Azubuike Putting In - Convinced He Can Crack Rotation
It ain't over yet for Kelenna Azubuike .
Azubuike returned to practice Wednesday and said he believes he finally is on the verge of impressing the coaching staff enough to get him back on the court for a game. He may get his chance now that Shawne Williams likely will be suspended for a fight with the Hawks' Marvin Williams late in the game. Both players were ejected.
Azubuike would be a logical suspension replacement for Williams, though the rehab on his knee, on which he had patellar-tendon surgery, has been filled with stops and starts. He returned to scrimmages in mid-November, then shut it down again in December as he worked on his gait. Azubuike simply was not explosive enough in scrimmages for D'Antoni to consider playing him.
Azubuike said he feels that has changed.
"The difference this time is we've done a lot of strength work right to the injured part," Azubuike told The Post. "It's to a point it feels normal to push off it where before it was still that foreign feeling when I pushed off it. And we're doing stuff in the weight room to get that same feeling. When I get on the court it feels normal.
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Interesting! Can't see how he's a necessary piece though sadly.
Well allow me to elucidate then..
Idk if I can enlighten you Crazy, but I'll do my best.. :thumbsup:
Originally Posted by Crazy8s
Let me start of by saying that I like Landry Fields, ALOT.
When I say Azzzzzzy would be the starter I donít say it lightly. Iíve thought it out.
I should also say, that like AR, Iíve watched Azzy a handful of times and feel like I have a good idea of what he can and can't do..
I believe Azubuike would have cracked the starting rotation on a Mike D coached squad for a number of reasons:
1. Azzy is a real good 3 pt shooter. Mike D prizes knock-down three ball shooters who can space the floor. In the 08-09 season during which he started 51 games and played a total of 74, he shot .448 and made 94 threes. 45%.... Thatís frigginí solid. On a Mike D coached, SSOL squad he would be an asset for sure. When you watch him shoot, you see why. His mechanics are sound. Fields is an adequate guy from behind the arc, but Azzy is better right now, or at least was..
2. Heís not just a camper. This guy takes to the whole and finishes w authority. Heís explosive and has a knack for getting in the teeth of defenses. He can lay- in w either hand and often times will end a drive w an emphatic dunk. Iíve seen him dunk in traffic a handful of times, nastily.
3. The guy is flat out fast. He runs the floor better than Landry for sure IMO. He would be ideal spotting up for threes and getting the ball and taking to the rim in transition.
4. Defensively, Azzzzzy was showing tenacity. He has a knack for coming up behind players and swatting the ball away, ala D.Wade or Lebiactch.. He can also get ya a steal or two per game. On this end of the floor, technically I think the two are a wash. Physically though, Azzy has a slight edge due to him being the better athlete.
Overall, I think Azzy was the better two way player. I think, based on the trajectory he was on and if healthy, he could have averaged 15- 18 ppg. on this team. He was the center piece in the trade of Lee and he would have fit in nicely.
Now Fields has shown heís smart, efficient and timely. He shoots an amazing .528 from the field. Mostly due to his effective board crashing and subsequent put-backing, and his savvy at finding open spaces in the defense which heís deftly exploited for easy lay-ins. Heís also taken 115 threes and made 45 for a percentage of .391.
Azzy kicks ass on offense in a more traditional way. He is the better slasher, (due to his explosiveness and solid handle) more explosive inside scorer and better shooter from deep. He would help our offense overall score more because we could space the floor better. He would also make teams pay at a higher clip. Azzy could easily have 70 or more threes at this point in the season.
Both players are good. But Azzy has more experience. Because of his talent-makeup I really think he could have become the kind of player that could propel this offense into more consistent, unpredictable dominance. He was also nothing to sneeze at defensively either and would have helped us there also.
I truly hope he can crack the rotation and help us this year. :gony: