Jabari Parker Puts Exclamation Point on Bucks’ Preseason Win with Spin and Dunk

Seeing plays like this from Jabari Parker should have Milwaukee Bucks fans very excited about the future.

Sure, it happened during the preseason. But it shows just what the rookie is capable of.

With his team clinging to a 97-96 lead in the final minute of Friday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Parker took control. He received a pass, spun in the lane and threw down what turned out to be a game-sealing dunk.

Oh, and who is the defender he dunked over? That’s Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft—no slouch himself.

Here is another angle of the dunk from behind the backboard:

Milwaukee held on to win, 105-98. Parker finished the game with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

[Milwaukee Bucks, Vine; h/t Dime Magazine]

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Parker helps Bucks top Timberwolves, 105-98 (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 17: Jabari Parker #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots against Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 17, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Rookie Jabari Parker had 21 points and 11 rebounds, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-98 on Friday night.


View full post on Yahoo Sports – NBA News

Duncan, Parker help Spurs beat Fenerbahce Ulker (Yahoo Sports)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs drives against Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 of Fenerbahce Ulker during the game as part of the NBA Global Games on October 11, 2014 at the Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Tim Duncan had 23 points and Tony Parker added 22 to help the San Antonio Spurs beat Fenerbahce Ulker 96-90 in an exhibition game Saturday night.


View full post on Yahoo Sports – NBA News

Jabari Parker or Giannis Antetokounmpo: Who Has Bigger 2014-15 Season for Bucks?

Make no mistake about it, debating who has a bigger season for the Milwaukee Bucks between Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a win-win situation for fans of the franchise.

Despite their differences in style of play, both men are supremely talented and will both certainly make their impact felt on the court this season.

However, despite being a rookie, it’s Parker who is bound for the better year.

With his polished offensive skill set, knowledge of the game and natural leadership qualities, the youngster is poised for a huge rookie campaign.

Let’s take a closer look as to why.

 

Offense

The biggest value Parker brings to the table—and does so immediately—is his ability to score in a variety of ways.

It’s no secret that the Bucks struggled to score in 2013-14, evidenced by the team finishing 28th in points per game and 26th in field-goal percentage

Parker’s addition immediately provides Milwaukee with a multifaceted, go-to scoring threat who tends to convert at a relatively high percentage.

In his lone season at Duke, Parker impressed by showing he could score with a smooth—albeit somewhat inconsistent—jump shot and by dominating smaller defenders in the post.

The 6’8″ forward converted 50.4 percent of his two-point attempts for the Blue Devils and connected on a respectable 35.8 percent of his threes.

And, as you can see below, in the Las Vegas Summer League Parker continued to demonstrate his versatility.

Whether it was in transition, in the paint or off the dribble, Parker showed he could score in a multitude of ways.

Ultimately, that’s what separates him from Antetokounmpo.

Sure, the Greek Freak showed improvement over the summer, but he’s still very raw when it comes to his offensive prowess. On the other hand, Parker’s fluidity and readiness offensively is impressive well beyond his level of experience.

With a lack of scoring being one of the team’s most glaring weak spots, Parker’s ability to step in and score in the neighborhood of 18.0 points per game is priceless.

A season ago, Brandon Knight was the team’s only consistent scoring option. Even if O.J. Mayo experiences a renaissance of sorts, the Bucks aren’t a high-powered offense.

Considering his skill set offensively, Parker is not only invaluable but also poised for a big year.

 

Basketball IQ

While Antetokounmpo is certainly growing as a player from a knowledge standpoint, he still lacks the exposure to the game from a young age, and that’s something that gives guys like Parker an advantage.

According to an article by Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com from a year ago, Antetokounmpo had only been playing basketball for just five years prior to the 2013-14 season:

Giannis turns 19 on Dec. 16. Young, but not that young. For example, Kansas University’s Andrew Wiggins, the projected No. 1 draft pick in next year’s draft, will turn 19 two months and seven days later. Giannis is years behind American and European teenagers deemed NBA ready, however. He’s been playing basketball for five years. He’s been 6-9 for a few months.

That’s not a lot of time to be playing competitive basketball, especially when you compare that to what Parker has been doing since a very young age.

Back in 2011, Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated wrote the following blurb about Parker, showing that his days of dominating on the court go back a long way:

Jabari discovered his love for the game through his dad’s basketball leagues. By the time he was in second grade, Jabari was playing against — and dominating — kids who were three years older. He played middle school basketball when he was in fifth grade.

And despite his problems turning the ball over during the summer and his lone season at Duke—he committed 2.3 turnovers per game—Parker is still a very heady player.

The rookie has a natural feel for the flow of the game, and you’ll rarely see him getting too frazzled with the ball in his hands. While he can tend to force jump shots unnecessarily, a lot of that had to do with the fact he was so heavily relied upon during his one season at Duke.

It’s easy for a rookie to get excited and try to force things, but once he settles in, Parker won’t be as turnover prone.

Regardless of the turnovers, though, Parker understands the game. 

And being a student of it for so long, you would hope so.

In an article by Gery Woelfel of the (Racine, Wis.) Journal Times Sonny Parker—Jabari‘s father—commented on his son’s infatuation with watching old games:

Sonny Parker said his son is driven to excel and has seriously studied the pro game for years, Sonny said Jabari has become almost obsessed with watching the classic games on NBA TV and YouTube, trying to glean knowledge from the game’s legendary players.

Sonny said Jabari was particularly interested in players who exhibited an all-around game.

Jabari is a throw-back; he watches old-school basketball games all the time,’’ Sonny Parker said. “He’s watched Bob Cousy and Earl Monroe and Jerry West and Pete Maravich.

“And he likes Oscar Robertson; he likes Magic Johnson, he likes those types of players. Larry Bird is another one. He likes well-rounded players, the guys who can shoot, rebound and pass. He likes their versatility.’’

Does that really mean much? Maybe not.

But how often does a 19-year-old rookie model his game after old school names like the aforementioned ones?

If nothing else, it’s a fresh take and shows Parker has his mind focused on the game instead of the extracurriculars.

 

Leadership

Antetokounmpo has a fiery, competitive and infectious personality that is probably great in the locker room atmosphere.

All of that aside, it’s hard to picture him as a leader at this point.

Meanwhile, Parker is coming off a year in which he played for Coach K, one of the greatest minds in basketball history, and likely was able to take plenty away from that experience.

At times during his lone season in Durham, Parker got rattled and visibly showed frustration. He also struggled to rally his teammates during stretches of the game that absolutely required it.

But, ultimately, his one season at Duke provided one of the best learning environments a college basketball player can obtain.

The Bucks need a player of Parker’s mentality to take control of the team.

Larry Sanders is passionate, but his inability to remain poised has led to issues on and off the court, as we saw in 2013-14.

And while Knight demonstrated some ability to lead last season, he doesn’t appear to be the guy to do so for the long term.

Point being: This is Parker’s team.

Just as he will be expected to produce, he will also be expected to lead this team.

And, according to Parker himself, that’s something he’s willing to embrace (per Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):

“It’s been good because I’ve been able to have a voice on my team,” Parker said of his initial Bucks experience. “The guys have been doing a good job listening to me, and I’ve been listening to them.

“That’s a good aspect I want to have, especially coming with the Bucks. I just want to be a leader, use my wisdom as much as possible.”

Taking on the role of leader is not an easy decision to make for some people.

The fact that Parker is so willing to dive right into it speaks volumes about his character and shows that he’ll be part of the organization for as long as he chooses to be.

Not to mention, it’s just the final reason why the rookie will ultimately put together a better season than the Greek Freak.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Jabari Parker Has Inside Track for 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

The second overall pick in the most recent NBA draft should be the No. 1 rookie by the time the 2014-15 season ends.

That’s because Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has the perfect storm of circumstances to make the biggest impact in a draft class filled with intriguing first-year talents.

Parker boasted the most complete offensive game among the top-tier prospects, which is a big reason why he was chosen to be the new face of the Bucks franchise. During a recent scrimmage, the young star out of Duke got to show off his skills:

What stands out about Parker is that he is able to handle the ball so well for his 6’8″ size, has the power to finish at the rim when he beats opponents off the dribble and does effective work off the ball.

The combination of basketball IQ, staying in motion as a constant threat, natural instincts, physical tools and athleticism make Parker a force to be reckoned with right away. It should translate to instant success.

Adjusting to game situations in the regular season is a different matter, but Parker is now confident about the chemistry he’s developed with the players on his side, per the Journal Sentinel‘s Charles F. Gardner:

At the beginning of training camp I was a little lost. But I think everything came full circle for me today. It’s been real special for me, being thrown in the fire so early. I just love it that I’m being able to be around some good guys, real veterans. The experience is helping me go fast. I’m able to catch on a little better because I have good teammates.

New Bucks head coach Jason Kidd has plans to deploy Parker as a stretch 4. Not only does the prodigy have the range to fill it up and keep defenders honest from the perimeter, but he’s also going to be far better in terms of quickness than almost anyone who lines up to guard him.

These words from Parker, via FoxSportsWisconsin.com’s Andrew Gruman, ought to ring true by season’s end:

Milwaukee has some intriguing personnel to complement Parker, featuring fellow teenager Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 6’11″ dynamo who can play point guard. The backcourt also features savvy two-way player O.J. Mayo and talented youngster Brandon Knight.

There ought to be plenty of opportunities for Parker and the Bucks to get out and run in transition, which is where Parker will be nearly impossible to stop with a full head of steam.

FOX6 sports director Tom Pipines tweeted in August his high praise for Milwaukee’s decision to draft Parker:

As for the other potential top rookie candidates, Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins’ beginnings will feature a lot of highlight-reel plays, but his jumper is still a big concern. Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders hadn’t committed to Wiggins in his starting five as of September.

It is worth noting, though, that Wiggins put up 18 points in his preseason debut starting at the 3.

Wiggins doesn’t have the developed game on offense to put up the numbers Parker will be capable of in his starting role with the Bucks.

Before being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wiggins shot a meager 40.5 percent overall and 15.4 percent from three-point range in the Las Vegas Summer League. He should be a tremendous perimeter defender from the start. It’s that offense that will hurt his Rookie of the Year campaign.

And that is Parker’s best competition other than Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, whose face-up game, rebounding and will all serve him well.

However, with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant nearing the end of his career, along with point guard Steve Nash, L.A. figures to build its offense around that duo for as long as possible. Randle won’t be integral enough to produce like Parker can from the 4 spot, particularly if he’s coming off the bench to back up Carlos Boozer.

More than all the other top rookies, Parker has a lack of viable veteran experience around him—to the point where he can be a leader right away. There is also the proper mix of young talent that can blend well with his strengths.

The Bucks have some strong building blocks to contend sooner than might be expected, with Parker more at the epicenter than Wiggins and Randle are in their squads’ immediate plans.

Wiggins will grow with draft classmate Zach LaVine, but he will play a complementary role to the likes of Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. The role Randle plays will be secondary to L.A.’s more experienced stalwarts.

Another element that sets Parker apart among the rookies is that his coach, Kidd, has experience deploying a perceived small forward at the 4. He did it with Paul Pierce on the Brooklyn Nets when Brook Lopez went down with a foot injury, and that sparked Brooklyn to a playoff appearance.

It is scary to think about what the results could be if Kidd can put a superior athlete in Parker into a similar niche, with capable ball-handlers in Knight, Mayo and even Antetokounmpo flanking him.

What it should result in to start is Rookie of the Year hardware for Parker.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Should Jabari Parker Follow the Carmelo Anthony Blueprint at Power Forward?

The Carmelo Anthony comparisons were inevitable. Jabari Parker shares that wide, strong 6’8″ frame and confident face-up scoring arsenal. 

Given the success Melo has had as a pro, at least individually, Parker should really think about following his lead—right into the post.

Over the last few years for the undersized New York Knicks, Anthony has played some of his best minutes at power forward. It’s a spot on the floor that calls for a shot selection better suited for his strengths and one that helps diminish his weaknesses.

Parker’s NBA position has been up for debate since his days in high school. Though he always had the polished offensive game that allowed him to play away from the rim, he’s just not fueled by the same quickness, bounce or blow-by explosiveness of your traditional NBA wing. 

And those athletic limitations had always weighed on his defensive outlook as a small forward. We saw it at Duke. He’s just not a guy who’s built to play with his butt low to the ground while seamlessly sliding from side to side. 

The NBA small forwards could eat him up in isolation. 

Parker will be a lot safer defending slower but bigger forwards closer to the basket. There’s a lot less lateral movement down there. Plus, he’s got the size, length and mass to bang with most 4s. 

He’s also a strong rebounder, having led the ACC and averaged 8.2 a game in Las Vegas Summer League. 

Despite the difference in size up front moving from one level to the next, Parker should be able to hold his own down low from a physical standpoint.  

But playing the 4 isn’t just about masking his weaknesses as a defender. It could also help him exploit some of his offensive versatility that would hopefully lead to a more efficient output. 

Parker’s bread and butter is his post game. Between the fadeaways, spin moves and power moves, he shot 55 percent on post-ups last season, according to Synergy Sports Technology via ESPN’s Ryan Grace.

As a 4, Parker’s game would start in the post, which he can complement with opportunistic perimeter scoring. That’s a better formula for Parker than starting at the wing, where his shooting range remains a work in progress and quickness is below average for a 3.

Sure, Parker can stick the pull-up, step-back and spot-up jumper, but he hasn’t shown he can with any consistency. You don’t want him leaning on those shots early on. At this stage, he’s a shot-maker—not a shooter. Even though he’s capable from 15-25 feet, it’s ultimately a win for the defense if it can keep him firing away from outside. And he’d be more vulnerable to falling into that trap as a wing.

It’s no different for Anthony, who tends to get jump-shot happy when handling the ball too much around the arc. 

While Parker has the skill set needed to play small forward, he’s going to have a tougher time executing against NBA-level 3s.

He’s got an average first step. He lacks that turn-the-corner burst, which ultimately led to a number of low-percentage jumpers his freshman year. If I’m Parker, I don’t want those quick NBA wings covering me. Hopefully the Kawhi Leonards and Trevor Arizas of the world end up guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo

If I’m Parker, I want to be matched up with slower power forwards who he’ll have a much easier time exploiting as a scorer in face-up situations. And given his ability to knock down outside shots and create off the dribble, the Bucks will likely use him as a stretch 4—a position that lets him play outside as well as in the paint—where he’s now an offensive mismatch against those heavy-footed bigs. 

Parker talked to Nancy Lieberman on Sirius XM NBA Radio (via Charles F Gardner, Journal Sentinel) regarding his feelings for the power forward position. 

As of right now I’m more comfortable with the 4 position. That’s where I played previously, before getting drafted, at Duke. I played a lot of 4. Even in high school. I know this is a different level.

But in coach’s style of play, it’s more a stretch 4. That’s where I like to play my game, even though I like to post up a little. Just being on the perimeter, setting screens and popping, that’s what we’ve been doing so far. That’s what coach Kidd has been anticipating me playing that role.

Sticking Parker at the 4 ultimately allows him to play to his strengths as an interior scorer and rebounder and away from his weaknesses as a perimeter defender and shooter. 

The obvious hope is that he can hang with the big boys down low and school them from outside. 

At the end of the day, it might be foolish to lock Parker in as strictly a 3 or a 4. It’s not a black-and-white debate. Against a team like the Wizards, the Bucks may be better off playing John Henson against Nene Hilario at the 4 and letting Parker do battle with the slower Paul Pierce on the wing. 

Or maybe small ball works for the Bucks, as it typically creates more spacing by having a guy who can stretch the floor playing alongside the center. 

The beauty of Parker’s versatility is that it should allow Milwaukee to pick and choose how to use him. 

Still, long term, it’s the power forward position that should lead to higher-percentage looks and less defensive trouble for Parker.  

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Tony Parker Hits Backward, No-Look, Underhand Shot from Half Court

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker apparently thinks sinking a half-court shot the traditional way isn’t tough enough.

Just watch how Parker shoots the ball in this video and go try to do it yourself. The odds are pretty good you won’t get the same result as Parker did.

[Vine, h/t ProBasketballTalk]

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Report: Kobe Made Smush Parker Get Dressed In Broom Closet

Grantland has gotten their hands on the NBA’s redacted scouting reports, and the Lakers report is a doozy.
According to a former Lakers staff member, Kobe Bryant was among other things, a guy who refused to learn his teammates names, and a basketball sociopath.
The tidbit from the report that is sure to cause conversation in NBA circles, is the report that Bryant disliked Smush Parker so much, that he made him get dressed in a broom closet, because “Parker would eventually have to get used to being around the things he would use when he became a janitor.”

 
Bryant’s dislike for Parker was strong, but I wonder if Smush ever had to see a therapist after the treatment he received from the ‘Black Mamba.”

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

VIDEO: Watch Julius Randle go head-to-head with Jabari Parker at 2013 Nike tournament

via twitter.com/Lakers
 
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get excited about Julius Randle.
Randle is the highest Lakers draft pick since James Worthy was taken number one overall by the purple and gold in 1982, so having a talented, NBA-ready rookie on the team is something that Laker fans aren’t all that used to.
Although he was projected to go within the top five – and was even thought to be a top three pick at one point during the college season – the Lakers selected Randle with the seventh overall pick back in June.
In the Ball Is Life video below, Randle can be seen going up against the second overall pick in 2014, Jabari Parker. The footage is from a Nike tournament in March, 2013. According to Ball Is Life, Randle lead his team to victory with a stat line of 23 points (6-for-10 shooting from the field and 11-for-15 from the line), 13 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal, while Parker had 14 points (6-for-14 from the field), 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Randle will next face Parker and his new tea

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Milwaukee Bucks: The future is now with Parker and Antetokounmpo on board

Milwaukee Bucks fans should not just be excited that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are on the team now, but that they could stay on the team for a long time.
Milwaukee is not the most desirable city to play basketball, but Antetokounmpo and Parker have both expressed their feelings in sticking with the Bucks.
I’ll never leave the team and the city of Milwaukee till we build the team to a championship level team..
— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@G_ante34) July 17, 2014

In the world of sports today, it is common to see players of all caliber switching teams over the course of their careers. Antetokounmpo said that he will commit himself to improving the Bucks, which could certainly be a long and stressful process. This kind of commitment is not seen often in today’s sports, so having one of the Bucks’ young potential stars say this is a great thing for Bucks fans.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks had the 1st and 2nd picks respectively of the 2014 NBA draft. With the injury to Joel E

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Next Page »