Buy or Sell: Zion Williamson, Atlanta United, Bucks

Guess who’s back! Yes, that’s right! Fourth Quarter Sports is returning after a month of being caught up in the madness of College Basketball, watching to see how far Zion Williamson could take the Duke Blue Devils in the tournament.

Unfortunately, Zion and Duke will not be the National Champions this year, but we’ll get into that a bit later on in this week’s buy or sell. There will also be a recap of the bracket and who won our bracket challenge as we head into the Final Four this weekend. This week it’s not just about the NCAA tournament though, in fact, we have some Major League Soccer issues, and of course, the National Basketball Association!

Buy or Sell

Joel: Zion Williamson won’t go number one overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

RahimAli: The thought of Zion Williamson not going No. 1 overall would be like saying LeBron James is going to retire after his terrible Lakers season. IT AIN’T HAPPENING. I sell Zion won’t be No. 1 overall, because he will be.

We haven’t spent our entire winter watching the best college basketball star to watch him fall in the draft. I mean, besides their losses to Gonzaga (early in the season) and Michigan State (Elite Eight loss), the Duke Blue Devils looked unstoppable all season with Zion in the lineup.

They did have a difficult time in the tournament against Tacko Fall and Central Florida, as they barely won (77-76). That was a tough test for Duke, because it was like having Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady versus LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.

In this scenario, 7’6” Tacko Fall is Yao, and UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins is T-Mac. Zion is LeBron, while R.J. Barrett is Kuzma and Cam Reddish is Ingram. I know that’s not what this question was asking, but Zion and Dawkins led their teams with 32 points each, and you could say Zion’s missed free throw down one was a set up for Barrett to get the tip in. That came after Zion fouled out Tacko Fall.

The only way I see Zion not going No. 1 overall is if it’s a team like the Dallas Mavericks, who probably would trade their way out of the top five if they even get a pick (more on that next week), get that spot. Zion is the best physically-talented athlete in all of college basketball, and any team would be a fool to pass on him.

Aman: If not Zion, then who else? He’s a strong player who on average plays half the game (though in the last few games, he’s been hitting the 40 mark). What’s even more impressive is the 22.6 points per game, paired with an average of 8.9 rebounds per game. After coming off a season like this, any team would be foolish not to pick up Zion early. Therefore, I sell that Zion won’t be the first pick.

 

Aman: After being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League and failing to win in their opening four MLS matches, Atlanta United will stick with their new manager Frank de Boer until the end of the season.

Joel: I sell Atlanta United sticking with manager Frank de Boer through the end of the season. Any team who’s coming off winning a title has lofty expectations. How this team has started is unacceptable after their previous season. It would be unacceptable for any team coming off a title win in any sport to start this poorly. This trend can’t continue if this team is going to get back on track. Something has to change, and it needs to change sooner than later. That something is Frank de Boer. If they’re not winning with him around, they need to bring someone in who can help this team win.

Rahim: I sell that Atlanta United FC will stay with Frank de Boer as manager. They entered the league three years ago and have since been one of the best, if not the best team in the MLS. As reigning Champs, the expectations are higher than ever.

Of course, the change in managers/coaches do effect a teams chemistry, but the club didn’t change much else in terms of the starting 11. It’s more of an issue with the formation than the guys on the field. A great manager learns to make adjustments if a team is struggling, and that’s one thing that former Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino did well last year on their way to winning the MLS Cup. Atlanta United originally played a 4-3-3 formation until Martino decided to check it to 3-5-2 and even 4-4-2 depending on the matchup.

If De Boer wants to keep his job, he’ll have to figure out a way to make a change to the formation, like maybe going back to a 4-3-3 instead of the 3-4-3. You can see that players are gassed when they’re out there, and that has led to a loss and two ties on the young MLS season. They have also been knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League after taking a 3-1 aggregate loss to Monterrey in the quarterfinals.

 

Rahim: If Giannis can’t stay healthy during the playoffs, the Bucks could have an earlier exit? 

Joel: This one is easy for me. I buy the Bucks having an early exit in the playoffs is Giannis isn’t healthy. While it is true the Bucks have played well at times when Giannis has been out, the playoffs are a different animal than regular season games. Without a true star player, most teams won’t make a deep playoff run.

Giannis is having an MVP type season, and it’s not easy to replace his production. How do you replace 27.4 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks? You can’t. This team may be able to make it out of the first round without Giannis, but there’s no way they’re making it past the 76ers, Celtics or Raptors if Giannis isn’t in. They need the potential MVP to play if they want to not only make a deep playoff run, but win a championship.

Aman: The Celtics are almost always title contenders, and the Raptors are having a brilliant season. This makes the Bucks’ competition tough. The main reason the Bucks have made it this far is because of Giannis. Where can they go without him? Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is good enough to fill Giannis’ shoes, but kudos to the Bucks for making the playoffs. I buy an early exit for the Bucks if Giannis can’t stay healthy.

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And there you have it! Now, what do you think?

  • Will Zion Williamson be the No. 1 overall pick, or will he fall in the draft?
  • How long will Atlanta United keep Frank De Boer as manager if they continue to struggle?
  • If Giannis can’t be healthy in the playoffs, will the Bucks have an early exit?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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