Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Little Pony Big Men: Comparisons

Josh Howard: Scottie Pippen

Dirk Nowitski: exists somewhere on a plane between Larry Bird and Keith Van Horn

Pops Mensah Bonsu: like a very raw Udonis Haslem.

Brandon Bass (see below) is a good player who could bump Mensah Bonsu off the Mavs roster. Bass is a better low post scorer. Mensah Bonsu gives tenacious effort at defense and rebounding. I don't know the quality of Brandon Bass' defense, but I can see that he can block shots.
Mensah Bonsu has only played basketball for a few years. He's improving as he goes. How much better will he get? It's Donnie Nelson's call.
Brandon Bass (click for highlights): Xaviar McDaniel. Intriguing. 33rd pick in 2005 draft knows how to score down low. Is physical. Is tough - is A MAN in the paint. Can levitate and block shots. Mavs need this type of player. Could he be the reason the Mavs passed on Big Baby?

Nick Fazekas: Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Both are bad solo defenders. Both are garbage men around the rim. Both know how to score around the basket. Both will give you intelligence and good effort. Fazekas is shorter, yet is a better long range shooter. Fazekas may not yet be strong enough to establish low post position on offense. Fazekas is tough, and tough minded. The Mavs need tough and tough minded.

D.J. Mbenga: Kevin Willis

DeSagana Diop: Nate Thurman. Wikipedia:

After retirement, Thurmond returned to San Francisco and opened a well-known restaurant Big Nate's BBQ after a brief attempt at broadcasting. In 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and he remains one of the greatest rebounders and shot blockers in basketball history.
Erick Dampier: Maybe Dale Davis? Marc Jackson?

That's 17 players listed over two posts. Two must go. Seibutis could go to Europe, then come back the following season. Bass could never be placed on the roster. Viola! The Mavs are down to 15. Oooooor..... giant trade, and bye bye Jason Terry.


I saw Big Baby play in Vegas. He was the best player on the floor.

Big Baby had 6(!) blocked shots. He showed deft passing ability; good feet, and instincts and feel for the game. He showed a jump hook; a left hand; and midrange shooting skill. He had assists. He had steals. He had 11 rebounds in the first half alone. Watching him ruined my happy summer.

Maybe Big Baby cannot translate Vegas success against 6'8" power forwards into NBA success against 6'10 Tim Duncan - yet, for now, I feel sick.

Big Baby is not Barkley, just as Nowitski is not Bird. Big Baby doesn't have the young Barkleys' explosive power. Yet, in Vegas, it was impossible to ignore Big Baby's resemblance to Barkley. Big Baby can operate from the elbow, 16-17 feet from the basket, as the veteran Barkley could. Big Baby can twine 18 footers till the cows come home, and he can put it on the floor with skill. You can run your offense through Big Baby, because he passes it like a point guard: right on time, right in rhythm, right in the perfect spot, no awkwardness or hesitation, no worries about turning it over.

In Vegas, Fazekas was a guy. Big Baby was Elvis. My Bowie/Jordan nightmare lives. The taller, safer "guy" who fits your scheme/need is always the mistake:
  • Howard Richards/Mike Singletary
  • Perkins/Barkley
  • Schrempf/Malone
  • Wennington-Blab/Dumars
  • a dozen taller guys/Josh Howard
  • Pervis Ellison-Danny Ferry-Stacy King-George McCloud-Randy White-Tom Hammonds-Michael Smith/Tim Hardaway
Don't draft Perry Como. Draft Elvis.

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