Monday, November 5, 2012

A Plea to Tyrone Corbin

1. Play Your Best Players

It seems simple. It should be simple.

The NBA is not 3rd Grade Jr. Jazz. You don't play everybody equal time because we are all equal friends. You play to win. You win by playing your best players. Jamaal Tinsley is not in the Jazz's top 10 best players. Alec Burks may be in the Jazz's top 5 players. Tinsley is playing, Burks isn't.

Corbin claims that he plays Tinsley because he gets the team into the offense better. Correct me if I'm wrong, but getting the Jazz into their offense consists of 4 things:
1. Looking at Corbin to get the play.
2. Calling out the play.
3. Bringing the ball up the court.
4. Making an entry pass to the wing or high post.

That's it.

Are you telling me that for 16 minutes per game that a combination of Randy Foye and Alec Burks cannot accomplish those 4 things?

The Jazz's bench has struggled to score the ball. All of their offense has come from putbacks from Derrick Favors and Randy Foye creating space for a jumper. In the last two games the Jazz have needed points in the worst way. Why not bring Burks into the game so that he can shoot (on fire during the preseason) and get to the rim (gets to the line at a high rate). Burks is electric. Tinsley will not be in the league once the Jazz decide that they are done with him. It's an easy call. Vinny Del Negro could make this call.

2. Use Gordon Hayward on Offense

Corbin's late game imagination has consisted of throwing the ball into Al Jefferson and letting him wait out a double team. In San Antonio, he bypassed the ideas of running Mo Williams off screens for jumpers and for using what had been the most effective offensive weapon for the Jazz all season...

letting Gordon Hayward run the side pick'n'roll.

So far this season, Gordon has been lethal when allowed (or forced) to do this. He has either stuck a short jumper, gotten to the rim/line, or found a big for a layup/foul or open midrange jumper. Players at his position cannot guard the pick'n'roll. They are too big to get around screens and he is too fast for them to recover.

Ty Corbin does not see this. Instead he sees Gordon Hayward as a guy who should be running around curls for jumpers or standing on the 3 point line as a decoy for Al Jefferson to go to work. Now, Gordon is shooting the ball well this season, but historically he has been streaky.

Again, this should be simple. It is simple. Use your players according to their strengths. Gordon is at his best when he is allowed to be a play maker, not a shot maker. Mo Williams is a great shooter/scorer, not a great playmaker. I am sick of his errant pick'n'roll passes that hit the defenders legs already. Give the ball to Gordon and give him some screens. He is going to make things happen. They need to use him like Portland used Brandon Roy in his prime.

At this point Corbin is stunting the growth of the 3 of the most promising players the Jazz have had since Deron Williams (Burks, Hayward, Favors). By doing so, he is holding back the development of the Utah Jazz. He needs to wake up.

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down from Games 2 & 3

Mo Williams - that 3rd quarter show he put on in San Antonio was electric. That is something the Jazz have missed since Deron Williams left.  His passing has left much to be desired.  Still, that 3rd quarter run ...

Marvin Williams - somebody switched Marvin Williams out for CJ Miles. I can't prove it, but it happened. F-. Game 1: 7-13 (21 pts) Game 2&3: 6-17 (13pts).

Enes Kanter - the once and future breakout player of the year has become timid and prone to complaining. Punish them Enes. YOU MUST PUNISH THEM.

Paul Millsap - Seemed to have found his groove in San Antonio, FINALLY.

Gordon Hayward - The only player that can be counted on to play hard consistently on this whole team. Millsap included.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Game 1

Al Jefferson & Paul Millsap's Rebounding

Al Jefferson & Paul Millsap's Mid Range Game

Gordon Hayward

Mo Williams First 5 minutes
Mo Williams's next 30 minutes
Marvin Williams
Randy Foye

Enes Kanter
Vince Carter (Vince Carter's Elbow)

Derrick Favors
Derrick Favor's Post Game

That 3 minutes that my DVR was recording Mordern Family and Survivor and I couldn't watch the game
Jamal Tinsley
No Alec Burks until last two minutes of a blowout
Game 1

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NBA Preview 2012-2013

Big Sexy NBA Preview

This year the NBA is back. Not 2011-2012, post-lockout back. Back, back.  Most are healthy (I'm looking at you Ricky Rubio). Most are in shape (I'm looking at you Lamar Odom). Most are excited to be here (I'm looking at you James Harden). Most are bikini ready. Most ...

Who sexy? (The Kyle Korver Category)

Miami Heat - LeBron didn't need to win me over. He is the best player in the world. It's not close. Now that his quest for his first title is over, his quest to surpass Jordan begins. God speed LeBron. 

L.A. Lakers - Steve Nash to Dwight Howard. Ugh. Kobe, if you're reading this ... You don't want to  let Steve Nash have the ball in his hands the majority of the time. You don't want to give any of your shots to Dwight and Nash. You want to be the All-Time leading scorer. Grab the ball. Hold the ball. Shoot the ball.

OKC Thunder - I like the James Harden trade. He was overrated. You can tell he is overrated because the Rockets went and got him. Just like Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest, Kevin Martin, and Jeremy Lin before him. Instead they got borderline lottery picks to help add to one of the best rosters in the league, a legit backup scorer in Martin, and an all-around good player with tons of upside in Jeremy Lamb. That's a win. They are the last line of defense against a Lakers-Heat Finals.

Boston Celtics - They good. Jason Terry's gone a hit a ton of threes. Rondo is going to do Rondo things. Paul Pierce is going to sleepwalk through the regular season and than hit a ton of clutch shots in the Playoffs. As opposed to Celtics teams in the last few years, the bench is great.

San Antonio Spurs - Like nature, they will always find a way. - Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park IX, 2034.

Brooklyn Nets - I like the way this team is put together. They have legit players in all positions. If Deron can regain 85% of what he was in 2010, they will have homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors - Whoa! Somebody lost some weight! Just like some girls on Survivor who start out a little pudgy, by day 20 ... they're starting to look a little good (I'm looking at your R.C.). Kyle Lowry is good. Deron Williams-lite. Front-line is better. They have a couple of shooters. Their front line can score. I like them as a sleeper.

Portland Trailblazers - Ugh. People are sleeping on the Blazers. It hurts me so deep to see Damian Lillard ball in the Pacific Northwest. They have legit players at every position other than Center. Lillard will win Rookie of the Year over THE BROW and I like them as a sleeper to make the Playoffs.

Phoenix Suns - Prognosticators are picking the Suns to be one of the worst teams in the league. Here's the thing ... I kind of like this team. I LOVE Goran Dragic. I was praying the Jazz would draft him in the second round in his draft (they passed). Gortat is a legit center. Scola is a pest. Dudley is a good role player. I think Wesley Johnson is salvageable. Playoffs?

Who ugly? (Delonte West Category)

Washington Wizards - Yikes. No John Wall? Hide the kids, hide the wife.

Charlotte Bobcats - Sorry Kidd-Gilchrist. I love you but, you are not touching the ball. Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker are going to be throwing shots up. Byron Mullins might be the least talented ball hog in history. Lottery picks everywhere will be praying the Bobcats don't pick them.

Dallas Mavericks - Their second best player is O.J. Mayo, a player who is best described as untapped potential. Their best player will be out early in the year. Yeah Dallas, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will DEFINITELY sign there next summer.

Sacramento Kings - This roster is like a romantic relationship between Margret Thatcher and Barack Obama. It. Just. Doesn't. Make. Sense. Can't wait for Jimmer to get traded to the Jazz in February for Jamal Tinsley and a first round pick.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Who is going to score on this team without Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love? Don't say AK.

Who is Enes Kanter? Enes Kanter Category

Utah Jazz - I hope this doesn't jinx things, but ... I'm all in on this Jazz team. I have not been this excited about a Jazz team since the 2008-2009 season. Marvin Williams is the most underrated pickup of the offseason. He is going to be huge. Mo Williams is going to hit shots that Devin Harris doesn't hit in his dreams. Gordon Hayward is going to be better. Alec Burks is going to be better. Randy Foye is Michael Jordan in comparison to Raja Bell and Josh Howard.

Enes Kanter - Enes Kanter: Most Improved Player 2012-2013.


1. Miami Heat
2. Boston Celtics
3. Brooklyn Nets
4. Indiana Pacers
5. Atlanta Hawks
6. Philadelphia 76ers
7. Chicago Bulls
8. New York Knicks


1. OKC Thunder
2. LA Lakers
3. San Antonio Spurs
4. Utah Jazz
5. LA Clippers
6. Denver Nuggets
7. Memphis Grizzlies
8. Portland Trailblazers

Heat over Knicks
Celtics over Bulls
Nets over 76ers
Pacers over Hawks

Heat over Pacers
Celtics over Nets

Heat over Celtics

Thunder over Blazers
Lakers over Grizzlies
Nuggets over Spurs
Jazz over Clippers

Thunder over Jazz
Lakers over Nuggets

Thunder over Lakers

Heat over Thunder (again)

Be happy. The NBA is back.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Revisionist History on Kevin Durant

It isn't and shouldn't be my place to defend the Portland Trailblazers. However, with the recent solidification of Kevin Durant's place as the chief rival to LeBron James' title as "Best Player on Earth", I feel that I must. The choice of Greg Oden over Kevin Durant has taken on a Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan like mystique. The media talk about it, and I know that every Blazers fan watching these playoffs has to be thinking about it. We are now 5 years removed from that fateful draft and it seems as though people have forgotten the circumstances surrounding the choice. People act as though it was unfathomable to take a gamble on Oden, a raw and injury prone big man, when a sure thing like Durant was sitting right there. That was not what it was like.

Oden and Durant both entered their freshman year in college both hyped by the talent scouting media. Oden was already billed as the next great big man. He was over 7 ft tall with long arms who could score, rebound, block shots, with athleticism rare for a man his size. Durant was a raw, enigmatic, scoring machine from the D.C. are who was leaving the east coast to play at Texas. It was Oden who was being compared to the greatest players of all-time. The next Wilt, Kareem, Duncan, etc. No one was sure if Durant would be able to reach even a fraction of his potential.

Oden, in the first of many strikes of bad luck, broke his strong hand at the start of the season. He continued to play however ... WITH ONLY HIS OFF HAND! ALL YEAR! And he was successful! Teaming up with Mike Conley and future Durant teammate Daequan Cook, Oden led a dominant Ohio St. team that cruised to the Big 10 title. Durant led a similarly talented Texas team that included future NBA players D.J. Augustin, Damion James, and Dexter Pittman. Unlike Oden, Durant led his team to a decent, but not great record. He did prove himself to be the scoring machine he would continue to be at the NBA level, earning player of the year considerations. Oden's Ohio St. team earned a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Durant's Longhorns earned a respectable #4 seed albeit as an at large bid.

In the tournament, Oden and the Buckeyes continued their dominance besting high profile programs like Xavier, Tennessee, and destroying a Memphis team coached by John Callipari that (with the addition of Derrick Rose) would make the title game the following year. Durant's team meanwhile snuck past New Mexico State before getting CRUSHED by an O.J. Mayo led USC team. Oden went on to play a brilliant title game against one of the most stacked college teams of all-time (2006-07 Florida Gators: Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Mareese Speights, Chris Richard, & Taurean Green).

So lets recap. Greg Oden dominates college basketball with his favored hand broken the entire year and nearly upsets the defending national champion with 4 lottery picks on the team and Durant doesn't make it out of the second round with a solid team and holding the NCAA scoring title.

Then comes the Draft Combine. Every concern about Durant is right there. He was one of the only prospects unable to bench 185 lbs. Not so great for someone who is going to have to guard the Carmelo's and LeBron's every night and play forward in the NBA. Oden on the other hand wowed scouts and team personnel with his strength and athleticism. There was no contest. Greg Oden was going to be the #1 pick. He was a sure thing. Nothing was going to get in his way to becoming the games dominant big man.

EVERYONE had questions about Durant's ability to succeed on the next level. He was rail thin, was still raw, had never won at high level, etc. Even though Durant won Rookie of Year honors, he led his Supersonics to a terrible 20-62 record despite having a decent roster that included Nick Collison, Chris Wilcox, Johan Petro, Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson, Delonte West, and fellow rookie Jeff Green. EVERYONE still had questions about his ability to become a great player and nothing more than a great scorer who couldn't win.

We know what happened to Oden.

The point is this: anyone who says that they saw this coming with Durant is a liar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Everybody has that one friend, associate, co-worker. You know the one. The one who in the face of any and all logic, popular belief, or sanity feels it necessary to take a contrarian opinion. They must separate themselves from the pack. They are different. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THEM! THEY ARE SPECIAL! These are the people who say things like "The Beatles are overrated", "LeBron isn't even a top 10 player in the NBA", "I don't care for red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting". I have about twelve of those people. These people can be frustrating. Like the inferi in that cave that Harry Potter and Dumbledore visit, these people attempt to drag you down with them. Slowly you start thinking like these people. You stop making judgements based on your own tastes or intellect and start looking for angles. How will my opinion on this topic effect the way people view me as an individual. It's exhausting. I try my best to stay away from that way of thinking. I try and make myself a simpler person, but screw it ... CONTRARIAN OPINION!

Jeremy Lin is good ... but not that good
Sorry Jeremy. I am no longer rooting for you. This is getting out of hand. Before now I've always had a soft spot for Jeremy Lin. During the last Jazz season (aka The Season That Shall Not Be Named) the Jazz got blown out in a game at Golden State. During the fleeting moments of garbage time as the game mercifully moved towards the close, the Warriors put in a player I had literally never heard of. His name was Jeremy Lin. He came in and destroyed the Jazz scrubs. I was impressed. He was fast, he got to the rim, he was pesky on defense, he setup his teammates.

The next time I heard the name Jeremy Lin it was because he had apparently "destroyed Deron Williams and Nets". Good for him I thought. A night or two later the Jazz came to town and I watched Jeremy Lin beat the Jazz. Now I was no more impressed with him than I was a year earlier in Golden State. The Jazz are not good. Especially against point guards with any sort of skill whatsoever. Then Jeremy kept it up. He did it again, again, and again. Now I was impressed. I was happy for Jeremy. It was unlike any story that had ever occurred in the NBA.

Then things got out of hand. The NBA made the beloved Kenny Smith into a patsy, sneaking Jeremy Lin into the Rookie-Sophomore game. The cleverly made it seem like Kenny did this on his own volition and they were powerless to stop him. He had played in 7 games. Now this shouldn't bother anyone. It is seemingly a meaningless game with no stakes. It's just for fun. It bothered me. I am the type of person that puts way too much stock into award shows, All-Star selections, etc. One: because I am a tireless advocate for justice (a cowardly internet-based Batman of sorts), and two: because it messes with history. For example: in 1999 Shakespeare in Love won the award of Best Picture. It bested the likes of Saving Private Ryan and the Thin Red Line. I gurantee you that no one has put in a copy of Shakespeare in Love into their movie playing device of choice in the last 10 years. In the year 2040 there may be no living person who has seen that film. Meanwhile, Saving Private Ryan will be shown at commerative screenings, in film schools, etc. for the another hundred years. Yet if an alien species comes to Earth after the destruction of the human race and they need to find out what films mattered in 1998 all they will have to go on is our awards shows. They will think Shakespeare in Love mattered to our culture. They will think us fools. This is why these things matter. The aliens need to understand that Derrick Favors, Jonas Jerekbo, Patrick Patterson had a stronger first half of the 2011-2012 NBA Season than Jeremy Lin.

Still, I had not yet turned on Jeremy. Jeremy is smart. Jeremy went to Harvard. Surely he will see that this was a joke being played on all of us. He was being used as David Stern's money making pawn. He would say he did not deserve this over other players and decline the invitation. He didn't. He went along for the ride. Jeremy Lin died to me that day. Once the feel good feelings had wiped away the shine of his still very limited run, I started to poke holes in Jeremy. Yes, he makes a lot of turnovers. So what. So does Russell Westbrook. Yes his defensive prowess is limited, but so what. So is Steve Nash's.Yet there is a dark secret underlying Jeremy's success.

Everyone is very quick to say that Jeremy Lin saved Mike D'Antoni's career. Yet few or none have pointed out that maybe it goes both ways. Mike D'Antoni has made a habit of creating Jeremy Lin's. His freewheeling system allows players with niche skills to generate numbers that for all intensive purposes are skewed (see EVERY PLAYER THAT EVER PLAYED FOR MIKE D'ANTONI). Look no further than the great Steve Nash. Now I am not trying to say that Steve Nash isn't great. That would be blasphemy. However, his last few years in Dallas were not his strongest. Enter Mike D'Antoni and Phoenix. Like Midichlorians and a powerful Jedi Knight, they formed a symbiotic relationship. They won lots of games. Stats were piled up. No championships were won. If Nash would have stayed in Dallas or moved on to the Lakers or Spurs or the Jazz, would Steve Nash be a two-time MVP and thought of as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history? There is no way.

The same thing is happening with Jeremy Lin. Now obviously you need to be a talented player to be able to do these things. Nobody is doubting that, but the question has to be asked whether or not he could do this with ANY of the other teams in the NBA. There is no way. Lin needed the ONE coach left in the NBA that would let him play with abandon, with recklessness which has allowed him to put up these stats. However (again see ANY Sun in the D'Antoni era) his stats ring a little hollow to me. (Except for ofcourse his stellar rebound numbers for a point guard which cannot be taken away from him)

Tyrone Corbin is not doing a good job coaching the Utah Jazz
This is hard for most Jazz fans to swallow. Earlier in the year they were touting Coach Corbin as a shoo-in for Coach of the Year. Those keeping a close eye on the goings on knew that this Jazz team was due for a harsh February. These are the reasons why the Jazz had such a great record in through January: 1) Jazz caught a lot of teams at good times. Teams with star players out of action, teams at the end of back-to-backs, teams at the end of long road trips. 2) The Jazz played a lot of games at home. A LOT. 3) Paul Millsap was playing out of his mind. Paul reached his apex during a road game at Denver when after watching him throw in another twisting floater in the lane I was sure that Paul would stand still, the round would flutter, and he would shoot in the air like Neo at the end of the Matrix.

Then February came. Jazz started catching teams hitting their stride. Jazz started playing games on the road. Paul Millsap mysteriously forgot how to score the basketball. And finally young Coach Corbin started getting exposed. Now, I think Ty is a good coach. He proved that by getting his guys to play hard at the beginning of the year though the teams was expected to stink, and to instill in them an improved defensive philosophy from the previous year. I think he is going to continue to be a good coach, and maybe one day will be an exceptional coach. He's not there yet.

This first problem is that certain veterans are getting too many minutes. There are a few possible explanations for this. First, that Ty doesn't have enough confidence in himself and his place in the organization to sit a veteran. Basically, he feels like playing younger inexperienced guys will threaten his job security. Second, as a former player he sees a little too much of himself in guys like Raja Bell and Josh Howard. Guys who are talented, but not stars, near the end of their careers, playing hard but with little left to give. He doesn't have the heart to put these guys down. Three, he feels like his leadership of the team is not strong enough to overcome grumbling from disgruntled veterans. Personally I hope it isn't the second explanation (see: Sloan, Jerry). Alec Burks has finally been freed, but he should have been much sooner. Since his injury near the beginning of the season Josh Howard has been atrocious. Really he offered the Jazz very little. At times he displayed the kind of selfish basketball that has not been seen around these territories since DeShawn Stevenson was our starting shooting guard. He needed to be sat down in favor of a young player that has the skills to be an All-Star. He was too slow to react and now the team is spiraling.

The second problem with Ty's coaching this year is related to the first. He's playing too many guys. The Jazz have routinely played 11 guys in their games this season. Sometimes, even in the first quarter. While Craig Bolerjack thinks this is a good idea, it's not. The best teams in the league have rotations of 8 or 9. You have your starting lineup who should get the lion's share of the minutes in most situations. You have your backup point guard, swingman, and bigman to spell your starters for brief amounts of time to recoup their energy. You don't leave your best guys on the bench for extended amounts of time just because you like a certain player and feel bad he doesn't get minutes. You pick the guys that are the best and you play them. It is incredibly irritating to see Ty keep Earl, CJ, and Josh Howard on the floor as the Jazz begin to falter even though Devin, Gordon, and EVEN RAJA started the game well, just so those bench guys have minutes in the boxscore.

Which feeds into another problem. His rotations make little sense. I cannot count how many times this year that Ty has brought Devin, Gordon, and Raja back into the game with two minutes left in the half. What purpose does that serve? These guys come in ice cold after sitting for up to 45 minutes real time and by the time the warm back up the half is over. He also seems committed to keeping Jefferson and Millsap together and Favors and Kanter together. This becomes a problem because while Favors has shown the ability to score in the post, it is an inconsistent skill to say the least. The young bigman lineup struggles to score in many games which stops the Jazz from building a lead, or getting back into a game. Jefferson or Millsap need to be on the floor at all times. Favors and Kanter need to be accompanied by one of those guys who can handle the scoring load.

Finally, Corbin decided to stick to the basic blueprint of the Jerry Sloan/Phil Johnson offense. Teams struggled early on in the season to handle the offense because of lack of scouting/practice time, but things have caught up to them. Teams have figured out to stay home on our big guys and let our shooters, who cannot shoot, shoot. The Jazz can no longer score. The team itself seems ill-suited personnel wise to run this offense. In this excellent piece by Chuck Klosterman, Phil Jackson basically lays out why this Sloan style offense never reaches the pinnacles of success. Curiously also points out the offense which it seems is perfectly suited for this Jazz team to run, The Triangle. Jefferson seems to be a perfect low-block component of the triangle offense. While we don't have a wing player even resembling Jordan, Kobe, or even Scottie Pippen Jefferson could do a passable Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan impersonation. The system itself has produced champions under Jackson and to a lesser extent the Spurs. It seems perfect for this Jazz team which lacks shooting touch from the outside. The Sloan offense I believe requires a certain type of players: hard screeners and crafty wing-players who are adept at playing without the ball in their hands on offense. Lastly a point guard who can deliver the ball with precision to cutters. The Jazz have none of those players. We have a point guard is adept and driving and pushing the ball (Harris) wing-players who are at their best with the ball in their hands making plays (Hayward, Burks) and bigmen who are terrible screeners (Jefferson). It's time to move on from the Sloan/Johnson offensive philosophy and embrace the personnel on the team. Let Hayward and Burks be the playmaker's on offense.

Still, this is Ty's first full year as a head coach. I'm sure he is still figuring things out and within a few years he will have his own independent style. Right now though, he's struggling.

Devin Harris > Earl Watson
I love Earl. We all love Earl. Right now though, he doesn't seem right. He is not the same player he was to start the year. It's a combination of a few things. First, teams have figured out the Jazz second unit. They know they have to get back on defense because Earl pushes the ball better than most. Second they know that no one on that unit can score from outside five feet so they are packing the paint and forcing (lately Earl) to try and shoot. It hasn't been pretty. The second reason is it seems like Earl is still dealing with the ankle injury he sustained at the end of January.

Meanwhile, Devin Harris has quietly started to pick his game up. He's been agressive. His defense is improving. His shot has even been pretty steady from outside. He's played really well though the Jazz have been losing. His minutes have not increased with his increased production however. I was lucky enough to come upon some great tickets to the Raptors @ Jazz game that may have started this downward spiral, and my night was ruined by two things. First the Jazz choking away the game to a terrible team, and second some guy behind me who was screaming at the top of his lungs literally EVERY SECOND that Devin was on the court "EARLLLLLLLL!!!!!! PUT IN EARRRRLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!" Meanwhile, Devin Harris was having a great game (until his botched FT's at the end of the game).

Jazz fans, especially that guy behind me, don't want to hear it but Earl is not what we need right now. If Devin regains his past form the Jazz are in VERY good shape. It's time that Devin starts to get starter minutes instead of splitting point guard minutes with Earl. Atleast until Earl gets back to his normal self.

Jeremy Evans will either WIN or FLOP in the dunk contest.
There is no inbetween. I have no idea why I am so nervous for somebody I do not know.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rising Stars Challenge Mock Draft

The format has changed for the Rookie-Sophmore game, and I could not be happier. It is no longer Rookies vs. Sophmores, but rather two teams drafted by Shaq and Charles Barkley from a pool of Rookies and Sophmores. The NBA blatantly stole this from the NHL, but who cares? No one watches hockey anyway. I for one hope that the NBA is just testing this system out during this game, and later decide to use it in the big boy game as well. Shaq won the coin flip on Thursday and picks first. Below is my Mock Draft based on how I think they will draft.

1. Shaq - Blake Griffin (Shaq has already said this will be his pick)
2. Chuck - Ricky Rubio
3. Shaq - John Wall
4. Chuck - Derrick Williams
5. Shaq - DeMarcus Cousins
6. Chuck - Paul George
7. Shaq - Kemba Walker
8. Chuck - Greg Monroe
9. Shaq - Kawhi Leonard
10. Chuck - Kyrie Irving
11. Shaq - Evan Turner
12. Chuck - Markieff Morris
13. Shaq - Tristan Thompson
14. Chuck - Gordon Hayward
15. Shaq - Marshon Brooks
16. Chuck - Landry Fields
17. Shaq - Brandon Knight
18. Chuck - Tiago Splitter

Blake Griffin
John Wall
DeMarcus Cousins
Kemba Walker
Kawhi Leonard
Evan Turner
Tristan Thompson
Marshon Brooks
Brandon Knight

Sir Charles
Ricky Rubio
Derrick Williams
Paul George
Greg Monroe
Kyrie Irving
Markieff Morris
Gordon Hayward
Landry Fields
Tiago Splitter

I hope that Rubio and Blake play together honestly.  Also I know for a fact that it will be Barkley who picks Hayward. He has too much Jazz love.