Bucks Diary

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Feeling better about the draft


Schadenfreude is the surest sign of a loser. Thus, I take absolutely zero joy in the Trailblazers misfortune with the Greg Oden pick (in fact, because the first Bucks game my old man ever took me to was against the Blazers, I have always been somewhat of a lifelong silent closet Blazermaniac).

That said, as a Bucks fan I'm sure feeling a lot better about last summer's draft than I felt the day after it happened.

The day after the draft I was bummed. It looked like the Bucks had chosen an unknown entity who had no intent of ever wearing the Green and Red. Now, two months later, all of the sturm und drang has passed, and our boy is signed, sealed, and delivered to Milwaukee. Yeah, he's still an uncertain entity, but he's certainly an intriguing one. And, viewing the draft's two franchise players in hindsight, that ain't so bad.

Think about what might have been, Antlerheads. Had the Bucks won the draft, we would have been partying in May, dancing in June... and crying now. Could you imagine the pain BucksNation would be feeling today if we had selected Oden, believing him to be the second coming of Lew Alcindor, only to find out we actually selected a 19 year old big man saddled with the knees of an aging Bob Lanier (and not the deadly babyhook either)?

And the draft's consolation prize doesn't look like all that either. The shine on Kevin Durant's apple has certainly dulled in this writer's eyes. The thing that made him unique in college, the thing that got me so excited about possibly selecting him, was his rebounding ability. Now we know that almost certainly won't translate upward. He's too damn weak.

In fact, I think Durant's embarrasing lack of strength will limit his NBA game to perimeter jump shots, at least in his first handful of professional seasons. Yeah, he'll probably score big numbers on a terrible Sonics team, but I will bet you dollars to donuts he will be a volume scorer (lots of shots per point), and anyone who reads this rag knows I hate volume scorers -- they are proven to detract from team success, not augment it.

In fact, those Seattle fans who are patting each other on the back and telling each other how fortunate they were to finish second in the lottery should check themselves. I can't see how Kevin Durant will be much of an upgrade from a player they let walk away -- Rashard Lewis. In fact, they almost seem to be doppelgangers, and at this point Lewis is the better model.

All of which makes the Chinese mystery man look so much better in Green and Red than he did last summer.

15 Comments:

At September 15, 2007 at 9:51 AM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

I love the multiple posts on Oden's knee injury. I'm right there with you on that one.

Portland had to have known the health risks and they took a gamble. Reportedly the Bucks flunked Dwayne Wade's physical on his knee, so sometimes you win and lose on those decisions. Had the Bucks had the opportunity to draft Wade they might have passed.

But we didn't pass on Sidney Moncrief, and he ended up with us precisely because his knee caused concerns with teams above us and we could deal down to #5 to get him. Did he play a full career? No, but he played 7-seasons at an All-Star level which was pretty damn good.

Still, Oden looked so explosive and talented in that final tournament game that you would have been nuts to pass on him. Portland should get the last laugh on this one, as Oden isn't the type of guy who needs to have great hops to be effective.

But yes, the Yi pick in retrospect is looking pretty nice right now.

 
At September 15, 2007 at 2:15 PM, Blogger alex said...

It's true that if the Bucks had won the lottery and taken Oden, things would've been even crazier than with the Yi/Bell drama that we got this summer.

Still, it's too early to tell how the Oden/Durant/Yi will turn out. Oden could come back strong next year.

I feel that Durant will be a great NBA player, not a volume scorer. But the Bucks didn't have a chance to select him anyway.

 
At October 4, 2007 at 12:35 PM, Anonymous bubba barebacker said...

Oden is a 19-yo in the body of a 50-yo. Waaayyy over-hyped and over-valued. Sorry Portland! Too bad the Draft don't have lemon laws!

Durant has got skills and long arms, but is about as athletic as Mr. Rogers. That will limit him to just being a perimeter player in the League.

Yi actually had and has the most upside here. He's young, skilled, very athletic and healthy. If he was only Black and had played in the US, there'd have been zero question about him. He does have a lot of national and cultural transitions to make...and will be more worn out from international double-duty and jet lagging...but he does have the raw goods. it will be exciting to watch him play and develop...he's guaranteed to make a few sick blocks and dunks per game!

 
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