playing time when Williams needs a break and when he does, watch for him to put points on the board in a hurry. It will be fun to see how he does in his first year. Due to his circumstances in college (which was having to carry his team repeatedly against stronger and more talented teams), I  believe the adjustment to the NBA will be that much easier for him.

Who are your NBA rookies to watch for? Follow me on Twitter: @DinoGomez

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Arenas is Ready to Go

Gilbert Arenas is lethal on the basketball court. He has an amazing pull up jumper and a silky smooth drive to the hoop. Washington fans are thankful that his most recent surgery went well and that his recovery is almost complete. Flip Saunders commented this week that Arenas is almost at full strength in the weight room and is basically at full speed on the court. Saunders continued forward to say that his all star point guard/shooting guard will make them an elite playoff team this year. I’m not sure about that second remark but in regards to the first one, it will be great to see this all star back and contending with those other great stars in the league.

Follow me on Twitter: @DinoGomez

NBA Big-Timmers’ Schedule

As ESPN reports, the schedule for the 2009-2010 NBA season is out and there are a few surprises, but lots of good bait for betting online. There are a some changes from last year however. The Houston Rockets were broadcast plenty in the 2008-2009 season because they were stacked and a force to be reckon with. They pushed the Lakers to a seventh game in the playoffs and all. Amazing how quickly things can change. With Yao Ming and T-Mac injured and sulking on the bench and with Artest NBA-main_Fullhaving left to the defending champions lineup, the Rockets will not receive one nationally televised regular season game this year. Of course they aren’t the only team that is expected to produce boring and lackluster performances. New Jersey, Sacramento, Charlotte, and Milwaukee will also not have a game televised anywhere but on NBA television this year.

That leaves us with the teams that we want to watch and which will receive plenty of  camera time. On October 27th on TNT, the season opener will boast the new look Cavaliers against Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics. Later that evening the defending champs will play their ugly shadow, the Clippers. October 29th will be your best opportunity to see Richard Jefferson dressed in Oakland Raiders attire for his first game as a San Antonio Spur playing against a Chicago Bulls team.  And most importantly we all want to know what we will be unwrapping presents to on Christmas day. We will unwrap gifts to a second consecutive year in which the NBA broadcasts a quintupleheader. For those of you who like me had no idea what that word means; a 5 game match up. That’s right, this year on December 25th we will see the Heat vs. Knicks, Celtics vs. Magic, Cavs. vs. Lakers, Clippers vs. Suns, and the Nuggets vs. Trailblazers. It will surely be an amazing day.

Steve Nash Creates A Global Sports Social Network

Back to Back MVP winner and regretfully not Back to Back to Back MVP winner, Steve Nash, has gone nash_0506mvp_indexahead and created a global sports social network called MakeItPro. I regretfully say not 3 years in a row MVP winner because Nash’s numbers were all better the year following his 2 MVP seasons but the fans were ready for a new MVP and instead voted away from him… anyways Nash has gone ahead and invested money, time, and thought into creating this network that brings together coaches, players, kids, parents, and basically an entire sports community to interact with one another. It is free to join and is a “one stop destination for anyone passionate about sports.” So far I count only 3 professional NBA players that have joined but there are many other pro athletes that have jumped on board from other sports.

A few things lead me to believe this will network will become huge among pros and joes. One, Steve Nash has a personality that people like. Players and fans respect him and appreciate what he represents. Nash is the kind of guy who makes ammends with another player who months before whacked him into the scores table intentionally during a Spurs and Suns Playoff game. Yes I’m talking about Robert Horry. Nash doesn’t make enemies. Se1216horry-autosized258cond, Nash has the power to build this network up very quickly. He has the money and the media to get sponsors and programs involved. Finally everyone is social networking these days as the best means to marketing themselves and potentially their company. Add in an abundance of social media “experts” roaming around and you get a bunch of Internet users who understand that the more networks they take part in, the better they stand to connect with others and market themselves. In other words, people are going to join MakeItPro as soon as they learn it exists.

Follow me on Twitter: @DinoGomez.

The Funnist Basketball blog goes to… The Basketball Jones

Last night I went browsing through about 20 different basketball blogs that are atop the list of underground3546209620_6af8e89abd_o publications. Thank god I came across The Basketball Jones. These guys are hilarious and have found great success with their site and tv show as a result. It seems they have taken a break this past week from further publication but what they do in general is just great. Here is one of their most recent recorded episodes about the 2009 NBA offseason.

NBA Bloopers for your Saturday

Plain and simple. This clip is just funny. Follow me on Twitter: @DinoGomez.

Basketball Prank

There is plenty of free-agency and summer league news, and all the great off-season speculation that goes with it.  There are stories mentioning the Clippers interest in AI, even though they already have a complete back court.  There are the reports of Anthony Randolph scoring 48 against the Bulls in summer-league.  There is also the speculation and rumors about Lamar Odom’s dissolving free agency talks… But really, I’m sick of all that stuff right now, and I’m sure some of you are too.  So I give you this, one of the best basketball related pranks of all time.  (I’m sure some of you have seen this.)

The clip is about 6 minutes long, but if you haven’t seen it yet it’s probably worth it.