Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Helin’

Early ROY Forecast Favors Lillard?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We don’t normally delve into matters concerning rookies, not with our main and rookie guru Drew Packham already on the case.

But it’s been brought to our attention, courtesy of Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk, that the No. 1 overall pick in the June Draft will not go into this season as everyone’s early favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors.

The player muddying up that distinction is Summer League Co-MVP and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, whose grind from unheralded recruit to the sixth pick in the 2012 Draft is success story that resonates from his roots in his hometown of Oakland and all around the basketball world.

We left Las Vegas with the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team in July, so the only thing we saw of the rookies is what we learned from DP’s extensive reporting and what we could gather from the games on NBA TV. The one guy we did see up close, the aforementioned No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, looked pretty dang good in London in helping the U.S. win Olympic gold. So while Lillard will be the trendy pick for many, we’re going to stick with Davis as HT’s pick.

That said, Helin makes an interesting case for Lillard:

When I saw him at Summer League in Las Vegas he clearly was not. He was an explosive athlete. He can and did score and there were moments you pictured a Russell Westbrook like attacker. But he also showed way more polish as a rookie than scoring guards like Westbrook and Derrick Rose showed.

What is more, he goes on to a team with LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, as well as some other veterans. He’s got a guy on the wing and an All-Star in the post to play off. Guys he can feed for open looks, guys who create lanes for him because the defense can’t help. Yes, the talent he has to face (particularly at the point) is substantially better at the NBA level than Summer League, but he is in a position to succeed.

That is, if he is given the green light. If the goal of the Blazers coaching staff is to control him and not let a rookie make decisions, he will be limited.


Hang Time Podcast (Episode 88) With Kurt Helin and Wayne Coyne

by Micah Hart

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — My man Sekou is out and about breaking down game film for the Smyrna Spartans, but he took time to call in so we could record a post-Olympic, post-Superman-to-the-Lakers podcast.

Kurt Helin from NBCsports’s Pro Basketball Talk blog joined to discuss Team USA’s performance in London and the fallout from the four-team deal that put Dwight Howard in Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum in Philadelphia. Everyone agreed that regardless of how the deal plays out for all teams involved, the Clippers are the team that definitely got the shaft.

After that, Oklahoma City resident and Thunder supporter Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the rock band The Flaming Lips, joined the show to discuss the rise of the Thunder in Oklahoma and made everyone think twice about what it means to be a sports fan. Definitely one of the more enlightened discussions we’ve ever had on the podcast.

We took a little Olympic-sized break, but Episode 88 is definitely one you won’t want to miss.


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of’s All Ball Blog and the best engineer in the business, Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

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