Monday , Dec , 29 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Three Players Who Have Caught My Eye

Three Players Who Have Caught My EyeDelonte West
-For the early part of Delonte’s career, he’s been stuck in places like Boston and Seattle, places were if the playoffs were mentioned, it was in reference to sarcasm.
Sometimes players need a place like that to get their career going. Show what they can do, and what they can’t do, while being given a full slate of oppurtunity because of a team’s lack of contention.

What you saw from Delonte was a defensive mentality. Lets not get it mistaken, West is not a "Jump in the passing lanes, fake hustle defender". West has a good team defensive mindset, whether it be forcing somebody towards help, or knowing how to guard against player’s strengths or weaknesses. Something that shouldn’t be undervalued.

In terms of guarding Delonte West, he’s more of a combo guard, who can play the point, but isn’t going to wow you with natural point guard skills. He’s never been known as the strongest shooter. There have been some seasons where he was respectable enough, and some seasons where you could leave him open on certain game plans.

Coming to a realization of playing with King James brings the spotlight on the shooting ability of West. The presence of Lebron James has resulted in one of the better, if not the best season statically for West, who has a career high percentage going behind the three point line, at 39 percent.

The Cavs have welcomed Delonte’s positive attributes to the lineup, and if he can continue to defend and hit timely shots, the Cavs will make sure on Delonte being a long term fixture in the rotation.

Nate Robinson
This is the type of player I predicted Mike D’Antoni would have a huge impact on.
Robinson, listed at 5’9, but lucky to be 5’7, is still a athletic specimen in my eyes. He’s in phenomenal shape, and that’s mostly why I liked him playing for D’Antoni.

Coach D’Antoni has turned him loose on the defensive end. Having Nate find success picking player’s pockets.

Robinson is always going to be a mis match on the defensive end, but with being the athlete that he is, you can always wind up the toy, and set it loose. This year the Knicks are horrible defensively. That’s not going to change this year, so you can use that energy from Nate off the bench to rattle the opposing team’s second unit. What better option is out there? At least you compete, volumes better than the Knicks roster’s from the latest years.

Lets not forget, there is also remarkable improvement in Nate’s offensive game. Averaging a career best, 17.1 ppg, while averaging 4 dimes a game. All in a 30 minute game average.

In my opinion, I can’t go as far as saying Nate should be a starter. But I firmly believe Robinson is the league’s next premier 6th man. Somebody who will take the phrase "fan favorite" to another level. He can be that game changer.
As long as Nate’s decision making with the ball shows no signs of regression, coach D’Antoni would be hard pressed not to give Nate his burn.

His story has been one of the better. A player who not too long ago was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Everything has worked itself out, with the news of Nene’s tumor being benign.
Good news would keep on coming for Nene. The Nuggets would trade Marcus Camby for the mere rights to exchange 2nd round draft picks in 2010. Nene, if he did what Nugget coaching staff thought he was capable of, would be a bigger piece of Nuggets pie by default

That’s exactly what’s happened, and then some. Nene is averaging a career high in minutes at roughly 33 per game, and at the same time, putting together respectable numbers for a big man.

14.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg.

If it weren’t for Chauncey Billups grabbing most of the publicity in Denver, we’d probably be hearing more about Nene, who has provided the size, bulk, and toughness the Nuggets desperately needed.

I highly doubt Nene has barked at the idea of having Billups in the lineup, because it’s done nothing but positives for his game. He now has the point guard whose primary concern is getting everybody involved first. With Billups having a knack for getting in the paint, it makes Nene’s job easier. Where he can make a living off of Chauncey’s penetration

Nene has become one of the brightest big men in today’s game. Playing with stars like Melo and Chauncey should only help enhance his game. All he has to do is stay within himself, and the Nuggets aren’t "done" as I once called them.
Is Delonte West going to be a key cog in the Cavalier playoff ship? Will Nate Robinson continue to raise his game? Does Nene’s toughness help get Denver over the hump? Let us know in the comments box below.