NBA Roundtable

Favors Impressing Avery

In General NBA on October 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm

NY Daily News reports

Avery Johnson still loves Derrick Favors. Yeah, he may be willing to part with the 19-year-old for Carmelo Anthony, but I’m getting the impression that decision is going to get tougher and tougher the longer this plays out.

Why? By most accounts, Favors is an athletic freak. By even more accounts, the kid is a class act, highly motivated and intelligent, which may be hard to pick up through casual conversations because he’s so shy.

Johnson gave a written test to all players yesterday on his concepts and system. Guess who was the only player to get 100 percent?

“Derrick Favors,” Johnson said with a smile. “Really impressed. He made my whole night. My dinner tasted good last night.”

Good to hear Favors is picking things up so quickly.

Favors Role Still Unclear

Avery is still trying to figure out the best way to develop Favors

“I just want to start preseason and figure out if we want to start Derrick or bring him off the bench,” Johnson said. “There are a couple of schools of thought. In football you got your rookie quarterbacks and you got to figure out whether you want to start him or ease him in. In basketball – you know Kobe, early on in his career, I don’t think he started. Kevin Garnett didn’t start, but Kevin Durant – they threw him out there Day 1. Tim Duncan was older, he went to college longer. So we’re just trying to figure out what’s the best scenario. Now, we don’t think we can go wrong either way. If the kid starts, it’s not going to kill his psyche or anything. He’s actually pretty strong mentally for us. That’s why we’re not making it a big deal. It’s really not a big deal. We’re just trying to figure out for his present and future what’s the best way to go.”

I liked the idea of starting Favors right away.

I haven’t seen enough of him to say for sure but from the moment he was drafted it sounded like he was going to be able to compete defensively and on the backboards from day one + at the very least, be a competent complementary offensive player who can finish plays that are created by others.

If all that is true, I don’t see the point in starting anyone else. Not when the competition is a 12 month rental who doesn’t play defense (Troy Murphy) or a career reserve like Humphries.

Best to put Favors on the court, give him long minutes and let him gain experience.

Avery Comparing Favors to Garnett, Duncan

There were reports a few weeks ago on this topic

There was film of Favors, 19, from his one season at Georgia Tech and from the summer league. And there were clips of two other guys at 19 years old, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.

“I called our video guy. I had him put together a video on Kevin Garnett when he was 19, Tim Duncan when he was 19 at Wake Forest, and then Favors, some clips from him,” Johnson explained. “Basically, [it was] showing Kevin Garnett coming from the weak side, blocking shots and dunking on folks, and Tim Duncan with his right-hand jump hook, his left-hand jump hook, his show-and-go off the dribble. And showing Favors making the same exact moves. It was identical.”

“He’s got a great upside, we think he’ll be a terrific NBA player,” Johnson said. “If I’m drafting in that second position, Favors would have been a pretty clear choice for me.
High praise for Favors

Great Progress

Some quotes from Nets GM Billy King on Favors’ progress since summer league via Twitter (link one, link two, link three)

Nets GM Billy King on D. Favors: “In talking with the coaches, they said from summer league to now the progression has been incredible.”

More King on Favors: “He’s hitting the jump shot, dunking on people, finishing. “

More King on Favors: “I think the summer and all the work is starting to pay off and starting to click with him. “

Great to hear that Favors has been making major progress since summer league.

Avery on Brook

Side note — Quick comment from Avery on Brook Lopez

Johnson gave a nudge to Brook Lopez – actually more to those who coached Lopez – suggesting the 7-footer should more advanced.

“In some areas, I would have thought he’d be further along in terms of his game: defensive work, positioning on the floor,” Johnson said. “But we’re going to get him there.”

I am delighted that B.Lopez has found Avery Johnson. I think he’ll do wonders for Lopez’ defensive game … which is far too close to average for a player with his gifts.

Hopefully, Avery can get Brook to concentrate more on hauling in some rebounds too.

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