Perhaps Ziggy could re-name this Byron Mullens appreciation thread...
BCP's Unofficial Devil's Advocate
I've always been a fan of the Big Mutton Chop, even though it gets annoying when he falls in love with his jumper and forgets that he's actually taller than most players.
I am a big proponent of keeping him, for the right price of course, but I don't think he will be as cheap as some are hoping. One fact of the NBA is that if 7 footers show any competence, they get paid. Even if you're complete garbage like Ryan Hollins or Jason Collins, you will get a check. And if you have a discernible skill, you will be paid multi millions per year. Just ask Kwame. Or Beidrins. Or Dampier.
But back to Mully, he offers a talent that most teams do not have. Hate it all you want, but he is a legitimate threat from deep at 7 feet tall, which teams have to account for and pulls a big man out of the paint on defense, enabling our guards to attack with impunity. As long as we have Kemba and MKG, this will be very important.
And more importantly, on a team with not a lot of scorers, he does have explosive scoring in his game. He could easily go off for 30 if he is on (should have had 30+ against Boston if any of our guards decided to find him in the 4th quarter). This is actually a huge commodity, to have multiple threats that could score big at any given game, and not only if its a career night for them. Right now we have just Kemba, Mullens, and I guess Gordon if he gets his shots. Most good teams have multiple players throughout their lineup that could go on a scoring binge, and the best teams have a couple on their bench.
If we lose Mully, we lose a huge explosive scoring threat. Consistency is key for him, and I think adding a lot of strength will enable that, as he will be able to beast people down low and probably get about 6-8 easy points there, as well as more free throw opportunities. He can be a 20+ point per game scorer if he wants it, he has the offensive talent. And if he can continue rebounding in double figures, I honestly do believe he can be a cornerstone of the franchise.
Now watch him score 6 with 3 rebounds and 5 fouls next game...
Mully shows enough in one strong game to make him more valuable to our team than a lot of other guys on our team and a lot of other bigs around the league. If he went off for 25/18 on any big market team, ESPN, Twitter, and the sports world would go nuts.
Don't care how inconsistent he is. He's just as young as the rest of the guys on the team so he's still learning. If guys like Kemba are allowed to consistently stink it up on the road and MKG/Bis are allowed to be invisible for large portions of games, then Mully should be afforded the same leeway.
I sincerely believe that he's capable of being an 18/10 guy on good percentages if we can just adjust his mental 2k13 tendency sliders to where he's 70% post and 30% spacing. He's too long and athletic to not be effective in the low/mid post
I think Byron has just as much potential as any player on this team. Sure Kemba is the better player now but Byron's skillset and ability overall could lead him to an All Star game if he finds consistency. He's not just the "slow white guy shooter". He has athleticism, can handle the ball and at times has shown a decent little post game. Plus, he's our leading rebounder already. Wouldn't be surprised if next year he jumped to around 9 rpg.
Since he's come back from his injury, he's certainly played very well and pretty smart. He's maturing his game right before our eyes.
There was a very simple, subtle basket against Boston that stuck out to me. Pierce ended up guarding him on the block. Byron recognized he was simply taller than Pierce, and without much hesitation, simply shot over him and made the basket. In prior instances, I don't know if a) he'd be on the block as much or b) he'd recognize and utilize the clear advantage he had over his defender in such an effective way. Maybe I'm making too much of it, but before he sat out, I think he probably would have made that simple play harder than it needed to be. Now he's more comfortable in his abilities and is moving forward in learning how to best use them in different situations.
It's great fun to watch him and the other young guys learn, especially when the light bulb starts to go off for them. I think Byron's at least found the switch, so I can't wait to see what happens when that light finally goes on all the way.
(Now, like QC Thundercats said...watch him go for 6 & 3 next time out)
I, for one, am overjoyed with Byron's monthly good game!
Hope Resurrected: "I think I can bring an attitude to a team as far as, ‘All right, no matter what, we are not losing this game'." - Kemba Walker
"Its okay to be bad; just so long as you're bad ass." - Keetch