Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another high profile player arrives in Israel

After cutting Dwayne Mitchell last week, Maccabi Rishon Lezion made a high profile replacement yesterday, adding Vander Blue to the roster. Blue has played for Marquette during the last three seasons, reaching the Sweet Sixteen in the first two, and leading the team to the Elite Eight last year while being selected Second Team All-Big East. He decided to skip his senior year and go pro, but went undrafted.

He's not the only newcomer - Barak Netanya added a fifth foreigner, Stan Okoye, the 2013 Big South Player Of The Year (playing for VMI), and Hapoel Jerusalem added Wisconsin graduate Mike Bruesewitz, that reached the Sweet Sixteen with the badgers in 2011 and 2012. Bruesewitz will be registered only for European competitions as of now.

The second cut of the season has come upon us as well, and this one doesn't surprise anyone - Maccabi Haifa released Sherwood Brown.Brown hasn't played in an official game for Haifa all season, and therefore will not be counted in the total of foreign players to have played in Israel this season, that currently stands on 52, including Okoye that already made his debut on Sunday, and including Devin Smith that has played only in Europe for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Blue and Bruesewitz will make it 54.

I will continue updating as often as I can, cheers till then, and Go Red Sox!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A few quick ones

  1. The World Series starts tomorrow.My prediction - Boston in 5, Mike Napoli is the Series MVP, Boston's bats destroy Michael Wacha.
  2. The end of the season couldn't have come sooner. I really feel overloaded with baseball this year.I hope my Red Sox wrap up this series fast.
  3. Two weeks of Israeli basketball have passed, and we already have the first foreigner cut - and unlike the rumors, it wasn't Sherwood Brown, but Maccabi Rishon's Dwayne Mitchell, who averaged 13 minutes and 2.5 per game in the first two weeks. His teammate Brian Hopkins is rumoured to be the next one to go.His replacement will be the 52nd foreign player to play in Israel this season. At least semi-officially, as Brown and Devin Smith still haven't played in the league so far, and Brown has yet to make an official appearance for Haifa.
  4. Wasn't this Monday's game between the Vikings and the Giants the NFL's equivalent of the stoppable force meeting the movable object? Think about it.
  5. College Hoops return soon. Can't wait.
Cheers till the next time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013-2014 Israeli Super League Basketball preview

Another season of the Israeli Super League starts this Sunday.Instead of actually reviewing the teams and their chances to win a meaningless title, I decided to review all the foreign players that will be playing in the league this season - one of them might turn up to be the next P.J. Tucker.I'll scroll team by team, starting with last season's champions from Mount Carmel.

Maccabi Haifa
  • Sherwood Brown - Brown is projected to be one of the most exciting players in the league, after a great performance with Florida Gulf Coast, leading the #15 seed to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and the Atlantic Sun Player Of The Year award along the way.
  • David Cubillan - The Venezualan point guard has played at Marquette, without any outstanding achievements
  • Donta Smith - Continues for a second season in Haifa, a junior college graduate and a second round pick in 2004 by the Atlanta Hawks (never appeared for them). In addition to the Israeli title last year Smith has also won league championships in Australia (2009, final series MVP), Venezuela (2011, final series MVP) and Puerto Rico (2012, league MVP)
  • Brian Randle - An Israeli Super League veteran, having played previously for two seasons for Gilboa Galil (including a championship in 2010), another two seasons for Hapoel Jerusalem, and half a season last year with Hapoel Tel Aviv. In his college career Randle has played for Illinois, reaching the NCAA finals in his sophmore year alongside Deron Williams, winning the Big Ten Tournament in the same year as well.
  • Ike Ofoegbu - The Nigerian has played his college career for SMU, which is much more known for its football program than the basketball one.
Maccabi Tel Aviv
  • Devin Smith - Starting his third season for Maccabi. Previously played in Italy, Greece and Turkey, and before that for the Virginia Cavaleers.
  • Tyrese Rice - Rice has played in Greece, Lithuania and Germany since going undrafted in 2009. His Boston College team has reached the Sweet Sixteen in his freshman year in 2006
  • Ricky Hickman - Another returning player for Maccabi. Played his college career in UNC Greensboro.
  • Sofoklis Schortsanitis - Has played for Maccabi for two seasons, now returns for another one after a one season spell in Panathanaikos which ended in winning the Greek Championship. Has also 5 seasons in Olympiacos and a second round pick by the Clippers in his resume.Was a member of the 2006 Greece team that eliminated the American team in the World Championship semi finals and lost to Spain in the finals.
  • Joe Ingles - The Australian comes to Maccabi after a three year spell in Barcelona, winning two Spanish championships during that time
  • Shawn James - Starts his sixth season in Israel (three for now defunct Bnei HaSharon, and the third one for Maccabi). Was elected All Euroleague Second Team last year.
Hapoel Jerusalem
  • Ronald Dupree - Has played in 157 games across 6 seasons in the NBA with the Bulls, Pistons, Timberwolves, Supersonics and Raptors.Won the SEC title and reached the Sweet Sixteen in his freshman year at LSU
  • Derwin Kitchen - The Florida State alumni returns to Israel after dividing his playing time last year between Panathanaikos and Cedevita Zagreb.Played for Maccabi Rishon in 2011-2012.Was a member of the 2010-2011 Seminoles team that made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
  • Artiom Parakhouski - The Belorussian center played two years of his college career for Radford where he was selected Big South Player Of The Year in 2009 and 2010 (in that year he also led the country in rebounding).
  • Josh Duncan - Returning for a second season in Jerusalem and the third in total in Israel (played for Ashdod two years ago). Played his college career in Xavier, where he was selected Atlantic 10 Sixth Man Of The Year in 2008, and reached the Elite Eight in the same year.
Hapoel Eilat 
  • Christian Watford - One of the leading inspirations to this post.First season out of Indiana University, where he reached the Sweet Sixteen in the last two seasons, and had this winning shot against Kentucky.
  • Kevin Palmer - Played for two years for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, played in Greece and Japan since.
  • Terrence Roderick - Left college at UAB after his sophomore year.Played in Austria and Italy since.
  • Yancy Gates - Played his college career at Cincinnati, reaching the Sweet Sixteen in his senior season in 2012, along with being selected Second Team All-Big East. 
Hapoel Tel Aviv
  • Carlon Brown - Playing his first season outside of the United States.Split his college career between Utah and Colorado, leading the Buffaloes to a Pac-12 tournament title while winning the tournament MOP award in 2012
  • Vincent Council - Playing his first season outside of college, having graduated from Providence last year.
  • Justin Harper - The 32nd selection in the 2011 NBA Draft (by Cleveland) has played for 15 games (including one playoff appearance) for Orlando in 2011-2012.Has also played for Strasbourg in France during the NBA lockout.Was Brown's teammate last year in D-League's Idaho Stampede.Graduated from Richmond.
  • Josh Owens - Another player that played for Idaho Stampede last year.Graduated from Stanford, having been selected Second Team All-Pac-12 in 2012
Gilboa Galil
  • Rick Jackson - A Syracuse graduate, was elected Big East Defensive Player Of The Year and Second Team All-Big-East in his senior season in 2011.Also played for a season for Roanne in France
  • Adrian Banks - After a season of playing in Italy, the Arkansas State alumni makes his return to Israel where he already played for Barak Netanya for two seasons and was the top scorer in the league in 2012
  • Gerald Robinson - After having played in Great Britain, Germany, Iceland, Holland, Cyprus and Belgium, adds another league to his resume.
  • Drago Pasalic - The Croatian center has also played all across Europe before arriving at Gilboa.
Hapoel Holon
  • Brian Asbury - Another player that returns to Israel after a one year absence, having played in Spain last year after a season in Barak Netanya, and previously three seasons in the National League - two with Kiryat Tivon and one with Hapoel Tel Aviv. Graduated from Miami University.
  • Anthony Goods - Arrived in Israel in mid last year, joining Hapoel Tel Aviv.Played in Ukraine and Italy after graduating for Stanford in 2009
  • Laurence Bowers - First season out of college for the Missouri graduate, after having been selected Second Team All-SEC in his senior year
  • Jerai Grant - The son of former NBA player Harvey Grant, and nephew of four time NBA champion Horace Grant went to Clemson, just like his father and uncle, and played in Australia and Italy after graduating in 2011.Was selected All-ACC Defensive Team in his senior year.
Barak Netanya
  • Kenny Boynton - One of the most interesting players in the league for the upcoming season.Comes to Netanya straight out of Florida University, where he was selected All-SEC team in his junior year and Second All-SEC team in his sophomore and senior years, and also reached the Elite Eight in the last three seasons.
  • Rashaun Freeman - Played two years ago for Maccabi Habik'a, returns to Israel after splitting the previous season between France and Bosnia.Was selected All-Atlantic 10 First Team three times in a row during his tenure at U-Mass.
  • Julien Mills - Stays in Israel for a second season in a row, having played for Ashkelon last year.Was selected Statistical Player Of The Year in the Dutch League in 2011.Graduated from Ball State in 2007.
  • Bennet Davis - The Bahaman born has been playing all over the globe after graduating from Northeastern in 2007, now returns to where he started his professional career, having played for Ramat Gan in 2007-2008.
Maccabi Rishon
  • Dwayne Mitchell - Returns for a second spell in Rishon LeZion after having played for them in 2010-2011, also played for Holon in the season before that and for Ashkelon in the following one.
  • Tasmin Mitchell - Just like the other Mitchell on the team - returns to Israel after a one year absence, having played for Hapoel Holon two years ago.Was selected Second Team All-SEC in his senior year in 2010 and First Team All-SEC in 2009 while playing for LSU. Participated in the 2005 McDonald's All American game, playing alongside Andrew Bynum and Danny Green.
  • Ricardo Marsh - Another player on the Rishon squad with previous experience in Israel, having played for Ashkelon at 2006-2007 season.Played in Turkey, Croatia, Ukraine, Latvia, Serbia, Venezuela and even Iraq after that.
  • Bryan Hopkins - Joins Rishon after playing for Belgium's Antwerp Giants for the past 5 years.Played his college career at SMU having graduated in 2006
Bnei Hertzeliya
  • Chris Warren - Alike several other players that will play in the Super League in the upcoming season, the South Carolina graduate has played all over the world prior to arriving in Israel, with his career peak being having played several Euroleague seasons for Cibona and Avellino.
  • Jakim Donaldson - Has played most of his professional career (6 out of 8 seasons, including 6 of the last 7) for CB Canarias of Spain, having promoted with them from the third league in Spain to the ACB, winning the second division MVP title in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
  • Ndudi Ebi - Returns to a second spell at Hertzeliya, having played for the team in its' previous incarnation as Bnei HaSharon in 2007-2008. Was selected 26th in the 2003 NBA Draft by Minnesota out of high school, but played only 19 games for them in two seasons.
  • Michael Umeh - Played in Spain and Germany after graduating from UNLV in 2007, reaching the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in his senior year.Regularly plays for the Nigerian national team, having won the bronze medal with them at the 2011 African Championship.
 Maccabi Ashdod
  • Marcus Dove - Another player that continues in the Super League for the second straight year, having played for Ashkelon last season.Played his college career for Oklahoma State, sharing the 2007 Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Year award with Mario Chalmers.
  • Kenny Hayes - Also continues for a second season in Israel, joining Ashdod from Gilboa Galil.
  • Ryan Pearson - Played in Ukraine last year, in what was his first season out of George Mason, where he won the 2012 CAA Player Of The Year award in his senior season
  • Austin Freeman - Joined the team in mid last season from Hapoel Eilat, and continues for his second season in Israel.Played his college career for Georgetown, where was selected First Team All-Big East in his senior year in 2011 and Second Team in the previous year.
Ironi Nes-Ziona
  • Preston Knowles -The former Louisville Cardinals point guard was elected Second Team All-Big East in 2011 (his senior year) alonside Gilboa's Rick Jackson
  • Tyler Honeycutt - Was selected at number 35 by Sacramento in the 2011 NBA Draft as a sophomore out of UCLA, played 24 games in two seasons with the Kings.Was selected All-Pac 10 in his sophomore season.Will be playing his first season outside of the United States.
  • Warren Carter - Another returning player, having played for Gilboa Galil in 2010-2011 and 8 games for Barak Netanya in the following season.Was Derron Williams' and Brian Randle's teammate on the Illinois team that lost to North Carolina in the 2005 NCAA Finals.
  • Mitchell Watt - Played for Gilboa Galil last season, that was his first one out of college (Buffalo) and stayed in Israel for a second year.
So there you have it - 12 teams, 51 foreign players.I will follow the rosters throughout the year, it will be interesting to see how many of those actually finish the season here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

UFC - a live twitter exchange between Dana White and Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole

Dana White is not known as a man that holds back his thoughts, especially when irritated.So the following remark from Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole  (one of the most respected journalists in the sport, in my opinion) an hour ago triggered what was maybe not a full pledged Dana White style assault, but definitely a harsh response
Vitor Belfort's last two fights were indeed in Brazil - A knockout of Luke Rockhold in May, and another KO, of Michael Bisping in January.His previous fight was the infamous last moment substitution against Jon Jones in Canada last September.Now he's scheduled another fight in Brazil, against Dan Henderson in November - a rematch of a 2006 fight in Pride, after which Belfort tested positive for elevated level of testosterone.
But it wasn't the neglection of the Jones fight that lit a fire under White.It was the last word of Iole's tweet.And so it began.
Immediately followed by

Iole then asked the question directly
White obviously would have the last word

At this point the twitter exchange stopped.Maybe Iole did indeed call White. It was an interesting point raised by Iole, regarding the lacking drug tests in Brazil.Personally - I doubt White would knowingly allow Belfort to cheat and present him with a shortcut.Vitor Belfort is indeed a major draw in Brazil, and it does make sense from a business point of view to let him fight in Brazil.For example GSP's last four fights were held in Canada, three of which - in his native Quebec.

It will be interesting to read Kevin Iole's next Yahoo Sports column, and see his take on this word exchange.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Baseball - preview of the second half of the season

The all star break ends tomorrow, its a good time to preview what awaits us in the second half of the season.

I'll start with the AL East, where my Boston Red Sox are leading the majors so far, despite a shaky bullpen and, in my opinion, an overachieving rotation that will probably see Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront drop in production in the second half of the season.It will be interesting to see how and when does Clay Buchholtz return from his injury, and how long can Jon Lester continue beeing the weak spot in the rotation.After Brandon Workman's stellar debut as a starter it seems like the Sox at least have some depth (along with Allen Webster). It will be also interesting to see when will top prospect Xander Bogaerts make his debut, and what will he look like then.
The Sox are currently leading the division by 2.5 over Tampa Bay and 4.5 over Baltimore, which of course leads to another interesting question - when and by how much will Chris Davis' home run rate slow down? I don't really see him breaking Roger Maris' record (forget the PED controversy with McGwire and Bonds, Roger Maris is still the all time single season record holder at least in the American League), but will he reach 55?
And will Miguel Cabrera reach 50 and at least challenge for another Triple Crown? And speaking of the Tigers, after Max Scherzer had his first loss of the season right before the break - will it be the beginning of a slide, or will he continue to dominate and keep being the leading AL Cy Young candidate? The Tigers have a 1.5 game lead over the Indians, that seem like just won't give up.Considering Cleveland's relatively easy schedule in the remainder of the season, this could turn up to be an epic battle for the division.
In the AL West it will be Oakland vs. Texas all the way.It's funny to see the Angels have almost the same distance from Oakland (11 games) as they have from Houston (11.5). Did I say funny? I meant sad.
Moving to the National League - starting with the East.It currently looks like it's Atlanta's to lose with a 6 game lead over Washington and 6.5 over Philadelphia.The Phillies seem like they're overachieving, and the drop is soon to come, but with Cole Hammels still shaky they do have room to impove.The Nationals are making everybody expect the rise that will come - it hasn't come yet, but there still is time.
The NL Central  is currently where the action is.St. Louis are leading Pittsburgh by one game and Cincinnati by 5.Its going to be close, and everybody will keep asking the same question - will Pittsburgh make it to the playoffs? That, of course, after they're done with asking whether Pittsburgh will finish over .500.
And in the NL West it will be all about the Dodgers vs. Arizona. Currently the Diamondbacks are 2.5 games ahead, but anything can happen, especially with Yasiel Puig (a whole story by itself - will he suffer from a production drop once the opposing pitchers get used to him?), Clayton Kershaw and whoever else will join at the trade deadline.The Rockies are still hanging in, but I doubt they'll stay relevant in September, and the Giants are definitely out of it.

So there it is in brief, a lot of storylines to follow in the second half, I'll try to post more as the season progresses.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Previewing Sports Sunday - March 10th

There is no football or baseball played, so it can't exactly qualify as a Super Sports Sunday, however we do have a day filled with great College Hoops games, as some of the conferences finish off their regular season, and other, low-level ones, are already deep inside their conference tourneys.There is also some early-hour NBA and English FA cup and Premier League soccer.A lot of stuff to preview, so here we go.I'll start with today's College Hoops, which will be my main topic of interest in the next three weeks, all the way till March Madness ends.

The Big Ten finale seems a crazy enough finale for this insane season.Indiana are traveling to Michigan, and a victory will guarantee them the solo regular season conference title, which they could have clinched last week, if they have beat Ohio State at home.Which they didn't.Now a loss in Ann Arbor will not only share the conference title with Michigan, but also give Ohio State (hosting Illinois) and Michigan State (hosting second to last Northwestern, that won only two conference games on the road, one of which was at Penn State) a share of the title in case of a victory.

VCU will be travelling to Temple, where a victory will give them a share of the Atlantic 10 title in their first season at the conference.In case of a loss - St. Louis will hold the title alone, which will be an appropriate ending to a very emotional season for the Billikens, following Rick Majerus' death in December.For Temple it will be the last ever home game in the Atlantic 10, as they're moving to the "Old" Big East after 21 years in the A-10.

The finals of the Missouri Valley Conference tourney will be also held today, as the two best teams in the division, Creighton and Wichita State will be playing each other for the third time this season (each won their home game). Wichita State are trying to win the title for the first time since 1987, while Creighton won it last year, beating Illinois State in the finals.

Another conference that will be having it's finals today is the Big South, where surprising Liberty, that eliminated North Division top ranked team High Point in the quarterfinals, followed by a victory over South Division second ranked Gardner-Webb will be playing South Division's top team, Charleston Southern that have won the title for the last time in 1997, beating none other than Liberty (that have won it last in 2004).

Outside of College Hoops, two highly interesting matches will be played in England.In the FA cup Manchester United will be hosting Chelsea in a game that always delivers the drama.In addition, in the Premier League Liverpool will be hosting third placed Tottenham Hotspur, with Gareth Bale on fire as he's been seemingly all season.
Another interesting match in European soccer will be held in France, as second placed Lyon will host third placed Marseilles, as both teams try to gain ground in the race for the Champions League spots, and not to let PSG run away with the championship.

If it's not enough - in the NBA the Celtics are travelling to Oklahoma City in today's early game.Boston are currently #6 in the East, but could finish the night at #5, in case of a win and a Bulls loss to the Lakers in tonight's second early game.OKC will do all they can to avoid a stumble as they're chasing San Antonio for the top spot in the West.

So these are the main stories to follow today, and I didn't even include a full day of tennis action at the Indian Wells tourneys (both men and women) and Italian Serie A soccer.
So as usual - pour yourself a pint of beer, grab something to eat, and let's all enjoy the games!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NBA Draft - #2 vs. #3

Getting the second draft pick is supposed to be better than the third, right? You're getting the better player.Pretty simple, isn't it? But lets take a look at the recent history and see if the outcome truly met the expectation.
For this analysis I checked the 20 drafts between 1992-2011.Its too early to determine the outcome for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal, the #2 and #3 picks in the last draft, so I'll put them aside for now.I'll rank each player on the following scale:
10 - Hall Of Fame lock (the LeBrons, Shaqs and Kobes of the world)
9 - Franchise player, a tier below Hall Of Fame (for example: Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard)
8 - All Star (Joakim Noah, Zach Randolph)
7 - Solid starter (Andre Miller, Raymond Felton)
6 - Rotation player (Randy Foye, Mike Miller)
5 - Bust (Eddy Curry, Shaun Livingston)
4 - Complete bust (Michael Olowokandi, Dajuan Wagner)

I'll keep both the accumulated score, and the head-to-head for each draft.Lets see what conclusions will we find

1992 - Alonzo Mourning vs. Christian Laettner
Zo is the classic 9.Laettner did make one All-Star appearance (in 1997) but he's a 7, not an 8.So its a decisive victory for the #2s.

Acummulated score: 9-7 for #2s
Head-to-Head score: 1-0 for #2s

1993 - Shawn Bradley vs. Penny Hardaway
Bradley is widely considered a bust, but he actually had a solid career, playing in the league for 12 years and averaging 23 minutes per game.Thats enough to earn him a 6.
Penny could have been a 10 if it wasn't for his injuries.He was a 9 for three seasons after Shaq left Orlando, but that's not enough to earn him that grade.I'll grade him an 8.
#3s win this one, and we're tied.

Acummulated score: 15-15
Head-to-Head score: 1-1 

1994 - Jason Kidd vs. Grant Hill
One of the best #2-#3 tandems in the last 20 years.Kidd was consistently one of the best point guards in the league, has one championship ring and two Finals appearances.He's probably the second best #2 pick in that time frame, so no doubt here - 10.
Hill could have been there as well, but like Hardaway, injuries have hurt his career bad enough.He's still a solid 8, though

Acummulated score: 25-23 #2s
Head-to-Head score: 2-1  #2s

1995 - Antonio McDyess vs. Jerry Stackhouse
It was very hard to compare those two.Stackhouse has two All-Star appearances, McDyess has one.What probably makes the difference is that Stackhouse was the best player on his team in his peak (with Detroit in the late 90s), McDyess never was.In addition Stackhouses's peak has lasted longer.So it will be 8 for Stackhouse, 7 for McDyess.

Acummulated score: 32-31 #2s
Head-to-Head score: 2-2

1996 - Marcus Camby vs. Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Abdur-Rahim has made the All-Star team once, and was the best player on weak teams for several seasons, averaging at least 19.9 points for seven straight seasons.Camby was always the definition of a solid starter. 8-7 for Abdur-Rahim.

Acummulated score: 39-39
Head-to-Head score: 3-2 #3s

1997 - Keith Van Horn vs. Chauncey Billups
Van Horn is another example of a player that most remember for not living up to the hype, but forget he was actually quite a good player, averaging over 15 points in each of his first seven seasons.He's a 7.
Billups, on the other hand, has 5 All-Star appearances and a record of being the leader of pretty much every place he step his feet at.The 2004 NBA Finals MVP award solidifies his grade as a 9

Acummulated score: 48-46 #3s
Head-to-Head score: 4-2 #3s

1998 - Mike Bibby vs. Raef LaFrentz
I was shocked to find out that Bibby has never made an All-Star team.During is Sacramento years he definitely played like an All-Star, and was a centerpiece for a legendary team (although not their superstar).He'll get an 8, even without having an All-Star appearance.
LaFrentz has had only 5 seasons with over 75 games, another one with 69.When he was healthy he would have qualified for a solid starter grade, but he wasn't healthy enough.It will be a 6, #2s claw one back.

Acummulated score: 54-54 
Head-to-Head score: 4-3 #3s

1999 - Steve Francis vs. Baron Davis
Both have multiple All-Star appearances, so they both qualify for an 8.Neither is good enough to make a 9.Francis had a much shorter peak, and a bigger crash, so even though both get an 8, Davis will get an advantage in the head-to-head.

Acummulated score: 62-62 
Head-to-Head score: 5-3 #3s

2000 - Stromile Swift vs. Darius Miles
Ugh.Miles had about two seasons as a rotation player.Swift was a journey man that did pretty much nothing.5 to each, with Miles getting the head-to-head advantage for having at least some value at his peak.

Acummulated score: 67-67 
Head-to-Head score: 6-3 #3s

2001 - Tyson Chandler vs. Pau Gasol
It took Chandler time to solidify himself as an All-Star level player.Gasol made impact from the beginning, and was the franchise player for a playoff team in Memphis and then the second best player on a two-time championship team in LA.9-8 Gasol.

Acummulated score: 76-75 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 7-3 #3s

2002 - Jay Williams vs. Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Williams is the definition of a total bust.4, without question.
Dunleavy has averaged 9.9 points or more in every season except for his rookie year, and did start in more than two thirds of his games.He gets a solid starter's 7.

Acummulated score: 83-79 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 8-3 #3s

2003 - Darko Milicic vs. Carmelo Anthony
At first I thought Milicic could pass as a rotation player, but then I took a closer look at his numbers.He has never averaged more than 9 points or 26 minutes per game.That can only qualify as a 5.
Anthony isn't quite at the LeBron-Kobe-Durant level, he'll get a 9. Looks like the #3s continue pulling away.

Acummulated score: 92-83 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 9-3 #3s

2004 - Emeka Okafor vs. Ben Gordon 
Emeka was a solid starter throughout his career. Gordon was usually a sixth player (what gave him the Sixth Man Of The Year award in his rookie season) but produces starter numbers.Both get a 7, with Okafor getting the head-to-head advantage.

Acummulated score: 99-90 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 9-4 #3s

2005 - Marvin Williams vs. Deron Williams
Marvin Williams is a #2 that will always be defined by the defined by the two guys that followed him.He himself is actually a good player, good enough to get solid starter grade.
Deron, of course, is another story.Like Carmelo - not good enough for a 10, but definitely good enough for a 9.

Acummulated score: 108-97 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 10-4 #3s

2006 - LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Adam Morrison
Finally the #2s get their big break.Aldridge is currently a solidified All-Star, with potential to rise the the Anthony-Deron-Bosh level.Morrison, on the other hand, was a complete bust.So thats 8-4 for the #2s.

Acummulated score: 112-105 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 10-5 #3s

2007 - Kevin Durant vs. Al Horford
Durant is the best #2 pick in the 20 year time span, maybe even in history, and a sure Hall Of Fame lock.Horford already has two All-Star appearances, with probably more to come. 10-8 #2s.

Acummulated score: 120-115 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 10-6 #3s

2008 - Michael Beasley vs. O.J. Mayo
Being a Suns fan, it's hard for me to be objective regarding Beasley.Objectively his numbers are good enough for a starter.Mayo has revived his career and his starter status this year in Dallas.Both will get a 7, however Mayo's career is on its way up, Beasley's seems on its way down, Mayo will get the head-to-head advantage.

Acummulated score: 127-122 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 11-6 #3s

2009 - Hasheem Thabeet vs. James Harden
The total bust vs. the player that is currently setting himself up as a franchise player in Houston.9-4 Harden.

Acummulated score: 136-126 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 12-6 #3s

2010 - Evan Turner vs. Derrick Favors
That's a tough one, considering the fact that neither of them has truly broken out yet.However Turner has already broken into the Philly starting 5, Favors hasn't (not completely by his fault - Utah is currently loaded in his position).It will be 7-6 for Turner.

Acummulated score: 142-133 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 12-7 #3s

2011 - Derrick Williams vs. Enes Kanter
Another tough one.Williams has received some chances and didn't take advantage of them, Kanter didn't even have this yet.Its too early to call either of them a bust, so they'll both get a 6, and Williams will get the advantage.

Acummulated score: 148-139 #3s 
Head-to-Head score: 12-8 #3s

So there we have it.In 60% of the drafts in the last 20 years the #3 pick turned out better than the #2.On average the #2 pick produces a player of 6.95 - a solid starter, while #3 produces 7.4 - an above average starter.
I could have played with the numbers a bit more, draw some more conclusions.I might do it, but it will be in a different time, in a different post.

Cheers till the next time.