Obviously, this is a New Jersey Nets blog, however, the NAS crew absolutely love the NBA in general. So, every week, Sebastian, Mark, Devin, and myself will answer questions regarding the L.
1. Recently, Andre Iguodala said that Kevin Durant will eventually break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record. Of course it’s possible, but how likely will it happen? Will he or won’t he?
Mark: Very unlikely. Kareem played in over 1550 games in his career. You just don’t see that kind of longevity in the NBA anymore. If you consider maintaining 24 ppg over that period of time, I just can’t see anyone currently playing in the NBA approaching those numbers.
Devin: It’s not only possible, barring injury, it may actually be likely. Let’s look at the numbers. Durantula has 5,967 points in three NBA seasons so far, with a breakout year of 2,472 this past year. Let’s say he scores about 2,200 a year (around 27-28 points per game) for the next 10 years (until he’s 31), and then about 1,800 a year (about 22-23 points per game) for six more (until he’s 37). I realize the numbers will fluctuate, just an estimate. If that’s his level of production, by age 37 he would have 38,767 points – breaking Kareem’s record. A lot of things would have to go right, and you can never predict when a guy’s body might break down. That being said Durant hasn’t even been legal for a year yet and is already the most special offensive talent in the NBA. I’m certainly excited to see his career unfold.
DV: My gut reaction is “aw, HELL no!” Of course if Durant actually does break Kareem’s record, it’ll be so far into the future no one will ever remember my negative outcry. And, after thinking about it some more, my answer is still a nay to this scenario. There are too many factors here – health being the main one. It’s obviously impossible to predict one’s durability, although Durant should have the skills to score tons, no one can say he’ll be able to play the 16+ seasons it’ll take for Durant to be the NBA’s all-time points leader.
2. It’s rumored that Deron Williams will leave the Utah Jazz when his contract is up in 2012, particularly because everyone else left (Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, Wes Matthews, and Kyle Korver). The teams he’s been associated with (on pure speculation) are the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks; where do you think he’d fit in best IF he left the Jazz?
Mark: I’m sure Frank Isola will tell me the Knicks will get Deron… and Chris Paul …. and Carmelo Anthony … and LeBr…. wait…. I’m guessing Deron Williams is going to do what all the cool kids are doing and ask for a trade soon. Of those two options, I definitely see him as a great fit in Dallas, maybe for Dirk’s last run or two.
Devin: Truthfully, he’s Deron Wiliams. He’s going to fit in anywhere he goes because he’s an upgrade over any point guard in the league unless Chris Paul is healthy. It would be interesting to see how he’d perform in the run-n-gun offense in New York since he does very well in transition (1.21 PPP last year), but this is one of those scenarios where if any team had the option to acquire him they’d make a way to carve out roster space for him. Heck, imagine him lobbing alley-oops to Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors. I’d trade Devin Harris for that.
DV: Williams is an obvious talent and would fit in anywhere. However, I can see where it goes from one insanely great point guard (Jason Kidd) to another (Williams). Kidd will be able to ride off into the retiring sunset, knowing his town is in good hands. But, who knows? Maybe Carmelo Anthony (yes, that name again) convinces him to join him, wherever that may be… *cough*Nets*cough*.
3. Byron Scott recently said that Mo Williams would be the focus of the Cavs’ offense. Project how he’ll do, as well as the Cavs in the 2010-11 season.
Mark: Well, it’s going to be hard for Williams to shoot over 43 percent from three without LeBron there distracting an entire team of defenders. I mean, didn’t we hear for years that the reason LeBron couldn’t win it all was because his supporting cast stunk? I can’t see Mo surpassing his career highs in ppg (17.8) as the focal point of a depleted Cavs team.
Devin: Wouldn’t it be great if he averaged like a 30-7-7 and we found out it was him all along that was the key to Cleveland’s success? Honestly though, he’s obviously going to struggle. The team has very little offense around him and Antawn Jamison, and Jamison is well past his prime. Unlike Mark, I do think he can surpass his career high, but he’s certainly not going to do it efficiently – production-wise, think Allen Iverson in Detroit (although probably with more assists). I’d hate to be a sports fan in Cleveland – they always do find a way to break your heart.
DV: Williams should do well and probably average 20 points, mostly due to a lack of scoring talent. Antawn Jamison is the only other player on the roster that is a proven scorer, so he should do well also. As a team, they won’t be all “doom and gloom” because a certain player left for Miami (Zydrunas Ilgauskas, you’ll be missed), but with other teams improving, they’ll either be a low seed or miss the postseason entirely.