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Derrick Williams bricks alley-oop (Video)

derrick-williamsDerrick Williams had a decent showing in Minnesota’s 111-107 win over Phoenix Saturday, but he probably would have like to have this alley-oop attempt back. Williams got a long pass from Alexey Shved and tried dunking it home except the rim got in the way. The result was a pretty solid brick for the blooper reel.

Video via @cjzero

NBA Draft Analysis and Recap of the First 14 Picks – How do they all fit?

Thursday’s NBA draft was both exhilarating and head-scratching. Some players went higher than expected (ahem, Iman Shumpert). Others fell far, to teams that never expected to grab them (Chris Singleton and the Wizards, for instance).

It’s too early to tell which of these players will reach their potential and which ones will veer off the tracks in an Adam Morrison-like train crash. Like an overwrought episode of Franklin & Bash, it’ll take a while for the basketball community to reach its final verdicts.

In the meantime, here’s a quick pick-by-pick analysis of each player taken in this year’s lottery and how they fit with their new team:

1. Kyrie Irving (PG) – Cleveland

The look on Irving’s agent’s face when Irving’s name was called No. 1 was priceless. Turns out Cleveland had kept them in the dark all week long. Not a promise (despite there being word of a promise). Not a hint. Nothing. When you heard “Kyrie Irving to the Cleveland Cavaliers,” that’s the first time he heard it too. I’m sure Irving’s agent will remind Cavs executives of this in a few years when it comes time to sign an extension. In the meantime, Irving will be asked to keep the Cavs afloat with a nucleus of Baron Davis, AndersonVarejao, J.J. Hickson and Tristan Thompson. No easy feat. Let’s hope Dan Gilbert isn’t thinking playoffs any time soon.

2. Derrick Williams (PF) - Minnesota

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Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams Not Concerned with Being Like LeBron James

Kyrie Irving became the top overall pick in the draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland had one of the worst teams in the League, a year after having the best regular season record. Their dropoff was the result of losing LeBron James to Miami. The Cavs got lucky by winning the lottery which gave them the first and fourth picks in the draft. Irving will be viewed as the team’s next franchise player, resulting in immense pressure. That was the role LeBron James used to have for Cleveland. Thankfully, neither Irving nor Derrick Williams wants to follow his model:

When both players gave their answers, they weren’t taking shots at LeBron. Rather, they were responding to questions from reporters looking to hear their thoughts. Kyrie gave the obvious answer, saying he’s not anything like LeBron as a player. Williams’ reply seemed to revolve around the reputation James has developed. Both are wise to distance themselves from James; not only did he upset the city of Cleveland, but turning the Cavs into one of the best teams in the NBA the way James did is unlikely.

A Beginner’s Guide to the 2011 NBA Draft: Profiles on All the Top Prospects

Reading NBA draft previews sometimes feels like wading through Princess Bride-style quicksand. With so many names to remember and stats to sift through, it can be hard to figure out what draft info is important and what’s just unnecessary nonsense.

Do you care as a casual fan, for instance, that Enes Kanter has 5.9% body fat? Or that Marcus Morris can run three quarters of the court in 3.2 seconds whereas his twin brother, Markieff, runs it in 3.4 seconds? Not really, right?

You just want the basics. Which is why I wrote this beginner’s guide.

Draft lunatics will already know most of what is written below. It’s not quantum physics, just a good starting place for people staring at the screen on draft night wondering “who is that guy?”

If you’re here for insight into Nikola Vucevic’s standing reach, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if cheat sheet info delivered in 100 words or less is your thing, I’m your guy. You won’t find any quicksand here.

Here’s my Cliff Notes-style guide to the 2011 NBA draft:

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Cavs Should Take Derrick Williams No. 1 in NBA Draft, Not Kyrie Irving

Convention says the Cleveland Cavaliers should take point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Irving’s the safe pick, the “smart” choice, the guy who won’t send Cavs fans into the depths of agony again with a Decision-like defection. He’s the rebound girl.

He may not be “the one,” but at least he won’t break your heart.

The scouting report on Duke’s finest ranges from “above average NBA point guard” to “a one-car garage version of Chris Paul.” He’s the anti-LeBron James, a humble “sir” mumbler from a structured background and a pedigree school. He can run an offense and shoot the ball, but he won’t blow you away with his physical tools or his athleticism.

Having just had a long-term relationship go horribly wrong, a LeBron-type is exactly the type Cleveland is trying to avoid. They’re shell shocked. When LBJ took his talents to South Beach, it scarred them. Now they’d rather go with a “sure thing” than be challenged.

They don’t want to get hurt again.

Unfortunately, this is a mindset that’s leading them away from Derrick Williams, the most talented player in the draft and arguably its only true impact player. And that’s bad news because playing it safe never got anybody anywhere in the NBA. Just look at how the 2006 draft worked out for Toronto. Andrea Bargnani’s a good player, but he’s never going to lead the Raptors anywhere significant.

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Derrick Williams Drank His Muscle Milk Before the Duke Game

This moment of madness brought to you by Muscle Milk®. It’s powerful protein. Drink. Evolve™

If there’s one player who has made a name for himself this NCAA Tournament, it would be Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The man his teammate Momo Jones once called a “skinny bum” muscled his way to 13 rebounds and 32 points against the vaunted Dukies, and helped ensure his team was in the game at halftime.

Williams had 25 points at halftime and tied a season-best performance by going 5-6 from the three-point line. Everything possible that a player could do in a game, Williams did. He played 35 minutes, went 11-17 from the field and 5-6 at the line while opening everyone’s eyes to the type of player he can be. All throughout the evening the television commentators and pundits on twitter were raving about his skills and ability. After his standout performance — the type that can happen in March and forever raise a player’s profile — people were saying Williams is a lock to be the top overall pick in the draft.

That’s not a joke either.

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