Kris Joseph's drives and highlight-reel dunks wowed college basketball fans and sent a surge of pride through his Montreal hometown during four years at Syracuse, but fans were also left wanting more.
As it turns out, it might have been the system, not Joseph's motor, that kept him from making ESPN’s Top 10 every night.
His former assistant coach, Syracuse legend Gerry McNamara, says the 6-7 wing from Cote-des-Neiges might be one of those rare players who ends up being better in the NBA than in college.
G-Mac told Boston's WEEI Sportsradio that Joseph’s game is better suited to the faster-paced, open-court NBA showcase.
“You talk about certain guys translating better at the next level, I think Kris might be one of those guys,” said G-Mac.
Joseph's slashing ability was neutralized by the constant zone defenses - something McNamara says his former pupil won't be seeing if he makes the Celtics' roster in October.
“I think the biggest thing in college was when he went by people, there was a lot of congestion,” said McNamara. “Now at the next level it's a little bit more spaced out and now he has the ability to break people down and finish at the rim.”
Joseph was picked 51st in the second round of the 2012 draft, and he signed a contract believed to be worth about $500,000 a year.
Though second-round picks are not guaranteed to make the opening-night roster, Kris says getting a chance to play with the 2008 champion Celtics is “the best situation I could ever hope for.”
He reminds fans that he is accustomed to being the underdog.
“I went to Syracuse and playing time didn't happen as soon as I wanted it to either,” he told the Boston radio station.
He agrees with G-Mac that his slashing skills will allow him to thrive on an NBA court.
“It’s a lot more spaced out, which would give me more of a chance to create, get in there, get to the basket, that's a big part of my game,” he added.
Joseph worked out for the Celtics in June and says he had dreams about playing with the most storied franchise in NBA history.
“I texted my mom on June 3 and asked her 'how do you think I would look in Celtics green?’ ” he said.
“You get a chance to learn from a player like Paul Pierce who is a future Hall of Famer and you've got a future Hall of Fame coach in Doc Rivers. Me being able to be on that bench or just to be in the same building as those guys is just going to make me that much better.”
Kris will make his Celtics debut in the Orlando Summer League on Monday July 9 at 1 p.m., when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Joseph is among six Canadians who will appear on summer league rosters, along with his cousin Devoe Joseph (Raptors), Andrew Nicholson (Orlando), Robert Sacre (Lakers) and Andy Rautins and Olu Famutimi (Milwaukee).


Post date - July 4, 2012


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