Mohamed Bamba could be the next Rudy Gobert Anthony Miller Jersey , and that’s why he’s expected to go very high in the NBA draft.
The towering 7-footer from Harlem, who played his one collegiate season at Texas, worked out individually with Phoenix on Saturday, the third player to do so this week as the Suns weigh their options with the No. 1 overall pick this month in the NBA draft.
Deandre Ayton worked out Wednesday and Marvin Bagley III on Friday.
”Mo had a really good workout,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said. ”His wingspan, his standing reach, is off the charts. His ability to protect the rim I think will be elite at the NBA level, in addition to his ability to rebound the ball. Another thing that stood out to us in his workout today is we can tell he’s been working on his shooting.”
Bamba has been working with noted shooting coach Drew Hanlen and has made significant changes to his form.
McDonough described Bamba’s old form as ”a slingshot” approach with the ball released far behind the shooter’s head.
Bamba said the changes have ”made like a night-and-day difference in just my mechanics, getting the ball off smoother and having softer landing on the rim.”
”My makes are all net and my misses are landing very soft and long instead of short,” he said.
Bamba has a 7-foot-10 wingspan, the largest ever recorded at the NBA combine. McDonough said Bamba’s highest vertical jump was 12 1-2 feet, ”which is crazy.”
As for the comparison with Gobert, the shot-blocking center of the Utah Jazz, McDonough said ”honestly I think at 20 years old he’s ahead of where Rudy was.”
”Now Rudy’s made tremendous strides over the last three or four years,” McDonough said. ”The question for Mo is can he fill out his body the way Rudy has. But in terms of measurements, they’re similar. In terms of the willingness and desire to anchor a defense and protect the rim, they’re similar. I think Mo probably is a little more mobile at the same age and Rudy is probably stronger, more physically developed at the same age.”
Bamba loves the comparison.
”He just changed the geometry of the game,” Bamba said. ”When he’s not blocking the shot, he’s in the back of your mind.”
McDonough calls Bamba ”a super-bright guy Rashaad Penny Jersey , one of the smarter guys I’ve seen in the last 10 or 15 years come through the pre-draft process.”
Bamba believes that intelligence will serve him well in the NBA.
”I have the natural ability to pick things up a lot faster than I think most people would,” he said, ”and I think I’ve shown that in the workout that we did today. … IQ is really big. It’s something that you really want to have on and off the court and it takes your game to the next level for sure.”
Bamba weighs 234 pounds.
”He’s super-long but he’s thin so he needs to add some length to his body, especially the lower body,” McDonough said. ”But I think from day one he’ll be able to step on the court and impact games defensively, block shots, rebound and then be an over-the-top lob threat and then build the rest of his game out from there.”
Bamba said he is working out for other teams but didn’t want to identify them. Ayton said the Suns were the only team he’s working out with. Bagley planned to work out with Sacramento and Atlanta, teams with the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively, in the June 21 draft.
Ayton said he knows he will be the No.1 pick. Bagley said he, not Ayton, deserves to be.
Bamba was more diplomatic.
”Everyone feels entitled to it, but I have no entitlement to it,” he said. ”It’s something that obviously I worked my butt off for and my whole thing is to put it in very short sentences – I do more and I require less. The Suns are more than a perfect fit for me.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights were favored to win their second-round matchups.
After losses Saturday, the Lightning and Golden Knights will be happy just to reclaim home-ice advantage.
Hours after Boston beat Tampa Bay 6-2 to take a 1-0 series lead Saturday, the Sharks handed Vegas its first postseason loss in six games with a 4-3 double-overtime victory.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper and Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said it was their teams’ worst performances of the postseason.
”I didn’t like the game we played, that was the main thing,” Gallant said Sunday before he and the Golden Knights left for San Jose. ”Not just losing in overtime, but I didn’t like the game that we played the first 40 minutes.”
And while the Lightning enjoyed six days off after eliminating New Jersey in five games, it was Boston that looked sharper after winning an emotional Game 7 at home against Toronto three nights prior.
Cooper put the Lightning through an intense Tarik Cohen Jersey , high-tempo practice Sunday in hopes of setting the tone for a more spirited performance in Game 2, after his team played with less intensity than in any of its first-round games against New Jersey.
”The purpose of our practice was to put us in the best position to be ready to play (Monday night),” Cooper said. ”Often times a lot of things in your game you develop in practice. We had a week off. We did some good things, but our game was not at a playoff level like the other team that had just played in a Game 7, and that’s what we have to bring (Monday night) or it’s going to be a long series for us.”
Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand (one goal, three assists) David Pastrnak (four assists) and Patrice Bergeron (two goals, one assist) combined for 11 points, a huge contrast from Tampa Bay’s top line of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and J.T. Miller, which went scoreless in Game 1.
”With every round, you have to elevate your game, your intensity, everything, and we didn’t,” Cooper said. ”We took a step back. A really good team showed us what happens when you do that.”
Much of the same can be said for Vegas, which looked nothing like the team that opened its second-round series with a 7-0 shellacking of San Jose. Instead of the team that looked crisp with every pass, and sharp with every shot on goal, the Golden Knights were undisciplined and sloppy through the first 40 minutes.
”We got a little too confident after Game 1, we came out a little slow in Game 2 and we just have to fix that and focus on a good start for Game 3,” Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore said. ”We can’t take those kinds of penalties. When you’re in the box for a good portion of the night it’s not going to go good. It kind of bit us in the ass.”
The Golden Knights Cheap DJ Chark Jersey , who surpassed its season-high 13 penalties in minutes with 22 PIM, found themselves in the box more than San Jose, 11-6.
Vegas is used to rolling four lines and three pairs of defensemen. Saturday the schematics changed with them spending more than a period in the penalty box collectively. And while Gallant admitted he didn’t like some of the calls against his team, or some of what he felt were missed calls, he also said his players brought a lot of it on themselves.
”I thought we had a couple of opportunities for power plays, we didn’t get them,” Gallant said. ”I don’t want our guys in the penalty box, I don’t want my top guys in the penalty box wrestling. (David) Perron took six minutes in penalties last night, (Jonathan) Marchessault’s sitting in there for roughing. You play hard, you get penalties – that’s fine. You don’t waste your time with after-the-whistle activities.”
BOUNCE BACK STRONG
Tampa Bay and Vegas have shown resiliency after a setback, as the Lightning are 19-8 following a loss, while the Golden Knights are 20-10-1.
”We know they’re going to come back faster and harder than they did, and they played a really good game (Saturday),” Marchand said of the Lightning. ”They came out fast, they came hard and it was tough to weather that storm early on. So, we can expect more of that.”
San Jose’s Brent Burns, who had two goals on Saturday, said the Sharks fixed what they needed to for Game 2, but the win meant nothing more than tying the series and it’s now just a best-of-five, not seven Cheap Dante Pettis Jersey , against a Vegas team that will be looking for revenge.
”It’s just one game,” Burns said. ”Obviously we had to win it, but it’s one game, so.”
FLURRY ON FLEURY
After allowing just three goals through the first five games, Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury allowed three in the second period alone on Saturday. His shutout in Game 1 was his third of the postseason, but the Sharks peppered him throughout Game 2, outshooting the Golden Knights, 47-29.
The 14-year veteran said the lack of discipline, and even his own mistakes, are nothing to dwell on if the Golden Knights want to steal back home-ice advantage.
”We have a good bunch of guys, we’ve been through a lot together this year,” Fleury said Sunday. ”You win 7-0 or you lose like last night, you always got to start fresh every night. I think we’ve been doing that, for the first round and the first game of San Jose. Every game is a new start, you got to start from scratch and try to win that one.”
AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida, contributed to this report.