Tuesday, May 22, 2007

From Jail Blazers to Damn Lucky....The 2007 NBA Draft Lottery

Top Stories

1. Oden to Portland

On Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007, the Portland Trail Blazers struck gold. Perhaps its fitting that a month after David Halberstam passed away (author of the classic book "Breaks of the Game" which chronicled the 1979 Portland Trail Blazers), the Blazers walked into the draft lottery with only a 5.3% chance of landing the first pick and walked out the winners of the Greg Oden Sweepstakes.

Just like that, Portland is selling season tickets at a rapid pace. Not only will they have Greg Oden next season (I don't believe for a minute that they would take Durant over him), but, they will also bring back Brandon Roy, who just happened to be the NBA Rookie of the Year this season. It truly is a match made in heaven. Have fun trying to double team Greg Oden next season when he can simply kick it out to Brandon Roy, one of the few players in the present day NBA that can shoot. Not many guards can average close to 17 points per game while shooting over 45% from the field (around 20 guards averaged over 15 ppg last season while shooting above 45%, a bunch of them being point guards and combo guards). For a rookie to do that in the present day NBA is just rare. Roy is the epitome of an efficient shooting guard.

Of course, I haven't even talked about why getting Oden is such a big deal. We all know the details by now. He's been called the best big man prospect since David Robinson and rightfully so. He is everything a center in the NBA should be.

Not only is Oden a game-changing shot blocker the moment he steps on the court, but, he has evolved into a dominant individual defender as well. Anyone that wants to know about his offensive game just needs to watch tape of the title game against Florida where he abused top NBA prospect Al Horford.

The kid has it all. He has been a "winner" at every level so far which should satisfy those that have that requirement.

Either way, Portland is back on the NBA map. Oden, Roy, and company will give Portland a contender for many seasons to come. Watch out for the Blazers. They'll be back relatively soon.

2. Durant Saves Sonics

The SuperSonics will end up with a player who would have gone No. 1 in most drafts. Kevin Durant might even be more than that. The Sonics haven't been able to get a new arena and aren't guaranteed to be in Seattle past next season. Consequently, Durant could help save the NBA in Seattle. Either way, Durant fits Seattle's uptempo offense perfectly and the Sonics should be a fun team to watch again. Getting Durant kills a ton of leverage that Rashard Lewis would have had on Seattle in free agency. The All-Star SF will likely end up somewhere else (hell, maybe the Knicks via sign and trade).

3. Too Bad for Boston....Not (Celtics drop to 5th overall pick)

Bill Simmons must be crying somewhere. You want to talk about a franchise with bad luck? Can you say Lenny Bias? How about Reggie Lewis? The Rick Pitino era?

The Celtics have been a mess ever since Red Auerbach handed over the keys to the franchise. After Red's death, one would think that Boston would at least get some luck in the lottery. No chance. The Celtics, with the second worst record in the league, shockingly dropped to the 5th overall pick in the draft. No Oden, no Durant, no Al Horford even.

Why don't I feel any sympathy then for Celtics fans? Quite frankly, I'm glad the Knicks won't have to deal with facing Oden or Durant in the Atlantic Division four times a season. When the Celtics also happen to be the premier franchise in NBA history, its pretty easy not feeling bad for them.

4. Knicks Don't Give Away Oden or Durant!

Had the Knicks given away Greg Oden because of Eddy Curry, I would have had a heart attack...true story.

Luckily, there will be no riots at MSG.....and Isiah can sleep like a baby.

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