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Thunder tonic: South American players

Thunder tonic: South American players
May 13, 2009 (The Daily Oklahoman delivered by Newstex ) --

Im joining a new fan club. The South American NBA Players fan club. Watching these playoffs, Ive?figured out what the Thunder needs. A couple of South Americans. Brazil, Argentina, doesnt matter. South Americans generally play defense, particularly around the basket. They also hustle, scrap and dont seem to care if they shoot the ball or not.

Thats exactly what the Thunder needs. Heres the lineup of the NBAs South Americans:

Houstons Luis Scola is from Argentina. Theres a reason the Rockets didnt wither without Tracy McGrady and then even beat the Lakers without Yao Ming. Guys like Scola play tough. Scola averaged 12.7 points and 8.8 rebounds this season. In the playoffs, those numbers are 13.8 and 8.3.

Clevelands Andersen Varejao (Brazil) is the long-haired, high-energy post man who does the dirty work for the LeBron James? Gang. Varejao is an excellent defender who averages 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds. Those numbers arent much compared to the high-profile scorers, but Varejao is worth his weight in Carlos Boozers. Varejao has the option of becoming a free agent this summer; be still my heart.

Denvers Nene (Brazil) needs a last name (or is it a first?), but hes another high-energy center, only with more offense. NeNe has been injury-prone, playing in just 81 games the previous three seasons. But weve seen? this season, in Denvers breakout year, what he can do, averaging 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds.

San Antonios Manu Ginobili (Argentina), I assume you know about. Besides being a wonderful all-around player, hes apparently a world-class teammate whether on the Spurs or on the Argentine national team.

Phoenixs Leandro Barbosa (Brazil). Basically the last of the Suns gazelle-like wing men. Raja Bell and Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw are gone. But Barbosa remains. Hes not the same kind of player as Scola and Varejao; Barbosa likes to shoot, and I dont know how much defense he plays, but he averaged 14.2 points for the Suns and remains a memory of better days in Phoenix.

Sacramentos Andres Nocioni (Argentina). Unlike his countrymen, hes a big guy who?likes to shoot. Traded from Chicago in the John Salmons deal, Nocioni averaged 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds this season.

Detroits Walter Herrman (Argentina). Averaged 9.2 points a game? as a 26-year-old rookie with the Bobcats two years ago. Now is averaging just 10.7 minutes a game with the Pistons as a 6-foot-9 role player. But Detroit generally knows what to do with ballplayers, and Herrman could still develop.

San Antonios Fabricio Oberto (Argentina). Luis Scola light. They are former teammates; the Spurs had the rights to both and signed Oberto when they couldnt get Scola freed from his contract. Oberto is another high-energy, defensive-minded big man who doesnt put up big numbers (2.6, 2.6 this season) but helps you win ballgames.

Newstex ID: 34890943

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 14, 2009


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