Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glen Robinson III will both have to play at a very high level in March in order for the Wolverines to live up to expectation.
Fortunately for them they are both very close to people who have experience playing at a high level. They are both sons of (and named after) former NBA All-Stars.
Tim Hardaway Sr. played college basketball at UTEP before coming to the NBA. Once he reached the professionals he made a name for himself as a scoring guard who could also initiate the offense. He played for a number of NBA teams, most notably the Miami Heat where he developed a strong on-court chemistry with Alonzo Mourning.
But of all the things that Tim Hardaway will be remembered for none will stand above his killer crossover dribble. Some say Hardaway not only had the best crossover in the NBA, but also revolutionized it in a way that made it a mainstream move for guards. Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Russell Westrbook; none of them could claim to have a better crossover than Hardaway.
While Hardaway Sr. needed to use the crossover to his advantage to compensate for a lack of height, his son surprisingly grew to be six inches taller than his famous father. Hardaway Jr. grew up playing one-on-one against his dad. His competitive spirit led him to eventually beat him when he was in ninth grade, a sign that he was destined to be one heck of a player.
Hardaway Jr. is averaging nearly 15 points and five rebounds on the season.
Glen Robinson went to Purdue University and eventually made a name for himself in the NBA as a tough-nosed scorer. He was a two-time All-Star and earned himself the nickname “Big Dog.”
His son irked many fans of Robinson’s alma mater, Purdue, by choosing to attend Big 10 rival Michigan. He reinforced those feelings by scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds when Michigan faced off against the Boilermakers.
Robinson III is about the same height as his dad, but some might argue he is an even better athlete. Only a freshman, Robinson has yet to announce whether he will be declaring for the NBA draft. If he chooses to jump ship he will have a chance at being a lottery pick as many scouts like his potential as a defender/rebounder/finisher. He may not generate the type of hype RGIII of the NFL did, but GRIII will be a name that we will likely hear for quite some time.
Both young men will get their chance at expanding on their fathers’ NBA legacy at some point, but right now they are both huge reasons why Michigan should be considered a favorite to win the NCAA Tournament.
Led by the two prodigies and Trey Burke, who ironically was hardly recruited by most Big 10 schools yet might be the team’s best player, the Wolverines will be a tough draw for anyone matched up with them.
I really have no idea. The entire situation in LA is pretty stunning. I’m not surprised they got rid of Mike Brown, as his pathetic offense seemed like a poor fit for a team Steve Nash. Nash flourished under Mike D’Antoni, but he was younger at the time and they never won anything. Meanwhile the Lakers decided not to bring back the best coach in NBA history – Phil Jackson. It should be good for NBA ratings, however, as this drama should be fun to watch.
I really have no idea how Nash is going to fit in with the Lakers as currently constituted. We’ll have to see how the rest of the off-season plays out.
But Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger, and I like the idea of adding a dynamic player like Steve Nash to the mix, even if he’s 38 years old. It’s “win now” time in LA. Mike Brown is a lame offensive coach, but now he has another playmaker on the court to help him out. It will be fun to see if he can teach Nash how to play defense.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard reacts after the Magic defeated the Miami Heat in their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida March 3, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
ESPN recently ran a piece where it asked TrueHoop bloggers whether or not Orlando, New Jersey, New Orleans and Phoenix should trade their star players this offseason. I thought I’d chime in with my own thoughts:
This has to be a gut call from GM Otis Smith — he knows Howard better than any member of the media and if he believes his superstar wants to stay, then he should do everything in his power to make it happen. Only I don’t know how he gets the Magic back in the fold as a true contender given the available pieces he has to move. There has been one personnel mistake after another since Orlando’s appearance in the 2009 Finals. Just like Chris Bosh and LeBron James, the writing is on the wall, isn’t it? Dwight Howard is leaving, and if Smith can acquire someone with the upside of Andrew Bynum in the process, that might be the Magic’s best bet to jump start the rebuilding process.
Of course the Nets should hold onto Williams. He’s a franchise point guard and with Brook Lopez in tow and a load of cap space, the soon-to-be Brooklyn Whatevers are poised to make a big jump in the standings. Mikhail Prokhorov’s management team has done a nice job thus far, though I have no idea why they gave Travis Outlaw $7 million a year. Without that albatross of a contract, the Nets would be even better position to make a splash in free agency and surround Williams with the wings that he needs to be successful.
This is a unique situation, what with the NBA owning the Hornets and all. One of ESPN’s bloggers said the “fair” thing to do is let CP3 walk, but that’s not the best move for the franchise. I think they should offer Paul for Russell Westbrook straight up. That may not be the first step on the road to a championship, but it’s probably the best deal the Hornets will get. Plus, no one will look at Westbrook funny when he takes 30 shots and turns the ball over six times per game. (Or how about Paul for Eric Gordon? New Orleans needs a good young star to build around.) Bottom line? I don’t think there’s much of a chance of Paul re-upping after the season, so New Orleans should get as much in return as possible while they still can.
Forget all this talk about Nash retiring a Sun. That can’t be what’s most important to him. He must want to taste the Conference Finals again, so Phoenix should trade him to a playoff team that can offer draft picks and/or a good young player in return. What’s the point in letting Nash’s career die a slow death on a team that’s going nowhere? Stop being selfish, Phoenix Suns. Free Steve Nash.
My post from a few days ago was relatively well-received at reddit, and one of the readers there said that he’d like to see the same graph for some of the all-time great point guards.
So with a little help from Basketball-Reference.com, I compiled a list of (all?) the Hall of Fame point guards: Oscar Robertson, Lenny Wilkens, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Tiny Archibald, Calvin Murphy, Pete Maravich and Walt Frazier. Unfortunately, the NBA didn’t start keeping track of turnovers until the 1977-78 season, so there’s no assist-to-turnover data for the first four (Robertson, Wilkens, Cousy, West) and the data for Archibald, Murphy, Maravich and Frazier is incomplete, so I could only use their post-1977 numbers.
I also compiled a list of the top non-HOF point guards who are both retired and still active: Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, Steve Nash, Gary Payton, Rod Strickland, Maurice Cheeks, Terry Porter, Tim Hardaway, Andre Miller, Muggsy Bogues, Kevin Johnson, Derek Harper, Stephon Marbury (yes, Stephon Marbury), John Lucas, Norm Nixon, Mookie Blaylock, Sam Cassell, Avery Johnson, Baron Davis, Nick Van Exel, Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and Mike Bibby. All of these players have at least 5,400 career assists, which seemed to be the cutoff for players I was interested in using for this study.
Lastly, I added seven of the top current point guards who have yet to break the 5,400-assist barrier: Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams and of course, Chris Paul.
I first tackled this subject two years ago, and settled on the shot-to-assist ratio to determine whether a player is “pass-first” or “shoot-first.” The higher the number, the more of a “shoot-first” player he is. To determine whether or not a player is “turnover-prone,” I calculated each player’s assist-to-turnover ratio. The higher the number, the better the player is at taking care of the ball, relative to what he’s asked to do as a playmaker for his team. The graph takes a gentle downward slope because assists are part of both calculations. (Note: While I do like FGA/A as the criteria for shoot-first/pass-first, I am not completely sold on A/TO as the criteria for turnover-prone. Perhaps (A+FGA)/TO would show shoot-first guards in a better light? Maybe I’ll try that next year.)