Monday, January 16, 2012

Josh Harrellson--Getting all Eastern European

How DBSF sees it there is one of three ways that an individual makes it in the NBA. The most common method is having exceptional athletic ability and size. It probably accounts for over 90% of the NBA and is found in players varying from future superstars like Blake Griffin to Andray 'didn't I play enough defense in the first quarter to get you off my back for the rest of the game?' Blatche. The second group--and by far the smallest contingent--consists of players with exceptional work ethic. If effort determined eligibility in the NBA then 5'9" D-III shooting guards would have a monopoly on lottery picks. Of course, that's not the case so we get Eddie Curry. When you get a player who combines natural ability and size with work ethic then you get LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. With the right GM these hybrids become franchise players.

The third and final method for entering the NBA is to be a niche player. These players possess a mastery of a specific skill-set, most often three point shooting (i.e., Eddie House, Matt Bonner, Jason Kapono, etc) or defense (i.e., Keyon Dooling, Joel Anthony, Ronnie Brewer, etc). Over the last decade and a half as Europeans have invaded the NBA a new niche player has emerged from Eastern Europe--the 7-foot'ish 25-foot, no-jump, jump shooter. Mehmet Okur best exhibits this form of niche player. He likes to kind of set picks at the top of the key and from his presence around the basket on offense one is led to deduce that he believes the rule is one second in the paint not three. Apparently, this Eastern European niche-strain is invasive as it has infected St. Charles, Missouri's/ University of Kentucky's own Josh Harrellson. At 6'10" 275 pounds and possessing the celerity of shoppers at the Mall of America Ashley Stewart one assume that Harrellson would prefer banging (or plodding) closer to the basket so as to disguise his deficiencies. Instead, he's attempting almost 3 threes per game, which represents over half of his field goal attempts. While Josh deserves credit for shooting 43% from the three point line over the last three games, DBSF is just concerned about the pernicious effects that the migration of bigger, fatter, slower whites outside the three point line might have on JR Smith's long range shot count. That is, once (and if) the PRC grants JR his amnesty.

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