Saturday, July 01, 2006

More on Nikoloz...

From now on, for my own personal sanity, I will refer to Nikoloz as NT. Basically, he's a sweet-shooting big man who runs the floor well and was selected 5th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. He's got an amazing offensive game, but doesn't do much of anything on the defensive end. We got NT off of waivers for the bargain-basement price of 780,000, non-garunteed. Worst comes to worst, he continues to look like a bust, we cut him before camp breaks and we're out 780K. However, I have reason to believe otherwise. NT just might actually turn into something under Nate McMillan. Throughout his entire career, even before the NBA, he has been stuck playing limited, inconsistent minutes off the bench. He has all this potential, but needs to learn the NBA game in order to do anything with it. You can't do that if you're playing 10 minutes off the bench every 6 games. Likewise, even the best shooters can't shoot the ball well at all if they're only seeing those kind of minutes. You need to have a rythm to be a good shooter, and that kind of playing time does not allow for development of that. In a best case scenario, Nate works with NT to develop his game and he blossoms into a serviceable big man off the bench who can come in and spread the floor and we look like geniuses. He is versatile enough to play any position from the 2 to the 5, so he has the potential to create some serious matchup problems. All in all, an excellent inexpensive, no-risk pickup by Pritchard and company.

2 Comments:

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Ryne said...

yeah its a no lose situation...i'm sure if we can spend 3 mil on spanish choco then paul allen can cough up 750k for this guy

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Mortimer said...

I agree completely...

Watching NT on the PHX bench during the playoffs, I was also surprised how skinny he STILL is. We got some pretty good strength and conditioning guys on the Blazers, and if he does stick around I hope we force him to add some muscle...

I've tried to pay attention to NT since he was drafted; I got a soft spot for tall Euros who can shoot, and I was always somewhat disappointed he never seemed to come around. Of course, I really don't think he was given a chance...

Maybe he doesn't work on his game enough, maybe he doesn't put in a lot of effort (that sleepy-eyed East Euro look makes him look half awake all the time), maybe he's an asshole or was coached by assholes who didn't want to play him for whatever reason (I'll leave PHX out of that possibility; they had a playoff run to tend to)... I hope none of those were the reason he didn't stick and improve anywhere, and that maybe he can find a role with the Blazers.

But yeah, for less than a million, non-guaranteed, a bonafide 7 footer who can shoot... I'm glad we got him, and Pritchard has done a years worth of work in only a few days. I knew I had good reason to like him.

Pritchard is so popular now, wait till he trades Miles.

Mortimer

 

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