Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Who is the one player who alternately infuriates you with boneheaded plays and thrills you with the occasional good ones.
Steve Aschburner: Can I answer Tim Duncan and call it good? Y’know, yo-yo … No? OK, my 2012-13 winner of the Nate Robinson Award would be … yeah, Nate Robinson. Let’s face it, they could name the trophy after him, awarded annually to the player who drives his coach the battiest. Robinson has been a necessary evil for Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, gobbling minutes that would normally go to rehabbing Derrick Rose and chronically dinged Kirk Hinrich. All his charms and all his flaws have been on display in large helpings — reeling off eight points in a row one moment, firing up his turnover machine the next. He’s always Ornette Coleman, stubborn free-jazz improviser miscast in whichever of the 30 Duke Ellington orchestras employs him. A careful study of November video will reveal that, yes, Thibodeau did have more hair back then.
Fran Blinebury: Josh Smith, Josh Smith and Josh Smith.
Jeff Caplan: Considering Nuggets coach George Karl can’t bring himself to play JaVale McGee enough so that the 7-footer can average more than 18.8 mpg, I’d have to say McGee owns this category. Despite being remarkably athletic with all kind of potential and flashes of brilliance at both ends, the fact is that Kosta Koufos has started all 57 games he’s played and averages four more minutes a game than McGee.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Josh Smith. Shot selection, defense. Shot selection, occasional rebounding. Quite the weighted scales back and forth. That’s a yo-yo guy.
John Schuhmann: This is a difficult question to answer, because, by principle, I don’t like guys who make “boneheaded plays.” Marcus Thornton certainly made a case for this distinction with his performance in Miami on Tuesday. And he’s more efficient than similar gunners like Jordan Crawford and Nick Young. But my answer is Andre Drummond. He can play out of control and has had some JaVale-esque moments this season, but, as a pretty raw rookie, he’s proven to be an impact player on both ends of the floor for Detroit. He could be a monster within the next couple of years and I think there are probably already a few teams that regret letting him slip to No. 9 in last year’s Draft.
Sekou Smith: You obviously haven’t watched Shaqtin’ A Fool lately. Nuggets center JaVale McGee is the runaway winner in this category. Few players in the league are capable of making as many jaw-dropping plays, both good and bad, as McGee. The Nuggets have gotten more of the good out of him, which bodes well for them come playoff time. A shot-blocker and shot-maker of his size in a postseason scenario, when games inevitably slow down and turn into half court battles, can be invaluable.