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2006 Post TVSL Q&A with The Low

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by roscoe36, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Jul 5, 2005
    Likes Received:
    2006 Post TVSL Q&A with The Low
    from BadBoySummerCamp.com

    With the Toshiba Vegas Summer League over, our own The Low took time out so answer some questions from readers.
    Thanks for all of the excellent reports, Low. Now that Chiekh Samb is no longer so mysterious, what do you think of him overall? Does he look like he might be headed for a meaningful NBA career? What would be his natural position?
    ~ lurker

    LOW: It was my pleasure. I would want the same if I wasn’t able to get down here and someone we all knew had access.

    Personally, I was very impressed with Cheikh. I thought the more he played, the more comfortable and effective he became. Aside from his lack of size, he was very aggressive on the boards and was willing to fight for position in the post on offense and defense. He showed a very soft touch on his shot from 12 to 15 ft which was the thing that surpised me the most. I fully expected him to have little to no offensive ability.

    In my opinion, with a little more meat on his bones and some PT in the D-League he could make himself a factor in any game. He may never be the 2nd coming of The Dream, but he has a solid understanding of the game and is coordinated. His future could be quite interesting.
    How were the hot dogs/concessions at the T&M?
    ~ ggazoo69

    LOW: Having ventured down that road in 2005, The Low consistently prepared his own meals at home prior to each game. The dogs weren’t bad.
    Who would you say weighs more? Cheikh Samb or Don Zierdan?
    ~ basketbills

    LOW: That’s a close one. Zierden’s head may have given him the slight edge.
    This summer league thing is new for me - never paid attention to it before. Question is, does it seem worthwhile for the players? The games seems to have suffered from a lack of any sort of flow from all the fouls. I understand the teams want to see players play and not foul out, but raising the limit only seems to give you a notion how they hit free throws.

    Can a team really get a decent look at their players? With all the fouls, with the anybody we can dig up lineups?
    ~ dba

    LOW: Teams actually can get a look at their guys. The league, from what I got from Ronnie Nunn, ups the foul counts so these guys don’t have to spend all SL watching from the bench while they learn how the NBA is going to call fouls (especially cause the college and international rule book is slightly different).

    Most of the guys at SL really really want to impress someone so they can make their dream happen so they are really bustin their asses out there. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities to see how the draft picks do against guys who are just as interested in playing hard. There are alot of fouls, but that is also in part to referees who are in training just as the players are. I would say that in a total learning environment such as VSL, some concessions must be made.
    Did Acker only play SG… if he played PG what % would you say? Did Amir play mostly SF or PF?
    ~ mercury

    LOW: This is one I’ve always struggled with because I don’t believe it really matters what position someone is classified as. It usually depends on where the offense and defense positions the player on the floor and whether or not that positioning utilizes that player’s skills. With that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that he technically speaking played the entire SL at SG. But, that doesn’t mean he never brought the ball up the floor and even if he did, it wasn’t necessarily in a PG type of role (you gotta get across HC no matter what).

    It also doesn’t speak to whether he had the ball in the SF’s roll at some point. It usually just blurs and isnt’ really that defined, especially in SL ball.

    EDIT: I forgot to answer your question about Amir. He would probably have been considered a SF for most of camp, but I still think he can get some minutes at PF if he works on posting up. He resembles Sheed in this way, but only takes consistent shots from about 15 to 18 ft.
    I’d like a breakdown on Cheikh Samb. It seems his shot making and defensive ability are not as poor or underdeveloped as we may have thought.

    With added weight and seasoning, does he have the stuff to be a legit rotation player one day?
    ~ roscoe36

    LOW:In my opinion, YES. Some of you know that when you have a job or a skill, one day it just clicks. At that point you become extremely efficient at whatever it is and then you’re almost able to essentially master the task. That’s all that needs to take place with Samb if he can add strength to his frame.
    How quickly can these guys jump off the bench and wave their towels when a big play is made by the starters?
    ~ DarthTater

    LOW: Not very quickly apparently. These guys are all playing hard and pulling for each other, but its sort of a reserved atmosphere. Even these guys realize this isn’t the NBA regular season.
    Who is ready for prime time, what are their strengths/weaknesses, possible career potential etc. Something to conclude your observations of the summer league and give the rest of us fans a better picture of what exactly we have or have not.
    ~ anakin

    LOW: In my opinion, there are two guys ready for action. Acker and Maxiell.

    I would like to see Amir get some action, but even in SL, he appeared to vanish for long stretches at a time. That obviously won’t get you much action in the regular season.

    Acker when he gains confidence is very smooth and effortless, a lot like Tayshaun Prince. His weakness is that he seems to rely so much on his confidence which only comes from really playing against a guy and getting to know what advantages you have over him. Also, he picks his spots which pulls him out of his rhythm. With some consistent work to make his jumper automatic, I think he could be very solid. He makes very few mental mistakes and definitely has a killer instinct. But, the only thing is that he will need some minutes to get himself comfortable with playing against even 2nd tier NBA talent. If he can do that…look out.

    Maxiell, for lack of a better term, takes no prisoners. I love that attitude. He went after Amare Stoudamire to the point where it took Amare off his game and got him focusing at going at Maxiell. That is invaluable. His upside is clear in that he will attack any and everyone in his way. He does not back down and will put forth Ben Wallace-like effort. His rebounding is full of hard work and he will work for points in the paint (which I am a fan of). He does struggle with missing some easy shots inside, but with all the banging he does, this is probably a result of fatigue. Some additional work with Arnie Kander will solve the conditioning issue. He’ll need consistent work on his FT shooting to keep his % up, but he is willing to work.
    What is going on with Nik Caner-Medley? Why did he get so little playing time in the summer league? Are the Pistons hiding him? What are his chances of sticking with the club?
    ~ pistolpete

    LOW: He got reasonable playing time the games he did play (I still never saw any reasoning behind his early departure from the SL team), but he honestly appears to just be a slightly better version of Brian Cardinal.

    He’s not bad, but he will really only get you that great hustle play or bucket inside every now and then. His chances are slim and I would be surprised if he was able to move ahead of anyone we already have.
    Also with J-Max’s reported drop in weight, does he look like he can play the 3 spot a-la Big Nasty? How would you rate his lateral quickness? Better, worse, or about the same?
    ~ Mad Hatter

    LOW: I would say not. He moves well, but doesn’t really have the foot work for playing guys out on the perimeter. Big Nasty just had excellent footwork and that made it easy for him to start 18ft out. Maxiell is probably a 10ft and in kind of player.
    Two concerns/questions:

    1. Is Maxiell as poor a rebounder as these stats show? Just 4.6 rpg for 30 mpg seems discouraging.

    2. Acker’s shooting percentage at 36% is ugly. The VSL recaps indicated that he was getting open looks, but that percentage does not give me confidence that he’s ready to play at the next level.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the games, and somethimes stats don’t tell the whole story, but these two numbers lowered my expectations for Maxiell and Acker.
    ~ crumbs

    LOW: Stats really don’t tell the whole picture. What I looked for from SL was willingness to attack the boards. These games have such a lack of team continuity that rebounds and shots come from just about everywhere. Even if these guys aren’t doing a Rodman or Big Ben impression, you can tell which guys will crash the boards effectively, especially with the lax rebounding you see from big men during the NBA regular season.

    As far as Acker’s shooting…as I said earlier, his decision to pick his spots from time to time keeps him from developing a rhythm in games. He’ll get hot, then he’ll just stop shooting. Or, he’ll just take one shot every few minutes and either he’s on or he’s not. Like I said, if he works to develop his jumper until its automatic, these dry spells should go away.
    Low, you wrote some scathing reviews of Darko last year. How does Cheik Samb compare to Darko Milicic?
    ~ slippy

    LOW: Honestly, I wrote some of the stuff I did about Darko because he just didn’t try. I never had to sit there and wonder: “Damn, why didn’t he try to block that?” when I was watching Samb. I was never disappointed by Samb because his man denied him position and he gave up trying.

    Samb took some shots from 15 ft, but you know it wasn’t because he would rather be out there than in the paint. If Samb got the ball at 15ft and there was 4 on the clock, he would shoot. But, if he got the ball and there was 18 on the clock and he was at 15 ft, he would pass the ball back and go get position on the block. Big difference. Much of what I saw from Darko last year was a result of his attitude. He played as if he felt he was too good for SL and simply did it to humor the franchise on his way to being “given” the minutes he deserved.

    Cheikh played summer league like he heard all the jokes from the Mo Evans trade and he was determined to kick the ass of whoever wrote them. Cheikh played like he wanted to learn and progressed as if he WAS learning. I saw nothing of the sort from Darko considering I went to last year’s SL quite interested in seeing Mr. Milicic take out his frustration on those poor bastards at VSL…never happened.

    Written by The Low on July 24th, 2006
    Read more articles on Loose Bits and 2006 VSL.
  2. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

    Sep 22, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Oakland, CA
    VSL Pistons coverage. Ain't nothing else like it.
  3. linwood

    linwood All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

    Sep 2, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Seattle, WA
    Absolutely amazing. This may be the best off season reporting I have ever read.

    Thanks, The Low!
  4. MotownPride

    MotownPride Team Captain 2x Fantasy Champion

    Sep 6, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Tampa, Florida
    You get a standing ovation from me bro. Very inciteful.

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