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Questions, Goorjian – Round 4

Here we go again, with Goorjian showing his pose when the final siren went at the SANFL Grand Final. This week the questions were a little more vague, but that means we have a lot of differing answers which is good. We have Luke Thomas joining us for the first time, primed for a Donovan Mitchell like rookie outing.

How this works is I pose a number of questions, and collate everyone’s answers together here. Sounds easy, right?

At the round table today we have Luke Thomas (UTA), Jarrod Cotton (BOS), Troy Goostrey (IND), David Ashman (DEN), Dan Kelly (LAL), Jesse Cotton (ATL) and Ryan Spears (GSW).


Who is the most disappointing current NBA player?

Luke Thomas:

Kevin Durant – for joining a stacked 73-win team when he was already on a team that had the potential to challenge them.  Could have forged a reputation as a champion leading a team over the Warriors.  Instead, everything he has/will achieve has an asterisk next to it in my opinion.  Compromised the integrity of the league in the process.
Honourable mention to Kawhi Leonard – disappointing because he’s a jet, and injuries notwithstanding, has damaged his brand in the last year or so.

Jarrod Cotton:

Dwight Howard. 6-11, 265lb, 12’6” leaping reach (highest documented in NBA history.)

 Here are some 2007 quotes from contemporaries:
“Howard is so developed….he has so much promise and I am glad that I will be out of the league when he is peaking.” – Tim Duncan
“Howard is a freak of nature, man….I was nowhere near that physically talented.”- Kevin Garnett
In my opinion not a real reach to think he could’ve had a career similar to Shaq’s but if someone told me he had retired 5 years ago, I would’ve believed them.

Troy Goostrey:

Going with a Top 3 format here.
3rd – Kenneth Faried.  Showed so much early on.  Athletic, dominated a Rooks v Sophs game a few years back, then has done bugger all since.
2nd – Anthony Bennett.  #1 pick in 2013, why??  Would struggle on an NBL roster.
1st – Carmelo Anthony.  Good personal career but for someone with so much talent, he’s under achieved in the NBA – hence it’s been disappointing to watch.  He can’t put a team on his back like LeBron can even though they were hyped similar back in the day.

David Ashman:

I reckon the most disappointing player is Andrew Wiggins. He did have Jimmy Butler last year that took some minutes away from his game but even still, he should be dominating. He has the skills, the speed, the quickness and the athleticism to do it. I think he is just so complacent that he doesn’t want to be too aggressive it seems. If he had that killer instinct he could lead the league in scoring. His jump shot and 3 ball could improve but I think it just comes down to being more aggressive I suppose. With Jimmy Buckets in the team last season he had the perfect opportunity to take over when team defenses collapse on the Butler. And with Butler being the alpha dog, Wiggins could have still co-existed with him on the court but his numbers certainly didn’t show it which is a shame. Such potential there and with 4 seasons under his belt, he should be comfortable. Instead his numbers are down from the year before. Maybe with Jimmy moving on he may get back to 23 point a game a season or more before buckets was in town.

Dan Kelly:

Picking him for a different reason and that’s Kawhi. By all reports, cleared to play for Spurs and took easy/soft option, the whole saga didn’t quite add up. Don’t doubt his talent for a second but has a lot to prove this season…and then yes, he can join us in 2019.

Jesse Cotton:

Andrew Wiggins. Came in with so much hype as the next generation-level talent with great athleticism and elite defense.
So far, 4 years in and there isn’t any part of his game which can be described as better than slightly-above-average. He’s a high volume, low efficiency chucker, his rebounding is terrible, he’s got Carmelo-like passing, his team (and my fantasy team) has not improved by having him, and arguably the worst part about his game is his highly touted defense.

Ryan Spears:

Chandler Parsons – It is not his fault receiving such an awesome contract, but his output for in the last two seasons has been 7.9 and 6.2 points per game in just under 20 minutes or play, and this for $94 million dollars. Even in a market that needs to overpay for start, this output in underwhelming.


Hey, this is what google tells me the answer is

Who is the most underrated current NBA player?

Luke Thomas: 

JR Smith.  Just joking.  I reckon Clint Capela is very good, and doesn’t get the kudos he deserves with CP3 and the Beard on the team.  Pains me to say it, but he won his battle with Gobert in the playoffs last year which is no mean feat. Last season – 14 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, shoots over 60% from the field.  And he’s still young, only 24.

Jarrod Cotton:

Marc Gasol. A do it all competitor who has no real weaknesses to exploit in his game for his size. In 59 playoff games for the Grizzlies he has produced, averaging 17.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.7 blocks, also shooting at around an 80% from the line.

A real thinker on the court who does anything his team needs to win basketball games.
I don’t think fellow players and coaches underrate Gasol but the casual NBA fan probably doesn’t understand how good this bloke is.

Troy Goostrey:

Took a while on this one.  Eventually, I’ll pick Al Horford.  You never hear of him in conversations about the best few bigs in the league over the last decade or so.  His stats don’t jump off the page but teams he’s been on have consistently performed well (playoffs every season) and that is usually because they are anchored by his solid and dependable keyway presence.  That is often overlooked for flashy, 3-ball shooting bigs (even Horford added this his past 3 seasons).  Instead of reaching for Dwight Howard like so many tried, maybe Horford should have been chased harder over the years??

David Ashman:

The most underrated player for me are a couple. Guys like Joe Ingles are great for the team especially on defense. His 3 shooter is exceptional and he is always getting in the passing lanes and creating turnovers. A very deceptive player who’s slo mo play fools a lot of players and he is certainly underrated. Another player who comes to mind who would certainly be get more attention in bigger market teams is Kemba Walker. He is quick, has great scoring abilities and is a great passer and floor general. Playing in Charlotte seems to hind him from the league a bit but I think he is still their best player and a top PG in the East.

Dan Kelly:

This might not seem “underrated” to some but I am going with Klay Thompson. I know he has the trophies, all stars etc, but playing with Curry, Durant and now Cousins. Would love to see him at the Lakers, possible in 2019? I do also rate Eric Gordon puts up solid numbers and considering the Harden/CP3 duo take a lot of the ball.

Jesse Cotton:

I’ll go with a couple of current teammates – Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley.
Avery Bradley is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and on top of that he shoots a respectable 37.5% from 3, making 2 a game, and averages around 15ppg.
Tobias Harris is only 26 and has steadily improved every year, to the point of averaging 18.6ppg last season (more than Dragic, Melo and that disappointing Wiggins), shooting 40+% from 3.
Neither have superstar numbers, but the reason I call them underrated is because it seems like they are always trade bait and never a team’s answer at their respective position. In Harris’s 7 seasons, he has been traded mid-season in 3 of them.
With Butler wanting to go to the Clippers, I’d be going for a package of these two in return because you’ll probably also get a couple of 1st round picks as well.

Ryan Spears:
Al Horford – I think some really good players are underappreciated/underrated because they play in small markets and/or they don’t have flashy play styles. Al Horford plays in a big market for one of the most famous NBA teams, but his style of play does not stand out to the casual basketball fan. He is one of the best all-rounders in the NBA, the best defender on the most stifling defense in the NBA and can switch on pick-and-roll and defend against smaller player or pound with the big guys. On offense he can shoot the 3, crucial for big men in today’s NBA, and can distribute well from the elbows. In my opinion, he is the epitome of underrated.


Name your teams best chance at winning MVP, Sixth Man, Most Improved and Defensive Player of the Year in 2018/19

Luke Thomas:

MVP – Mitchell.  Won’t happen but he’s our best chance – love watching this boy play.
Sixth Man – Exum – could break out if he can only stay healthy, and slot in beautifully behind either Mitchell or Rubio.
Most Improved – Exum – see above.
DPOY – Gobert, a.k.a. The Stifle Tower, The French Rejection

Jarrod Cotton:

Kyrie Irving has a realistic chance at the MVP this year mainly because of Boston’s predicted record. In my view this will only be possible if he tries to stop the odd dude at the other end.

Terry Rozier is the Celtics best candidate for the sixth man but, not likely to win it.
Jayson Tatum is my pick for most improved, for him to win it this year he needs to become Boston’s biggest threat on offence. I’m hoping that happens but probably a couple of years away.
Al Horford could easily win DPOY. He’s on a good defensive team battling for top in the East, anchoring them with a splash of versatility.
If I had to put money on which of these choices will be true at the end of the season, I’m taking big Al (not the big Al who ran the diner in Happy Days).


Troy Goostrey:

For my Pacers, it’s:
MVP – Oladipo.  Unlikely, but if he continues on the big upward trend and gets better support from Turner and the rest of them, he’s our Obiwan in this category.
6th Man – Tyreke Evans.  1st option off the bench for possibly 3 positions on the roster (PG to SF), should legitimately be in the mix for the award in my opinion.
Improved – Myles Turner.  If he can push the boards up into double figures where it should be for a guy his size, (average say 15+ and 10) plus retain shot blocking he might be a shot at this award.  Hard for us to go back-to-back in this category though after Dipo won last season.
Defensive – Oladipo.  Upped the steals to a career high 2.4 last season and is probably a smokey for this award.

David Ashman:

Nuggets MVP would be Jokic as the big man has skills. He should be an allstar.

Will Barton would be sixth man and he is also underrated. He could have gone in my underrated section come to think of I but didn’t want to be too Nuggets centric.

Most Improved would be Jamal Murray as he is now in a position to cement his starting role and shine this season. He has the tools and hopefully the brain to go with it.

Defensive player, mmmmm Nuggets and Defence two words that are synonymous. I might have to get back to you on that one. I knew the Nuggets should have traded for Melo in the offseason again for that defensive intensity.

Dan Kelly:

MVP – Lebron and if the Lakers can get around 55 wins then he is a solid bet.
Sixth Man – Lineup still up for grabs, but can see Kuzma spending more time off bench this season.
Most Improved – Ingrams game should go another level and it needs to with the smarts of Lebron and Rondo on the floor. Dare I say it, but with Lebron and Rondo along with the other vets I can see Ball taking game to another level as well. Less pressure and focus on him now, even if his old man tries to create the hype, with Lebron in town the spotlight has shifted.
Defensive player – Defense…its the Lakers what defense! No idea, will throw Lance in for it since he plays it.

Jesse Cotton:

MVP – Oh god. Do I have to answer this one? Vince Carter? Honestly, no player from last year could make that sort of leap, so I’m going to have to go with the unknown and pick Trae Young.
It would be unprecedented (only Wilt and Unseld have won MVP as rookies), but if he comes in averaging 30ppg and 10apg and the Hawks make the playoffs, then it could happen. I guess. After the SANFL I’m not writing anything off!

Sixth Man – Alex Len. He could take on an Enes Kanter in OKC sort of role as a scorer/rebounder off the bench. He led all bench players in offensive rebounds per game last season (16th overall in the league in just 20mpg), and on a per-36 minute basis his points and rebounds are equivalent to Gobert. With only Dewayne Dedmon as the starter, there’s no reason the minutes and opportunity won’t be available.

MIP – John Collins. This is by far the most likely of all 4 categories.
I can see Collins going from 10ppg to nearly doubling that due to him adding some outside touch and versatility to his game instead of just being the guy on the end of pick and rolls, and especially so if Trae is more Steve Nash than Steph Curry.

DPOY – It’s either Kent Bazemore or Taurean Prince, but I’m going to go with Prince. Bazemore is probably the better defender, but you know what you’re going to get from him next season already, and that’s not DPOY material.
Prince has the tools to be a good defender, and if that is something he has focused on improving in the offseason, he could make that his niche. I also spoke to Russell’s mate Caleb, he loves telling everyone how good a basketball player Prince is, so I was convinced.

Ryan Spears:


Steph Curry – It is difficult to choose between Steph and KD, but it is evident that when Curry is missing that that Warriors don’t look as good as the team is developed around that spacing that his three-point shooting provides, so I would have to pick Steph. That being said, they are both so good that they water down each other’s opportunity to win the MVP.

Sixth Man

Old man Iggy does not put up amazing statistics during the season, but his value in the big moments or the big games, coupled with his ability to guard the other team’s best players means that his is the most important and best of the Golden States reserves.

Most Improved

With the absence of Boogie Cousins until Christmas, there are several young centres that will get important playing time. I believe that the stand out will be Damian Jones, as he has the height and length to catch lobs, finish close to the rim and defend the opponent’s big men. The only question will be his ability to defend the opponent’s smalls on switches.

Defensive Player of the Year

Last year, KD’s defense improved dramatically. He displayed the ability put in the effort to guard all positions on the floor and became an elite rim defender, so I would have to pick Draymond Green as the most likely GS player to win the defensive player of the year award 😉

1 thought on “Questions, Goorjian – Round 4”

  1. Nice to have you onboard Luke. Loved your KD most disappointing take.
    I agree Troy, Anthony Bennett was an absolute stinker of a pick for the Cavaliers. Just think about the ‘what if’ scenarios if they had have gotten this one right.
    Dan you’ve obviously got one recruiting eye on 2019. Don’t worry buddy unfortunately they will wrangle something good before then :-).
    Jingle love Ash! I’m down with that.
    No offence to Taurean but I’m guessing Caleb was talking about ‘When Doves Cry’ Prince Jess. Apparently he could Ball!
    As usual great reading.

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