Over the weekend, I watched the USA-Argentina game in its entirety, as well as the Argentina-Italy gold medal game. As you can tell, I lead quite the life.
I can honestly say I liked what I saw of Andres Nocioni:
- He could step out and shoot, although only making 1 of 3 3-pointers in the game against the US. Not sure if he can consistently make an NBA-3..but after hearing time and time again how much better the Euros are at shooting than Americans, he should have no problem, right?
- He was aggressive on both ends of the floor. On one play he had the much smaller Stephon Marbury posted up, and wasted no time with a spin move and attack to the basket. Was also active on offensive and defensive boards. He is NOT a typical soft European player.
- This guy is gonna piss some people off in the NBA. He flops constantly, he complains to the refs, and he is not afraid at all to mix it up on the court. One play had Marbury driving the lane, with Nocioni firmly planted in the lane obstructing his path to the basket. If Nocioni had stayed there and flopped like usual he would have drawn the offensive foul. But instead he turned his head and leaned into the leaping Marbury, effectively undercutting him and sending him tumbling to the floor. The play was made in front of the American bench and almost caused them to storm the court they were so upset (especially after no foul was called). I'm not condoning this kind of play or anything, but it reinforced the opinion that the man won't be intimidated when he gets over here.
All in all, especially after seeing the rough play on Marbury, Nocioni to me is the kind of guy I would want on my team instead of the other side. An aggressive role player, who can put the ball in the bucket and get under opponents' skin. And while he was busy helping Argentina to a gold medal this summer, in the fall he will be on our side.
He probably wouldn't be a starter on a good NBA team. But luckily for him he'll be playing for the Bulls.