Archive for April, 2012

Recap: Cavs: Awesome, Knicks: Amare (Also, how I failed at podcasting about tanking)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Quick note – someone has been commenting as me (Mallory) in the comment sections.  From now forward I will log into the blog, so I’ll have an official stamp – basically, you’ll know it’s me.   That’s all about that...

What an awesome win, although the Knicks were clearly willing to sacrifice this one in favor of trying to get Amare back into the mix.  I’ll be honest with you all and admit I didn’t watch this one closely – John, Ryan and I were recording a podcast.  Unfortunately my computer had a meltdown and the podcast seems to have disappeared.  Go figure.

Basically, as far as I can tell (and from what I watched):

The Good:

Kyrie – he clearly returned to form.  I saw him make some of his patented fancy moves and did a great job getting to the rim.  He shot atrociously from the 3, but who cares – he’s back, that’s all that matters.

Manny Harris – REALLY DUDE?  TWELVE REBOUNDS?!?!?!  ALL ON D?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  Not only that, but the guy shot 6-12 and hit 3 3-pointers, including an absolute BOMB from almost the half court as time expired (true story – Ryan and I were talking after the podcast was recorded and I literally screamed “ARE YOU EFFING SERIOUS.”  It was that jaw dropping.  I could get used to this…)

Samardo – I’m chalking this up to the fact that Amare is really, really rusty.  Also, Jorts played for 5 minutes so that’s gotta come into play, right?

The Bad:

Melo – I know he’s not a Cav, but since it’s almost definite the Knicks are going to face the Heat (at least it’s almost definite in my head, where I see them winning, so yeah…) I figured it’d be nice to see what was up with the Knicks’ star.  He was 5-13, meaning Casspi, AP, etc. must’ve played some damn fine D.

Jamison – Yuck.  Just…yuck.  But can you blame the guy?  He’s collecting massive paychecks for a crappy NBA team.  The man has no incentive left.

The Rest:

Sorry for such an informal (and silly) recap – I was glancing on and off while recording the podcast and had hoped to have it up tonight to go along with a short recap, but lo and behold it’s gone.

So just to give you a quick summary.  John, Ryan and I were discussing the merits of tanking, how they affect the psyche of the fan, whether or not tanking in the NBA is a real issue or not, and what all this tanking means for the future.

If you’d like to discuss in the comments section, I’ll do my best to lead this discussion as I did during our podcast.

Keep an eye out for an end of season podcast next week.  Until then…!

Links to the Present: April 20, 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In a column that detailed which rookies he thinks have the most potential, ESPN Scouts Inc. analyst David Thorpe ranked Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson at one and two, respectively. The piece is Insider-only, but if you’re a subscriber, you can find it here. I wonder about the scouting instincts of a guy who characterizes Ricky Rubio, at his current age, as “a nice bench player,” but, y’know, it’s a conversation starter.

And the Cavs will make a decision on whether or not Anderson Varejao is going to play again this season sooner rather than later. An interesting mini-revelation from the linked article: Byron Scott says he would love to shut down both Irving and Varejao, but he knows they’re too competitive and would like to play. Good to know Scott’s got his head on straight when it comes to the risk/reward of playing these guys late in a meaningless season.

The Temporary Quasi-Phenomenon

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Dick Clark died on Wednesday, which means there are a lot of obituaries of the TV Host/DJ/Ageless Relic splashed across the front pages of websites I visit daily. My favorite is the one Alex Pappademas did for Grantland. Pappademas argues that Dick Clark existed as an emblem of the mainstream at which self-styled leaders of the counterculture—your Lester Bangses, your John Lydonses—could lob their derision. Pappademas thinks Clark’s willingness to play the role of zeitgeist-producing megacelebrity is crucial to understanding his importance. In some sense, Clark helped facilitate the existence of a counterculture. After all, if you’re full of antipathy for mainstream culture, it helps to have a picture of somebody attached to your dart board as opposed to a piece of paper with the word “SOCIETY” written on it. The article is obviously more nuanced than that, but my point is that Pappademas’s obit does what most great obits do: it takes a magnifying glass to a famous figure, then pans out, plucks them from the abstraction they swim in, and aims to contextualize them.

So what would an obituary for Lester Hudson look like? He’s not dead, just now a tenth man in Memphis, but Lester Hudson: Temporary Quasi-Phenomenon is gone; that dude is never coming back. He appeared in only 13 games for the Cavaliers and played particularly well for a span of five days in which he hit up the Raps, Nets, and Bobcats for 23, 26, and 25 points, respectively. His other performances ranged from better than okay (15 points on 6-13 shooting against the Sixers) to atrocious (2-for-8 with four turnovers against the Knicks). The body of work is ultimately Sonny Weems-ish, but for a brief moment, the prospect of a nobody from the University of Tennessee at Martin being actually maybe kind of good was a reality. Develop a short-lived habit of taking over professional basketball games and you too can whip people into a frenzy that amounts to them having microwaved premonitions about whether you might be a poor man’s Kerry Kittles.

We never really had an earnest conversation about Lester Hudson being good. It was a nascent thought; then, by the time we had formulated it into words, it was no longer applicable. Importunate announcers tried to wrap their mouths around “Les-sanity” (which: if you’re going to insist on using “-sanity” as a “-gate”-like suffix, “Hudsanity” is much easier to say), and Dan Gilbert praised his temporary superstar between yawns as Hudson slalomed between D-League detritus against the Bobcats. The internet needed a new obscure name to render in caps and append with exclamation points so it chose Hudson. This wasn’t debate so much as noise. And the links made between Hudson and Jeremy Lin were, of course, lazy and tenuous. Like a 27 year-old journeyman putting up 20-point games for the Cavs is the same as the singular cultural moment in which an Asian-American Harvard grad sent 100,000 volts through Madison Square Garden.

But the fleeting Lester Hudson Moment means something regardless of the fact that the name Lester Hudson will likely mean nothing by this time next year. Hudson’s brush with pretty good-ness is a window into the psychosis of the depressed fan. Even a condensed season leaves the fan of a horrible team with too much time between the loss of a season and its conclusion. Games, in this despairing between stage, become glorified tryouts, and exceptional D-League players rotate through the rosters of lottery teams as if on a buffet conveyor belt. What is there to do but talk oneself into these blank slates? In your weakest moment, how great did you let yourself dream Lester Hudson might be? I bet it was embarrassing. But one lapses into fantasy when reality is the smell of decay. When presented with a wasteland, sometimes all you can do is draw happiness in the dirt.

Alonzo Gee—some also-ran who got cut by the Spurs, then the Wizards last fall—is, it turns out, a strong defender who can knock down a few jumpers on a fortuitous night. He is the lone functioning DVD player plucked from the scrap heap. The realization of this hasn’t been swift. I didn’t give myself over to Alonzo Gee in a fit of passion; it was more like breaking in a new apartment. At some arbitrary point, you open the door, walk to the fridge for a beer, fall into the couch cushions, and realize you’re home. So to say there was some eureka! moment in Gee’s Cavalier career is overstating it, but the night I fully recognized I really liked his game was when the Cavs played the Heat in late January. The team was shorthanded at the 2 and the 3, and that meant Gee was going to have to play a lot of minutes and check either LeBron or Wade the whole time he was on the floor. I thought I think he’ll do okay. He’s a tough dude. I harbored no grand notions; I just felt good about him. I have never had the same thoughts on, say, Christian Eyenga.

I don’t think it’s difficult to appreciate Trill AG—he’s a blue collar player who isn’t well-known enough for announcers to spoil him for fans by constantly mentioning his “relentless motor”—but context helps: for every Alonzo Gee, there are at least 30 Ben Uzohs. And maybe three Lester Hudsons. By which I mean most players suck right away. You can see they don’t have it. Lester Hudson had the decency to let us dream. Thanks for the memories, Lester. Thanks, additionally, for the hallucinations. You built a ferris wheel in our wasteland, and, while we actually needed a hospital or a power plant, ferris wheels are fun just the same.

Links to the Present: April 19, 2012

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

“Kyrie Irving is still new to this. The Cavaliers rookie desperately wanted to return before the end of the season when it was probably in his best interest—and the Cavs—for him to sit out the final games of this season. But Irving is so competitive, he could not sit by and watch his team struggle night after night while resting his sore right shoulder.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“Byron Scott hasn’t been overly upset with the Cavs’ performances, simply because he knows what type of hand he’s been dealt lately. It’s not that he thinks his players are bad. But he also understands it’s tough to expect them to be real cohesive. As he said after Wednesday’s game, he’s looking for effort, and ‘I think the guys are trying.’ So what else is left? ‘The first order of business is to compete,’ Scott said. ‘The second order of business is to see what we have (for next year).'” [Sam Amico]

“Despite taking two teams from the cellar to championship contention and currently in the midst of rebuilding a 19-win franchise in Cleveland, nine percent of NBA players surveyed by Sports Illustrated list Byron Scott as the coach they would least like to play for.” [Scott Sargent]

And Tom Reed talks about the remainder of the Cavs season.

Recap: Sixers 103, Cavs 87

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The Cavaliers were in the game for about two and a half quarters, then rolled over like an army of toy soldiers beneath the foot of a preschooler.

–Kyrie Irving was back in action tonight. He was on a short leash in terms of minutes (he only played 19, though that was due in part to the fact that ballgame got out of hand in the third quarter and there was no reason to bring him back for the fourth), but he looked himself. He took a couple spills, got right back up, and never favored his shoulder while he was on the court. I think he’s probably fine, and the Cavs are just being cautious. Which is smart, obviously. Irving finished with nine points and four assists on 4-for-10 shooting. I expect he’ll be in the lineup against the Knicks on Friday, perhaps with similar floor time-limiting provisions.

–Can we talk about Jrue Holliday for a second? I know he’s not playing great right now (though the Cavs will cure what ails you, especially if what ails you is not having lots of wide open looks at the basket from three-point land), but he’s a delight to watch. My favorite thing about him is how he’s adapted to playing on this Sixers team. I think he’s a better pure point guard than people give him credit for, but on Philly, he plays off the ball a lot, spotting up at the wing and in the corner, and he’s worked so hard on his jumper that he’s now a knockdown three-point shooter. Not to mention he’s like Rondo-lite on the defensive end: super long and pest-like against opposing ballhandlers. He’s such an A+ glue guy.

–Tristan Thompson was 5-for-6 from the field, pulled down five rebounds, and didn’t commit a foul in 23 minutes of burn. It’s strange, because one would assume that, when TT has a solid or exceptional game, I would have something to say about it. Like, I would be able to point out some aspect of his game that worked much more effectively in his good games than his poor ones, but I kind of don’t. Tristan is Tristan. He tries very hard, doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the game, is athletic, and, um, tries very hard. And that works better in some games than in others. Except for his array of face-up moves. Those never work.

–The Cavs were dominated on the glass in this one. The Sixers pulled down 13 more boards than did the Cavaliers. One thing to look forward to next season: I think this team is going to be phenomenal at rebounding the ball. If someone can teach Thompson a few things about defensive positioning (first and foremost, to stop trying to block every shot within a five-foot radius), I expect the Cavs to be near the top of the league in rebounding and second-chance points.

–Samardo Samuels made, what, three fifteen-footers? It’s always startling to remember he has that shot in his arsenal. By the way, we hear this all the time, but Samardo Samuels was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, and my question is: how, exactly? Like, this really puzzles me. He’s certainly a strong dude, a good rebounder, and, as he showed tonight, isn’t entirely incapable of making an open jumper, but how did scouts and college coaches think this guy was going to develop into an exceptional talent? He’s just so strikingly unathletic and doesn’t have many effective post moves. He’s a dead man’s Elton Brand. I dunno. Hindsight’s 20/20, and I was positive Bassy Telfair was going to be what Kyle Lowry is now.

–Luke “Il Cavallo” Harangody was 1-for-3 in 13 minutes of pure, uncut hustle. Also, he has played in a professional or semi-professional basketball game for six consecutive days. Nike should build their next Basketball Never Stops ad around Harangody, the spotlight following him as he shuttles between Cleveland and Canton, looking wistfully out a bus window as Akron/Family’s “Running, Returning” plays in the background.

Knicks on Friday. Until tomorrow, friends.

Links to the Present: April 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Our colleagues over at FTS were also appalled with last night’s performance. This is my favorite line from Angelo Benedetti’s recap: “7:52: Jason Maxiell strips the ball from Anthony Parker, goes coast to coast and shoves a dunk down in Casspi’s face. Jason Maxiell. JASON MAXIELL!”

Luke Harangody, professional yo-yo and amateur roots reggae bassist, has been recalled from Canton once again.

And Kyrie Irving maybe kinda might possibly return to action tonight.

As you might expect, there’s just not a lot of Cavs-related news today. We’ve hit that point in the season where there’s very little to report; people who write about the team daily are grasping at straws when it comes to crafting narratives. So, because there’s nothing linkable that’s particularly stimulating discussion-wise, I pose this question to you, because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, in these dark days: what’s the best case scenario for the Cavs next year that isn’t wildly optimistic? Or what would you be very pleased with? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a couple decent free agent pickups, and a seven seed? Anthony Davis and a first-round playoff upset? We’ve talked this season, both abstractly and in-depth, about what we would like to see the Cavaliers front office do this offseason, but what would we like this team to achieve when the ball is in the air, and Year Two of the Kyrie Irving Era commences?

It’s nice to think about nice things sometimes, even when they’re not happening in front of your eyes.

Recap: Cavs 77, Pistons 116

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Cavs got blown out by the Detroit Pistons like a bunch of champions.

–Alright, show of hands: who watched this thing all the way through? Do you feel it in your spine? Like, a crazy straw of pain running from the rat tail of your brain up to a palm-sized region on the back of your skull, which, from what you can tell, has been pelted with about 437 D-cell batteries? Should I see a medical professional about this?

–Antawn Jamison was 0-for-10, and “led” the Cavaliers with a minus-47. I mentioned a few games ago that Donald Sloan had a plus/minus in the minus-thirties, which I thought was incredible, but minus-47 breaks my conception of math. To put that number into something approaching perspective, the Cavalier with the lowest plus/minus on the season is Omri Casspi, whose plus/minus is minus-228.

–By the way, I’m just picking on Jamison because he didn’t make a field goal. The best plus/minus of any Cavalier starter was Casspi, who was minus-38. Weird stat of the night: everyone on the Cavs’ bench had a positive plus/minus. I’m pretty sure this is impossible, and I’m not going to stop harassing my friend Dave, a math major, until he convinces me otherwise. I’m prepared to start analyzing NBA games through the lens of Dorothea Lasky poems if he can’t talk me off this “mathematics is a fallacy!” ledge.

–Tristan Thompson had 14 rebounds, which, if you ignore literally every other aspect of the way he played tonight, is really encouraging. It’s fitting that he played against Greg Monroe, who is in some ways an inversion of TT. He’s highly skilled, smart, intermittently languid, and couldn’t defend a particularly adept basketball-playing chimpanzee. Don’t get me wrong, Monroe is and will probably continue to be a much better player than Thompson, but Pistons fans would give their left hand for him to acquire some Thompsonian athleticism and intensity.

–It’s fitting that Manny Harris would post one of the best statlines of his career in an absolutely garbage game. He put up 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting. In the offseason, I will be completely glossing over the context of this game, and positing his 18 points as the key reason he should be the Cavaliers’ 11th man heading into the 2012-13 season.

–I’ll leave you with one more stat. It’s basic, but harrowing: Detroit shot 60% from the field; the Cavs shot 34.6%. A note to Byron Scott and the boys: I appreciate your herculean tanking effort, but if you could lose games by, I dunno, 15-ish, just for the sake of us who have to write recaps, it would be much appreciated.

The Cavs host the Sixers tomorrow. I have extrapolated, by comparing the records of the Pistons and Sixers, that the Cavaliers will lose by 83. See you when the sun rises, if it ever does in Cleveland, friends.

Waiting for Death

Monday, April 16th, 2012

A friend of mine recently went through one of those demi-divorces where he and his live-in girlfriend ended their relationship about a month before their lease was up. I’ve heard most of the story, and the rest exists in my head: two people, still sort of in love, but not really; trying to be adults about the whole situation; trying not to divide their friends; sharing a bed; having weird, emotional sex still, when they’re both drunk, for some reason; separating their stuff; trying to figure out what to do next; being emotionally exhausted; watching DVDs together; trying to be friends; remembering; talking; supporting each other over this thing they had built, then expunged. I wonder if they both felt an inarticulable anger for a month. Like, I don’t hate you, but I need to not see your shoes next to mine when I leave for work in the morning. I need a shower of flame to burn the smell of you off me. My friend told me some of this, in an unenervated tone, at a bar last week. His eyes were like gas lamps.

There’s some solace is being done with things, is what I mean. Even horrible things that leave you with a gut full of disquiet and day whiskey. Fortunately, no Cavalier fan has had to share a home with this team—your grocery bill would be insane—but I think we’re all ready for the season to be over. To count the bruises and move on. To write draft profiles, count ping pong balls, and never speak the name Ryan Hollins again. There’s not much edifying to be taken from the remaining seven games the Cavaliers have on their schedule. Samardo Samuels isn’t going to bloom into Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, whether or not he steps on the court again this season, is one of the best under-23 players in the league. We’re not learning anything or learning to love anyone. Rather, we’re sitting, cramped, maybe a little angry, in this middle space between realizing the end and its arrival. Before the shower of flame.

The shower of flame, by the way, is something I support. Here’s the only part of this dead relationship/dead season analogy that’s completely congruous: I just don’t want these people in my life on a daily basis anymore. Antawn Jamison’s contested pick-n-pop threes with 15 seconds on the shot clock incense me. The dejected face Samardo Samuels makes after he impotently fouls whomever he’s guarding makes me sad. The fact that Anthony Parker, when healthy, is the starting shooting guard of choice causes me to think I know more about basketball than three-time NBA champion Byron Scott. It’s not a healthy relationship. Can the Cavaliers head into the 2012-13 season with Irving, Tristan Thompson, Andy Varejao, Alonzo Gee, Luke Walton (because they, like, have to), Omri Casspi (again, contracts don’t always end when you want them to), and a new squad of also-rans? I have stared at this Rorschach test slide too long and need some new nobodies about whom I can think If that guy develops some chemistry with TT on the pick-and-roll, starts buckling down on defense, and stops turning the ball over so much, I think we might have ourselves a middling backup point guard! I can no longer do this with Donald Sloan. I’m sorry, Donald. I have peered into thine eyes for too long and now see only myself. And I would be a horrible NBA point guard.

I guess this marks the start of what’s going to be a deluge of eulogies in this space where I do these longform-y pieces once or twice a week. Because, outside of silly recaps and draft previews, there isn’t much else to do. The most productive thing we can do is recount our experiences with this team and try to wring whatever useful knowledge we can from them. So, y’know, I’ll be recapping the season. I’m making it sound dramatic when it’s not. But real talk: I’m sad this season has ended the way it has and annoyed it isn’t over already.

Links to the Present: April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16th, 2012

“Kyrie Irving suffered a shoulder sprain against the Bucks and then re-injured it against the Spurs. He definitely won’t play against the Pistons on Tuesday, but there’s a *chance* he plays later this week. Varejao broke his wrist a longggg time ago and it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll play this week.” [Conrad Kaczmarek]

“With Semih Erden failing to live up to expectations, Ryan Hollins refusing to rebound and Samardo Samuels having an ongoing battle with inconsistency, the position has been turned over to the 6-foot-9-inch Tristan Thompson.  The fourth-overall pick has welcomed all challenges, the latest of which involves playing against opposing centers, and has seen his game grow in stride. His otherwise dreadful free throw percentage has improved month-over-month*, and he has even started to record the occasional assist — this speaks volumes for a player with a season assist rate of 3.1 percent.” [Scott Sargent]

“Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison has been named a finalist for the NBA Sportsmanship Award. The 35-year-old will represent the Central Division and be included in a field with: Dallas’ Jason Kidd, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Miami’s Shane Battier, Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour and New York’s Jeremy Lin. The finalists were selected by a five-member panel of former players.” [Tom Reed]

Recap: Cavs 84, Magic 100 (or, this is really a Brad Beal draft profile)

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Cleveland scored 30 first half points as their injury depleted offense could not unlock the defensive riddle that is Dwight Howard.

Wait?

What?

Howard didn’t play tonight? Oh, never mind. Well…ummm…Toronto and Sacremento won, so Cleveland again has the fifth worst record in the NBA and is tied for fourth fewest wins.

With that, let’s discuss everyone’s favorite collegiate shooting guard: University of Florida freshman Bradley Beal.

Beal sits in the top five on every draft board.  As one of the youngest players available, turning 19 in June, he tallied 15 points on 57% true shooting, with 7 rebounds & 2 assists per game over his one year with the Gators.  Despite a reputation as an ace marksman, he finished the season converting only 34% from long range.  Scouts love his shooting form though, and he also is a skilled shot creator that is praised for his maturity & coachability.  He reaches the foul line at a reasonable rate, attempting five free throws a game and making 77% while there.  Finally, his rebounding is elite for a shooting guard.  Per minute, pace adjusted, he ranks 4th of 83 shooting guards in the draftexpress.com database.

Game Summaries: According to the box score, Beal struggled in Florida’s March 4th loss to Kentucky.  Scoring five points on ten shots won’t get it done.  His outside shots wouldn’t fall and Anthony Davis gave him headaches at the rim.  Beal exhibited a nuance to his game that can be viewed favorably however.  He showed advanced ball-handling skills with both hands and facilitated the offense well.  He understands a need to feed the post, and in addition to his four assists, dished several on-point passes that were fumbled or resulted in missed shots.  Three of his dimes came in transition, where he frequently creates opportunities by grabbing defensive rebounds and bolting down the court (six d-boards this game).  Defensively he flashed signs of strength against UK’s freshman stars; on one possession staying between Marquis Teague and the basket before blocking his layup, and on another trip down the court, impeding an MKG drive with quick feet prior to stealing the ball with rabbit-fast hands.  Overall, this does not go down as a noteworthy game for Beal, but even on 1 of 10 shooting in a double-digit loss; I was impressed.

In the first game of a relatively unexpected jaunt to the NCAA tournament elite eight (Florida was a 7 seed); Beal totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds on 72% true shooting in a blowout win over Virginia.  It was a relatively nondescript game, as he scored three of his five field goals off offensive rebounds and another from a catch-and-shoot three.  He frequently brought the ball up court and initiated the Gator offense.  As the pick-and-roll ball handler, he showed good decision making; his lone assist lead to a Patric Young dunk as the roll man, and twice he set up Eric Murphy with wide open pick-and-pop eighteen footers, only to watch the shots rim out.  It was a quiet double-double in a 25-point victory; nothing wrong with that.

Summary: Unlike Austin Rivers, Beal closed the year very strongly.  Instead of NCAA coaches figuring him out; he began mastering the college game.  Over the last 10 games, in 35 minutes, he averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 turnovers, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and shot 47 / 35 / 78 (60% TS and this included the 1 of 10 UK game).  Everything about that looks great, and each number represents an improvement over his first 27 games.

Like everyone else, I am high on Bradley Beal.  He’s extremely skilled for an eighteen-year old and by all accounts, he works hard and possesses excellent “basketball IQ”.  Most comparisons include Ray Allen and Eric Gordon.  I’m going on a quick tangent and saying that it is silly to compare any 18 year old to Ray Allen; he’s a singularly unique player, maybe the greatest shooter of all time, a man that may score 25000 points and drain 3000 three pointers.  It’s a strained comparison, like Bismack Biyombo to Ben Wallace, another once in a generation player.  They’re eighteen years old; unless they blistered the college game for a year like Kevin Durant, no need for hyperbole.

Anyways, rant aside, the Eric Gordon comparison seems apt, to the level of him being considered a great shooter in college while only making 34% of his threes.  Gordon went on to knock down 39% his first year in the league  and was a 38% long distance shooter through three years.  That said though, Beal shows abilities of advanced ball handling, court vision and rebounding compared to Gordon.  Just like last year, if the Cavs number goes past on lottery night with another team’s name in their place; I will jump high enough off of my couch that I could be a lottery pick.  To me; Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist & Brad Beal are all cream-of-the-crop draft day scores.