When watching Basketball and the announcer mentions Steph's brother Seth I always think of Michael and Pichael. And this line, "You could tell our parents started with naming with him. It's like, "Oh, Michael." I ha— They had that one planned before they even got pregnant, I bet."
Which awards are locked in? Which are still up for debate? a glance through the odds and campaigns in each category
It feels like it's been 5 years since we've seen actual NBA basketball, which may make awards debates and campaigns more difficult. Wait, who was playing well again...? Dennis Schroder? Seriously? Huh. Okay then. As we soldier back into the bubble, there's a risk that awards voters will forget about that early part of the season (aka the vast majority) and fall victim to recency bias. Given that, we wanted to glance through the major races and determine which -- if any -- awards may still be in debate. For this exercise, I'm using the current odds as listed by an online betting site (bovada). Note: the percentages do NOT add up to 100% because online betting sites like your money. MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo: - 3500 (97%) LeBron James: +600 (14%) is the race over? This betting site heavily favors Giannis Antetokounmpo, although some other metrics have it closer than that. Basketball-reference's MVP tracker lists Giannis at 50.7% and LeBron at 17.3%. I'm more inclined to believe the latter and that LeBron James would be closer to 15-20% odds. No doubt, Giannis is a worthy MVP. He's been a dominant force (again) for the top statistical team in the league (again.) He's racking up 30-14-6 in only 30.9 minutes per game. In most circumstances, he'd win this award in a walk. That said, you can never discount "narrative," and LeBron James has a few of those going for him. The Lakers have vaulted up to the # 1 seed in the West, outperforming preseason expectations. James has played exceptionally well, and even led the league in assists. Partly because of that, James' camp has successfully gotten the media to buy into the storyline that he made a sudden transition to point guard (ya know, because he had always deferred to his point guards like Mo Williams and Mario Chalmers in the past...) More than that, James may benefit from this strange corona-bubble. He's been a leading advocate for continuing on, and as always, players tend to follow his lead. I can see more than a few media members giving James an MVP vote for "saving the season." All in all, I expect this vote to be closer than it should be (and I expect poor James Harden to finish well behind where he should as well.) So James will get some votes, but can he actually win the award? I wouldn't rule it out. The Lakers are currently 3 games behind the Bucks for the # 1 overall seed. It's hard to imagine Milwaukee losing enough to slip, but it's not Wallace Shawn inconceivable either. If the Lakers somehow manage to catch them, then I actually think LeBron will win MVP. Of course, it's more likely the Bucks will hang onto the # 1 seed, and Giannis will hang onto MVP. But again, I don't think it's a stone cold lock -- yet. Rookie of the Year Ja Morant: - 3500 (97%) Zion Williamson: +850 (11%) is the race over? It should be. Zion Williamson is freakin' amazing, but he's played 19 games so far. That's 40 less than Ja Morant, who has played stellar ball for a rookie from a small school, and somehow led the Memphis Grizzlies to the 8th seed. Still, we can't rule out the risk of recency bias and a wild overreaction from the media. Williamson has a chance to lead the Pelicans up to the 9th spot, at which point they'd play Morant's Grizzlies. If Williamson can lead New Orleans to two victories over Memphis in a row -- and thus leapfrog them in the standings -- then it's very feasible the media would throw their vote his way. The media (and the league as a whole) tends to like this Zion fella, if you haven't noticed. Sixth Man Dennis Schroder: - 220 (69%) Montrezl Harrell: +190 (34%) Lou Williams: +450 (18%) Derrick Rose: +3000 (3%) is the race over? Simply put: no. It's still a three-man race in my book. The Clippers' Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell finished 1-2 last season, and are right back in the thick of things this year. Among the two, it's harder to justify Williams' winning for the third season in a row. He hasn't played as well as last year, and hasn't been as big of a focal point for the Clippers' game plan. With Sweet Lou taking a slight step back, it's opened the door for Dennis Schroder. He's having a career season in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's hard to understate his jump this year. In his six previous seasons, his career high true shooting percentage was only 53.3%. This season? He's vaulted up to 57.3%. The question is: have enough voters noticed? OKC has been a feel-good story this year, but Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tend to get the most credit for that. Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if voters get lazy and just fall back on the highest scorer among the three. And even by those standards, the race is wide open. Schroder is at 19.0 PPG, Williams is at 18.7 PPG, and Harrell is at 18.6 PPG. A strong (or bad) week or two in the bubble may tilt this race in any direction. Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo: -500 (83%) Anthony Davis: +200 (33%) Rudy Gobert: +2800 (3%) is the race over? Even among savvy and analytically-inclined media members, "defense" is still something of a mystery to quantify. We see a lot of herd mentality emerge for DPOY voting, with candidates needing to stake their claim early on and campaign all season long. In terms of storylines and narratives, it felt like Anthony Davis had the early momentum. He's a wrecking ball (1.5 steals, 2.4 blocks) who helped improve the Lakers' defense from # 12 to # 3 this season. Still, Giannis Antetokounmpo has steadily built his case for a double MVP + DPOY, and currently ranks as the betting favorite on this site. Personally, I believe it's a closer race than these numbers suggest. At the same time, I'm not sure what their play in the bubble is going to do about it. More likely, it'll be an influential media piece (like Zach Lowe pushing for Marc Gasol) that may get voters ushering on one side or another. Most Improved Bam Adebayo: -150 (60%) Brandon Ingram: +250 (29%) Luka Doncic: +500 (17%) Jayson Tatum: +900 (10%) Devonte Graham: +1000 (9%) is the race over? Again, this race feels "too close to call" to me. John King and David Chalian may be tallying up the counties all night long. Earlier this season, I looked back at previous Most Improved winners and tried to find some common threads. On average, the winner improved from 11.7 PPG to 19.6 PPG (roughly +8 points.) Historically speaking, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum fit close to those templates. Ingram has swelled from 18.3 PPG to 24.3 PPG in his first season in New Orleans (+6). Tatum has made an even bigger leap, going from 15.7 PPG to 23.6 PPG (essentially our exact +8). Of the two, I may lean more to Ingram myself. Tatum's taking more shots and more threes, but he was already considered a proven star prior to this. Ingram had been more of a question mark before, but has now established himself as a potential max player. The key for him has been an improved FT%. In his first three seasons, he shot 62%, 68%, and 68% from the line. This year, he's up to 86%. That's major progress, and represents a massive difference in his efficiency "floor." Still, you wonder if Ingram's momentum peaked too early. Ever since Zion Williamson came back, it feels like Ingram has been an afterthought in the media. Conversely, Bam Adebayo's reputation within the media is still surging. He's been a major reason for the Miami Heat's success this year, nearly doubling from 8.9 PPG to 16.2 PPG (+7.3 overall.) He's also doubled his assists (from 2.2 to 5.1). If you wanted to nitpick Adebayo's candidacy, you may suggest he was pretty darn good already. A lot of the statistical upswing comes from an increase in minutes, from 23.3 to 34.4 this year. Overall, I'd say Abebayo is the favorite, but I wouldn't lock it in yet. A player like Brandon Ingram could get hot and have a few 40 point games, at which point the momentum may swing back in his favor.
How the hell is one supposed to choose a career? Related: Please help me choose a career.
Hello, SSC. I am using a throwaway. This is a beast of a post. A few thoughts related to its size:
Please don't read the whole thing; it's skimmable.
TL;DR – lawyer, doctor, psych researcher, or (jokingly, unless…) novelist?
To make a long story short, I'm an unhappy software engineer (unhappy with my career, not with life in general), and I committed about a year ago to making a change. Since that time, I've vacillated wildly in my thinking on the various career options available (never able to fully commit), and at this point it's causing me a ton of anxiety: I've gotta choose something, but there just doesn't seem to be a clear answer. My family and partner are running out of patience, and I feel the same way: It's time to get a move on, already. "Getting a move on" is super fucking hard, though (not to mention terrifying, given the stakes). How are you supposed to compare, on the one hand, cognitive fit (i.e. being good at your job) with, on the other hand, likelihood of being able to pursue your own lines of inquiry or expression (i.e. not feeling like a cog)? Where does money fit into all of this? The sheer number of different paradigms for career choice seems to be evidence that nobody else really has a clear idea either: "Do what you love." "Do what you like the most out of medicine, law, finance, and engineering." "Work sucks: Make money and retire." "Working for someone else sucks: Start a business or be your own boss." Then there are the more complicated ones, like Ikagi, or the Waitbutwhy octopus, or 80,000 Hours' five-star system. Every different paradigm comes up with a different answer, and the same paradigm often comes up with different answers depending on things that seem like they should not be able to shift paradigms, like what mood I happen to be in at the moment. I do have some concrete things to work with, namely that I think I've been able to pinpoint why I don't like software engineering. Three main reasons: 1 - Lack of Cognitive Fit: On pretty much every sort of standardized test thrown at me, there will invariably be a huge imbalance between subscores (verbal = higher, math = lower), with further cleavage between the mathematics subscores (numeric = higher, spatial = lower). This comports with my general "feeling" about these things: Reading and writing are easy and enjoyable; statistics is doable and tolerable; spatial math is difficult and unpleasant. This has manifested itself in difficulties with software engineering, which is, after all, concerned with how best to build complicated, invisible structures. My in-the-major grades in school were mediocre at best (they were high outside of my major); my work performance is middling. The overall feeling of working in software engineering is that of wading through cerebral molasses, and at no time is this feeling more acute than when I'm working with other computer people: They just get it, and I just don't get it. With all due respect to grit, conscientiousness, growth mindset, etc., I often feel like I am simply running up against the limits of my mental machinery. All fine if it's worth the fight, but... 2 - Lack of Subject-Matter Interest CS as an academic discipline is interesting enough, but it's never "grabbed me" in the way that some other academic disciplines have. I've never found my mind wandering towards topics in CS in the same way that it often wanders towards topics in, e.g., biology, psychology, economics, literature. I would never read a book on software engineering or computer science for fun. Why the hell did you major in it, then, you stupid, dumb idiot? I wish I had a better answer, but it was some combination of peer pressure (the cool, ambitious kids were ALL majoring in CS in 2011 (that may still be the case now, IDK)) and a desire to be employable. 3 - Lack of Workplace Autonomy A product manager tells you to build the thing, so you build the thing. You (sometimes) get to choose how you build the thing, but if you don't have any underlying interest in how the thing is built, the whole experience just feels like drudgery. _________ With all that in mind, I was able to build a pretty complicated paradigm that would take an entire post by itself to explain but basically boiled down to the following: Emphasize cognitive fit, subject-matter interest, workplace autonomy, and ability to do good, while trying as best you can to hold onto some of the positive features of software engineering (tons of stability, quite good pay, not-terrible working hours). That got me down to four main possibilities. For the sake of simplifying the discussion, let's say that remaining a software engineer isn't an option. Here they are: Law (JD): On the one hand: - Super high points for cognitive fit. Rules governing human behavior mediated entirely through the English language? Lots of reading and writing? Beautiful; give me more. - The potential (if done in a certain way) to feel like you’re “fighting for the good guys.” - For better or worse, I “vibe” with lawyers. Even the greedy ones tend to be "words people," because “money-driven” + “good with words, sucks at math” tends to equal “lawyer." I've never met, for example, another group of people who like crossword puzzles as much as I do. On the other hand: - Nearly every lawyer I’ve talked to says it’s straight-up difficult to get a job where you fight for the good guys and much easier to get a job where you’re fighting for the “neutral-at-best” guys. - At the end of the day, I’m more interested in the law and less interested in being a practicing lawyer, mostly because of the same autonomy problem in software engineering: A higher-up tells you to do the thing, so you do the thing. In an ideal world, you solve the autonomy problem by, say, working at a think tank or in academia. But I’ve gotten that beaten out of my head by the chorus of voices saying, “Don’t go to law school if you don’t want to practice.” - Long hours and a culture of overwork lead to high stress. Varies between firms (and between firms and government), but a work-hard-play-hard culture seem to pervade the profession, and, to put it bluntly, most of the lawyers I know seem pretty fucking stressed. - When I tell lawyers that I’m considering law school, many of them say, “Don’t do it.” People in other fields don’t say that when I tell them I’m considering their field. Medicine (MD) or Research Medicine (MD/PhD): On the one hand: - High level of interest in the subject material. I self-studied AP Bio back in the day by reading the textbook cover-to-cover. When I’m reading nonfiction for fun, there’s a pretty good chance it’s bio or medicine-related. To this day, I don’t really know why I didn’t study it in college. Network effects, probably. - I could see myself being interested in practicing psychiatry, endocrinology, sleep medicine—any field where the emphasis is more “This strange concoction of chemicals makes you feel a certain way!” than it is “The machine that synthesizes urine broke down again.” - I put “MD/PhD” because I find the idea of being a physician-scientist more appealing than one or the other. Being able to treat actual real people and then retreating to the lab to do solitary mind work really does sound like the best of both worlds. Either way, though, the process would start with a postbacc, so I guess technically I don’t have to decide yet. - I did a thing where I downloaded the SSC dataset and looked at all the different careers, and doctors had the highest levels of life satisfaction out of anyone (for whom I could find a coherent career field in the spreadsheet). This held even when they were in school and residency (i.e. couldn’t be entirely explained by income (although it could, I suppose, be explained by “income or the expectation of future income”)). Two main ways I can think of to explain this: 1. Being a doctor is (relatively) fulfilling and makes people happy. 2. Becoming a doctor is so difficult that only (relatively) happy and well-balanced people are able to complete the process. This might sound naïve, but my honest bet is number one. In what other profession do you get paid SO MUCH MONEY to work so intimately with other people? So many high-enjoyability, low-pay professions (teaching, social work, etc.) are basically about taking a pay cuts so that you can work closely with other people. And in medicine you don’t have to take the pay cut. On the other hand: - Maybe there are doctors reading this and thinking, “You naïve little twerp; do you know how hard you have to work and how good you have to be to do what you’re talking about doing? Genetic research? Neuroscience? Start honing your colonoscopy skills, bucko, because you’re going to have to pay off your loans just like the rest of us.” - On a related note, I know a lot of lawyers but no doctors, so I have heavy doses of “realism” from the law side, but not the medicine side. - Med school, from what I understand, is the most demanding of the professional schools. I honestly can’t say for sure that I’d be able to get through it. - While I like reading popular books about medicine, I don't really get off on academic papers about medicine. Maybe it’s just because I don’t know the lingo yet, or maybe it’s a warning sign that my interest in the field is going to turn out to be superficial. - It would take a long time. Between postbacc, med school, (maybe) PhD, and residency, I’m looking at another decade before I make money again. Which is fine if I enjoy the process like I think I will. But if I don’t enjoy the process, it’s going to be a long ten years. - Less reading and writing than I’d like, although that’s partially mitigated by doing an MD/PhD rather than just a PhD. I just really want a job where I get to read and write on the daily and the quality of the writing matters a good deal. “Just do that outside of your job!” Yeah, but in practice it’s hard. Academia (PhD in Psychology): On the one hand: - I like sitting down at a desk, reading about things, thinking about things, doing what it takes to get the answer to something that’s been nagging at me, and then writing about the process of finding that answer. The fundamental idea that I could get paid to do something like that is still mindblowing to me. - Checks ALL of the boxes that bugged me about software engineering: You have a degree of autonomy, and you presumably get to work in a field that you’re interested in and that you’re a good cognitive fit for. Law stumbles a bit in the autonomy department. Medicine stumbles a bit in the cognitive fit department. This baby don’t stumble. - To test my enthusiasm for academia, I read as many research papers as I could get my hands on from as many different fields as I could get my hands on. The result? I enjoy reading research papers. I could see myself writing them. This is a good thing, as I understand it, for a career in academia. - In terms of which disciplines “won” (greatest level of interest), three were head and shoulders above the rest: Psych, soc, and econ. I talked to some econ PhDs, and I honestly don’t think I have the mathematical acumen for it. Between (cognitive) psych and soc, neither of them has great career prospects, so it’s a wash there, and I’m slightly more interested in psych, so I might as well just do psych. On the other hand: - Due to mediocre undergraduate GPA and lack of research, I’ll probably have to do a masters or a postbacc first (time and $$) - You gotta always be scrapping for grants and funding. Nobody likes scrapping. - For better or worse, there is a distinct “good” outcome (tenure) that I might not achieve. I know that this is a really contentious topic, and I don’t mean to get anybody riled here, but yeah: I’m gonna be gunning really hard for the outcome that allows me to teach, do research, get paid well, and be difficult to fire. And I might not get it. And that’s extremely worrisome to me. “Making it” in academia, if you have the basic chops, is probably not as unlikely or fluky as, say, making it as an actor. But it’s still unlikely (depending on your field) and still fluky! You could get an advisor you end up not gelling with, and then you’re fucked. You could pursue a line of research that nobody really cares about, and then you’re fucked. (This is what people have told me, anyway). That’s all super scary to me, and it’s definitely an argument in favor of law or medicine, which have more of a “get the degree and collect your job” feel to them. - Arduousness: Everyone says that it’s difficult and demanding and stressful and that you have to make sacrifices. I believe them. And, while I think I’m willing to make those sacrifices, it’s one matter to say that you’re willing and another matter to actually not drop out of the program when you really feel like dropping out. - Covid-19 is currently in the process of upending higher education. It might be fine! But the next few years are a bit of an event horizon: We don’t really know what things are going to look like on the other side. In other words, more risk. Writing (MFA): On the one hand: - A cool “wild card.” - In the “You find out you have 5 years to live, what do you do?” thought experiment, I get an MFA and write a novel every time. Writing creatively is an activity that both hits a ton of neurons AND is somehow infused with meaning for me. - It’d be super fun. On the other hand: - Risk. Risk, risk, risk, risk, risk. Follow your dreams, they say. But what if my dream was to be a professional basketball player in the NBA? Should I follow that dream? To put it another way: I know that I’m a good writer, but it seems like you enter the realm of “luck not optional” when you’re seriously trying to make a living by writing books. I ballparked my odds of eventual success (defined as “I get to write without doing anything else on the side”) at 25% if I get into a top MFA program (which I probably won't anyway). That number is already scarily low to me, and it may well be generous. - My past is littered with the carcasses of unfinished novels. I’ve managed to finish short stories, and I’ve managed to finish screenplays. The novel is the white whale. I think I could do it from within the structure of an MFA program, but who knows? - If I don’t “make it” straight out of the MFA program, I’ll have to go back to doing something pay the bills, and that something will probably be software engineering. And then I’m back where I started: Doing software engineering for money while writing on the side. If I end up just “Doing X and writing on the side,” then I would have been better off spending my grad school golden ticket getting up to speed in an X—law, medicine, psychology—that I enjoy more than software engineering. Where I'm at right now: Trapped in a terrible cycle, pretty much. It goes like this: I choose medicine, and a voice goes, “Really? Once again subjecting yourself to a career where reading and writing artfully isn’t really an integral part of the process? Doing ‘science,’ which we suspect you might not be great at doing? You should do law instead, where your mental machinery seems more suited to the process and the people seem more like ‘your people.’” So I choose law, and a voice goes, “Really? Once again committing to a dynamic where you show up to the office and a superior throws a bunch of work at you and you do the work and go home without having pursued your own lines of inquiry or advanced human knowledge?” “I’ll be a professor,” I say. “No, you really won’t,” the voice says. “Think of all the unhappy lawyers who said they were going to be a professor or go into human rights or whatever. If you want to do research, you should get a PhD instead.” So I choose a PhD (in psychology or sociology), and a voice goes, “Really? A non-econ social science given the state of academia right now? Do you really think there’s a nice tenure-track job waiting for you on the other side of this? If you’re gunning for the risky thing you might as well go all the way and do an MFA.” So I choose an MFA, and a voice goes, “Really? And have to go back to software engineering in two years when you write a book and nobody gives a shit? Why subject yourself to that? If you’re going to write on the side, just be a doctor: It’s better than software engineering in terms of subject-matter interest and humanistic elements, but it offers similar stability and predictability.” Then we’re back at doctor, and the cycle begins anew. Since I listed pretty much every career option out there, I feel compelled to address some of the few that I left off my list. FIRE: Just gut it out for ten more years and then retire! But the thing is, I like working—I like sitting at a desk, reading, writing, doing stuff—and I can think of nothing more enjoyable than embarking on one of the career paths that I listed above. So all I would get by FIRE-ing is more financial stability when I finally pursue one of them. WHICH AIN’T NOTHING. Believe me, I know. But I don’t think it’s worth the tradeoff of being miserable for another 10 years and starting round two close to age 40. Become a Product Manager (PM): Okay, so you don’t like making pie. How about you supervise the people that make pie; wouldn’t that be more fun? No, I just fucking hate pie. ***Further Wrinkles:***I applied to law school last cycle and got into a school just outside of the T14. Still on the waitlist for pretty much all of the T14 except HYS. I am what the kids call a “splitter” (high LSAT, low GPA), so I don’t have any expectations of getting into HYS, and if I do get into CCN it will probably be because Coronavirus fucks everything up and they have to let a bunch of people off the waitlist. If I decide to not do law school this year (either because I decide to do something else or I decide that I can’t commit when I’m this unsure about things), I will be giving up something in-hand that I might not be able to get back. Which is scary. A Final Miscellaneous Thingy: Since I haven’t actually DONE any of this stuff yet, it would be cool if there were some sort of way to dip my toes into two of the options and see which I like better (the proof, as they say, is in the pudding). Something like a premed postbacc program that would allow you to volunteer in a psych or neuroscience lab. I don’t know if that’s a thing, though. Or maybe it is, but by doing it you just make yourself a weak candidate for BOTH med school and psych PhD programs. Okay. Phew. If you’re still here, first of all, thank you, and second of all, sorry. Thoughts? Feel free to be super discouraging, too. “I’m a doctor, and every vibe you’re putting out says, ‘flunks out of med school.’” That’s information! That’s helpful! Thank you again. God bless you, SSC. Edit: Thank you all so much for your kind and thoughtful answers! Tapping out of the thread for a bit while I go eat and do work and that kinda stuff. Gonna look at and respond to all of these, though; I've just been kinda responding in a random order, but I'll get to 'em.
Portland, Blazing A Path Towards A Promising Future
Over the last 6 years, Portland has been nothing but consistent, it’s been in the playoffs year after year with little signs of slowing down till this year. In a season following a Western Conference Finals appearance many people, me included, had high expectations for this Blazers squad. With Dame at the helm and CJ, Nurk, and the rest of the squad to back him up a top-three finish in the wild western conference didn’t seem outrageous. Hell, maybe they’d catch a break with another team suffering an injury and make a run at the Finals. Instead, this season, the Blazers were the ones getting injured. Nurkic missed the whole season due to a gruesome leg injury that he experienced towards the end of last season. C.J. struggled to stay on the court consistently. Similarly, Collins missed extended time due to a shoulder injury that required him to have surgery, said surgery would sideline him for four months. These injuries, along with the loss of defensive stalwarts Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu decimated any hopes Portland had of being a contender this season. Instead, Dame was forced to spend a majority of the season backpacking the whole team, in an attempt to blaze his way towards the playoff (see what I did there). Despite Dame going demigod mode and dropping averages of 28.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists on 45.7/39.4/88.8 splits it’s not looking like the Blazers will be making their seventh consecutive trip to the playoffs. But it’s not all bad for Blazers fans. Dame is signed through the 2024-2025 season, C.J. is locked up through the 2023-2024 season, and Nurkic is on a team-friendly deal for the next two years. But what I wanted to talk about is the young blazers. The youngsters that will shape this franchise's future and ultimately decide whether Portland will be in the race for the title in the coming years. So without further delay let's talk some Blazers! Anfernee Simons: Simons is perhaps the most hyped up of the young blazers. The 21-year olds game is reminiscent, funnily enough, of C.j.’s. He projects to be a three-level scorer, who can get you a bucket from anywhere. He uses his speed and crafty ball handling to break down defenders, creating separation so he can get his shots off. Simons, in limited minutes, has shown to be able to get to the basket with relative ease, his shots don’t always fall when he gets there but he shoots solidly enough at the hoop. He’s shown glimpses of an ability to finish through contact, giving Blazers fans hope that he could one day be something more as an interior scorer. His shooting from both the midrange is impressive for his age. He’s shooting 45.2% from 15-19 feet away from the basket. To get these buckets he uses his arsenal of stepbacks and fakes to create separation and get his shot off. Can’t get to the midrange, no problem. Simons has shown the ability to be a high-end three-point shooter despite his career 33.9% shooting from behind the arc, he just needs to be more consistent. There are nights like April 10, 2019, where Simons shot 7-11 from downtown, scoring 37 points when it was all said and done. But there are also nights like December 3, 2019, where he will 1-5 from three. His shot looks good and he looks confident taking them which gives me hope that he will figure it out. He is a career 78.7% free-throw shooter as well, which points to him being able to one day knock down threes at a high clip. If Simons can improve upon his finishing at the basket and improve from deep I could easily see him being a three-level scorer who puts up 20+ points a night at his peak. How’s the passing? Well, his 1.5 assists a game this season may not stand out but in his limited minutes, he has shown to be at least an adequate passer. Similarly to his shooting he just needs to be more consistent. For every full course pass or perfectly placed lob pass, he makes there will be another moment where he misses the open cutter or shooter in the corner. It’s more of his pass perception that needs some work, not as much his passing fundamentals. Despite the stats, I have faith that Simons will develop into a 4-5 assist guy in his prime. What about his defense? For now, it’s pretty poor, but I do have hope for Simons on the less glamorous end of the court. Simons is an elite athlete which points to defensive upside. He has the lateral quickness to guard the perimeter while still having the hops to get up and contest shots around the rim. He lacks the strength to be an effective interior defender but with some NBA weight lifting training, that problem could be solved in no time. Simons is yet to fully understand how to defend opposing offenses and isn’t too great and reading passing lanes which limits his ability to disrupt the other team's offense and come away with steals. If Simons can figure out how to read other team's offense and get more steals it could be huge for the Blazers as Simons is an absolute menace in transition. If he can get on a fast break with the ball few players can stop him as he uses his speed blow by defenders and throws down some rim rocking dunks. His biggest fault on defense is his inability to be reliable on that end. He lacks awareness on that end, often losing his man and forgetting to provide help defense for his teammates. In the long run, I think Simons could be a strong perimeter defender and a blah interior one. His strength will likely always hold him back on the inside but if he can figure it out on the perimeter he will at least be serviceable on that end. So the Blazers have a potential star on their hands. If Simons realizes his potential I could see him putting up 20+ points, 4-5 assists, and 4-5 rebounds on strong efficiency. All while being a solid defender. Of course, there are a lot of questions with Simons, but if it all works out I believe the Blazers have a star on their hands. Nassir Little: Coming out of high school Nassir Little was one of the nation's top-rated prospects (#2 overall). He had an underwhelming season at UNC which led him to fall to the 25th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft where the Blazers snagged him up. His first season in the big leagues was a mixed bag. His stats were rather underwhelming and if you didn’t watch the games you’d think this guy is a bonafide scrub. After all, he did put up just 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists on some garbage efficiency (23% from three). But where some see a dumpster fire I see potential. So what does he have going for him? Let's talk about it! Little's biggest draw as a prospect is his freakish athleticism. We're talking about a 6’5, 220lb small forward with some serious bounce. I mean pretty much every highlight of this guy is either a dunk or a put-back. He’s got the ability to quickly accelerate and then just like that, stop on a dime. That same acceleration allows him to rapidly reach top speeds, making him a potential force in transition. He’s also pretty strong considering his 6’5 frame, however, a few extra pounds may not hurt. His athleticism alone has allowed Nassir to be an average defender thus far in his career but it’s clear he has room to improve. He’ll use his speed to keep up with most players on the perimeter and use his strength, agility, and bounce to get up to contest shots at the hoop. He’s even shown to be able to get up multiple times in short succession, allowing him to block multiple shots in quick succession. He’s adept at covering for his teammates and being in the right position to assist his teammates on defense. Like many rookies Little struggles to consistently give 100% on defense all the time but on most nights he manages to stay locked in for the most part. He will hustle for open balls and try to make plays on defense, even if it doesn’t always work out. He’s also not too great at reading opposing offenses. He’ll miss out on steal opportunities because he’s unable to predict what the offense will do next. Similar to Simons, it would be huge if Little could improve upon his defensive awareness as it would lead to more steals which would result in more transition buckets for Little. Little could be a really good defender given some time, he has all the physical tools to effectively guard other forwards, he just needs to learn the mental part of the game. Offensively Little is pretty limited. He’s proven to be an effective lob and put back threat, he’s shooting 59% at the rim. He’s also been able to use his athleticism to help him burst past defenders and get shots up 5ft-9ft away from the basket where he shoots 66.7%. That's it, there's not much to his offensive game. His playmaking in both College and thus far in the NBA is non-existent. His shooting has been poor from three-point range and from the line. His handle is okay, but not good enough to reliably create space and get shots off. I see some potential with Little as a shooter simply because his form looks solid enough, but it’s not assuring that he’s shooting 63.6% at the charity stripe. Still, I wouldn’t be shocked if he managed to shoot something like 33% from three in his prime (he’s 20, he has time). I see Little as a player that will need his offense made for him, whether it’s through lobs, cuts to the basket, or put backs off the rim. I seriously doubt Little is ever going to be a star. He’s got all the physical tools to be a proficient offensive player but it’s his skills that are keeping him back. I think Little, at his peak, will be a 10-12 point scorer who operates mostly down low for his points. As I said previously I don’t think his shot can’t improve, I'm just not sure it will ever be even average. I have faith in his ability to become an above-average defender due to his physical prowess however it’s the mental aspect of the game that will decide if he will be a good or great defender. Ultimately I think Little’s best-case scenario is a fourth or fifth starter on a good team. If the Blazers can turn this athlete into a basketball player, they could have a very solid player under their wings. Zach Collins: Coming out of college Collins was seen as a perfect player for where the league was going. His crazy 47.6% from three in College to go along with his high-end blocking ability had scouts drooling over the possibilities with this near 7-footer. But thus far in his career, only one of those skills has come to fruition. That would be his shot-blocking. In his two full seasons as the Blazers center Collins has routinely shown the ability to keep up with ball handlers on the interior and swat away their shots at the basket. This has been his hallmark skill so far in his career but if he ever wants to be the player people projected him as coming out of college he’s gotta start hitting from outside. Between his rookie and sophomore season Collins has shot just 32.1% from three, not bad for your average center but a far cry from his 47.6% in college. So his shooting isn’t there yet but is he likely to improve. Hell yeah, he is. For one his shot looks clean and he seems to be fairly comfortable taking them (both of which are good signs). His free throw percentage, while not great at 72%, is still solid enough to make you think that he just hasn’t hit his shooting stride yet. He’s also improved all his shooting percentages from his rookie year to his sophomore year, giving further hope that he will figure his shot out. Collins scores most of his buckets on the interior. He’s very skilled at using fakes, turns, hook shots, and even the occasional fade away to score within ten feet of the basket. Collins also uses his 6’11 stature to his advantage, always cutting to the basket or positioning himself to throw down a well-placed lob pass. Collins doesn’t have a go-to move, rather he uses a wide variety of post moves to get his shot up around the rim. Despite not being the fastest player on the court Collins still manages to be a threat in transition as he uses his size and length to his advantage, throwing down dunks with little regard for the defenders in front of him. As a ball-handler Collins is subpar. He lacks the acceleration/burst to blow by defenders and he doesn’t have a crafty enough handle to make up for it. I don’t think being a shot creator will ever be one of Collin's main skills. But I do see some hope for him being a playmaker out of the post. In games, Collins has shown the ability to see cutters and get them the ball for an easy bucket. He hasn’t shown to be a good outlet pass to the perimeter but any sort of playmaking from the center position is a positive (even if he’s never anything special as a playmaker). Collins isn’t a great rebounder for a center. He has the length and athleticism to be a solid rebounder however it’s his strength that has held him up to this point. He’s not weak, he’s just not as large as many other centers. Like if it’s between Collins or Karl-Anthony Towns to grab a rebound you can bet nine times out of ten Towns is getting that rebound simply because of his size and strength. This leads me to my main concern with Collins. I’m not sure that he’s ever going to be big enough to hang defensively with the upper tier of bigs in this league. He gets bodied by the larger bigs in the post and it makes me wonder if he can play the five long term. Ideally, Collins puts on some muscle to address this problem (hopefully he does) but even then I’m skeptical that he will be able to hold his own against the Embiid’s, Jokic’s, and Giannis’s of the league (then again few big men can). On the perimeter, Collins can hold his own against most other bigs but I would by no means call him a lockdown perimeter defender at this point in the league. So what do the Blazers have with Collins? Well if he figures it out I believe they will have an ideal modern NBA big man who can score from both the interior and stretch the floor while playing plus defense. He could be the type of player that any team could want, not because he’s a star, but because he does everything you want your center to do. If he doesn’t figure it out he has at least shown to be a solid bench big who can score a bit and play some solid defense in limited minutes. Collin’s future is in question, his potential is not. Gary Trent Jr.: Gary Trent Jr. showed out this season. He emerged as a bench scoring option when the Blazers needed it. With McCollum missing time in the middle of the season, Trent showed what he could do to the tune of 7.7 points on 38.8% three-point shooting on 3.8 threes a game. This shooting ability along with some semi-respectable defense made him an attractive option off the bench for the crippled Blazers squad. His shooting from the rest of the court also impressed, shooting 45.8% from 10-14ft and 56% at the basket and 83.3% at the line. His handles are nothing to brag about but it was good enough to occasionally break down his defender and get an open shot off. He’s also a threat in transition as his speed allows him to cruise down the floor and get open for attacks at the basket or transition threes. Other than his shooting, transition scoring, and occasional shot creation Trent didn’t bring much more to the offense. But I mean our boy was selected in the second round (37th overall) so let's cut him some slack. Him being a contributor at all is a dub. He lacks the passing vision and accuracy to be an effective playmaker and isn’t much of an offensive rebounder (or rebounder, in general, to be honest). Defensively Trent is just okay. His perimeter defense is better than his interior defense, which is not surprising considering his 6’5 stature and 210lb weight. He’s light on his feet which allows him to keep up with most guards. The problem comes when bigs get switched onto him as he’s not exceptionally strong or lengthy, leading him to being pushed to the side like Will Smith in his relationship with Jada (poor Will). He seems to have a solid idea of how to read opposing offenses as he’s been pretty good at identifying where passes are going and accumulating steals. Of all the young Blazers we’ve talked about Trent is probably the least interesting in terms of long term potential. I don’t know that he will be anything better than a solid bench shooter who provides a bit of defense but that's alright. Considering his draft position (37th overall) the Blazers getting Trent was absolutely a win. I think Trent will be a 9-10 point scorer on good efficiency for years to come. That’s not bad for a second-round pick. The Young Blazers: If we look at all the young Blazers it’s pretty impressive what Portland has been able to do with their late lottery and non-lottery picks. Simons is a young, athletic guard who has all the potential in the world as a scorer. Collins has the makings of the perfect modern NBA big man. Little has starter potential with his interior scoring and high-end defensive upside. Trent was a nice pick up in the second round a couple of years ago. The Blazers have done an impressive job not only competing in the present but setting themselves up for a promising future. Maybe one day these young players could blaze Portland towards their second championship.
What's Next For The Atlanta Hawks? Part 2: The Draft
In a year where the Hawks 20-47 they find themselves, yet again, atop the lottery with a high chance of snagging yet another top prospect from the draft. In a year with no clear standout studs above the rest, this draft could go a multitude of ways. A player like James Weisman could be drafted with a top 3 pick or he could just as easily slip to the end of the lottery. There's no saying what will happen with this year's draft. We can, however, look at the top prospects and see how they could fit in with this young, burgeoning, Hawks team. Team Needs:
Lots of Defense!!!
So without any more delay, let's talk some draft... Lamelo Ball: One of the top prospects in this year's draft Ball can play make like no other prospect in this draft. His elite court vision, feel for the game, and ball handle should allow him to be an effective playmaker and scorer at the rim. His large frame and size point to a high defensive upside yet he still had some struggles on the defensive end overseas. His shot looks pretty funky (not unlike his brother) plus he’s had a hard time scoring efficiently from behind the arc. Ball would be a very interesting fit for the Hawks. On one end I like it because he would provide a much needed secondary playmaking presence for the hawks. He could run the offense on some possessions allowing Trae to play off-ball more, creating an interesting offensive dynamic where the Hawks would have two elite playmakers on the court. He could also help run the second unit while Trae rests, that way the Hawks always have a high-end playmaker in the game at all times at one of the guard positions. If Ball figured out his defense, he could be a very nice fit next to Trae and the rest of the Hawks measly defensive roster as well, plus he could help grab some of the boards the team will miss out due to Trae’s poor rebounding. It’s not all sunshine and roses with Ball though. His jerky shooting motion as well as his inefficient scoring make me worry about his upside as a secondary shot creator (something the Hawks desperately need). It’s cool that he could potentially be a playmaker and serviceable defender but the offense will continue to be limited without another shot creator. There’s also some reason to worry about whether or not Trae and Lamelo’s skill sets are too similar. Trae is already one of the league's best passers and I'm not sure you want to be taking the ball out of his hands as much as you would be with Lamelo. With the two of them playing together you would likely be forced to give Lamelo the majority of the playmaking opportunities since he doesn’t look to be an effective off-ball player (other than as a cutter). I like Lamelo and his skillset but I’m not sure he’s the right pick for the Hawks. Fit Grade: C+ Killian Hayes: Arguably this year's top shooting guard prospect, Killian Hayes has a lot going for him. He’s a 6’5, 215lb guard out of France that’s shown to have high upside as both a shooter and facilitator. Hayes may not make the same electrifying full-court passes that Ball does but he’s not super far behind him as a playmaker. He has the ability to hit open cutters and shooters along the perimeter with pinpoint accuracy as well as a lethal jump shot to keep opposing defenders honest. This shooting ability along with his solid handle point to him having lots of upside as a shot-creator. Hayes lacks the athleticism of some of the other top prospects but he makes it work with his natural feel for the game. He knows how to attack passing lanes and is always a threat to intercept an opposing player's pass. His size also makes him able to guard opposing wings as he will not easily be overpowered. Hayes’s biggest flaw is simply his lack of athleticism. He lacks the burst to blow by quicker defenders which could potentially limit his scoring abilities on the interior. His handle, while adequate, could use some work as can sometimes struggle to create enough distance to get his shot off. Overall I like Hayes and his fit with the Hawks. I think he could fill the team's needs of a secondary playmaker and secondary shot-creator (as long as it tightens up his handle). He looks to be an above-average defender at the shooting guard position which could greatly benefit the Hawks. His shooting ability would allow him to play off-ball and further solidify the Hawks as an above-average shooting team. The biggest knock I have on Hayes is that he lacks some of the upside of other prospects due to his limited athleticism. It also doesn’t help that Hayes, while being a good defender, would not help solve the Hawks defensive woes as much as some other prospects. In the end, I think Hayes would be a really good fit on this Hawks team as he could spiff up their offense while also helping them on defense. Fit Grade: A- Anthony Edwards: You want athleticism? Say no more. I present to you Anthony Edwards, a 6’5, 225lb shooting guard with a 6’9 wingspan and enough hops to jump out of the building. Edwards shot up onto the scene this year with his herculean dunks and jaw-dropping athleticism. Edwards, in his lone season at Georgia, has shown to be a dynamic ball handler with the ability to create space and hit shots around the rim. His elite athleticism and burst allow him to blow by defenders and his 225lb mold allows him to score through contact. He has tremendous upside as a defender due to his frame as well as his size and agility. Edwards isn’t always a lockdown defender despite his physical traits. He often loses focus when defending off-ball and sometimes simply lacks effort. The same can be said for his offense as when he’s not playing with the ball he can be a bit lackadaisical at times. Edwards is an alright passer but he’s not going to be constantly creating opportunities for his teammates. Edwards would certainly be interesting on the Hawks. I think his ability to create shots and get to the basket could do wonders for the Hawks offense. His defensive potential is through the roof and if he figured it all out he could one day be an all-defensive type player. He does lack the shooting and passing abilities you’d want in a shooting guard however playing next to Trae Young would help alleviate some of those problems. Despite not being much of a playmaker, I love Edwards fit with Atlanta. He has monumental upside as a scoreshot creator and could be a huge asset on the defensive end (as long as he can stay locked in). The only thing keeping Edwards from getting an A+ fit grade is his lack of playmaking. If the Hawks find themselves with a top pick, don’t be surprised if Edwards ends up staying in Georgia. Fit Grade: A Tyrese Haliburton: And we're keeping it rolling with the guards. Haliburton may just be the least exciting of all the top lottery picks. He lacks elite athleticism and wow plays but he makes up for it with his playmaking and off-ball defense. Haliburton is one of the most gifted passers in this class. He seems to always make the right play and can launch the ball to cutters and shooters. He’s not all that athletic but his handle as well as his ability to fake out defenders allows him to create some shots for himself. His shooting was solid but not spectacular in his two years at Iowa State. On defense, he thrives off-ball where he uses his basketball IQ to attack passing lanes, make rotations, and disrupt plays. On the ball, it's a different story. Haliburton lacks the burst to keep up with quicker guards and his 6’5, 175lb frame makes him prone to getting bodied by opposing bigs and forwards. His shot creation is also a concern as he may have a hard time creating separation in the pros. Haliburton seems more like a complementary piece than anything. Frankly, I think the Hawks would be making a mistake taking Haliburton. Yeah sure he would serve as a solid secondary playmaker and play some good defense but I don’t know that he does either of those things well enough to warrant the Hawks selecting him with what will likely be a top-five pick, I simply don’t think he has enough upside (now watch him be a 15-time all-star). Fit Grade: C Onyeka Okongwu: Defense! Defense! Defense! That’s what Onyeka Okongwu is all about. Okongwu has the unique ability to guard bigs on the interior while also being able to keep up with the quicker guards. His hustle paired along with his insane 7’1 wingspan make him a top-notch shot blocker and transition defender. His positioning is well ahead of his age and he’s almost always in the right position to snag a rebound or contest a shot. At USC Okongwu also showed himself to be an elite interior finisher. He can throw down some monster lobs while also being able to softly lay it up when in transition. He has an arsenal of post moves that he uses to score down low. He also finds ways to be useful off-ball as he is a smart screen setter. His passing is also impressive for a big as he is more than capable of making outlet passes to shooters when working in the post. He’s also got a pretty solid handle for a big man and can get to the rim on some defenders. The biggest drawback Okongwu has is his inability to shoot. His mechanics are less than ideal and I’m not too high on him as a shooter. He also can foul a bit much and chase on blocks that he really shouldn’t. If it weren’t for Clint Capela finding his way to Atlanta this last season I would have urged the Hawks to take Okongwu if they got the chance. He checks a lot of the boxes. He can be an elite defender, check. He can act as a secondary playmaker, check. He can create his own shot, kinda check. I just worry that his playstyle would overlap too heavily with Capela which is why I don’t see the Hawks going and getting him. I love Okongwu as a prospect (he’s my favorite in the draft) however I can’t deny the overlapping skills he has with the Hawks roster. Fit Grade: A- (without Capela), C- (with Capela) Devin Vassell: If the Hawks are looking for a 3 and D wing, Vassell might just be their guy. Vassell saw great improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore year at Florida State. In his second year at the university, he put up 12.7 points on 41.5% three-point shooting. His overall scoring wasn’t mind-blowing but his efficiency sparked many scouts interest and put him in a place to be a lottery pick in this year's draft. Vassell showed some ball-handling chops in College but largely struggled to get to and finish at the basket. His passing was solid but he’ll likely never be the lead initiator of an offense. He’s much more suited to being a secondary playmaker. On defense, Vassell is an absolute dog. He hustles for open balls, interrupts passing lanes, and uses his length (6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan) to disrupt bigs. Despite lacking burst Vessel often uses he’s defensive IQ to attack passing lanes and come up with the steal (1.4 steals a game in college). He can effectively guard most guards and wings while also displaying food off-ball defense. He could use a few extra pounds on him since he isn't quite big enough to hang with most bigs in the post. I think Vassell is one of the surest things in this draft class. He seems like the type of player to find a way to be impactful regardless of his role. I don’t see a way this guy could be a complete flop of a draft pick, he just does all the little things so well. In terms of his fit for the Hawks, he is pretty interesting. I really like his defense and shooting for the hawks. His solid playmaking could make him a quality secondary playmaker for hawks. I’m just concerned about his ability to create his own shot. He has shown some craftiness and ability to create space despite his lack of athleticism but I wonder how high his ceiling is in that aspect of the game. It’s also not that assuring that he struggled to finish at the basket in college. I think he will become better at creating his own shot, I just don’t know how much better. It could very well be the difference from him becoming a star or him just being another solid 3 and D wing. There’s also some concern that his game might just be too similar to Deandre Hunter but in my opinion, you can never really have too many good wings. If the Hawks are looking for more of a surefire bet of a prospect I think Vassell should be atop of their list. Team Fit: B+ Obi Toppin: Toppin was a pleasant surprise this year at Dayton. After being a red-shirt his freshman year Toppin burst onto draft boards when he led Dayton to a top record in college basketball. Toppin made highlight plays with his ferocious dunks and ability to swat balls away at a high level. Toppin was a huge transition threat in college due to his galvanizing burst and surprising ball-handling skills. Toppin was able to be an effective interior scorer, despite not having a deep bag of low post moves. He was able to do this because of his monumental strength and burst, oh yeah, also because he’s 6’9 with a 6’11 wingspan and a hulking 220lb frame. Toppin even flashed some playmaking abilities, leading some scouts to believe he could act as a playmaker from the post, kicking the ball out to open shooters. Toppin was also a very solid shooter in his one year at Dayton. He shot 39% on 80+ three-point attempts in his shortened season at Dayton. It is a bit worrisome that in his two seasons at Dayton he never shot better than 71.3% at the free-throw line. But overall I have lots of faith in his jumper as it looks good and his percentages have overall been good. Now let's get onto the less positive side of Toppins game. Toppin is, quite frankly, a catastrophe on defense. His interior defense isn’t that good despite his physical gifts because he lacks lateral quickness. Opposing players can blow by him and get to the rim before he can get up for the contest. Yes, he’s a good shot-blocker when set but the problem is that he doesn’t position himself effectively. His high center of gravity makes him prone to getting bodied by shorter, more bulky wings/guards despite his physical gifts. He tends to get lost on defense and doesn’t always seem to know what to do. He doesn’t have a good sense of what opposing offenses are doing and has little awareness of screens. It doesn’t help that he simply lacks effort on defense. On offense I love Toppins fit with the Hawks. Problem is that he is, in many ways, a spitting image of John Collins. He struggles in many of the same ways and they fill a similar role. Toppin is an absolute nightmare fit for the Hawks defensively. He is simply atrocious on that end and doesn't show much room for improvement on that side of the game (other than maybe his shot-blocking). Toppin is too similar to Collins and too poor of a defender to be selected by the Hawks. Fit Grade: C Deni Avdija: The top international prospect this year, Deni Avdija is a polarizing prospect. He’s a 6’9 wing with guard-like skills. He is a strong passer and playmaker who uses his basketball IQ as well as his solid ball-handling skills to find open shooters in cutters in both full-court and half-court situations. His handle allows him to get to the rim where he finishes more often than not. He’s a crafty interior player that can use a combination of fakes and post moves to score. It’s also worth noting that he can score effectively with either hand making him an even more versatile interior scorer. Deni likes to avoid the mid-range and prefers to take shots along the perimeter or at the basket. His shooting overall hasn’t been too impressive. He really struggled from three and from the line prior to the league's suspension, however, since they’ve come back Avdija has been shooting much better which gives me hope for his shooting in the long term. Defensively, off-ball is where Avdija shines. He positions himself close enough to his defenders so they’re never fully open while still roaming passing lanes in the hunt for a steal. His on-ball defense is less prolific. Avdija simply lacks the lateral quickness to keep up with faster wings and guards, despite putting in lots of effort on that end. He’s also not quite strong enough to stop bigs in the post. His ball handle could also use some improvement as it’s good, not great. So what do we get with Avdija? Well, we're getting a player that can play make, score at the buck, play off-ball defense, and defend off-ball effectively. We’re also getting a player who struggles to defend quicker players as well as bigs, limited athleticism, suspect shooting, and somewhat limited shot creation abilities (though he could very well improve at all these things). I like Avdija’s potential, if he just put on some pounds and did some agility training he could very well be an effective defender for the Hawks. If he worked on his handle his shot creation abilities could also take some strides. I think he could fit nicely on the Hawks. Fit Grade: B+ Isaac Okoro: To round out the list we have Isaac Okoro from Auburn. In his one season at Auburn Okoro flashed the ability to drive and finish at the rim at a high rate. His handle is pretty strong and when paired with his ability to finish with either hand makes him a tough player to guard down low. He often uses a variety of spin moves, fakes, and misdirection to throw defenders off and get shots off at the basket. When he does get to the basket he’s shown to be good at drawing fouls. When he meets opposition when driving to the basket he will often find an open shooter instead of forcing up bad shots. Okoro also thrives on defense where he can play effectively on-ball and off-ball. His high motor paired with his high defensive IQ makes him a menace to go at on offense. He rotates well, fights past screens, and stays with cutters at a high level. He’s also strong enough to stand his ground against bigger players. Okoro has shown to be a poor shooter thus far in his basketball career. He shot just 28.6% from three in his one year at Auburn while also shooting a measly 67.2% from the free-throw line. This leads to him not being very good at creating his own shot along the perimeter and from the midrange. On the bright side he’s not the type to force up shots he’s not good at (cough* cough* Russel Westbrook). There are some questions about how his athleticism will hold up when he gets to the NBA, he has adequate burst but there’s a chance it won’t be good enough to get past higher level defenders. If the Hawks were to end up with a later pick I definitely wouldn’t be mad if they selected Okoro. I see him as at least being a solid NBA defender with some upside as a shot creator and secondary playmaker. His shooting is pretty worrisome but he would be paired with one of the best shooters in the league in Trae Young and a strong shooting supporting cast. Okoro’s transition into the NBA may not be flawless but I think he could blossom as a player in Atlanta. Fit Grade: B+ Side Note: I avoided talking about James Weisman as I don’t see a situation in which the Hawks draft him due to their acquisition of Clint Capela. Join me for part three next week when we will be discussing possible free agents the Hawks could target to help lead them to contention. Thanks For Reading! Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!!
Betting on that favorite means the team must win by at least 26 points to cover the NCAA basketball point spread. The underdog team is able to lose by 25 points and still cover the spread. When you see a moneyline component linked with the spread, such as -25.5 (-115), it indicates how much you risk in order to place the wager. This website caters to individuals who adore betting on favorites such as tennis, soccer, golf, hockey, baseball, football, and basketball. The sky is honestly the limit for fans who head over to BetOnline.ag these days. BetOnline can be a true haven for individuals who are searching for all of the best sports betting sites. Check out the latest basketball betting news and get picks for upcoming games at BookMaker Sportsbook. Whether it is NBA or college hoops, we have great information and picks for many games, especially the big televised games. The example above demonstrates the opening line for a regular season match-up between the Celtics and Knicks. The -2 indicates that the Celtics are the favorite, despite the Knicks playing at home. The ‘-110’ next to the line is what’s known as the vig, or juice, which is simply a fee the sportsbooks charge to use their service. While betting against the point spread or on totals make up the vast majority of basketball wagers, bettors also have several other betting options available to them. One is the money line wager, which is a bet on the winner of the game without the point spread. But because some teams are given a better than 50-percent chance of winning, money
Bet On It - NFL Picks and Predictions for Week 5, Line Moves, Barking Dogs and Best Bets ... NBA and College Basketball Betting Tips: 2nd Half Wagering - Duration: 11:50. PregameTV ... There are 3 methods that you can use to calculation your own college basketball point spreads. You calculate your own point spreads, and compare with the Vegas Lines. This is an Educational How To ... Amongst the system ideas we found a few profitable systems that you can use with your basketball betting. If you enjoyed the video please click the "thumbs up" button so I know to keep making them! A lot of sports bettors think that lines move because of the number of bets being placed on either side, but in this video I take a look at the real reason why betting lines move. Category Sports Sports Betting Tips: Top 5 College Basketball Betting Tips (College Basketball Betting Strategies) - Duration: 9:34. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 4,090 views 9:34