Saturday, 30 March 2019 03:25

Blaze Mid Season Team Review

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The first half of the season for the Blaze is not only the worst in their history, but it may be the worst in OBWL history.  The only thing going for the Blaze is that they are super young and have slowly been improving through out the season.  Also, the signing of Charles Simpson has seemed to work out so far.  Below will be a mid-season review on all the players on the Blaze.

 

Daniel Kellar – Daniel was drafted in the 2nd round 2 years ago and last year was pretty much a lost season for him in the OBWL.  While he did play in the OBDL, he made zero appearances in OBWL.  He started the first four games in the OBWL but looked vastly out of place and was quickly shipped to the D-League.  Down there he showed consistency and the ability to score.  The Blaze desperate to try something different called him up and he has started the last 12 games.  In doing so, he has looked very good out there, shooting well and playing some defense without fouling.  He has much more room to improve to be a starter on a good team, but overall the Blaze are happy with his development and probably will look to roster him in the future.

Norman Woolsey – To start the season there were big hopes for Norman.  He played in 48 games last season and looked decent for a 19-year-old playing in the OBWL.  This season Norman took a step back as he stopped playing defense with his feet and fouling and his shot selection was awful.  After 23 games in the OBWL, the team has sent him down to the D-league where he has started 23 times and looked a bit better but is still fouling at a crazy rate.

Brendon Humby – With the 24th pick in the draft Humby was chosen, but no one thought we would be seeing him in the OBWL this season.  Heck after the month of November it looked like all he was going to get was garbage minutes in blowouts (which there is a lot of), but then the coach decided to insert him into the rotation.  Since then he has shown an ability to score a little and play a bit of defense.  While his numbers aren’t great, he is only 19 and is going up against a lot of good centers. 

Blair Call – Claimed on waivers last season, Blair showed that he was a serviceable player.  This season he showed pretty much the same thing in 29 games in the OBWL (starting 21).  While he has all the talent in the world, he just goes out and does the minimum expected of him.  For that reason, Blair has seen himself the last 13 games in the OBDL trying to prove that he belongs back in the OBWL rotation.  Blair has shown a little extra flair to his game down there and might be called back very shortly.

Gary Budd – Mr. Budd just signed that nice 4-year deal and has been showing improvement in every stat this season, including free throws.   He has been one of the few bright spots on the team and keeps trucking along.  With no real ready PG on the team it is hard for him to get a bunch of points, but he is still managing 16 points a game. 

Jarod Lovell- Jarod was signed last season and cut right before the season, but the team kept on an eye on him and signed him to a one-year deal this off season.   Minus 2 games, he has spent all the season playing in the OBWL and doing a decent job coming off the bench and averaging 20 minutes a game.  Lovell isn’t going to be a superstar, but he will not get embarrassed out there either.  Rumor has it he may be either getting traded or going to OBDL to make room for Blair.

Daniel West – Everyone knows Daniel was the #1 pick last season and he has done another great job for the Blaze.  Like Budd, he is very reliable.  While he isn’t the scorer the team needs, he is only 21, there isn’t a point guard to get him open and the team doesn’t get enough offensive rebounds to help him get easy points.  The team is very happy with him and expect him to be here many years.

Adrian Sherrer – Adrian was chosen 12th in the last draft and was part of the Blaze for the first 21 games and even starting 2 of them.  While he didn’t embarrass himself out there, he did show that he is only a 19-year-old that has a lot to learn.  The team has sent him to the OBDL, and he has started the last 25 games there.  He is still struggling finding his shot but is showing a lot of promise.  The team also is playing him a lot of minutes in hopes that it will build up his stamina for the future. 

Luitpold Hippeli – He was #5 pick 3 years ago who finally got to play the last 45 games last season and showed a lot of promise.  Then came training camp and Luitpold shot so poorly the first 2 games that the team banished him to the OBDL.  While in the OBDL he showed consistency in scoring, defense, shooting and passing.  The team decided to bring him to the OBWL when Sherrer was sent the other way.  Since coming back, he is averaging 23 minutes in 25 games and getting 10 points a game.  While the team is hoping that he will start to shoot a little better by seasons end, it is still very good.  The team is rumored in trying to find more minutes for Luitpold after the break.

Marvin Marshall - Marvin came over 4 years ago with much hype but has slowly fallen out of favor and deeper on the bench.  The main reason he is still on the team is because the team wanted him to be eligible for the slam dunk competition so he can defend his last 2 titles.  He has appeared in 22 games and averaged about 8 minutes in those games.  It is rumored as soon as All-Star break is over, he will be waived.

Andrew Bordo – Andrew was acquired last year in order to pick up a future draft pick.  He is making 20 million this year and not doing much to earn it.  Not because he is doing poorly, but mostly because the team is going young and he isn’t young.  In 41 games, he is only playing 20.6 minutes, but he is scoring 10.3 points in those minutes and is shooing .456 from the field (his best since 2020) and .873 from the FT (best ever) and almost 39% from 3.  While the team has been shopping his expiring deal with no luck, it might be a good thing.  Bordo might be played more in the second half to see if they should sign him to a cheaper deal in the off-season.

Chung Patton – Chung like Lovell was signed last year and cut.  He then signed with the Chaos and did a decent job.  Seeing that, the Blaze decided to take a chance on him (also thing Bordo would be traded).  Well Patton time with the Blaze has not been a success.  While everyone knows Patton can shoot 3’s it is apparent without a decent PG, he isn’t able to create his own shots.  He has been relegated to the back of the bench even though he is better than that.  The team will try and move him before the deadline, but one thing is pretty sure, his option will be declined.

Charles Simpson – Charles was the #4 pick for the Sea Dogs 3 years ago.  It looked like he might have a long and decent career after his rookie year, but his 2nd year was a disaster and soon after he found himself on waivers after camps and a free agent.  Being only 21, the Blaze decided to give him a 1-year deal with a 1-year option.  Once signed they inserted him in the lineup at PG for his first 11 games on the Blaze.  Then the team decided to slide him to SG when Patton and Bordo where both designated to the bench.  While Simpson has had his ups and downs since signing the team is very happy with his overall performance.  Since signing his shooting and scoring has gone up and so has his VA.   The Blaze are hoping to be able to keep him for a long time.

Jonathan Mask – Jonathan was taken in the 2nd round this year one pick before Tony Sokol (who is scoring 19 a game in OBDL).  He was sent to OBDL at first, but wasn’t getting in any games, so the team called him back for 5 games and let him play in the OBWL.  In those 5 games he showed why he should have stayed in college another 2 years.  About the only thing right he did was pass the ball.  The team then sent him back to OBDL where he became a start and slowly improved and showed the team why he was chosen.  Playing tough defense and showing the ability to score.  The problem is last game he came down on top of his centers foot and broke his foot and will be out 47 days.

Herschel Pettway - Herschel was the #5 pick in the draft this year and was inserted into the starting lineup right away.  The team knows that he is not ready but are hoping by playing a lot of minutes verse other team’s top point guards will help him develop quickly and be advantageous in the long run.  The team is over the last month has seen his ability to score start going up and his assist total per game slowly rising.  The team has been rumored to be looking for another PG to help Herschel not feel so much pressure and get a break when he hits a slump.

 

That is a review of the Blaze.  While the may have an awful record, being very young it is easy to see the bright side of things.  Also, in the off-season the team will have enough money to maybe offer 2 max contracts to people to mesh with the young guys.  Stay tuned, the future looks bright.

 

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