Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boomers and NBA Draft

The Australian Boomers continued with their build up to the Beijing Olympics tonight. They played the new look New Zealand Tall Blacks over in Auckland. Sleep walking their way to a 75-60 victory the Boomers cannot get to Europe quick enough for some competition.

The game was over by quarter time with the Aussies getting out to a early 26-9 lead at quarter time. Thanks to a fast starting Chris Anstey (8 first quarter points) the Boomers put it on cruise control for the remainder of the game.

For the Aussies, Shawn Redage and Joe Ingles had outings that would have impressed coach Brian Goorjian. Redage was everywhere. Maybe too hyperactive at times but you can see he is giving his all to make it to Beijing. I'm waiting to see how he goes when they go to Europe where he will play against bigger and better opponents.

Ingles played assertive but under control basketball tonight. I love his feel for the game but as we saw against Iran he sometimes goes for the home run play too much. His ability to make the right decision will one day make him a good player at the international level for the Boomers. For now though, the young fella has to learn to play under control on a nightly basis.

Everyone is pumping up Pat Mills' tyres right now. Sure he was solid tonight but my six year old son isn't losing any sleep over a Kiwi point guard rotation of Lindsay Tait and Jeremy Kench. Europe will be a great test for the youngster.

I can't wait for the second game of the series on Saturday in Melbourne. It means we are only one game away from finally seeing the Boomers take on some legitimate Olympic medal competition.

Enough of that. It is only hours now until the fate of three Aussies and their NBA aspirations are decided courtesy of the NBA Draft. (Catch the draft action on ESPN from 9am Friday.)

Nathan Jawai has been State side preparing for this day for about a month. Hopefully he has put his best foot forward during his workouts for about 20 NBA teams.

We will find out if he impressed anyone enough to get rewarded with a first round pick. If he does, this guarantees him three years in the League at a healthy salary.

My Prediction: Early second round (ESPN's Chad Ford has him at 33.)
Aleks Maric is someone that not all Aussies are aware of. He has plied his trade in the tough Big 12 Conference for the past four years for the University of Nebraska. An interesting stat I came across today is Maric holds the All Time record for most double doubles in conference play (26).

This is quite an achievement by anyone's standard but it does not guarantee you an NBA deal.

If Maric slips through the NBA web he will play for big money in Europe. Another local talent that will not play in their home country. Australia has quite a stable of players building in Europe.

My Prediction: Late second round pick

Aaron Bruce is a guy that has given himself the best possible chance of making the NBA.

His career statistically at Baylor actually declined over his four years there. To his credit he has taken it on the chin and found a way to get some workouts with NBA teams.

You have to admire the fighting character the Horsham native has shown in his quest to make the NBA.

My Prediction: Not drafted, but will be on someones Summer League roster.

News From Around The Traps:
Simmons/Ford NBA Draft banter
J O'Neal/TJ Ford swap addresses.
Episode 3 - "The Rookie"

2 comments:

Wing Chang Foo (China) said...

Keep talking Jingles down rillie..

DJ Rod said...

41 isn't too bad i suppose - do you think he will be disappointed or the fact that a team that REALLY wanted him got him in the end makes ta bit sweeter?

Soundslike he will make the team too.