Some of you forget we are watching the bench take over the team.. And, they are a bit more entertaining... Well Okafor or Kaman as the starter... perhaps together but it would be nice Okafor had part of Kaman but remember Karl Malone.. about Okafor's size and maybe shorter.. But referring to our young pups... they are professional basketball players who are around the age of many teams including the Thunder.. and, of course we only seem them enough to write about them, in part because we have injured players Landry, Smith, and Okafor... a front court.. Two of the pups Aminu and Henry are 21 and 2years old... They should be in college just coming out.. but it is what it is... And with an offseason and preseason plus the draft and free agency... Not bad but not the Thunder.. we can't shoot...
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Young Pups Volume 5: Eric Gordon and the Litter of Pups
Today we reflect a little bit on Eric Gordon and also check-in with how our other Young Pups are doing…
So far this season we’ve looked at all of the Young Pups from Al-Farouq Aminu to Xavier Henry. Now let’s reflect on our best young pup, also our most injured too.
It’s been a long time since “The Trade,” and a long time to judge whether Gordon is part of the Hornets long term future. Unfortunately he’s suffered through injury so we haven’t been able to see him work with other players.
Since the game winner against the Suns it’s been a Shakespearean comedy trying to figure out how serious his knee injury has been. No one professes to be a doctor here on Hornets247, but it’s been tough to hold back our frustration.
On and into the Future
There’s been a lot of talk about how the Hornets stand no chance of resigning Eric Gordon. Discussions between Dell Demps and Gordon’s agents sort of broke down as they couldn’t quite figure out his market value.
That’s a huge sticking point moving forward. The Clippers were also unsure whether Gordon was a max-value player and that task was shifted to the Hornets. It’s rumoured the Pacers are very interested in Gordon. If the Pacers offer him a maximum contract the Hornets can match it.
I’ll repeat it again.
The Hornets can match any contract offered to Eric Gordon and have first rights to resign him.
I guess even the most respected journalists don’t understand restricted free-agency. Oh well…
The Week in the Kennel
It’s been a while since we’ve reflected on the Hornets and how our puppies are doing.
- Al Farouq Aminu
Let’s start with Al-Farouq Aminu. At the start of the season I was extremely hesitant to label Aminu anything more than a project. A few months on and I’m still at the same place. Aminu has struggled mightily to establish his offensive game. Like we said a while back, he has a decent looking stroke.
The problem has been a lack of confidence and offensive go to moves. I find myself telling Al to just “Attack.” He has the size and leaping ability, just needs to be aggressive.
Whether through lack of coordination or confidence, I still don’t think we should give up on Aminu.
- Greivis Vasquez
Over the past month Vasquez has gone from being a contributor on the bench, to being the starter. A lot of people still believe that Vasquez is superior to Jack, but I don’t see it that way.
For those running to the barn to get their pitchforks I say hold on just one second.
I love Vasquez. I think he can be a guy who can control a second-unit, utilize players skills in the open court and knock down a shot when he needs to. But Jarrett Jack is having his best season in his career and he’s been tremendous when trying to get a much needed basket.
Vasquez still has weaknesses when his poor speed is exploited, when he’s pressured into turnovers, or when facing a much quicker guard. His defense is still very underrated (he’s averaging 1.1 steals a game and has a 105 DRtg).
Still, I feel like we need to pump the breaks and stop treating him like the next Chris Paul.
- Gustavo Ayon
It’s been another great couple of weeks of awesome basketball for Ayon. Even though he had a down night in Chicago he still came through in the clutch.
His activity impresses me and my opinion and his prospects haven’t changed much.
Keep on, keeping on Gustavo.
- Xavier Henry
One question I would like to ask Henry is, “Have you ever used your right hand for anything?” I’m only joking around of course, but it’s amazing how good Henry is with his left hand and how little he uses his right.
Henry’s ability to drive through contact and finish is right up there with the best, so long as he’s using his left hand. I feel that over the past few games Henry is finding what he does best and what he’s not so good at.
He’s trying to knock down his open jumpers and driving aggressively to the cup. Even if some eventuate in offensive fouls I’m okay with it. He’s looking for his points and he knows the best way to get them; at the free through line.
I must be missing something then about Aminu that you guys see and I don't. For all the size and leaping abilities that he has, what he lacks so far is the stuff that you cant teach i:e Heart, drive and competitiveness. I see those qualities in every other player on the team but I just don't see them in him. He's hesitant and very unsure of himself on the court or at least thats how it seems to me. Sure we've seen some quick flashes of what he could become but those have been rare and few in between. I'm not convinced that we need a "project Player" in the middle of a rebuilding year.Would love for him to prove me wrong tho and start playing the way everyone else seems to think he can. Love Ayon and Vasquez and what they bring to the team.for all their mistakes and miscues, for me anyhow, they are at the core of what makes this team fun to watch. I have to respectfully disagree with you on Jarret Jack ..gimme Vasquez to start over Jack any day..and if jack is our go to guy when we need a shot then we are in worse trouble than I thought..he's as likely to turn the ball over trying to force a drive by himself than he is to score. I put him and Kamen in the same group, they will get their points but after how many bad attempts and to's? Eric Gordon is unfortunately another story all together and at this point I don't really care about him one way or another..he hasn't given us any reason too and the whole way his injury has been handle just makes you go "huh?" and scratch your head in obvious confusion. If he comes back this season and plays then great,unless of course he screws up our lottery chances lol.., and if he doesn't come back and play I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.Might be better for us in the long haul if he doesn't,both financially and lottery wise..
It is apparant that Eric Gordon came to the Bees as damaged goods. Where was the due dilligence in checking him out. Did they do a physical. If he had a sore knee before he joined the team, which in his own words he said he did recently, why was it not detected. Speculation is he might play in just two games at the end of the season. Yes he is a scorer, but shows no inkling of being a player that plays with passion, plays in pain or is a leader. We got flat out screwed by the NBA or our de-facto owner when they rejected the first trade. My opinion, as well as the opinion of many. Enjoyed the grading of the players. No doubt Ayon is the player with the most potential. All others are back-ups. As I joked with co-workers about our loss to the Bulls. We lost because they have their guy and we don't have a that guy.
Gustavo got mentioned in a Grantland.com RoY article!!! http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7624588/nba-rookie-midterm-report-including-kyrie-irving-ricky-rubio-more
There are Gustavo photos? ESPN is coming for you. Go knock on the kitchen door of Alice Cooperstown and say "Feed my Frankenstein" to the 'bloke' that answers. They may be able to protect you.