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The Names and the Games

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/20/2010 10:08:18 AM

With 30 National Basketball Association teams and with each squad having 12 to 15 players on the string, it can be hard sometimes to get a gauge on some of the new faces and the quality of their collective games.

Take for instance the Los Angeles Clippers 6-9, 215-pound Al-Farouq Amini. He has been starting for the upstart Clips, who are getting healthier and better by the hour.

He was a third team All-American at Wake Forest and was on the 2nd team All-ACC team after averaging nearly 16 points, 11 rebounds a game.

His game is all about length as he has an incredible 7-foot-4 wingspan and can jump out of the gym. Not quite as explosive as his teammate Blake Griffin around the rim, he is an excellent rebounder, seldom tires, gives you 110% every night and is a solid mid-range shooter.

This is not to say he’s the second coming of LeBron James as he has to work on his strength, his post up game and his perimeter shooting but if he has the heart, he has a chance to thrive and be in this league for a long time and help any team he plays for in that period.

A youngster that plies his trade in the cold confines of Toronto is off to a great season. His name is Sonny Weems and his future is so bright, he has to wear shades.

From the University of Arkansas, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2008 and made it to Canada via a trade with the Denver Nuggets.

Versatility is his calling card as he can play either guard position and small forward. He helps the Raptors, who are an overachieving team.

Weems is a human highlight film if allowed to get to the hoop on his own. He has the unique ability to get his shot off the dribble and then finish at the rim.

At this point of his career, Sonny knows he has to take the next step as far as defense is concerned but he is dedicated to that portion of his game although he has to also handle the rock better.

This guy should have a breakout year.

When you go 7 feet and 250 it’s hard to hide but that is what Earl Barron has done pretty much in his career.

The kid has been around. He has played in Turkey, the Philippines and in the D-league here at his best averaging 15 and almost 10 rebounds a game.

He has been trade bait for guys like Brendan Haywood, Tim Thomas and Keith Van Horn and is just now finding his niche.

He signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks last year and proceeded to put up double/double numbers and had a super 18-rebound game vs. the Celtics. The guy is getting his chance and is starting to contribute for the Phoenix Suns this year.

Earl is a great pick and pop guy and that’s fits perfect into the Suns style with Steve Nash running all over the place.

Don’t be shocked if he helps the Suns win and cover more than a few games this year.


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