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thunderbird1245
05-30-2009, 03:25 PM
Today I put the powerful forward from Pittsburgh, DeJuan Blair, under the Tbird microscope. This is the 4th analysis of this 2009 draft series, the first three were PG Ty Lawson, SG Gerald Henderson, and PG Jrue Holiday. You can find those profiles elsewhere on this site if you are interested.

Blair is the favored selection of the Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, and a preferred selection of many of you as well I am sure. Blair had a very nice season playing for Jamie Dixon and the Pittsburgh Panthers, and because of the exposure of the Big East and the highly rated matchups Pitt played in all season long, Blair has been one of the most watched players available in this draft by the viewing public.

Like most players, Blair has his strengths and weaknesses as a player. This thread will hopefully end up being a good discussion avenue of the advantages and disadvantages to having him on your roster, and how, if selected by the Pacers, how he could fit it.

Let's go with his biggest positive attribute first, which is clearly evident.

Let us all go ahead and say the obvious: Blair is an absolute MAN, a beast, a stud, a force, or whatever adjective you want to use as a rebounder. He has the single best attribute I as a fan or coach can give to a player as a rebounder: He is RELENTLESS. He adds toughness, attitude, and a physical power to a team whenever he takes the floor.
Blair is a rebounding *** kicker, an intimidator at the college level, as many guys he played against wanted no part of him. Just ask Hasheem Tabeet, who Blair WWE slammed to the floor in a game during the Big East conference season during a loose ball scrum. I remember smiling broadly when I saw that play live, and I smiled again when I watched it on film while preparing this review. Blair's style harkens back to a bygone era, where real men stalked the painted area...guys like Charles Oakley, Rick Mahorn, and other enforcers of a past time. I like Blair if for no other reason that he lets me remember time in NBA basketball that I really enjoyed.

But that was then, and this is now. Now we are in the era where physical play is frowned upon, and the old time unskilled enforcers are no longer walking the earth in baggy shorts and tank tops. Blair would have easily fit into the culture of the league a few years ago, but now is a different time. Can he still be a useful player in this more finesse type of game?

I certainly hope he can, because you can tell that I really enjoyed watching him play.....and indeed I think he can be a role player on most teams and play some regular minutes in the league. He will be a fan favorite where he ends up I think, and his teammates will likely really be glad he is with them instead of against them.

I think it is obvious that a player with such a dominating singular skill can play in the league for a long time. But does he have any real upside, any chance to become something more than what he appears to be?

Looking at his offensive game, it doesn't appear so at this time. he clearly will have some developing to do at the NBA level. You can't blame him for not developing a mid range jumper in college...drifting outside then would have been stupid, when he could just overpower people under the rim at that level. But in the NBA he won't have such a strength advantage every night (although he will sometimes), so he will have to be able to stick a face up 10-15 foot baseline jumper from time to time I think to be at maximum effectiveness. Right now he can't make that shot, we will see if he can develop it.

Blair is too heavy and too short, we all know that, to be considered an "elite" player. But his limitations have also helped him develop his game to a degree. When you can't jump, you have to develop good footwork to get position and leverage, and Blair does have nimble feet inside while posting. He lacks moves once he actually gets the ball of course, but in college he had such deep position it made no difference. Watch Blair's feet against taller guys and you'll notice that he does a very nice job of driving one of his feet between the feet of his defender while posting up, then driving that leg back into his man, which creates one of 2 scenarios: either his man gives ground, or his man takes a shot to the groin or midsection. Trust me, most defenders back up! Blair gets big props from me for very good footwork inside. At 6'11 or so he'd be unstoppable, but at 6'5 or 6'6 his height is a big hindrance to being a reliable post scorer at this level, and that is an issue that is uncoachable.

Blair is a very nice screener, and really seems to relish the role of screening, which I enjoyed watching on film. He really clobbers people with his size, causing many defenders to want to avoid him altogether, meaning guys on Pittsburgh and more room to get shots off when coming off a Blair screen. He moves some while screening, and occasionally he will deliver a forearm shiver to people as they pass by, possibly just for his own amusement. He will need to tone it down in the NBA game, because the dirtly little secret to college basketball is thta is actually more physical than the NBA. Blair will be a very effective baseline screener for a team that plays alot of offense that way.

Can you post up Blair as a primary option? Not at all, nor can he really be an effective player out of a ballscreen situation. Most NBA teams will just trap the ballhandler when he is in a ballscreen play with someone and dare the player with the ball to feed it back to Blair. Blair can't handle the ball, nor would you want him to really, so he isnt going to drive and create anything. A very clever coach will still be able to build offense with Blair in the game though....the easiest idea to use a guy like Blair is to havign him ballscreen for someone at the top, and then when his man leaves to trap the ball, instead of having Blair pop back or roll to the bucket, instead have him SCREEN DOWN AGAIN for another player who CAN score to come up and recieve a pass. This using of Blair as a screener 2 different times gets him closer to the bucket to offensive rebound and creates a situation where there is no help defender available to help on Blair's screen the second time.....smart coaches like Larry Brown, Jerry Sloan, Rick Carlisle, Greg Popovich, and others who already play half court basketball alot will be able to use Blair offensively more than other teams will.

Blair will need to improve his ability to pass as well. He particularly needs to learn to make the very accurate 2 handed overhead outlet pass. He needs that because he needs to be able to rebound and start fast breaks, instead of just holding it like he does now most of the time. He will also need to do that after he gets offensive rebounds, because even though I think he will be very good at GETTING offensive rebounds, I don't think he will be able to FINISH them all that often. Plus, the game is evolving in such a way that most teams want you to throw the ball backout to spotted up shooters in those cases anyway. Blair will give you extra possessions, just not extra POINTS necessarily, that will be up to others on his team.

Defensively, there will be some teams that he can match up with, but he will be a liabilty in todays more perimeter, more free flowing NBA. Blair would be useless against a team like Orlando for instance,as he would have no ability to cover the perimeter 4's the league has today. His other defensive attribute of delivering physical pain to cutters that cross his face will be called fouls in today's league....where 20 years ago they would have been ignored.

Blair will struggle big time in screen/roll situations defensively. He is a bit slow and crosses his feet when trying to slide them, and he will have a tough time staying in front of even average speed guards. His lack of closeout ability and conditioning means he will struggle to recover back to his man if he pops to the perimeter for jumpers as well. As long armed as Blair is, he isnt really projecting to be a big NBA shotblocker, and he plays with his arms down when contesting shots too often....add that to his lack of leaping ability and elite conditioning, and he is going to struggle defensively all over the floor, unless he is guarding a player trying to post him and play with his back to the basket. And even those type players will be able to launch over him. Blair will be a defensive liability, not because of effort exactly but just because of his limitations.

Blair projects as the 4th big man in a big man rotation, capable of playing 15 to 20 minutes a night on average for a team that values his skillset and that plays a style where he can help them.

I want to say that Blair would be a good fit in Indiana, since so many people I know like him and since I myself enjoy his tough guy image and bad *** attitude. Unfortunately, I cannot. In fact, i think Blair is one of the worst fits for the Pacers current style in the entire draft, and Ill be shocked beyond belief if they take him and keep him.

Blair is a bad "fit" with us because his weaknesses hurt us more than his strengths help us. What we need in a big man I think, more than anything Blair can give us, would be one of two types of players:

1. A bigger guy with enough athleticism to guard and shut down more perimeter oriented bigs....someone who can drift between playing the wing and the low post depending on matchups. Not a star, but someone who can help us in many different ways.

2. And we also need, probably even more than the above, a big player who can play with EITHER Murphy or Hibbert, so we can use Foster as our 4th big man, and McRoberts as our 5th. We already know that Hibbert/Foster isn't a good defensive combination, so we need someone who can compliment both players, so we can avoid those 2 playing together so much. In a "perfect" world, we'd draft a player who can start over either of those guys and help us....basically, we need today's version of Dale Davis...and that player isn't in this draft.


I'm not sure exactly who I think will draft Blair, but I'm almost positive it won't be Indiana. I can however see a team trading UP to get Blair to around Indiana's selection, as he is the only player in the draft who plays like he does...Blair's "uniqueness" and fan appeal will make him a draft day target of someone's front office.

I've heard New Jersey as a destination for Blair, but I think he would fit terribly in their current "dribble drive motion" offense. I think he gets past the Nets. I can see Charlotte picking him to use as a screener and role player, but who would he be screening for? Plus, I think they need a scorer more than Blair at this point.....but I can still see him landing there despite the fact I think they will take Henderson instead. I can see Milwaukee and Scott Skiles valuing Blair the most, along with Chicago. I'll go out on a small limb and say the Bucks and Bulls are his most likely destinations, although if he gets past 16 its anyone's guess.

NBA comparables are easy for Blair I think.

Current day: Reggie Evans, F from the 76'ers.
Past day: Tyrone Hill.

Sepite the protests and criticisms likely to come from our local newspaper columnist, I predict the Pacers would/should pass on Blair, even if he is available when we select. I think he will have a long NBA career as a rebounder/tough guy specialist, but I think we need to go in another direction.

As always, the above is just my opinion.

Tbird

vnzla81
05-30-2009, 03:40 PM
Good post Tbird, yeah I agree with you, Blair would not fit as a pacers because he is not a offensive presence and for a team like the Pacers you need a big who can shoot the ball when he is not close to the basket, he is also a bit to small for a PF.

count55
05-30-2009, 04:16 PM
The size never worried me much, but the quickness did.

DrFife
05-30-2009, 04:22 PM
Blair is a bad "fit" with us because his weaknesses hurt us more than his strengths help us. What we need in a big man I think, more than anything Blair can give us, would be one of two types of players:

1. A bigger guy with enough athleticism to guard and shut down more perimeter oriented bigs....someone who can drift between playing the wing and the low post depending on matchups. Not a star, but someone who can help us in many different ways.

2. And we also need, probably even more than the above, a big player who can play with EITHER Murphy or Hibbert, so we can use Foster as our 4th big man, and McRoberts as our 5th. We already know that Hibbert/Foster isn't a good defensive combination, so we need someone who can compliment both players, so we can avoid those 2 playing together so much. In a "perfect" world, we'd draft a player who can start over either of those guys and help us....basically, we need today's version of Dale Davis...and that player isn't in this draft.

Thanks as always, Tbird. You're whetting my appetite for comments on Earl Clark (and his appropriateness for us). If only we could put Blair's brain into Clark's body ... . Is a 2nd-round pick worth a transplant??

Coop
05-30-2009, 04:22 PM
Blair is a bad "fit" with us because his weaknesses hurt us more than his strengths help us. What we need in a big man I think, more than anything Blair can give us, would be one of two types of players:

1. A bigger guy with enough athleticism to guard and shut down more perimeter oriented bigs....someone who can drift between playing the wing and the low post depending on matchups. Not a star, but someone who can help us in many different ways.

2. And we also need, probably even more than the above, a big player who can play with EITHER Murphy or Hibbert, so we can use Foster as our 4th big man, and McRoberts as our 5th. We already know that Hibbert/Foster isn't a good defensive combination, so we need someone who can compliment both players, so we can avoid those 2 playing together so much. In a "perfect" world, we'd draft a player who can start over either of those guys and help us....basically, we need today's version of Dale Davis...and that player isn't in this draft.

This is something I've been thinking about lately now that the draft measurements have come out. I haven't watched the guy play much at all, but could Austin Daye come in and fill some of this role? He's no Dale Davis, that's for sure. I just think a 6'10" wing guy with a 7'2" wingspan would be able to bring something to the table at the PF spot on this team. He could possibly play a Rashard Lewis role for us while Hibbert is our main big down low. Looking at his draftexpress, he is actually a pretty good shot blocker and defensive rebounder while having the versatility to play on the wing.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Austin-Daye-1316/

The big thing with Daye seems to be his weight. He's so skinny it almost looks unhealthy. So I would imagine he would need to add 25-30 lbs before he could really contribute. Does he have the frame for that kind of weight gain? It would seem so, but who knows. We all saw how JO and Bender reacted to bulking up.

Sorry to take this thread off topic. Hopefully someone who has seen Daye can shed some light on him though.

BTW, I don't like the Blair pick either. While he is a superb rebounder, his other shortcomings outweigh his positives. Like tbird said, I don't think he fits with this team anyways. I honestly couldn't see Blair being able to get up and down the court like JOB wants his bigs to do. Hibbert is pretty slow as well, but there's a big difference in having 4 guys with the ability to play uptempo instead of 3, if that makes sense.\


Daye video vs Arizona- He blocks Jordan Hills jumpshot twice. I really think he could be the versatile big we need as long as he added some weight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXd_vHAoXIM

owl
05-30-2009, 04:24 PM
It is hard to run offense if can't rebound the ball. The more possesions the more offense.
Blair is a very good rebounder and I believe would be a great complement to Hibbert
in some ways. I would be concerned about the slowness of the defense with him but
I believe he is quicker than people give him credit. On offense I think he and Hibbert
present two very unique bigs with unique skills sets. Blair just adds something that is
sorely lacking currently.

idioteque
05-30-2009, 04:26 PM
I could see the Pacers possibly drafting Blair in certain hypothetical situations, but I think he will always be slightly disappointing to whomever drafts him because while he will play an important role for someone in this league, it won't be the role that most fans want or expect from a guy picked in the first half of the first round.

I wouldn't mind trading one of the pint sized PG's up for Blair and something else because, well, assuming TJ is somewhat healthy, we already have one of those.

When it comes to Blair vs. Gerald Henderson, who is my #1 guy right now if he is available, I would of course say Henderson in a heartbeat. When it comes to T-Will...I dunno, a lot of that depends on T-Will's character concerns. So much of the draft, at least for the Pacers, is based on intangibles which from a fan's perspective is so hard to read. Does T-Will have more potential than Blair to play an important role on an NBA team? Of course, but no one wants another Shawne Williams situation in Indianapolis.

Blair is a good person, a hard worker, and has low absolute bust potential IMO so I think there is a chance the Pacers take a good look at him, especially at the possibility of trading later into the draft to pick him up. He may not fit the style we run right now but I firmly believe that it is the GM's job to draft players and the coach's job to make them work into the system. If a coach cannot do so than he does not have the talent to be an NBA coach.

While I don't think Blair is the first choice of TPTB he along with Austin Daye is my "dark horse" candidate for Pacers pick this year.

maragin
05-30-2009, 05:16 PM
I enjoy this series of posts for many reasons:


I do not follow college basketball, nor have I had any desire to do so since college. (Go Ball State)
Your analysis is based on observation and study mixed with basketball knowledge far surpassing mine.
You don't limit your reviews to pet players or favorites you think we should take.
Having read many of your posts, I find that if I don't agree with your point of view of what is happening on the court, I need to at least re-examine my point of view.
In educating myself before the draft on potential candidates, I read a lot of crap. The only reviews I would find more useful than yours would come from someone inside the team's front office... and they can't print those.

Keep 'em coming, and thanks.

Mr. Sobchak
05-30-2009, 06:24 PM
On top of his toughness and tenacity Blair has a great personality and work ethic. I think he could be a good player for us and I think I've made that clear over the past several weeks. Reading this does have me reconsidering the implications of a Hibbert/Blair frontcourt though. It might be just too slow defensively. I do think that they would compliment eachother well in other aspects. Hibbert is a decent shot blocker while Blair is not and Blair is a great rebounder which Hibbert is not.

Hibbert has been working on his base-line/elbow jumpers all summer so I am not too worried about that.

The one part I might disagree on is that I don't think we should avoid drafting him just because of the current system we run. Hibbert is probably more of a half court center anyways and who knows what type of offense we will run with our next coach.

Depending on who's there at 13, I would love to get Blair. I'm not one of those guys who thinks that every lottery pick needs to turn into a starter. I don't think many powerforwards that we could realistically get would start over Murphy because of his contract. In fact, I really care more about who finishes games rather than starts them..If Blair can be a rotational guy at around 25-30 minutes a night and make guards like Tony Parker think twice about driving into the lane, I'll be more than happy with him at 13.

imawhat
05-30-2009, 06:38 PM
Good read. I can see the Reggie Evans connection, though I'm surprised there was no comparison to Tractor Traylor.

My biggest problem with Blair, in terms of how he fits in with the Pacers, is that I feel opponents aren't afraid to attack the basket against him. Like you said, despite his length (and strength) he's a lazy defender, and I saw several teams attack him as if it were a part of the strategy.

I'm looking forward to some of the future reviews. In very limited action, I liked what I saw from J. Flynn, and of course, Terrence Williams.

owl
05-30-2009, 06:54 PM
I pose this question. Of all the players that might be there, including Blair, who do you think will help immediately and maybe into the future? I believe Blair would be the best
choice. As mentioned above he will not be a bust. He will help the Pacers.
With Hibbert being a pressure point on offense and his ability to pass, Blair on the other side of Hibbert would be the recipient of passes or Hibberts misses.

Skaut_Ech
05-30-2009, 08:07 PM
I pose this question. Of all the players that might be there, including Blair, who do you think will help immediately and maybe into the future? I believe Blair would be the best
choice. As mentioned above he will not be a bust. He will help the Pacers.
With Hibbert being a pressure point on offense and his ability to pass, Blair on the other side of Hibbert would be the recipient of passes or Hibberts misses.

I respectfully submit that I think I Wallace could be a perfect for us, in the role of a pre-injury Ben Wallace. I see us having a team full of shooters, with no one other than Foster to set the hard screens.

I think Blair would work simply because of our wealth of shooters. Blair is not a complete, finished product. Some players come out of college and you see there's not going to be much more to their game. I think his intelligence and work ethic, coupled with good coaching, can and will shore up hs defensive shortcomings. Same goes for a mid range game.

As a bit of an analogy, and I've mentioned this before, Jeff Foster had a nice midrange game in college. I even got to see him pla in person. When he got to the Pacers, we had a bunch of shooters and his role was reduced to screener, rebounder. As time went by, his shooting tuc atrophied. It was sad for me to see.

Instead of treating Blair like Jeff, I would hope that we'd help him to discover his mid-range game. Despite his footspeed, I think we have to grab him if he's available imho.

vnzla81
05-30-2009, 09:35 PM
Depending on who's there at 13, I would love to get Blair. I'm not one of those guys who thinks that every lottery pick needs to turn into a starter. I don't think many powerforwards that we could realistically get would start over Murphy because of his contract. In fact, I really care more about who finishes games rather than starts them..If Blair can be a rotational guy at around 25-30 minutes a night and make guards like Tony Parker think twice about driving into the lane, I'll be more than happy with him at 13.



I agree with this and I would say this almost about anybody the pacers draft.

Doug
05-30-2009, 10:19 PM
Blair is an absolute MAN, a beast, a stud, a force, or whatever adjective you want to use as a rebounder. He has the single best attribute I as a fan or coach can give to a player as a rebounder: He is RELENTLESS. He adds toughness, attitude, and a physical power to a team whenever he takes the floor.
Blair is a rebounding *** kicker, an intimidator at the college level, as many guys he played against wanted no part of him. [....] Blair's style harkens back to a bygone era, where real men stalked the painted area...

I stopped reading there. Let's take him.

I don't care if the next paragraph says he measured out at 5' 9" or he was caught eating dead puppies while high on his custom mix of paint thinner, baby seal blood, and Tabasco.

Doug
05-30-2009, 10:25 PM
OK. I read the rest of it. Dammit. Is it too much to ask for a BIG man than can both play defense against 4s and 5s AND rebound like a madman?

d_c
05-30-2009, 10:52 PM
Should be noted that Blair tore both his ACLs back in highschool.

It's a real credit to him that he's comeback after that, but those injuries need to be a major consideration for a guy playing at around 260+ lbs.

vnzla81
05-30-2009, 11:08 PM
Should be noted that Blair tore both his ACLs back in highschool.

It's a real credit to him that he's comeback after that, but those injuries need to be a major consideration for a guy playing at around 260+ lbs.

His weight in the combine was 277lbs and is true, more than one team is going to be scare about his knees.

CableKC
05-31-2009, 03:22 AM
As always, a very thorough analysis...another one that I was looking forward to. I have a few questions.


Blair is a bad "fit" with us because his weaknesses hurt us more than his strengths help us. What we need in a big man I think, more than anything Blair can give us, would be one of two types of players:

1. A bigger guy with enough athleticism to guard and shut down more perimeter oriented bigs....someone who can drift between playing the wing and the low post depending on matchups. Not a star, but someone who can help us in many different ways.
This has often been brought up as a defensive need in any PF that we draft......but I'm hard pressed to find out whether there is a "jack of all trades" PF that we can acquire ( much less draft ) that is capable of solidly defending in the low-post while being athletic, quick enough to defend those "perimeter oriented scoring" PFs and still be a capable low-post scoring PF that we are looking for on the offensive end. My guess is that there are players that are capable of providing some of these skills....but few that is capable of "doing it all".

My guess is that we try to acquire/draft/find one that meets the greatest need to fill....as to what that "need" is...I don't know. What is our single greatest need that we need to fill when it comes to a PF?

Is it acquiring a Low-Post scoring PF that is capable of rebounding and scoring ( at times ) in the Low-Post?

or

Is it acquiring a Low-Post PF that is capable of defending the paint ( but not quick enough to defend the more "perimeter" oriented scoring PFs )?

or

Is it acquiring a PF that is capable of defending the more "perimeter" oriented scoring PFs ( but not strong enough to defend the more tougher Low-Post scoring PFs )?


2. And we also need, probably even more than the above, a big player who can play with EITHER Murphy or Hibbert, so we can use Foster as our 4th big man, and McRoberts as our 5th. We already know that Hibbert/Foster isn't a good defensive combination, so we need someone who can compliment both players, so we can avoid those 2 playing together so much. In a "perfect" world, we'd draft a player who can start over either of those guys and help us....basically, we need today's version of Dale Davis...and that player isn't in this draft.
Is there even a player out there that can even do any of this that we can acquire that would even complement Hibbert and Murphy?

My guess is that there isn't.

One more thing.......how do you think that Blair compares to Joey Dorsey ( another Big Man from last year's draft that was known to be a rebounding machine )?

CableKC
05-31-2009, 03:39 AM
When it comes to T-Will...I dunno, a lot of that depends on T-Will's character concerns. So much of the draft, at least for the Pacers, is based on intangibles which from a fan's perspective is so hard to read. Does T-Will have more potential than Blair to play an important role on an NBA team? Of course, but no one wants another Shawne Williams situation in Indianapolis.
Sorry to nitpick about this......but despite the "concerns" that Chad Ford brought up about TWill, I have yet to find any evidence of this from any source other then what Ford alluded to....which he didn't really provide any details about whatever "off court" issues that he has had.

quinnthology
05-31-2009, 03:58 AM
Blair has shed some pounds, is quicker, and has been working on his ball handling. He still has a 7'2'' wingspan. He may not have the face up game but he will get points, and consistent rebounding is what we need. He may not be fast enough for the Pacers run and gun style, but if we ditch Jim O'Brien he may fit right in. Even if we keep playing D'Antoni ball, Blair could fit in fine as an undersized 4 if he continues to get in better shape and increase quickness. However, the torn ACL thing scares me.

thefeistyone
05-31-2009, 06:48 AM
OK. I read the rest of it. Dammit. Is it too much to ask for a BIG man than can both play defense against 4s and 5s AND rebound like a madman?

I think his name is blake griffin in this draft. Rumor has it he won't last long though....

Personally I still wouldn't mind taking Blair at 13. It's such a weak draft I have a hard time seeing the pacers getting anyone but a role player at that spot. I just think he's a change of pace to put with the 2nd unit. We don't have anyone that can play physical like him. Finesse teams don't go that far in the playoffs, you need that big body that can bang down low.

Anyway, i love reading Tbird's analysis. You do great work, i can't wait to see what you come up with for Earl Clark and Twill. It seems like a lot of people on here are pretty high on Twill.

Kegboy
05-31-2009, 09:18 AM
The fact that Blair isn't a good fit for the Pacers is an indictment of the team, not the man. And anybody who's seen him play knows he's a man.

I agree that Milwaukee and Chicago are good fits for him (no wonder I like watching them). And I can certainly see Larry Brown taking him though they have more pressing needs. New Jersey could use him, though who knows if Frank would know how to use him.

The more I think about it, I'm scared Chicago will get him. Thomas/Noah/Miller/Blair, that's a damn near perfect rotation.

idioteque
05-31-2009, 10:51 AM
The fact that Blair isn't a good fit for the Pacers is an indictment of the team, not the man.

As a fan of 90's basketball I sympathize with this comment.

But I still fear that Blair is not mobile enough to guard quick 4's on winning teams, like Odom, Dirk, and Rashard Lewis off the top of my head.

Taterhead
05-31-2009, 01:13 PM
As a fan of 90's basketball I sympathize with this comment.

But I still fear that Blair is not mobile enough to guard quick 4's on winning teams, like Odom, Dirk, and Rashard Lewis off the top of my head.

Do any of those guys have a prayer of keeping Dejuan off the glass? There is the ying, but then there is also the yang. He would be such a huge mismatch for them in the post it's not even funny.

Why should we based the makeup of our team on that? It's a lot easier to win ball games by dominating the glass and the painted area than it is knocking down perimeter shots. Most teams in the league play more traditional PF's anyways.

Pacemaker
05-31-2009, 01:49 PM
I'm not completly sold on him but I like what I saw here against a great defender like Thabeet. At least we can all agree he is relentless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPPnfXuYgzU

Some more highlights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNC-LC-SD6Q

Gamble1
05-31-2009, 03:01 PM
As a fan of 90's basketball I sympathize with this comment.

But I still fear that Blair is not mobile enough to guard quick 4's on winning teams, like Odom, Dirk, and Rashard Lewis off the top of my head.

I don't know that many guys who can gaurd those players in the current NBA. I mean the way the NBA is calling fouls is it realistic to think that we can grab a Pf who can guard them. What is more important to me is that we have a guy who is willing to take charges and provide a toughness on the Pacers that will be contagious (much like Artest and Dale provided).


IF by chance we do face those teams that have mobile 4s I would much rather stick granger on them than any of our current 4's.

idioteque
05-31-2009, 03:33 PM
Sorry to nitpick about this......but despite the "concerns" that Chad Ford brought up about TWill, I have yet to find any evidence of this from any source other then what Ford alluded to....which he didn't really provide any details about whatever "off court" issues that he has had.

"Concerns" are enough to worry me. I mean I think a GM or coach has the right to be turned off by T-Will's attitude or some of his extracurricular activities even though in and of themselves they may not be worthy of a police report and thus concrete evidence.

But it may not be that big of a deal as you are saying. As fans who aren't given access to interview T-Will or know much about him, it is hard to say how much of a risk he is if at all. But based off of even very vague rumors I have to admit it makes me leery.

PR07
05-31-2009, 07:16 PM
Blair's a throwback player, and I think that's why I like him so much. Whether he'd be a fit on the Pacers right now, I haven't yet fully determined, but I know that any team could use a player like him. He's not going to be a star, but I think he's going to be a productive player in this league.

owl
05-31-2009, 08:27 PM
Frankly the Pacers have been weanies since the Davis "Men" were on the Pacers.
It is time to add some toughness and if you need to trade up to do it then get him.
I know you should rarely do that but this team needs that toughness. Ron helped but
we all know the problems he presented.
As far as the ACL's. I have not heard of many, if any players that have torn them again.
He may have s shorter career because of weight and rebuilt knees but he could easily
have a ten year career. In two years the Pacers are going to have some significant
expirings to bring in a veteran at whatever position is needed so losing a pick will not
be all bad.

DrFife
05-31-2009, 08:53 PM
Another positive quality about DeJuan Blair that jumps out to me is his charisma -- the kind that suggests leadership on the court and in the locker room. He'll be a media darling from Day 1:

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/DeJuan-Blair-5049/

I'm focusing on lateral quickness as an indicator of defensive ability/potential, and Blair doesn't offer this. Nevertheless, he sure is the kind of guy that makes me hope we can acquire an additional pick again.

vnzla81
05-31-2009, 09:02 PM
I pose this question. Of all the players that might be there, including Blair, who do you think will help immediately and maybe into the future? I believe Blair would be the best
choice. As mentioned above he will not be a bust. He will help the Pacers.
With Hibbert being a pressure point on offense and his ability to pass, Blair on the other side of Hibbert would be the recipient of passes or Hibberts misses.

I thought that you or somebody else said that if you pick at 13th you expect to get a starter, I don't see Blair to be more than your 10th best player coming of the bench.(a Jason Maxiel tipe of player)

CableKC
05-31-2009, 09:06 PM
"Concerns" are enough to worry me. I mean I think a GM or coach has the right to be turned off by T-Will's attitude or some of his extracurricular activities even though in and of themselves they may not be worthy of a police report and thus concrete evidence.

But it may not be that big of a deal as you are saying. As fans who aren't given access to interview T-Will or know much about him, it is hard to say how much of a risk he is if at all. But based off of even very vague rumors I have to admit it makes me leery.
I agree with you, the whole point that I'm trying to suggest is that I am trying to find out what these "incidents" are that bring some concern to GMs that would draft him. I've read on DX and from Chad Ford that there are some "concerns" but do not know what specific incidents that they are referring to.

owl
05-31-2009, 09:57 PM
I thought that you or somebody else said that if you pick at 13th you expect to get a starter, I don't see Blair to be more than your 10th best player coming of the bench.(a Jason Maxiel tipe of player)

That was not me. I do not expect anyone short of Griffin to be a starter
in this group. My point was of the players available at 13 who would help the Pacers
the most immediately and possibly long term and I believe that is Blair.

Sherlock
06-01-2009, 08:08 AM
I am really concerned with his size. Why do you want your PF at the size of less than 6'6 ?
His size really limits every aspect of what he can contribute. It not like he can run the floor extremely fast.

naptownmenace
06-01-2009, 09:29 AM
It is hard to run offense if can't rebound the ball. The more possesions the more offense.
Blair is a very good rebounder and I believe would be a great complement to Hibbert
in some ways. I would be concerned about the slowness of the defense with him but
I believe he is quicker than people give him credit. On offense I think he and Hibbert
present two very unique bigs with unique skills sets. Blair just adds something that is
sorely lacking currently.

I tend to lean more this way when I think of Blair as well.

Also, he measured out pretty well at the combine so size isn't really a problem. His measurments are nearly identical to Jason Maxiel and Paul Millsap - guys that many of us would love to see in a Pacers uni.

Hitman02
06-01-2009, 09:44 AM
I might be a minority here, but the idea of pairing Blair with Hibbert intrigues me, but not in the system we have now.

I know we run a very up-termpo offense right now, but if we played more half court, does anyone else think a Blair/Hibbert combo could be useful? I know they won't be terribly athletic, or quick. However, I think Blair would be able to give Roy a little room to score more, while still intimidating other teams in the paint at the same time. The only comparison that comes to mind is Smits/Davis boys.

Now, I know more teams are playing a faster, up tempo offense, so getting back on defense would be a problem against teams like New York, but I really want to see this team get tough again. I think we can score well now, but the defense needs help. Perhaps Blair could help that?

OakMoses
06-01-2009, 11:13 AM
I'm in the same boat as many others. I like a lot about what Blair brings to the table, but I think he has too many limitations to really be a great pick for the Pacers.

Here's why I don't like him:

1. I think, in spite of his toughness and rebounding, he's a perpetual defensive liability. Ultimately I think perimeter-oriented bigs will go right around him and post players will shoot right over him. When he's on the floor, you're not going to be able to switch anything. He's going to be horrible at closing out on shooters and slow in rotating. He's a poor defender in space and is going to pick up fouls faster than Hibbert did last year.

2. I don't think he's a good pairing with Hibbert offensively because they need to occupy the same spaces on the court to be effective. All of Blair's points on offense come from low post touches. He's a poor shooter, poor ball-handler, and poor passer. In order for he and Hibbert to be effective, you'd have to move Roy into the high post quite a bit. While he can play from that position, I think it diminishes him a bit as a player. Outside of getting the ball in the low post, Blair is going to provide less offensively than Foster. He doesn't shoot as well, most likely won't be as good of an offensive rebounder, and won't cut as well. There's certainly no conceivably successful offensive scenario with Blair and Foster on the court together.

Anthem
06-01-2009, 05:03 PM
Look, I love the fact that the guy has a Dale Davis mentality.

But how effective would Dale have been if he was 5 inches shorter? I mean, we're talking about a guy who's shorter than Reggie Miller.

Color me skeptical.

Taterhead
06-01-2009, 09:09 PM
Look, I love the fact that the guy has a Dale Davis mentality.

But how effective would Dale have been if he was 5 inches shorter? I mean, we're talking about a guy who's shorter than Reggie Miller.

Color me skeptical.

Because height doesn't matter, his length does. And Blair's wingspan and standing reach makes up for his lack of height. Do you play defense with your head or your hands/arms? He is one of the longer bigs in this draft.
I can see people being a little concerned about foot speed and defending screen roll. But in the post Blair will be able to use his leverage and strength to push guys furthur away from the basket. He also has the length to challenge shots adequately.

If you guys are waiting for the perfect defensive PF that can defend the wing, the screen-roll, switch with everyone, and the paint then make sure and get something good to read. You are never going to find that guy.

Of course there are strengths and weaknesses, it's the name of the game.

Anthem
06-01-2009, 11:16 PM
Anybody know Dale's standing reach?

imawhat
06-02-2009, 01:20 AM
I can see people being a little concerned about foot speed and defending screen roll. But in the post Blair will be able to use his leverage and strength to push guys furthur away from the basket. He also has the length to challenge shots adequately.

But he doesn't.

I will say it right now for people who haven't really seen him play..Blair is a bigger defensive liability than Troy Murphy. He's as bad in the post as he is on the perimeter (hyperbolic, but possibly true). I think he has the potential to be coached up, but he will never be an intimidator on defense.

Taterhead
06-02-2009, 01:21 AM
Anybody know Dale's standing reach?

I couldn't find it earlier. But here are some bigs in this draft for comparison.

Thabeet Reach 9'5" Wingspan 7'6.25" (Keep in mind, these are among the top 5-10 measurements of all time in both categories)

Dejuan Blair Reach 8'10.5" Wingspan 7'2"
BJ Mullens Reach 9'3" Wingspan 7'1.5"
Jordan Hill Reach 9'0" Wingspan 7'1.5"
Blake Griffin Reach 8'9" Wingspan 6'11.25"

Blair is dwarfed by Thabeet of course. But keep in mind despite giving up 8 inches in height, he only gives up 4.25 inches in wingspan and 6.5 inches in reach. And Thabeet is a very long 7 footer.

My thinking is even though Blair is only 6'6.5" in shoes, people should think of him more as a 6'9"-6'10" player because of his extremely long arms. JMO


But he doesn't.

I will say it right now for people who haven't really seen him play..Blair is a bigger defensive liability than Troy Murphy. He's as bad in the post as he is on the perimeter (hyperbolic, but possibly true). I think he has the potential to be coached up, but he will never be an intimidator on defense.

Are you serious? Troy Murphy can't guard anyone and makes absolutely no defensive plays whatsoever. He is by far one of the biggest defensive liablilities in the entire league!

I watched Pitt probably 8-10 games last year. Blair had 6 games with 3 steals or more, including 4 games with 5 or more. He had 8 games with at least 2 block shots. Is he the greatest defender there is, no. But he does make a lot of plays. Blair's only problem was foul trouble due to pick and roll defense. He defends the post very well.

Also, blocking shots isn't the only way to intimidate on defense. Ask players who played against Charles Oakley or Rick Mahorn.

imawhat
06-02-2009, 02:36 AM
Also, blocking shots isn't the only way to intimidate on defense. Ask players who played against Charles Oakley or Rick Mahorn.

I saw him get routinely attacked in the post by all types of offensive players in college. If he didn't intimidate in college, he has no chance against bigger and better atheletes.

I will say he got into Thabeet's head though. That was awesome.

I'm honestly not sure if he's worse defensively than Troy Murphy, but I can't say for sure. I'm trying to level the thread here because it's easy to see the words "tough" and "rebounder" and automatically associate those with being an intimidator/good defender.

Blair's tough and a very good rebounder, but he is not a defender.

wintermute
06-02-2009, 08:12 AM
i don't think blair is necessarily undersized. there are players with comparable size who have found success playing pf in the nba (though more often in a backup role). from draftexpress' database (format is height w/o shoes : wingspan : standing reach : weight)


dejuan blair 6'5.25" 7'2" 8'10.5" 277
jason maxiell 6'5" 7'3.25" 8'11" 258
paul millsap 6'6.25" 7'1.5" 8'9.5" 258
brandon bass 6'6.25" 7'2.5" 8'10.5" 246
joey dorsey 6'6.25" 7'1.75" 8'11" 265
reggie evans 6'7.5" 7'2.5" 8'11.5" 250
ike diogu 6'6.5" 7'3.5" 9'1" 255

blair is on the short side but has long arms and a good standing reach. if anything, he's oversized in the weight department - he's a lot heavier than comparable players. will that slow him down unduly? that is probably the biggest worry concerning blair, and in fact others in this thread have made a good job of pointing this out.

for comparison, here are some current pacers' measurements.


murphy 6'9.75" 6'11" 8'11" 250
mcroberts 6'8.75" 7'1" 8'10.5" 240
dunleavy 6'8" 6'9" 8'10" 230
granger 6'7.5" 7'1.5" 8'7" 225
rush 6'5" 6'11.25" 8'8.5" 211
jack 6'2.5" 6'7.5" 8'4" 198
ford 5'11" 5'11.5" 7'9.5" 162

again, heights w/o shoes, wingspan, standing reach, weight. alas, dx doesn't have the measurements of foster, jermaine, or, strangely enough hibbert.

sizewise, it looks like blair or another of those "undersized" pf's are in fact about average when compared with our current front court. it's the speed issue really which is concerning.

Gamble1
06-02-2009, 09:24 AM
Because height doesn't matter, his length does. And Blair's wingspan and standing reach makes up for his lack of height. Do you play defense with your head or your hands/arms? He is one of the longer bigs in this draft.
I can see people being a little concerned about foot speed and defending screen roll. But in the post Blair will be able to use his leverage and strength to push guys furthur away from the basket. He also has the length to challenge shots adequately.

If you guys are waiting for the perfect defensive PF that can defend the wing, the screen-roll, switch with everyone, and the paint then make sure and get something good to read. You are never going to find that guy.

Of course there are strengths and weaknesses, it's the name of the game.

I was going to throw some stats out there comparing Dale Davis and Blair but I decided not to. OF course its foolish to do so being two different eras but they are very close in statistical categories like scoring and rebounding.

I have no doubts that Blair will be a liability in some aspects but that doesn't mean he won't make up for it in other areas. He will quit frankly grind on the opposing teams big so much so that they will shy away if they are not mentally tough enough to hang in there.

Best way I could put it is that his mental make up will make him an over achiever. He can develop a face up jumper and possibly a 3 ball not because he is gifted but because he is mentally willing to work. In todays NBA I think that is sorely lacking in talented players.
I found this while searching for Dale Davis vertical reach:
http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=avepos&year=All&draft=30&sort=

Blair measurements Height with shoes. 6.65 (with out 6'5.25) Wing span 7'2 Standing reach 8'10.5

Average Standing Reach / Wing Span by Position ( this is drafted players since 1989)

<TABLE class=inputbox cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Primary Position</TH><TH align=middle>Sample Size</TH><TH align=middle>Avg Height w/o Shoes</TH><TH align=middle>Average Weight</TH><TH align=middle>Average Wingspan</TH><TH align=middle>Average Standing Reach</TH></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>PG</TD><TD align=middle>150</TD><TD align=middle>6' 0.48"</TD><TD align=middle>184</TD><TD align=middle>6' 4.6"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 0.5"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>SG</TD><TD align=middle>144</TD><TD align=middle>6' 3.59"</TD><TD align=middle>202</TD><TD align=middle>6' 8.1"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 4.9"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>SF</TD><TD align=middle>121</TD><TD align=middle>6' 6.18"</TD><TD align=middle>213</TD><TD align=middle>6' 10.5"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 8.1"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #cccccc" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>PF</TD><TD align=middle>235</TD><TD align=middle>6' 7.70"</TD><TD align=middle>235</TD><TD align=middle>7' 0.7"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 10.5"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>C</TD><TD align=middle>118</TD><TD align=middle>6' 10"</TD><TD align=middle>251</TD><TD align=middle>7' 2.8"</TD><TD align=middle>9' 1.7"</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>




<TABLE class=inputbox cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Primary Position</TH><TH align=middle>Sample Size</TH><TH align=middle>No Step Vert</TH><TH align=middle>Max Vert</TH><TH align=middle>Bench Press</TH><TH align=middle>Lane Agility</TH><TH align=middle>3/4 Court Sprint</TH></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>PG</TD><TD align=middle>123</TD><TD align=middle>29.4</TD><TD align=middle>35.0</TD><TD align=middle>8.0</TD><TD align=middle>11.17</TD><TD align=middle>3.21</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>SG</TD><TD align=middle>118</TD><TD align=middle>29.6</TD><TD align=middle>34.9</TD><TD align=middle>10.5</TD><TD align=middle>11.35</TD><TD align=middle>3.23</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>SF</TD><TD align=middle>101</TD><TD align=middle>29.8</TD><TD align=middle>34.6</TD><TD align=middle>11.0</TD><TD align=middle>11.38</TD><TD align=middle>3.26</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>PF</TD><TD align=middle>197</TD><TD align=middle>28.5</TD><TD align=middle>32.8</TD><TD align=middle>12.8</TD><TD align=middle>11.72</TD><TD align=middle>3.32</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>C</TD><TD align=middle>101</TD><TD align=middle>26.7</TD><TD align=middle>30.6</TD><TD align=middle>11.7</TD><TD align=middle>12.15</TD><TD align=middle>3.43</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>



Top 30 drafted players/postion since 1989

<TABLE class=inputbox cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Primary Position</TH><TH align=middle>Sample Size</TH><TH align=middle>Avg Height w/o Shoes</TH><TH align=middle>Average Weight</TH><TH align=middle>Average Wingspan</TH><TH align=middle>Average Standing Reach</TH></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>PG</TD><TD align=middle>41</TD><TD align=middle>6' 1.05"</TD><TD align=middle>188</TD><TD align=middle>6' 5.1"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 1.3"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>SG</TD><TD align=middle>38</TD><TD align=middle>6' 3.86"</TD><TD align=middle>204</TD><TD align=middle>6' 8.8"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 5.6"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>SF</TD><TD align=middle>38</TD><TD align=middle>6' 6.56"</TD><TD align=middle>216</TD><TD align=middle>6' 11.1"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 8.8"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>PF</TD><TD align=middle>50</TD><TD align=middle>6' 8.25"</TD><TD align=middle>236</TD><TD align=middle>7' 1.6"</TD><TD align=middle>8' 11.4"</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>C</TD><TD align=middle>28</TD><TD align=middle>6' 10.92"</TD><TD align=middle>253</TD><TD align=middle>7' 4.1"</TD><TD align=middle>9' 3.3"</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE class=inputbox cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Primary Position</TH><TH align=middle>Sample Size</TH><TH align=middle>No Step Vert</TH><TH align=middle>Max Vert</TH><TH align=middle>Bench Press</TH><TH align=middle>Lane Agility</TH><TH align=middle>3/4 Court Sprint</TH></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>PG</TD><TD align=middle>28</TD><TD align=middle>31.1</TD><TD align=middle>37.0</TD><TD align=middle>8.5</TD><TD align=middle>11.12</TD><TD align=middle>3.16</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>SG</TD><TD align=middle>27</TD><TD align=middle>30.4</TD><TD align=middle>36.1</TD><TD align=middle>10.7</TD><TD align=middle>11.11</TD><TD align=middle>3.19</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>SF</TD><TD align=middle>32</TD><TD align=middle>30.2</TD><TD align=middle>34.9</TD><TD align=middle>10.3</TD><TD align=middle>11.43</TD><TD align=middle>3.27</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f0f0f0" onmouseout="uh(this,'#F0F0F0');" bgColor=#f0f0f0><TD align=middle>PF</TD><TD align=middle>39</TD><TD align=middle>29.2</TD><TD align=middle>33.4</TD><TD align=middle>12.1</TD><TD align=middle>11.64</TD><TD align=middle>3.31</TD></TR><TR onmouseover=h(this); style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" onmouseout="uh(this,'#FFFFFF');" bgColor=#ffffff><TD align=middle>C</TD><TD align=middle>23</TD><TD align=middle>27.1</TD><TD align=middle>31.0</TD><TD align=middle>10.7</TD><TD align=middle>12.15</TD><TD align=middle>3.43</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Taterhead
06-02-2009, 10:28 AM
I saw him get routinely attacked in the post by all types of offensive players in college. If he didn't intimidate in college, he has no chance against bigger and better atheletes.

I will say he got into Thabeet's head though. That was awesome.

I'm honestly not sure if he's worse defensively than Troy Murphy, but I can't say for sure. I'm trying to level the thread here because it's easy to see the words "tough" and "rebounder" and automatically associate those with being an intimidator/good defender.

Blair's tough and a very good rebounder, but he is not a defender.

This I can agree with for the most part. But I think people are gonna be surprised to see how much that extra 20 lbs. of slop had to do with most of his struggles defensively. I think he'll make more plays at the next level because of that and improve drastically defending quicker players and the screen roll in particular.

Anthem
06-02-2009, 02:49 PM
i don't think blair is necessarily undersized. there are players with comparable size who have found success playing pf in the nba (though more often in a backup role). from draftexpress' database (format is height w/o shoes : wingspan : standing reach : weight)


dejuan blair 6'5.25" 7'2" 8'10.5" 277
jason maxiell 6'5" 7'3.25" 8'11" 258
paul millsap 6'6.25" 7'1.5" 8'9.5" 258
brandon bass 6'6.25" 7'2.5" 8'10.5" 246
joey dorsey 6'6.25" 7'1.75" 8'11" 265
reggie evans 6'7.5" 7'2.5" 8'11.5" 250
ike diogu 6'6.5" 7'3.5" 9'1" 255
Four or five of those seven I wouldn't sign if they were UFAs, let alone take with our lotto pick.

Naptown_Seth
06-03-2009, 04:12 PM
I'm in the same boat as many others. I like a lot about what Blair brings to the table, but I think he has too many limitations to really be a great pick for the Pacers.

Here's why I don't like him:

1. I think, in spite of his toughness and rebounding, he's a perpetual defensive liability. Ultimately I think perimeter-oriented bigs will go right around him and post players will shoot right over him. When he's on the floor, you're not going to be able to switch anything. He's going to be horrible at closing out on shooters and slow in rotating. He's a poor defender in space and is going to pick up fouls faster than Hibbert did last year.

2. I don't think he's a good pairing with Hibbert offensively because they need to occupy the same spaces on the court to be effective. All of Blair's points on offense come from low post touches. He's a poor shooter, poor ball-handler, and poor passer. In order for he and Hibbert to be effective, you'd have to move Roy into the high post quite a bit. While he can play from that position, I think it diminishes him a bit as a player. Outside of getting the ball in the low post, Blair is going to provide less offensively than Foster. He doesn't shoot as well, most likely won't be as good of an offensive rebounder, and won't cut as well. There's certainly no conceivably successful offensive scenario with Blair and Foster on the court together.
I agree on these points for sure. I am probably a little more positive on him than you are, or I should say I was.

Good footwork, hard screens, physically intimidating and enjoys that style. So he'll get himself into position for boards and knock people down for some putbacks (without fouls I mean). He will make people unhappy about playing inside against him even if they are taller than him.

Think about Ron Artest and guys capable of shooting over him. They still don't like how he's able to muscle them below the shoulders, and he's able to deny them the spots they want to back into, which is another way of forcing a bad shot (IMO better than a hand in the face anyway).

So hurray, get him.

The problem is that he offers nothing more. Nothing. He's Foster where you give up his quickness to the ball, hops and height (granted Foster has lost a step athletically) for physicality and screening. But for the most part he's just as awkward a match as Jeff currently is.

And one new issue that has cooled me to him is something that is seen by most people as a positive - he's trimmed way down. Now I don't want to see him balloon up at all, but on the flipside as I watched some clips of his workout last week I couldn't get over how similar his game looked despite the weight.

What I mean by this is that he didn't suddenly have new moves or a new playing style, he wasn't suddenly taller or leaping better to my eyes. He was just same old Blair but with less bulk behind his playing style. Given that a big factor in his style is his ability to use his own mass so well this just bugs me.

It might be silly, but just like we have learned that bulking up for bulk's sake doesn't always work so well with some bigs, I think getting too lean can detract from power guys who are less about the vertical game than the floor spacing game.

Anthem
06-03-2009, 10:08 PM
And one new issue that has cooled me to him is something that is seen by most people as a positive - he's trimmed way down. Now I don't want to see him balloon up at all, but on the flipside as I watched some clips of his workout last week I couldn't get over how similar his game looked despite the weight.

What I mean by this is that he didn't suddenly have new moves or a new playing style, he wasn't suddenly taller or leaping better to my eyes. He was just same old Blair but with less bulk behind his playing style. Given that a big factor in his style is his ability to use his own mass so well this just bugs me.

It might be silly, but just like we have learned that bulking up for bulk's sake doesn't always work so well with some bigs, I think getting too lean can detract from power guys who are less about the vertical game than the floor spacing game.
I've assumed (and this may be a bad assumption) that the decrease in weight was seen as a good thing, not because he'll be a better player if he's slender, but because it shows he can be serious about doing the work to improve himself. So it's a demonstration of discipline more than a showing of a dramatically improved player.

imawhat
06-03-2009, 10:52 PM
I've assumed (and this may be a bad assumption) that the decrease in weight was seen as a good thing, not because he'll be a better player if he's slender, but because it shows he can be serious about doing the work to improve himself. So it's a demonstration of discipline more than a showing of a dramatically improved player.


As a contrarian, I would question his disclipine because he's lost 39 lbs in less than two months. That, to me, shows he hasn't been taking care of himself (i.e. dedicated) for a prolonged period of time.

It could be a situation like Roy Hibbert's, where schoolwork/other things were cutting into his workout time, but 39 lbs in 2 months is very abnormal.

Putnam
06-04-2009, 07:13 PM
Good footwork, hard screens, physically intimidating and enjoys that style.

The problem is that he offers nothing more. Nothing.



Sincere question:

Isn't that enough? We've been clamoring for a Dale Davis -type enforcer. Isn't that what Blair offers to be?


The other thread that's going now has been diverted to the defects of the methodology (which I think rexnom, Seth and Count55 are right in saying the article assumes too much). But that thread suggest something useful and possibly important. It says in a weak draft, teams ought not to pick the best player available hoping for an unexpected prize. Rather they should pick a player who gives them one skill they need. They aren't going to get a player with the complete package anyway, so they'll do better to fill a need.

That argues for Blair, even if he is limited.

count55
06-04-2009, 07:22 PM
Sincere question:

Isn't that enough? We've been clambering for a Dale Davis -type enforcer. Isn't that what Blair offers to be?

We've been climbing with difficulty or effort to get a Dale Davis type?


Sincere answer: No, it's not. If he becomes another slow footed defensive liability, then the "tough" gets us nothing. If he, like all of the other bigs we have, gets spread out and broken down, it gets us nothing. If he can't protect the rim, or he can't function effectively in the offense, then we may just end up being bad, regardless of how much of a badass he is.

Now, I'm not sure whether or not he will have these faults, but tough simply isn't enough. He's got to have some other parts of the game to offer.

Putnam
06-04-2009, 07:37 PM
I'd like to hear Seth's thought on my first question.

NapTonius Monk
06-04-2009, 08:16 PM
I saw him get routinely attacked in the post by all types of offensive players in college. If he didn't intimidate in college, he has no chance against bigger and better atheletes.

I will say he got into Thabeet's head though. That was awesome.

I'm honestly not sure if he's worse defensively than Troy Murphy, but I can't say for sure. I'm trying to level the thread here because it's easy to see the words "tough" and "rebounder" and automatically associate those with being an intimidator/good defender.

Blair's tough and a very good rebounder, but he is not a defender.

Well, for what it's worth, if the NBA doesn't work out, the WWE sure will!

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count55
06-04-2009, 08:44 PM
Sic 'im, Seth. You've now got to uphold your honor as "best debator."

You're saying Blair has "good footwork" and can be effective against larger players, as Artest is. Count says he'll be a slow-footed defensive liability who can't protect the rim. Is Blair what you described, or what Count describes?

I said "if" he becomes a slow-footed liability. I've heard it both ways, and it's difficult to tell from college competition...but this is from this thread:


Blair will struggle big time in screen/roll situations defensively. He is a bit slow and crosses his feet when trying to slide them, and he will have a tough time staying in front of even average speed guards. His lack of closeout ability and conditioning means he will struggle to recover back to his man if he pops to the perimeter for jumpers as well. As long armed as Blair is, he isnt really projecting to be a big NBA shotblocker, and he plays with his arms down when contesting shots too often....add that to his lack of leaping ability and elite conditioning, and he is going to struggle defensively all over the floor, unless he is guarding a player trying to post him and play with his back to the basket. And even those type players will be able to launch over him. Blair will be a defensive liability, not because of effort exactly but just because of his limitations.


The problem is that he offers nothing more. Nothing. He's Foster where you give up his quickness to the ball, hops and height (granted Foster has lost a step athletically) for physicality and screening. But for the most part he's just as awkward a match as Jeff currently is.

Now, Seth saying he's not as quick as Foster isn't incredibly damning, as Foster (at least in his prime) was pretty quick for a big guy. However, I've got two of the top talent evaluators on this board, with lots more viewing time than me, indicating that the thing that worried me most is a worry to them, as well.

For good measure...Seth agreed with the following assessment from one of the best minds around here:


I'm in the same boat as many others. I like a lot about what Blair brings to the table, but I think he has too many limitations to really be a great pick for the Pacers.

Here's why I don't like him:

1. I think, in spite of his toughness and rebounding, he's a perpetual defensive liability. Ultimately I think perimeter-oriented bigs will go right around him and post players will shoot right over him. When he's on the floor, you're not going to be able to switch anything. He's going to be horrible at closing out on shooters and slow in rotating. He's a poor defender in space and is going to pick up fouls faster than Hibbert did last year.

2. I don't think he's a good pairing with Hibbert offensively because they need to occupy the same spaces on the court to be effective. All of Blair's points on offense come from low post touches. He's a poor shooter, poor ball-handler, and poor passer. In order for he and Hibbert to be effective, you'd have to move Roy into the high post quite a bit. While he can play from that position, I think it diminishes him a bit as a player. Outside of getting the ball in the low post, Blair is going to provide less offensively than Foster. He doesn't shoot as well, most likely won't be as good of an offensive rebounder, and won't cut as well. There's certainly no conceivably successful offensive scenario with Blair and Foster on the court together.

All of that adds up to another guy we have to hide on defense.

Now, this:


And more to the point: if this draft simply doesn't have many complete players, isn't what Blair offers the thing the Pacers need most?

I agree that this is a weak draft, but I simply don't buy the idea that the Pacers need a physical tough guy more than anything else. Even if it was, Blair is not Dale Davis. (I'd argue, in fact, that even Dale Davis wasn't the "DALE DAVIS!!!!!" that gets talked about so longingly around here, but that's another can o' worms.)

We get beaten defensively by teams that spread us out, and pick us apart. It's becoming more and more a slash and kick league, and players, particularly bigs, have be able to protect the paint and recover to the shooter. You can have the biggest badass on the planet, but if he can't cover enough ground, the opposing offense will just go around him...rendering him the NBA equivalent of the Maginot Line.

I'm ok with drafting Blair, but he needs to bring more than tough if he's going to be of any help. That was the question you asked, and the question I answered. His toughness does us no good if he becomes another guy we have to hide on defense. Our fig leaf just isn't that big.

NapTonius Monk
06-04-2009, 09:08 PM
Our fig leaf just isn't that big.

Great!

Mr. Sobchak
06-04-2009, 09:12 PM
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft200%20...%20tch-090604


On the downside, Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair has to be bummed. Blair looked solid in the drills and really impressed teams with his weight loss and tone. He also measured short, but his wingspan, standing reach and his athletic abilities made up for much of it.

However, the news became much grimmer for Blair when the results of the medical testing came back. Multiple NBA teams are saying Blair's knees have been red-flagged.

Blair tore both of his ACLs in high school, and the preliminary word from the physicals is that his knees aren't in great shape.

How bad they are depends on who you talk to, but the range wasn't good. I heard everything from "devastating" to "troubling."

Blair's agent, Happy Walters, doesn't feel words like "devastating" are accurate in describing the report he saw.

and.....


We had DeMar DeRozan going to Toronto with the ninth pick in our latest mock draft.

Don't expect him to slip past there. League sources say the Raptors have let DeRozan know that if he's there at nine they're taking him.

imawhat
06-05-2009, 04:05 AM
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft200%20...%20tch-090604



and.....


Hmmm..sounds like someone in the mid/late first round really wants Blair. As negative as I am about his game, the 'knee' seems to be a ploy.

DrFife
06-05-2009, 10:41 AM
Hmmm..sounds like someone in the mid/late first round really wants Blair. As negative as I am about his game, the 'knee' seems to be a ploy.

Am I correct in assuming that any team can have its own medical staff evaluate a player prior to the draft? Blair's knee history would seem to demand investigative prudence.

ESutt7
06-05-2009, 03:11 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/scott_howard-cooper/06/05/stoudemire.notes/index.html?eref=sihp

• The biggest news from the predraft tea in Chicago, where prospects wanting to become professional basketball players did not play games, were the measurements. The one that jumped out to front-office representatives: DeJuan Blair of Pittsburgh -- power forward DeJuan Blair of Pittsburgh -- was 6-5 in socks and 6-6 in shoes. The offset was having a 7-2 wingspan, nearly three inches more than Blake Griffin, also a power forward, and a standing reach of 8-10, an inch and a half more than the projected No. 1 pick. Said one GM, asked afterward about Blair's updated chances of making a successful transition to the NBA: "It'll be pretty tough."Via SI.com

CableKC
06-14-2009, 01:13 AM
Since there has been many comparisons of Blair to undersized low-post scoring PFs like Maxiell and Milsap.......how does Blair compare to Diogu?

Wasn't Diogu hyped to be the same type of undersized PF that had a lot of raw low-post scoring skills but with "little to none" Basketball IQ?

I forget....how does Blair's Basketball IQ rate compared to other players?

Hicks
06-14-2009, 01:02 PM
I think the Diogu comparison is decent, but if Blair focuses on D and rebounding, he should have a better time the Ike did, who wanted to focus on his post game.

CableKC
06-14-2009, 02:22 PM
I think the Diogu comparison is decent, but if Blair focuses on D and rebounding, he should have a better time the Ike did, who wanted to focus on his post game.
I didn't have a chance to really watch that many games with Ike, but I got the sense ( from reading all of the Game threads ) that Ike's limitations was due to his Basketball IQ not any lack of effort or focus. He had the skills and strength....but he simply didn't have the brains to figure out where to be and what to do in JO'Bs defense.

My question is does Blair have the necessary Basketball IQ to understand where to be and what to do when implementing JO'Bs ( what I refer to as ) "Thinking Man's" Team defense?

Naptown_Seth
06-14-2009, 02:39 PM
I've assumed (and this may be a bad assumption) that the decrease in weight was seen as a good thing, not because he'll be a better player if he's slender, but because it shows he can be serious about doing the work to improve himself. So it's a demonstration of discipline more than a showing of a dramatically improved player.
I do agree with that portion. One criticism I had mid-season after at first noticing and liking him was that he seemed to fade out of plays half the time. When motivated he would be a beast but at other times he'd turn into a spectator.

Of course one possible explanation was that he wanted to avoid foul trouble, but I did notice that this was a trend across the board for the PITT team.

Personally I like Sam Young at the next level more. OTOH my negativity doesn't mean that at #13 I don't like him as a front line choice. I just think expectations need to be moderated. If he pans out even as well as Rush finally did this year I'll be happy, and if he pushes toward Dale range that's a freaking theft at 13 this year.


And of course every other option at 13 will look worse than TWill in my eyes, though it's becoming clear that they want no part of him (including Morway basically telling me just that back in early March).

:censored:

Naptown_Seth
06-14-2009, 02:50 PM
Sincere question:

Isn't that enough? We've been clamoring for a Dale Davis -type enforcer. Isn't that what Blair offers to be?
I'll jump ahead and answer, then check on the responses from Count et al so as not to be influenced.


The reason I say "that's all" is that he is not a shot blocker like Dale is. He bumps guys and makes them know that they are getting into his floor space, and that is a great defensive attribute, but he's not quick on help defense, not a big vertical guy, really almost the opposite of what Thabeet is on defense (good and bad).

Then on offense I don't think he is Dale. Dale had the turn around jumper. You could post him 4-5 times a game and have that work out okay.

And finally I worry that at a lower weight Blair won't be the same strong, imposing player because if you take that away there just isn't much there. In total, even at a higher weight, he's more Tractor than Dale. Not in a "I'll get fat and ruin my career" manner, I mean Tractor at his best. That still wasn't Dale's level.


I don't know, I think if you go back to the recruiting thread you'll see me at first enamored with him, then you'll see a bunch of people jumping on his wagon at which point I start to lose interest partly in an attempt to be more balanced in my view of him, plus I started to notice more flaws as I focused on him.

At 13 I not only think you can do more with TWill, I think Chase offers more too. I think Pendergraph later on in the draft can help you almost as much but for obviously much less cost.


I've said many times that I just hate the value at 13 this year. I like it much more higher up or lower down the way players are apparently slotting. If TWill is really slipping and Chase is tracking around 16 I'd much rather trade 13, 2nd round and something to get picks 18-20, 25-28, 34-36. Not sure if that's even a reasonable option but it seems like it could be. Then you can buy a pick probably.

Naptown_Seth
06-14-2009, 03:00 PM
Since there has been many comparisons of Blair to undersized low-post scoring PFs like Maxiell and Milsap.......how does Blair compare to Diogu?

Wasn't Diogu hyped to be the same type of undersized PF that had a lot of raw low-post scoring skills but with "little to none" Basketball IQ?

I forget....how does Blair's Basketball IQ rate compared to other players?
This was brought up mid-season so I was able to watch more Blair with this in mind and I've never agreed with the comparison. I recall others also not liking the comparison in the recruit thread.

The issue is that the only similarity is size/wingspan. Ike was a scoring PF, Blair is a defensive PF. I think Blair is a much smarter player first off, I have no issue with his awareness. And despite being undersized I don't see guys going over top him like Ike had happen simply because Blair won't let them get that initial position and leverage.

You can face him up and shoot over him, but I don't think he'll get leaned over in the low block a lot. And since he's not your scoring PF then who cares about his size down there. He is a good offensive rebounder because he clears space and has the reach for it.


If they draft him I won't be bummed. I won't think problem solved either, but I've already written off last season and this next one as the rebuilds. I could see him being part of a foundation, but not being the answer to the issues from this year.

They need to clear some contracts and balance the roster before that happens. Dun and Tins are killing them right off the bat, and depending on how Ford responds he remains an iffy issue too. Blair (or anyone other than Griffin) isn't fixing that.

owl
06-14-2009, 03:21 PM
I do agree with that portion. One criticism I had mid-season after at first noticing and liking him was that he seemed to fade out of plays half the time. When motivated he would be a beast but at other times he'd turn into a spectator.

Of course one possible explanation was that he wanted to avoid foul trouble, but I did notice that this was a trend across the board for the PITT team.

Personally I like Sam Young at the next level more. OTOH my negativity doesn't mean that at #13 I don't like him as a front line choice. I just think expectations need to be moderated. If he pans out even as well as Rush finally did this year I'll be happy, and if he pushes toward Dale range that's a freaking theft at 13 this year.


And of course every other option at 13 will look worse than TWill in my eyes, though it's becoming clear that they want no part of him (including Morway basically telling me just that back in early March).

:censored:

Maybe you could elaborate on what Morway said that indicated no interest.
Also of all the problems Blair MAY have, his knee issue if true would really give
me pause. Maybe Hansbrough is the way to go. I could live with Buddinger
as a selection.

Gamble1
06-14-2009, 03:55 PM
I didn't have a chance to really watch that many games with Ike, but I got the sense ( from reading all of the Game threads ) that Ike's limitations was due to his Basketball IQ not any lack of effort or focus. He had the skills and strength....but he simply didn't have the brains to figure out where to be and what to do in JO'Bs defense.

My question is does Blair have the necessary Basketball IQ to understand where to be and what to do when implementing JO'Bs ( what I refer to as ) "Thinking Man's" Team defense?
Well Blair is fairly young and has already showed an understanding for the game. IKe had multiple issues like his over all size that would limit him on defense. He just couldn't hold his ground against his own man and he couldn't help out on the weak side because he wasn't fast enough to see the play develop.

Blair would be different bc he could hold his ground against NBA pf and could in my opinion help out much like FOster does by taking a charge. He won't block the shot but he'll possibly alter it.

Naptown_Seth
06-15-2009, 11:32 AM
Maybe you could elaborate on what Morway said that indicated no interest.
Also of all the problems Blair MAY have, his knee issue if true would really give
me pause. Maybe Hansbrough is the way to go. I could live with Buddinger
as a selection.
I told him to look at TWill and he came right back with "he needs to learn to shoot". This was well before the end of the Big East season and tourney. He didn't break into the prospect limelight till after this point so at the time I considered it a sneaky sleeper. His timing told me they'd long ago scouted him and mulled it over, he didn't even have to think for 2 seconds before responding.

Or maybe he was pulling a misdirection.

Too bad, I sure do love that passing and awareness. Seems like a certain NBA caliber guy with those skills, even without a good jumper (which is better).


I don't think Hansborough has an NBA game, but he is a worker and pretty intense. If a guy was going to overcome I could see it being him. But again, he's a guy you could get later on. Lots of value later on, not much value at 13 this year.

Slick Pinkham
06-15-2009, 04:03 PM
http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/DeJuan-Blair-5049/

one of the best offensive rebounders in the past 8 or 9 years, best case Milsap, worst case Reggie Evans.

I can live with that at #13 if the knee are OK.

eldubious
06-22-2009, 12:58 AM
Blair reminds me of Anthony Mason, not the tallest guy in the world, but a beast on the inside. He would definitely add toughness to the Pacers, which they definitely need.

CableKC
06-22-2009, 01:16 AM
Don't know if it was mentioned yet, but on NBATV's Pacers Draft preview.....Fratello and some other Analyst I never heard of suggested that the Pacers should draft Blair. Of course, take this with a grain of salt since Fratello didn't know that Foster was resigned and that one of the reasons for drafting Blair is a concern about Frontcourt Depth with Foster leaving to FA.

count55
06-22-2009, 07:43 AM
Blair reminds me of Anthony Mason, not the tallest guy in the world, but a beast on the inside. He would definitely add toughness to the Pacers, which they definitely need.

Yeah, he's nothing at all like Anthony Mason, who was a much more skilled player. He was often used in NY and Charlotte as a modified point forward, initiating the offense. He averaged over 4 assists a game four times in his career, and over 5 assists one other time. This is a game that Blair will never have.

Gamble1
06-22-2009, 08:39 AM
Heard an elaboration on Blairs knees on Friday night from Chad Ford (radio so no link).

Ford basically said that Blair went in for his medical evaluation and the doctors couldn't find his ACL's. Ford went on to say that there is mix opinions on whether a basketball player needs ACL's. I didn't know this but it seems hard for me to believe that a player could have no ACL's and still play at a NBA level.

Again this was on the radio on Saturday night at around 9:00 something.

Brad8888
06-22-2009, 09:28 AM
Quote from the article in the "DX" thread.

"He does not appears to have an ACL in either knee now"

If this is to be taken literally, Blair no longer has the anterior cruciate ligament in either knee (This may well simply be the uninformed writing of a journalist who has no idea what he is referring to, or he may simply have left out some key words). While lots of couch potatoes function adequately with their ACL totally detatched, professional athletes who receive any degree of contact wouldn't last long, due to significant reduction of overall lateral stability of the joint.

I tore the ACL in one of my knees back in 2000, and was tempted to see if I could get by until it healed. I was told by an orthopedic specialist and then the orthopedic surgeon that it is not possible for a torn ACL to heal without surgical intervention due to the movement in the joint coupled with minimal blood supply to that type of tissue, and that even my status as a relative couch potato had no bearing on this. I had ACL replacement surgery in August of 2000, and as a relative couch potato I have been fine since.

Also, generally the stability of the knee is impacted enough when an ACL is torn that wear and tear on other ligaments and cartilage in the joint is accelerated, especially in people who routinely put high stress on that knee.

In my opinion, unless he has had some sort of ACL replacement surgery on both of these knees, he has little to no chance of staying healthy in the NBA. Does anyone here know if Blair has had these procedures?

Even if he has, it is likely that he may have had a procedure where a portion of the patellar tendon of the same knee is harvested by splitting the patellar tendon into two parallel vertical segments and using the harvested portion to replace the ACL. The reason for most to have this type of procedure is to minimize the chance of rejection of the replacement tissue. The middle strip of the patellar tendon then fills with scar tissue. The stresses faced by athletes often then lead to patellar tendonitis due to the "injured" patellar tendon not being able to regain its former functionality and strength due to having less overall healthy tendon tissue to handle the stressors placed on the joint.

ACL problems, even if having been corrected surgically, coupled with weight issues in college, and playing an interior position where heavy contact is required to be truly effective, is a scary combination in my opinion.

Skaut_Ech
06-22-2009, 08:25 PM
http://www.sltrib.com/jazz/ci_12666465?source=rss

Three months ago, DeJuan Blair didn't look like a first-round draft pick.
After finishing his sophomore season at Pittsburgh, Blair's weight ballooned from 280 pounds to 315, thanks to a fast-food diet (http://topics.sltrib.com/Diets.html?source=sphere_topics_inline) and the fact he wasn't working out while resting a sore knee.


Now, however, everything has changed.


Blair began to eating more responsibly and exercising regularly. His weight dropped to 270 pounds and, on Thursday night, an NBA team will likely draft the 6-foot-7 power forward in the middle of the first round.


"His upside is very good because he's got huge hands and he's got soft hands," said Walt Perrin, Utah Jazz (http://topics.sltrib.com/Utah_Jazz.html?source=sphere_topics_inline) vice president of player personnel.
"He's a wide body. He can rebound. He's tough to move. ... He's got a lot of attributes that you like to see in a player."


Blair was one of six players who worked out for the Jazz on Monday morning.


The group also included George Tech forward Alade Aminu, French forward Nando DeColo, Marquette guard Wesley Matthews, Michigan State center Goran Suton and NAIA Player of the Year Geoff Payne, a forward from Westminster College.


Blair is the only one of the six considered to be a first-rounder. His goal is to be the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year.


"That's what I'm shooting for," he said. "If a team gives me the opportunity, I'm going to drive for that. ... I'm a winner. I love to win. I hate to lose."


Although many expect Blair will be off the board
<hr class="articleAdRule">
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when the Jazz pick, he didn't sound discouraged if lingering questions about his knees cause him to slide to No. 20.

If I land in Utah," he said, "that's just going to make Utah that much better because they're not going to get another slouch. They are going to get a workhorse -- somebody who loves the game and will do everything they need him to do."


Blair averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds last season, when he was a first-team All-American and Wooden Award finalist.


Blair played inside at Pitt but, in his workout with the Jazz, he flashed a mid-range jumper that will be needed in the NBA.

"He was a better shooter than we thought," Perrin said. "He was able to step out to about 17 or 18 [feet] and knock down shots, time and time again."


Still, Blair's rebounding and physical presence are the most marketable aspects of his game.


"That's what every NBA team needs -- a rebounder and a guy that's just tough -- and that's me," Blair said. "If I could cut my body in half, I think every team would take a little piece of me."


Confidence is not a problem.


"That's me," Blair said. "... That's how my whole life has been. They say I'm not tall enough or my knee's too bad or I'm too big. But I just smile at it, laugh at it and do what I can."


While Perrin says the Jazz are "a little concerned" about Blair's knees -- he tore both ACLs in high school -- team doctors examined him Monday afternoon.
I
f they give the go-ahead, Blair will likely find himself on the list of players Utah will consider in the first round.


"It would be good for me, coming to this program," Blair said. "I bring toughness and rebounding -- everything [Paul] Millsap and [Carlos] Boozer have. ... A lot of people doubt me, but I love the doubters."



******************



How key would that be for spacing that he has a nice mid-range jumper? And soft hands means someone who could end up being a good post passer. Thought you guys may find this of interest.

BlueNGold
06-22-2009, 08:39 PM
"If I could cut my body in half, I think every team would take a little piece of me."


Love this quote. I bet there's more man in that half than in all of JO's body. Sorry...;)

I think this guy is too quotable to not make it in the NBA. One thing we know is that confidence is not going to be a problem...which is half the battle. The guy may lack great mobility and height, but he has length and toughness...and a lot of swagger. I think he will stick...

Slick Pinkham
06-22-2009, 08:46 PM
Good footwork, hard screens, physically intimidating and enjoys that style. So he'll get himself into position for boards and knock people down for some putbacks (without fouls I mean). He will make people unhappy about playing inside against him even if they are taller than him...The problem is that he offers nothing more. Nothing.

If he does have a midrange game, as Scot's link suggests, even if its merely a half-decent one like Big Baby Davis has developed, then it ought to change everything and the issues remaining are:

1) weight problem (very recently "solved"????)
2) height issue (diminished by reach).
3) stamina
4) lateral quickness
5) knee injuries/ re-injury risk


I think #1 may be under control, #2 is overblown, #3 can be overcome with conditioning and work ethic. #5 is the doc's call, and if you are Larry you need to determine to what extent #4 is a serious concern.

My first knee-jerk reaction to the thought of drafting Blair was very negative, but I have turned around rather dramatically.

CableKC
06-22-2009, 09:04 PM
ACL problems, even if having been corrected surgically, coupled with weight issues in college, and playing an interior position where heavy contact is required to be truly effective, is a scary combination in my opinion.
Thanks for the insight.

:tmyk:

I didn't understand many of the complicated medical terms you posted....except for the last part.

At the 13th pick....I'm beginning to think that he's going to be a long term medical risk in the future but could impact the Team in the short term. If he slips and drops to a spot where we can acquire a 2nd 1st round pick....I'd be okay with drafting him.....but not at the 13th spot.

I want our 13th pick to be used towards a player that will immediately impact this team....the riskier ( whether it's from a Player that needs development....as in Jennings...or someone with potential long-term medical concerns...as in Blair ) he'll be, the less comfortable I'd be with drafting him.

BlueNGold
06-22-2009, 09:04 PM
If he does have a midrange game, as Scot's link suggests, even if its merely a half-decent one like Big Baby Davis has developed, then it ought to change everything and the issues remaining are:

1) weight problem (very recently "solved"????)
2) height issue (diminished by reach).
3) stamina
4) lateral quickness
5) knee injuries/ re-injury risk


I think #1 may be under control, #2 is overblown, #3 can be overcome with conditioning and work ethic. #5 is the doc's call, and if you are Larry you need to determine to what extent #4 is a serious concern.

My first knee-jerk reaction to the thought of drafting Blair was very negative, but I have turned around rather dramatically.

If #1 has been solved, it will help #3 and #4. I have a good friend who lost 40 lbs or so and he all of the sudden had good lateral quickness and even better hops...and better stamina. It was a real change. The knee injury, if any, might be helped but to a much lesser extent IMO. I would be more concerned about his knees than anything. As for his height, yes it's a negative. However, with his width, strength and reach...I seriously doubt height will be a problem against most 2nd units and many starters. I think if he stays healthy, he will be a pretty good player.

Note: Medical records will be reviewed and if there is a serious problem with one or both knees, he will not make the first round. If there are serious questions, he will drop and someone will pick him up ala Granger. I doubt we roll the dice with him unless it's pretty clear that the problems are minor.