Monday, October 29, 2007

Bruins in the NBA Report

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

When the NBA opens its regular season, ten former Bruins will be on NBA rosters, including rookie guard Arron Afflalo of the Detroit Pistons.

All teams were required to trim rosters to the league mandated fifteen players yesterday. Two former Bruins were cut prior to the end of preseason camp: Jelani McCoy (Nuggets) and Andre Patterson (Lakers).

Here is a look at the former Bruins around the NBA at the start of the regular season.

Arron Afflalo, Detroit Pistons: With the hand injury to fellow rookie Rodney Stuckey, Afflalo finds himself in the Detroit rotation as the back-up shooting guard to starter Richard Hamilton. Afflalo followed a solid summer league with an impressive preseason camp shooting over 50% and playing aggressive defense. While he still has much to learn in the league, Piston management has already taken notice of Afflalo's unique work ethic and warrior mentality.

Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers: Farmar had a stunning preseason for the Lakers, which even prompted Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to state he might be one of the most improved players on the team this season. Farmar has been more aggressive on offense and has developed an explosiveness in his drives, something rarely seen during his career at UCLA. While veteran Derek Fisher will start in the backcourt, the Lakers feel very comfortable, and perhaps play even better, when Farmar is on the floor.

Matt Barnes, Golden St. Warriors: Barnes has come a long way since last summer when he was simply hoping for a spot on a roster. He has solidified his role on the team and was named one of the team's tri-captains. Look for Barnes to have another good season, especially since he's only signed to a one-year contract with the Warriors and is looking for a lucrative long-term deal next spring.

Baron Davis, Golden St. Warriors: With the departure of Jason Richardson, Davis understands he'll need to pick up some of the scoring slack from his departed backcourt mate. Davis is looking to continue his elite-play from the post-season. He announced during the preseason that he would wait until the end of the year before negotiating a new contract extension with the Warriors.

Trevor Ariza, Orlando Magic: Orlando management remains high on Ariza's potential; however, nagging foot and leg injuries have hampered his rise. Expected to battle for the starting spot at shooting guard, Ariza never had the opportunity due to a injured foot he suffered in camp. When he gets healthy, Ariza will likely come off the bench backing up both shooting guard and small forward spots.

Dan Gadzuric, Milwaukee Bucks: Gadzuric had a solid preseason camp and started a few games in place of an injured Andrew Bogut. He averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19 minutes of play and impressed coaches with his energy and hustle. Bogut is expected to return for the start of the season with Gadzuric returning to the bench.

Ryan Hollins, Charlotte Bobcats: With multiple injuries along the Bobcat front line, the coaches experimented with Hollins as their starting center during the preseason. However, Hollins struggled at times, mainly due to his inexperience in the league, and will likely see most of his his action coming off the bench. Veteran center Primoz Brezec is slated to start the season in the low post.

Jason Kapono, Toronto Raptors: Kapono, the reigning three-point champion, left the Miami Heat and signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Raptors during the offseason. It appears he has beat out Joey Graham and Carlos Delfino for the starting small forward spot. Playing with a very young roster, Kapono finds himself as one of the few veterans on the club.

Darrick Martin, Toronto Raptors: Martin is the dean of all active former Bruins in the NBA. He will start his 13th year in the league on the inactive list. Martin will serve as the emergency back-up point guard and clubhouse mentor for the Raptors.

Earl Watson, Seattle Supersonics: It appears Watson will be the Sonics starting point guard when they open the season. Luke Ridnour is still recovering from a broken nose and his play has been limited. Watson and Ridnour have been locked in a battle for the starting spot in Seattle the past two years - this season shouldn't be any different.

(photo credit: NBA)



At Oct 30, 2007, 1:31:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Great update on our former players! Hey, do you notice who Gads is dunking on in that picture above??? Its another Bruin --- Jelani McCoy

At Oct 30, 2007, 3:39:00 AM, Anonymous Alan Utter said...

Thanks for another nice report and all the work you do for the UCLA basketball program.

At Nov 1, 2007, 3:54:00 AM, Anonymous Emma said...

AA is starting for the Pistons tonight!!!


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