Monday, July 16, 2007

My Little Pony Guards: Comparisons

in playing style & style of contribution - not necessarily in effectiveness & excellence:

Jason Terry: Gerald Henderson, John Paxson, or Craig Hodges.
You can win with Jason Terry in that type of supporting role. He may have been overexposed in trying to shoulder and trigger the My Little Pony [MLP] offense to a championship.
Though Terry has arguably choked in three straight playoffs losses, I believe he will be a clutch shooter through the remainder of his career. That said, in a salary cap era, Mark Cuban is paying this complementary player too much money.

I tried to compare Terry to Vinnie Johnson, but it didn't work. Vinnie was not a complementary player. Vinnie was himself a force which needed to be accounted for. Both Terry and Vinnie can/could shoot and play defense. Vinnie was much more physical than Terry, in an era which allowed guards to put their hands on opponents and manhandle them. Vinnie, improbably, was a talented rebounder. Vinnie was a genius at creating his own shot. Vinnie was a unique athletic genius/artist. I've never seen anyone else play in Vinnie Johnson's style.

Alllll this said: Terry is a prime contender to be traded. The My Little Ponies[MLPs] should not trade him without extremely careful consideration. He could be the veteran back-up point guard they need in the playoffs. I like rooting for Jason Terry. I would be sad to see him go.

Devin Harris: Kevin Johnson/Tony Parker. Avery claims he made a mistake by trying to make Devin into a Jason Kidd type PG. Avery says he will now try to let Devin be a Devin Harris type PG.

J.J. Barea (click for highlights) : Steve Nash. The Mavs are undefeated in the Las Vegas League, and Barea is the reason. He sees things before they happen in the open court. He knows who or where the Mavs want to attack in the half court. When its a crucial in-game moment, Barea takes the big shot himself - and he can score it. Barea has the knack of shooting running 14 footers, ala Alex English/Brad Davis/Steve Nash. Barea gets it done.

Barea's level of exposure on defense is unknowable at this time. He's scrappy, and therefore seems as if he'll be okay. Let us hope.

[related: Barea college highlights; 2007 Vegas Highlight: Barea, Ager, Brandon Bass]

Renaldas Seibutis (click for highlights): the Lithuanian Manu Ginobli, with better passing skills, and worse defensive skills. 21 years old, 6'5". Seibutis was noticeably more instinctive than any other player in Vegas, with the exception of Barea and Big Baby. When watching, your eye becomes attracted to Seibutis, and you hate to look away.

Seibutis has a slashing game. His stroke looks solid. His passing is deft - one could envision Seibutis at point guard. He would be perfect for a three guard rotation in which he split time between PG and Two-Guard.

Similar to Barea, Seibutis seems heady and scrappy on defense, and interested in being a good defender. Let us hope. In an upset, I judge that Seibutis - instead of returning to Europe for one more year - has a semi-chance to drive Buckner off the roster this season. I like Buckner - a lot - Buckner is my favorite kind of underdog, scrappy player. Sadly, Avery doesn't seem to share my love. Whenever Seibutis does come into the league - and he WILL come into the league - I wager Seibutis will be a championship caliber player.

Greg Buckner: Elston Turner(?) - whom, btw, coached the Rockets' Las Vegas Rookie Team.

Maurice Ager: Antoine Walker, aka "Asstoine". Ager is a black hole. When he gets the ball, it's not coming back.

Ager can elevate to the hoop, and he CAN shoot it - don't get me wrong. Also, he has potential to become an impact defender. It's just that 1) the Mavs are a team which moves the ball, and Ager is a player who does not move the ball; and 2) potential to defend doesn't equal actual defense. Ager seems a good kid. Maybe there's hope. It'll be interesting to see what he makes of himself. For now, he is nothing. He hasn't done a dang thing yet. Ager is a blank slate, waiting to be written.

Jerry Stackhouse: Vince Carter, which is really a compliment to Stackhouse, and a slam at Carter. Vince should've been more - he should've been a greater in-the-paint presence, but he isn't.

I like Stackhouse. Avery likes him more than me. I think Stackhouse is one of those veteran glue guys who give a coach comfort. Stackhouse brings physical toughness, and he will generally be where he is supposed to be, on both ends. Stackhouse is maturing, like a fine wine, into a locker room leader. I think Stackhouse is a choking shooter in crucial situations. However, I think some choke shooters get mentally tougher as their careers mature. Just as I hope and suspect this will happen with Jason Terry, I also hope and suspect it will happen with Stackhouse. I can envision Stack the venerable veteran hitting some huge playoff shots. Let us hope.

Devean George: Bobby Jones, of the Julius Erving/Moses Malone/Maurice Cheeks era 76ers. Also, maybe a little bit Shawn Marion. I love Devean George. He can play 2, 3, or 4 (a la Shawn Marion). If you stick George in the corner, like Bruce Bowen, I believe he will hit three pointers all day. He struggles on the angled three pointer. On defense, George is physical, agile, knowledgeable, and mentally tough. This is a big time, big moments, make big stops, championship caliber player. As his rings prove. Pray for his health.

Reyshawn Terry (click for highlights): Bruce Bowen, or Devean George - with possibly better offense! Reyshawn Terry is a stud athlete, and a fundamentally sound player. He's a good bet to contribute as a rookie. He is long - a legitimate 6'7". He is thick in the hips, as a powerful stud athlete should be.

Reyshawn Terry was a late steal in a deep draft. His obvious talent makes Donnie Nelson look like a genius - and like a hardworking GM who gets all his homework done. Working without a high draft pick, Nelson has nevertheless brought in six young and talented players in the most recent two off-seasons. In order of acquisition:

  1. Ager
  2. Mensah-Bonsu
  3. Barea
  4. Fazekas
  5. Reyshawn Terry
  6. Seibutis

Nelson has stocked the franchise with athleticism and talent. Throw in Diop, from two off-seasons ago, and Donnie Nelson is looking very good.

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