Coach K can't 'fathom' teams tanking
We're just two weeks into the NBA season and there already is talk of teams tanking for a shot at the top pick in the highly acclaimed 2014 draft class.
And Coach K doesn't like it.
“If that is happening, shame on whoever is doing it," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the Blue Devils' loss to Kansas at the Champions Classic. "… As an American I wouldn't like to think that an American team would [ever] want to lose or create situations where you would want to lose. I can't even fathom — I can't go there. I can't believe that that would happen. Maybe I'm naive and going to read a fairytale after this.”
Why not? Coach K had just watched a fantasy: His stud freshman, Jabari Parker, in a must-see matchup with Kansas' top recruit Andrew Wiggins that hoops fans are hoping to see again in March.
LeBron said what all GMs must have been thinking:
GM's wish the draft was tomorrow— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 13, 2013
This is set to be the strongest draft class since 2003 when James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade came into the league. The conversation after Tuesday's games was: Who is the best candidate to go No. 1 after their first turn on the big stage?
Before Tuesday, all hype was swirling around Wiggins being a sure No. 1 pick. But even in the loss, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Parker looked like a bully at times driving to the rack, showed amazing court vision, good 3-point range and just about everything that falls in between. He showed off for the hometown Chicago crowd with 27 points and nine boards.
Not to mention the highlight-reel dunk of the night.
Granted, Wiggins did lead the Jayhwaks in the second half with 16 of his 22 points and commanded the offense when it mattered, adding 10 rebounds. And he got the last laugh by leading his Jayhawks to a victory.
And then there is Kentucky forward Julius Randle, whom both Magic Johnson and Jalen Rose said they would have going No. 1. The 6-9, 250-pound power forward had a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds (but 8 turnovers) in Tuesday's loss to No. 2 Michigan State.
Randle does not share the same skill set as James, but their body types are similar. That equates to a potential dominating force if he can keep expanding his game.
Here's Jay Bilas' take.
Jabari Parker most complete, Julius Randle most physically dominant, and Andrew Wiggins most athletic and best in transition. All terrific.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 13, 2013
As of right now this is how have the draft should go:
1. Jabari Parker
2. Julius Randle
3. Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins may just be a victim of all the hype surrounding him. It's not his fault he was chosen to be on the cover of SI and ESPN the Magazine. He has great potential, at 6-8 and 200 pounds, but there is a lot of work to be done before the draft.
Was he hyped? Yes. But, KU's Andrew Wiggins is averaging 19 pts, 5.5 rebs, and is shooting 58%. He'll get better, too. #scratchingthesurface— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 13, 2013
Duke's Jabari Parker is averaging 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and is shooting 61% from the floor. He's pretty good, too.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 13, 2013
UK's Julius Randle is averaging 24.5 points, 14 rebounds and is shooting 62% from the floor. And, he can be better (12 TOs). Scary good.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 13, 2013
To tank or not to tank?