Monday, September 29, 2003

2 Breakout Players FIRST DAY OF TRAINING CAMP! Well at least for the youngins....a few days until full teams can report. So, who is this year's Gilbert Areanas or Amare Stoudamire...players who will break out this year. ESPN Insider's Chad Ford has put together a good list of candidates, with 2 Bulls:
Eddy Curry, C, Bulls With coach Bill Cartwright claiming that the team wants Curry to be option No. 1 on offense, it's not a stretch to claim that Curry may join Yao as one of the few centers in the league capable of averaging 20 ppg. He has a scintillating array of post moves, including a nice baby jump hook that's basically unstoppable. Curry lead the league in field goal percentage last season, so it only makes sense that the Bulls will try to ride that horse as far as he can take them. The challenge for Curry now? Perfecting his passing out of double teams that will surely come this season. He's struggled in that area in the past (he averaged just .5 assists last season) and will have to improve if he wants to stay the No. 1 option in Chicago. Jamal Crawford, G, Bulls Last season, Crawford spent most of the year looking over his shoulder at Jay Williams. When the Bulls finally let Crawford start, he averaged 20.3 ppg and 6.6 apg over the last 16 games. He no longer has Williams to worry about and rookie Kirk Hinrich looked 20 years away at the Rocky Mountain Revue this summer. If he can ever pry away the ball from the clutches of Curry and Jalen Rose, Crawford could be the guy who propels the Bulls back into the playoffs. He's the teams' best perimeter shooter and proved during the final stretch of the season that he's capable of running the offense it Chicago.
That knock on Curry about passing out of the double team has been bantered about all summer, so that's something to watch. Its true that a guy who gets the ball as much as he does should be getting more assists. That number will go up guaranteed because there's less chance this year of him passing to Trenton Hassell for a 17-foot brick. But having Curry as the #1 option on offense is tantalizing.

As for Crawford, it's important that the article mentioned that he was the team's best perimeter shooter last year. In fact, 2 years ago when he came back from injury he was the teams best shooter....a lot of people don't think that cause he has the tendency to have bad shot selection. But what's the deal with that Hinrich quote? 20 years away??? hmmm....well he was one of the dissapointments of the summer league, luckily he won't be needed to do much. As long as he didn't forget how to shoot.

In other news....Jay Williams will be making his first public comments since his accident. He's supposedly saying he'll be ready this time next year. All the best to Jay, but this sounds more like a Bobby Hurley situation than anything else.