Prospect Analysis: JR Giddens
Posted by r1zzo23 on June 27, 2008
JR Giddens was a McDonald’s All-American and winner of multiple dunk contests when he was a senior with Lebron James. He was heading to Kansas to play for Bill Self, nothing but the norm for KU. He’s a freak athlete with long arms and legs, jumps out of the building and has good distance on his jumper. In his two seasons at Kansas, he averaged over ten points and three rebounds a game. Not overly impressive, but as an underclassmen on a heavily talented squad like Kansas, you can’t ask for much more. He had his usual steal and block numbers, probably more from his length than his desire on that end of the floor. Giddens had a chance to make a name for himself at Kansas, but he didn’t make the best decisions.
Giddens had always had some attitude problems, but one night during his sophomore season, he got into a bar fight off campus. During the fight, he got stabbed in the calf and required 30 stitches. At season’s end, both JR and Coach Self both agreed that transferring out of Kansas was the right thing to do.
After leaving Lawrence, Kansas, Giddens found himself sitting out a season at New Mexico. Going from the Big 12 to Mountain West conference, how could you not expect this kid to come in and be the man? He certainly did and it wasn’t exactly a good thing. Lobos coach, Steve Alford, suspended Giddens late in his junior season for, if nothing more, being a bad teammate. That could have been the turning point in this kid’s career as he came back his senior season and showed he has turned into a responsible adult.
In his final season at New Mexico, Giddens averaged 16.3 points, but more impressive were his 8.8 rebounds as a shooting guard. Those type of numbers, coupled with his unhuman athletic ability, give the Celtics a nice option off the bench behind Pierce, Allen and hopefully Posey. Not only can this kid put the ball in the bucket, but his length makes him a pest on defense. Although not always as dedicated to the defensive end of the floor as he was offense, on a championship team that prides itself on shutting down the opponent, how can you not get motivated?
There were plenty of choices Ainge could have made instead of Giddens. Mario Chalmers, point guard of the national champion Jayhawks, was on the board. If Giddens was still on that team, I bet he would have went a lot higher than 30th. Chris Douglas-Roberts, a first team All-American and leader of the runner-up Memphis Tigers, was waiting to be picked by anyone who would bite. Celtics could use a backup center and DeAndre Jordan could have been a great option to grab and let Clifford Ray go to work with. Instead of taking any of these prospects, Ainge hung his hat on Giddens. He was brought in for two workouts the day before the draft. Danny was already sold on the kid. Doc, watching his fire and competitive spirit on the court, quickly saw that this kid could be a great pick for the Celtics.
JR Giddens comes to a veteran loaded team and has no pressure to perform at a high level any time soon. If he sticks around with players like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, he should be in good shape. He should be able to give some easy buckets for this offense while being a viable option for defensive substitutions late in quarters to give the starters a breather. He has a chance to make a name for himself and win a title very early in his career. The pressure is now back on him to show us that Danny didn’t make a mistake by taking this kid.