FIVE NBA THOUGHTS: Greetings from San Francisco! This is one of my favorite cities. Today, we'll look at five frontcourt players today, here from the Bay Area.
1. AMIR JOHNSON (Raptors): I can't figure out what the issue or problem is, but based upon what I'm seeing, he's not right. He's one of my all-time favourite people in the 16 years I've spent as a broadcaster and I can't put my finger on why he's in a funk. He's not playing with the same energy or enthusiasm that we're used to seeing. I don't see the smile and happy disposition, either. Hopefully, for his sake and his team's sake, this is just a blip on the radar. Johnson is truly one of the good guys in the profession and leaves everything he has on the court for you. The Raptors need him at his best. If not, they're in big trouble.
2. ANTHONY DAVIS (Pelicans): It was a tough break for him with the hand injury in New York last night. He's been playing wonderful ball and has been making nice strides in his overall game. I love his shot-blocking and rebounding ability and his offensive game with added strength and stamina will continue to emerge. The concern you have with him is going to be whether or not he can stay healthy enough to log a major number of games each season, so that his improvements become habit and reach that next level. Only time will tell, but he's shown me in one season plus this one that he's got a chance to be a really good one...IF he stays healthy.
3. ROBERT SACRE (Lakers): The Canadian has been getting a little bit of run this season and it's nice to see his numbers from last night's game vs. Portland (12 points with seven boards and four assists.) It's never easy being on a team where you know you're minutes are going to be limited. From what I've seen this year, when his name is called, he comes in the game and gives you great energy and passion. That goes a long way in helping your chances to stick around in the NBA. Good for him.
4. ANDRE DRUMMOND (Pistons): Wow. What a game vs. the Sixers last night (31 points and 19 rebounds.) Consider what would happen if he could ever make free throws (he was seven for 18 last night.) He's a remarkable talent who is an example of the importance in finding a few skills that you do really, really well and hanging your hat on them. If you do, good things will happen for you. He is a terror on the glass, finishes in the lane and alters a bunch of shots. Drummond was just a terrific draft pick for Joe Dumars. He's far from polished, but he's an impact guy.
5. TIMOFEY MOZGOV (Nuggets): I've had a chance to watch this young man develop over the years and he's a fascinating guy to watch. He made a few elite, big time plays yesterday for his team against Toronto yesterday. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if this guy was a throw in during the Carmelo Anthony trade, what was Knicks owner James Dolan thinking? He forced team president Donnie Walsh to pay a king's ransom for 'Melo and former Nuggets GM and current Raptors GM Masai Ujuri fleeced them. This guy has a load of talent and plays very hard, as well. He's got the motor you want in a big man and a nice guy to bring off the bench - what a luxury. Mozgov was a good get.