Because I believe it in my heart.
For those of you who don’t come to conclusions with your heart… here’s what I’ve got.
Who’s the best shooter on the planet? Stephen Curry that’s who. Putting the ball through the net is the goal of the game, if there is a net. No one does it like this guy. He can make it rain fire in an instant. If you turn your head to talk to your date whilst watching the game… you might just miss him make three in a row.
Curry can pull it from anywhere on the court. It doesn’t matter what position his body is in when he decides it’s time to let fly, he seemingly always squares up to the basket, with perfect form and an uncanny release. If you are a parent at home with a child you want to teach how to shoot a basketball, take a lesson from Harrison Barnes’ mother. Record Warriors games on your DVR next season, sit down with your kid and press play.
En Fuego Man, as I like to call Stephen Curry, doesn’t just shoot the basketball though. He’s invented his own style of passing the ball. It’s based on getting his teammate the ball in the right spot, but more importantly, at the right time. For instance, Curry could be in the middle of breaking his opponent down off the dribble, see someone flash open out of the corner of his eye and all of the sudden throw the ball over his shoulder with his off hand. It usually hits his teammates in the hands in rhythm, giving them the opportunity to shoot the ball without thinking.
Stephen might be the smallest man on the court most of the time, but he has no fear going in there and mixing it up with the tree’s and grabbing that tough rebound for you.
With the way Curry dribbles the basketball, you’d think he was playing with a yo-yo. Defenders get caught guessing a lot with him, jumping left or right , playing right into his magical trap, just like a deer in headlights.
As far as intangibles go, there is only one I’d like to speak of: He leaves it all out on the court. There are rare moments when he shows the world his exhaustion. No worries, he usually comes right back and hits his next shot.
Who was born to be a Wild West gunslinger? Klay Thompson, of course. What more could you ask for in a Shooting Guard? Klay is what I like to call an unconscious shooter. Do you know how baseball players are always talking about their bat speed? Someone aught to make note of how fast the ball enters his hands and is on it’s way to the rim. The young man doesn’t appear to think about defenders when it’s time to pull the trigger.
Why should he? He’s 6’7″ tall with a high release point. His jumper, by most accounts, is unblock-able At that size he can post you up too. He has a variety of dipsy doos, and always seems to put the ball up with a nice soft touch around the basket.
I call Klay “The Pool Shark” because of the way he passes the ball. He’s always at least one move ahead of his opponent. For example: Klay will come around a screen, catch the ball and in the blink of an eye, deliver it back to the man who set the screen for him. This usually results in a dunk or layup and everyone loves easy baskets.
Thompson may have a slender frame, but don’t get it twisted, he can lock down three positions. His lateral quickness may be his finest quality as an athlete, and his effort and willingness to hold his ground when bigger players crash into him on their way to the basket garners the utmost respect.
I’ll say it right now… I believe that in a series with the current World Champion Miami Heat, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors can turn Dwayne Wade into a volume shooter.
Intangibles: Clutch. Team USA select team training is the best offseason workout program in the world.
Who was the steal of the 2012 NBA Draft? Harrison Barnes, for more reasons than I’d like to get into in this article. The first thing that strikes you regarding Harrison is that he can make you jump out of your seat… literally. I call him “The Elevator Man,” because he just keeps going up.
His defense might just end up being legendary. At 20 years old, you simply didn’t have to worry about his individual matchup. That alone is extremely rare. He can keep you in front of him. He gets real low and wide based, shuffles his feet pretty well. If by chance you do get by him, he has the recovery quickness to come pin the ball against the backboard.
Contrary to most scouts opinions, Barnes has a lightning quick first step. He’ll even bust out a crossover once in a while. He’s not afraid to shoot it when the big lights of the playoffs on him, scoring 16 points per game. He also puts forth a valiant effort on the glass.
Intangibles: Uber potential. He’s getting bigger as I write. LeBron James is going to have his hands full. This young man possesses the class and character of a 10-year vet. Tough as nails. Team USA select team experience is going to do wonders for him/
Who in the NBA possesses more bravery or bravado than David Lee? No one. The man played with a torn hip flexor in the playoffs. Lee truly embodies the Warrior spirit, that’s why I call him “The Mighty” David Lee. Some call him a heady ballplayer which is true but doesn’t begin to explain everything he can do on a basketball court.
Offensively, he can take his man out to 18 feet away from the basket. If you don’t play up on him, he could either nail down the jump shot or wiz one right by your ear, delivering a perfect pass to a player in position to score. Lee is one of the best passing big men in the game today, both adept at the routine pass and creative when he needs to be.
Off the bounce is where Lee’s game shines at it’s pinnacle. No one can stop him, he’s as crafty with the ball as Kevin McHalle ever was. He can score from a variety of angles with either hand around the basket, and lives to throw it down.
The next thing that sticks out revolving around Lee’s game is the way he engulfs rebounds, about 10 a game. Lee is the reigning double- double champion of the league: A model of consistency.
Udonis Haslem doesn’t have a chance going toe-to-toe with David Lee.
Intangibles: He’s an All-Star. Toughest working man in showbiz. Leadership by example.
Who should be the odds on favorite to win the most improved player award next season? Andrew Bogut. Granted, five points per contest isn’t going to be very hard to improve upon.
Defensively, around the basket Boogs he is on another level. For example, Chris Bosh would have no business bringing the ball into the painted area. That’s Bogut territory. Around the rim he’s vocal, and he swats shots away like flies. He’s a terrific one-on-one post defender. Just ask Tim Duncan who was relegated to the bench in late game situations during the Conference Semifinals. More than anything, players end up shaking in the knee’s at the very thought of taking it to the rim when he’s in there.
Blessed with a pair of giant mitts for hands, Andrew is an absolute beast on the boards. The seven foot plus wingspan doesn’t hurt much either. For the most part rebounding comes down to effort and he sure doesn’t disappoint in that area.
Cerebral is the word I’d use to best describe Andrew Bogut’s passing ability. He loves throwing a behind-the-back bounce pass to cutters. With his back to the basket, he can deliver the ball anywhere on the court because of his patients and the fact he’s always looking for the best play possible.
I call Andrew “God of Thunder” because he loves to drop Thor’s Hammer on opponents. He also fancies himself a seven foot guard occasionally showing off his handles.
Intangible: Ask JaVale McGee who’d win in a stare down contest.
Part 2 coming soon.