Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rudy in the race for ACB MVP

The Trail Blazer European junket, which I've unofficially named the "Woo Rudy Fernandez World Tour", is set to depart any day now. I'll be getting updates from Kevin Pritchard and the rest of the gang as they travel overseas in search of the next diamond in the rough and I'll be sure to share that information with you as it becomes available.

While in Europe, the scouting staff is sure to see Rudy play with his ACB team, DKV Joventut Badalona, who current sit at second place in the table behind Real Madrid. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the ACB is considered by most to be the best basketball outside of the NBA.

From what I can gather with my rudimentary Spanish skills, Rudy is the odds-on favorite to win the league MVP this season, but he does have some competition from Akasvayu Girona's Marc Gasol (whose right are owned by the Memphis Grizzlies) and Real Madrid's Felipe Reyes. The first video is a highlight compilation from all three players in the hunt for the ACB MVP. My favorite Rudy highlight occurs at the 1:23 mark. Rudy pokes the ball away on defense, levels the guy whose pocket he just picked, then finishes by dishing a behind-the-back pass for a Jerome Moiso dunk.

And to give you a little better idea of what KP and the scouts might see while they're over in Spain, check out the highlights from DKV Joventut's 94-69 victory again Kalise Gran Canaria, which happens to be the team Joel Freeland, another Blazer draft pick, plays for in the ACB. Rudy finished with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting (4-of-6 from three), four rebounds and 4 assists. Freeland finished with two points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.

There's a nice baseline dunk by Rudy at the 1:25 mark. From what I can tell, there are no Freeland highlights.

Here is the highlight package from DKV Joventut's 101-93 victory against Real Madrid. In the matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the ACB, Rudy poured it on with 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting (8-of-11 from three), four assists and a rebound.

Fernandez mixes it up a little in this one. At the 1:35 mark, Rudy dishes out a hard and somewhat late foul. The fellow who was on the receiving end was none too happy about the contact, retaliating by drilling Rudy in the chest with his shoulder. Who says European players are soft?

Rudy also throws a nice inbounds pass to Ricky Rubio (a sure-fire NBAer when he's eligible) for an easy two at the 2:20 mark.


Sophia said...

I love all the videos, they keep us informed and up to date with Rudy...i hope we arent counting our chickens before they hatch.
Thanks again though.


Casey Holdahl said...

No counting chickens just yet Sophia. To take a page out of the Kevin Pritchard public speaking playbook:

Do I think Rudy coming over next year is guaranteed? I don't, but do I think there's a pretty good chance that he will? Absolutely.

Tom said...

Does Rudy have some sort of right shoulder injury?

Tom said...

Does Rudy have some sort of right shoulder injury?