Friday, December 17, 2010

Cam & Bilbo Weekly Chat: Darko Milicic

Cam doesn't know where Tyreke was picked in 2009
Bilbo Likes Moutaches


Cam: Did you see Darko against the Warriors on Tuesday (12/14/10)? I know it was against The Warriors and I know that he scored his career high of 25 points and I know that I rarely watch Timberwolves games but that was some fascinating stuff.

Bilbo: It isn’t that difficult to have career games against the Dubs. I think you could put up a 20/10 game against them. I didn’t see the game and I don’t watch many Teen Wolf games either. But it’s hard to explain why Darko has suddenly put it all together this season after seven years of doing nothing. What has made the difference this season?

Cam: The Warriors suck at defense, this is true. No matter what Keith Smart does or who owns Golden State, it just seems to be in the Nor Cal DNA to not play D. Back to Darko……the blogosphere has called David Kahn an idiot for many things including re-signing Darko to a 4 year $20 Million contract in July of this year. But even genius savant Billy Simmons had to take back his Kahn bashing based on what Darko is doing this year for The Timberlinewolves. He’s a good complement to Kevin Love the rebounding mad man/future All-Star and he currently leads The Association in blocks. Darko’s having a very good year. Not a better year than Carmelo or D-Wide mind you (who he was drafted in front of in the 2003 draft with Dumars’ 2nd pick). But it’s a good year compared to his prior history. Come to think of it, he may be having a better year than Bosh who was in the same draft class. This story is going to be very fun to follow this year.

Bilbo: Wait, I thought this was a Simmons Free discussion? Here is a cool “what if”. How would Darko’s career in the YeeBA have been different if he had waited a year and became eligible in 2004? For one, the pressure of being taken ahead of really good players would be gone and the expectations lowered considerably. I don’t think the “experts” would have delivered so much hate if Darko had been selected ahead of Emeka Nakkafor as opposed to Melo (assuming, for arguments sake, he was the 2nd pick in 2004). Second, he may have ended up on a team that actually could have developed him into a decent center, like the Warriors. Just kidding. But what if the Charlotte Dragons…I mean Bobcats had taken him and just decided he would be their guy from day one? They were a brand new expansion team and had nothing to lose by starting Darko. The fans would have realized that a rookie center on a first year expansion team wasn’t supposed to make it to the playoffs, so he would have had a year or two of relatively pressure free hoops. Taking this all into account, where do you think he would be now compared to other centers in the league?

Cam: I 100% agree with you here. The expectations were off the charts for this 2nd overall pick at age 18 on a team that just made it to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals with Joe Dumars as your GM and Larry Brown as your coach. Plus, you’re from Serbia and you don’t speak Engrish well. He heard that he was a bad pick from day one simply based on his lack of playing time and how well others who were picked after him were doing and this didn’t earn him an ounce of respect from elder statesmen teammates like Chauncey, Rip, Big Ben, Tayshaun, and Sheed. Nathaniel Friedman a.k.a. Bethlehem Shoals actually started a successful NBA writing career by launching Free Darko back then with the simple premise that he really liked Darko’s game and saw his need to be let go from the Detroit tyranny at the time. Well, it took lost seasons, poorly spent contract dollars, and media humiliation for Darko to finally be freed. And now I think his contract is better than many in his draft class, especially Rashard Lewis’. Watching the T-Wolves it is obvious that their front line of Darko/Love (hilarious) is legit. It’s their pathetic guard play that holds them down. Kahn could have been fired for drafting Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio infront of Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry. But he just saved his ass by freeing Darko. Darko is on a developing team (another way to say “shitty team”), he’s gotten paid, he’s getting minutes from Rambis, and he’s all growns up. Kahn Freed Darko. Who woulda thunk?

Cam:  Bilbo, why didn't you email me back?  I had one more thought about Darko.  If you look at the way he plays in the post, he's got some very interesting post move skills.  Most big men release the ball with their arms extended to shoot over people. Well, every big man but Dwight Howard who takes bank jumpers with a 90 degree arm angle Shawn Marion style.  But Darko flicks the ball from his side when he shoots right handed.  It's quick, impossible to block, and he's mastered the shot.  His left hand turn around hook is where he extends and he can shoot that out to a very impressive 12 feet.  But his skills are strange and intriguing to watch.  Now I understand why the Free Darko blog came out in the first place.


Sam said...

Evans was not on the board. He went 4 to Sacramento.
And Rubio in all likelihood was not suppose to drop to the Wolves at 5. He did, they had to take him. The Jonny vs. Curry debate is easy now based on current stats, but those can change. At the time I bet 85% of GMs would have gone with Flynn. Jonny's numbers weren't stellar his rookie year, but far from bad.
People need to lighten up with Kahn's moves.

Toddmy said...

What about Nextian GM Toddmy who drafted Darko this year in the 15th round of our draft? No love for that prescient maneuver even Bill Simmons didn't do?