NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers

Thirteen other fan bases around the league can fume as much as they please, but the fact remains that the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night for the second time in three years. Also, as much as those other fan bases say, the Lottery is –in fact –not rigged (see below).

Yet the order is now set, and every draft prospect who’s hoping to hear their name called on June 27 will probably Continue reading

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Rookie Recap: New York Knicks’ Chris Copeland, Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Awarded Kia’s Rookies of the Month

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia's monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia’s monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

The two most outstanding rookies of April –and possibly the two biggest surprises of the 2012 NBA Draft –were awarded the Kia Rookie of the Month Award on Friday. The winners, Chris Copeland of the New York Knicks and Eastern Conference recipient and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Western Conference recipient, were by far the most dominant rookies of the month of April. Both players posted multiple career-highs during the month (Copeland for points and minutes played, and Lillard for points and blocks) and gained plenty of experience that should carry over into next season.

Copeland, an undrafted rookie from Colorado who’s traveled far and wide to make it to the NBA, was not expected to deliver much off the bench when the season began; however, due to a combination of timely shooting, injuries, and sudden retirements, Copeland has made his presence in New York felt, and should be a key contributor for the Knicks in their first-round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics. Continue reading

NBA Trade Deadline Reports: Thomas Robinson Blasts Off to Houston

A mere eight months after being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, Thomas Robinson is on the move.  According to reports by Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com, Robinson has been traded from the Kings to the Houston Rockets, along with G/F Francisco Garcia and SF Tyler Honeycutt.  In return, the Kings will receive PF Patrick Patterson, C Cole Aldrich and PG Toney Douglas.

After only eight months in Sacramento, Thomas Robinson is on the move.  He will now battle fellow rookie Terrence Jones for playing time in Houston (sbnation.com)

After only eight months in Sacramento, Thomas Robinson is on the move. He will now battle fellow rookie Terrence Jones for playing time in Houston (sbnation.com)

In another move, Houston is sending SF/PF Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns for a second round pick.  Morris, who wasn’t receiving much playing time in a loaded frontcourt for the Rockets, will now be reunited with his twin brother Markieff out in the desert.With all these moves in mind, Robinson (averaging 4.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg) will now have a chance to make a bigger impact on a rotation elsewhere.  While Sacramento was a seemingly perfect place for the youthful big-man (drafted 5th overall in June out of Kansas), he was never really given the opportunity to flourish; in Robinson’s 51 games this season, he never started a single contest and only averaged 16 minutes per game. Continue reading

Thomas Robinson’s New Best Friend

I was scrolling through Twitter the other day when I came across this retweet from Thomas Robinson:

A few things popped into my mind instantaneously.  First and foremost, I’m glad to see that these new teammates are spending ample time together.  It’s very hard to work as a cohesive group on the court if you don’t know each other very well off of it.  I thought, “Isn’t this great; DeMarcus Cousins is acting as a role model to his new teammate–”

And then it hit me…

I don’t really know if I’d want DeMarcus Cousins acting as a role model for a Top 5 draft pick, especially after the fiasco’s that occured last season, which included the firing of Paul Westphal, and a demand to be traded while only in his sophomore campaign.

Don’t get me wrong; DeMarcus Cousins is a great player.  Last year alone, the man averaged 18.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg, and 1.2 bpg, while increasing his total output in points, rebounds, blocks, and steals per game.  He also improved his field goal and free-throw percentage from his first to his second season.  Cousins will have a fantastic career from a numbers standpoint, yet it’s his off-the-court issues that have many worried.

In that sense, it worries me that Robinson may learn the wrong things from his new teammate and “mentor”.  Yet only time will tell how Robinson transitions into the pros, and that the performance of these new friends on the court will be the only thing talked about off of it.