The Bulls, Knicks, Warriors and Thunder won their first round series, but fell short of reaching the NBA's Final Four. Each team faces a pivotal offseason with many decisions to consider. Read More. Written by Daniel Leroux on May 21, 2013
Mike Krzyzewski believes the culture Tom Thibodeau has created with the Chicago Bulls is the reason the team is able to persevere through so many injuries.
"I think Thibodeau is one of the great coaches in basketball," Krzyzewski said. "He's developed a culture of tough character.”
Instead of collapsing from the absence of Derrick Rose and other key role players, the Bulls continue to win.
"I know Carlos [Boozer] obviously really well, I've coached him, I coached Luol [Deng], those kids ... they just have great character,” Krzyzewski said. “And the Bulls are a blue-collar team in a blue-collar town, and I think it's one of the great stories right now in the NBA, what the Bulls are doing.
"I think they have a philosophy that they don't talk about being sick all year. They don't talk about being hurt all year, so when the moment of truth comes in the playoffs, they're already accustomed to a certain way of living."
Miles Plumlee, who was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 26th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, has spoken with his brother Mason in preparation for the draft this June.
“The biggest thing I’ve told (Mason) is to be in great shape,” Plumlee told RealGM. “I think that’s the first thing they look for on these teams. They’ve watched all your film, they know what you can bring to the table. But just showing them how much you want it, how hard you’re willing to work for it, is really big.”
While teams heavily analyze film and scouting reports, an individual workout is also a critical component of the evaluation process.
“For me, I think it was even more important than it will be for (Mason),” Plumlee told RealGM. “I don’t think I got to demonstrate as much of my game while I was in college as he did, but it’s important for a lot of people. I think he can show them his mid-range shot and that kind of stuff that he didn’t do as much during the year.”
Unlike most post players, Miles believes Mason’s playmaking ability can separate him in this draft class.
“Our games have changed a lot since we were kids, but the biggest thing that’s stayed a part of Mason’s game from a young age is his passing ability,” Plumlee told RealGM. “I think even as a post player he’s had to work at not being a pass first guy, but I think that’ll be a great thing. He’s easy to play with, he’s going to look for the open guys, and he likes to share the ball.”
Jabari Parker said early entry to the NBA is not a certainty.
“I’m going to look into that,” Parker said of staying at Duke beyond the 2013-14 season. “I love the whole attitude of ‘staying in college,’ because I want to take advantage of it. Getting a free education is big time in my family.”
Parker wants to be viewed as a role model in his hometown of Chicago.
“Everything in my city is negative,” Parker said of how he feels his hometown is portrayed in national media. “[The media] try to bring it down so much with the violence and I’m an African-American male in my community…going to college and that’s big time.
“I want to represent them in the best form, the best manner just to keep them close to my heart so they can see that there’s a young [guy] out on the South Side doing big things.”
Mason Plumlee scored 23 points and made three running hook shots in Duke’s first-round win over Albany last week.
“I’m not overpowering,” Plumlee said. “I play against guys who are 250-plus. I can’t just back people all the way under the rim. So I have to have something I can go to and use touch and shoot over people.
“I think really at the end of last year, I felt like it was more of a go-to move for me.”
Plumlee often practices the shot during team workouts.
“We call it a running hook,” said Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski, who coaches the Blue Devils’ post players. “We don’t specifically say we’re trying to teach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s sky hook. It’s very similar.”
Jabari Parker has been named the 2013 Morgan Wootten Male Player of the Year.
Parker led Simeon to its fourth straight Illinois state title on Saturday.
"It's a big-time (honor)," Parker said of the award. "I always dreamed about being amongst the ranks of especially Chicago players, but now I can say nationwide. Hopefully, I can take this and give myself a little bit motivation."
Parker averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year after battling a foot injury early in the season. He averaged 21.7 points during the team's seven playoff victories.
The other finalists were Aaron Gordon, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Andrew Wiggins.