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Thread: Notes: Anderson Varejao "Wild Thing", from Brazil

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    Default Notes: Anderson Varejao "Wild Thing", from Brazil

    mvblair
    09-04-2003, 10:29 AM

    Gang,

    Twenty-year-old Anderson Varejao is a 6 foot 10 inch player from Brazil. Currently, he plays with FC Barcelona in Spain, but only during matches against Euroleague teams. Although his statistics are quite low, a lot of NBA scouts believe that he has a lot of potential. He was a candidate for the 2003 NBA draft, but withdrew his name after learning that he probably wouldn't be picked until the second round.

    I've read that he had a monster dunk over Jermaine O'Neal during the Olympic Qualifiers in Puerto Rico last week. If anybody has a picture of this, please send it to me.

    I think that the bottem line is this: he's getting a lot of attention (especially about his hair), but he has a long way to go before getting playing time in the NBA. Because of all the hype surrounding him this year, FC Barcelona might give him more minutes, where he'll need to produce good numbers. Still, it seems that he has a lot of potential!

    Matt

    This article is by Chris Bernucca, SportsTicker Pro Basketball Editor

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Ticker) - The first thing you notice about Anderson Varejao is his 'do. Then you realize he can do much more to get your attention.

    Whether letting it loose in a curly afro, controlling it with a headband or tying it down in braids interwoven with brightly colored bands as he wears it now, Varejao is hard to miss. At 6-10 with a sometimes goofy, cherubic smile and easygoing nature, the 20-year-old has become one of the darlings of the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

    Varejao's hairstyle brings to mind tennis star Serena Williams, who weaves beads within her braids. And while Varejao (vah-ray-ZHOW) is not yet at the top of his game, the braids afford him a different look, something he has been doing to opponents as well.

    "I did it once when I was 18," Varejao said through an interpreter. "When the people in Brazil saw me do different things with my hair, they told me to do more things with my hair. It motivated me to do it, so I did it."

    Varejao has been motivated in this tournament, trying to help Brazil earn a berth in the 2004 Olympics. The 230-pound face-up forward has been his team's most consistent and versatile player while providing one of the true highlights.

    It came last week in Brazil's opener against the United States. Admittedly excited about facing the best players in the world, Varejao harnessed his boyish enthusiasm into positive energy.

    After knocking down a pair of 3-pointers to spread the defense, he drove along the right baseline early in the second quarter. With Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal defending, Varejao soared for a flying one-handed hammer dunk over O'Neal, drawing a foul and a collective "Wow!" from the crowd at Roberto Clemente Coliseum.

    "It was a very motivating game and you have to come out strong," he said. "It's not a moment for fear. I saw the chance and I took that chance, the same as I do against other (teams)."

    Varejao has been extremely consistent throughout the tournament. Despite Allen Iverson's thunderstorm of 3-pointers Monday night, Varejao is still the highest-scoring player whose hair is in cornrows, averaging 15.6 points per game, fifth in the tourney.

    Varejao also is shooting 57 percent (29-of-51) from the field and averaging 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists. His play is a big reason Brazil has a chance to qualify for the semifinals this weekend.

    "This has been a very important tournament for me," he said. "Brazil is playing well and it is a very good experience (for me). That gives me the opportunity to get more exposure so more people can notice me."

    For the wrong reasons, many NBA scouts noticed Varejao earlier this year at the Eureleague Final Four. Initially projected as a mid-lottery pick, Varejao scored just one point in FC Barcelona's title win over Benetton Treviso.

    That came after the former youth soccer player averaged just 4.1 points in 13.3 minutes in 22 Euroleague games. With a year remaining on his contract that required a $1 million buyout, NBA teams shied away from Varejao, who knew he had to improve and withdrew his name from the draft.

    "I adapted very well to Barcelona with the players on the team and the people," he said. "I had the opportunity to wait one more year to get more experience and get stronger and have an opportunity to go to the draft."

    Varejao's game still needs some work. He is not quick enough to play small forward, so he must develop some semblance of a low-post game and must get tougher on the interior on both ends, a shortcoming that is evident when Brazilian teammate Nene of the Denver Nuggets is not on the floor with him.

    "If I could go now I would go, but I wanted to wait a little bit more to get stronger, to get better composure to my game," he said.

    Varejao already has a believer in Team USA guard Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics, who pointed out that many foreign players are highly touted until they take the court and you can see the warts in their game. But having now seen Varejao, Allen is sold on him.

    "We should see him in the NBA in a couple of years," Allen said.

    As for Varejao, he plans to return to FC Barcelona for the final year of his contract. He intends to style his game and his hair in similar fashion, which is a smart approach.

    "I'm going to continue doing different things," he said.
    This is his profile from Sports Phenoms, a scouting agency.

    Strengths: A very active bigman, good athlete with excellent size, agility. Improved dramatically in the past few years. His jump shot has really developed lately. Very creative offensive player, with soft touch. Solid shot blocker, rebounder. Lets the game come to him, and takes instruction well. Very charismatic personality, similar (surfer) attitude to Brazilian tennis star Gustavo Kuerten, very laid back, but not to the point where he isn't motivated. Has the versatility to play the small forward position at 6-10.

    Weakness: Still learning the game and has moments of inconsistency. Still seems to be "growing into his body" and figuring out his abilities.
    This is his profile from Matthew Maurer, a scouting agent.

    Strengths: Varejao is a decently athletic player who runs the floor with ease ... Plays the game at a high energy level as he is always active ... Intense player who will hustle to grab any loose balls that come his way ... Has become a much better shooter from the perimeter where he has shown the ability to make the three point shot ... Possesses all the physical and mental tools to be a great rebounder ... Has shown some promising offensive moves when facing the basket ... Efficient offensive player who understands what his strengths are on offense and rarely exceeds them ... Shows a solid work ethic where he has displayed considerable improvement in every facet of the game over the past two years ... Moves well without the ball ... Varejao possess soft touch around the basket where he has range out to 14 -16 feet ... Has a huge upside as he has only scratched the surface of his potential ... Plays the passing lanes decently thanks to his great footspeed and lateral quickness ...

    Weakness: Offensively his game lacks polish as his back to the basket skills are underdeveloped ... From a fundamental standpoint he is still learning the game ... Due to the intensity level that he plays with, he has a tendency to pick-up quick fouls ... Varejao needs to gain more upper body strength due to the physical nature of the NBA game ... Ball handling can improve as he tends to get careless with the ball on offense ... Although he has shown some good court vision, his passing skills are below average as double teams can trouble him ... Struggles at the free throw line ... Perimeter shooting has greatly improved but not to the point where he is a consistent threat ... Post footwork could stand improvement as it can be sloppy at times ... Decision making on the court remains questionable ... While he has shot blocking ability, his timing isn't all that solid when it comes to anticipating his opponent ...
    mvblair
    09-04-2003, 10:30 AM

    This is an interview by Jorge Sierra, a basketball journalist.

    How do you feel about Brazil's performance in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament?

    Anderson Varejao: How can you feel after a defeat? You can only feel sad. It's very sad. I really wanted to play in the Olympics next year, but it won't possible. Brazil is a very young team, you know. We fought hard and we proved that we have talent, but we lack experience. And it showed. The average age of the players in our team was 22-23. But being such a young team, I think we will qualify for the Olympics next time.

    And how do you feel about your individual performance?

    AV: I think it was pretty good. I player really well against the United States and I saw a lot of playing time after that. I think I played well.

    You know the NBA scouts were quite impressed with you, right?

    AV: Were they? I didn't know. I have not been in touch with anybody to talk about this. We'll talk about this in the future, though.

    You usually play better with the National Team than with your club (FC Barcelona). Why? Is it just a matter of getting more playing time?

    AV: Getting more minutes helps, but it is not only about that. With Barcelona, I only played one competition and it was hard to get into the rhythm. But this year I am going to play all competitions, so hopefully things will change.

    This was the first time you faced guys like Tim Duncan or Jermaine O'Neal, wasn't it?

    AV: It was the second time I played against Jermaine O'Neal. I had already played against him in the Goodwill Games.

    Which player impressed you more in the U.S. team?

    AV: Tim Duncan. He plays very simple and very effective. You know what he is going to do, but you don't know what to do to stop him.

    Do you think the U.S. team will be unbeatable in Athens with all those players?

    AV: No. I think there are several teams with a good shot at defeating them. If those teams work hard on preparing the games against the U.S. team, they are going to find it hard to win.

    You played once against the NBA stars in the Tournament of Americas, but you are going to meet them every night when you are in the NBA in a near future. Do you see yourself holding your own against them?

    AV: (Laughs) You say I'm going to the NBA, but nothing is clear yet. If I go, of course I'll have to hold my own against them. No problem with that.

    How did you see your friend Nene? Has he progressed much in a year?

    AV: He has really developed his game this year in Denver. He played a lot with the Nuggets. In Puerto Rico, he got into early foul trouble several times and couldn't play all that well in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. But he is very good. He is much stronger now.

    Other than you, which Brazilian players do you think have NBA potential?

    AV: Tiago Splitter. He is very good, very courageous. I think he will be selected in a very high position in the draft. Besides, he is young. He was born in 1985. If he goes to the NBA next year, he will be the No. 3 pick, according to the Internet sites. It's possible he goes next year.

    You played against some of the best American players that will declare for the draft next year (Okafor, Paulding...) in the Pan Am Games. Did you see anybody there who made you think "This guy is better than me?"

    AV: Well... They are good, but they are still young. It's hard to say. I saw a lot of good players. As far as saying "this guy is better than me," I don't know. It's not up to me to say that, anyway. The NBA scouts and the NBA teams have to say that, not me.

    You'll probably be selected in the first round of the draft next June. Where do you see yourself in one year?

    AV: In Barcelona. I can't see myself there [in the NBA] yet. My mind is on Barcelona now. I still have three years left on my contract with Barcelona, so we'll see.
    stuart
    09-07-2003, 10:29 PM

    Interesting read, Matt.

    I've heard much about Anderson, he seems like a future NBA player. Its good he is taking his time and not rushing into it.

    Stuart
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    Anderson Varejao in Cleveland

    mvblair
    11-05-2004, 01:53 PM

    Well, I got my first real look at Varejao last night. He'll be fine. I'm looking forward to seeing him play in Cleveland over the next few years.

    The kid has a wonderful body for basketball. He's got great, long arms, and a good upper body. His legs look skinny, but the kid can jump.

    He played 10 minutes last night, scoring 7 points (3/5), 4 rebounds, and an assist against the Miami Heat.

    I was impressed with his movement the most. Unlike most big, young forwards, Varejao was constantly moving on offense. He never stood still, never let a play get stagnate. That's good for a rookie. Also, he runs the floor very well. He takes nice, long steps.

    I think he is still a project for now, but I think he can contribute in small ways this season, playing up to 15 minutes a night.

    Good work, Varejao!!

    Matt
    mvblair
    12-07-2004, 11:21 AM

    Originally posted by mvblair
    I think he is still a project for now, but I think he can contribute in small ways this season, playing up to 15 minutes a night.
    When he played for 15 minutes against the Denver Nuggets (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2004120207), Varejao scored 7 points (2/3), and blocked 2 shots. He only grabbed 1 rebound, which is a little disappointing, but understandable.
    On Saturday against Toronto (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2004120405), he scored 2 points (2/2 FTs), grabbed 3 rebounds, and blocked a shot in 7 minutes.

    I still think the most impressive thing about Varejao is his ability to run. Most guys with his height cannot run with their legs up in the air, but he does it like a sprinter. Once he learns to adapt his game to his running, the Cavs are going to be absolute monsters on the fastbreak. Maybe in 2 or 3 years, we'll have LeBron and Varejao as a 2-man fastbreak, and Big Z and the other defenders can stay on the other side of the court.

    Unless Jason Kidd does a lot of damage, Varejao should see more minutes tonight against New Jersey. I'll report tomorrow.

    Matt
    Guilherme.rcf
    12-07-2004, 05:52 PM

    6 points, 6 boards and 1 block in 8 minutes. Pretty impressive
    mvblair
    12-08-2004, 10:59 AM

    Originally posted by Guilherme.rcf
    6 points, 6 boards and 1 block in 8 minutes. Pretty impressive
    Yep. And while the statistics are good for 8 minutes on the court, the most important thing was his aggresiveness. And wow, this guy can be aggresive. He really did a fantastic job attacking the rebounds, getting 3 offensive. Mark Price (the Cavs legend and current TV color announcer) said that Varejao was "a trouble maker" for the Nets offense. He really was. He stuck his hand everywhere.

    Varejao battles Jason Collins for the ball (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo?sl...cda103&prov=ap)
    Varejao defends Scalabrine and Mourning (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo?sl...cda101&prov=ap)

    Also, he moves so well. He runs like a guard. Maybe I'm only saying that because Cleveland's other big men (Big Z, Robert Traylor, and Drew Gooden) run like penguins. But Varejao has a great step when he runs. Price called him a "gazelle."

    Matt
    mvblair
    12-16-2004, 01:00 PM

    We've got Big Z and Big V in Cleveland. Varejao can play.

    Defending Miles (http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/basketba...4&prov=Reuters)

    Hustling for the ball (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo?sl...cda103&prov=AP)

    Last night against the Trailblazers, he played 13 minutes, scoring 12 points (3-3 shooting, 6-8 free throws), grabbed 3 rebounds, and stole the ball 4 times. He can hustle like nobody's business. Really, he was all over the court. He got huge standing ovations when he left the court. He has quickly become a fan and player favorite.

    Matt
    mvblair
    12-27-2004, 11:12 AM

    Varejao is without a doubt a big fan favorite. He's pure energy. He moves everywhere, going after every ball on every position. He's already playing 12 minutes per game recently, which is pretty good considering his competition at big forward (Drew Gooden, Tractor Trailer, Scott Williams).

    Matt
    mvblair
    12-29-2004, 11:24 AM

    Last night against the Hawks, Varejao netted 6 points (including a monster dunk over Antoine Walker thanks to a beautiful assist from LeBron James), grabbed 7 rebounds (4 offensive), blocked 2 shots, and stole the ball 2 times.

    Paul Silas used Varejao and Robert Traylor each for 20 minutes, which was an NBA high in minutes for Varejao. When the starters left the game in the 3rd quarter of a very tight game, Taylor, Varejao, and Eric Snow provided great defense to build a Cavs lead. The Cavs won 111-102.

    Matt
    mvblair
    12-30-2004, 10:34 AM

    Last night, Varejao scored 10 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes against the Rockets.

    Matt
    mvblair
    01-05-2005, 11:46 AM

    Anybody catch this from John Hollinger's article in Sports Illustrated? He says that Paul Silas should resolve to play Varejao more this year. I agree.

    New Year's Resulotions (Link to article)
    ...Paul Silas: Play Anderson Varejao

    Here's what we know about Cleveland's frontcourt reserves so far: Robert Traylor has been a huge disappointment (literally), DeSagana Diop rhymes with slop for a reason, and Anderson Varejao is absolutely electric. So it's mystifying to see Varejao barely playing more minutes than Diop and seeing about half as much time as Traylor. The Brazilian rookie is shooting 57 percent and averaging 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per 40 minutes, plus he hustles like crazy and rocks a mean Carrot Top 'do that gets the locals in a frenzy. Shouldn't Silas give a guy like that get some more burn?...
    One thing though: I don't think Traylor has been a "huge disappointment." I think he's playing well after losing some weight. Both he and Varejao provide front-court beef and energy for the Cavs.

    Matt
    mvblair
    01-05-2005, 11:49 AM

    And he grabbed 13 rebounds Monday night in Charlotte.

    Matt
    K-2 Young
    01-05-2005, 12:06 PM

    I told you he was good
    now I tell you he can do even better
    mvblair
    01-06-2005, 07:10 AM

    Originally posted by Josean
    I told you he was good
    now I tell you he can do even better
    Well, you were right!! Last night Paul Silas used Varejao 25 minutes, and he got 11 more rebounds.

    Matt
    mvblair
    01-08-2005, 12:13 PM

    Varejao played another super game today in a nationally televised game on ABC. Hubie Brown, the former Memphis coach and current commentator, loved Varejao, constantly talking about his energy and go-get-them attitude.

    Varejao scored 9 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and only 2 fouls in 21 minutes of action. The Cavs destroyed New York 104-79.

    Varejao is now an obvious part of the Cavs' second unit that includes:

    C: Robert "Tractor" Traylor
    PF: Varejao
    SF: Sasha Pavlovic
    SG: Lucius Harris
    PG: Eric Snow

    I'm sure that a lot of people got their first look at Varejao today, and they surely liked what they saw. He was all over every single play.

    The cameras also showed a funny sign of a guy holding up a sign that read "Anderson's Beautiful Coiffure." Coiffure is a haircut...I probably spelled it wrong.

    Good game.

    Matt
    bigdizave
    01-13-2005, 07:55 PM

    I've liked this guy since I saw him play against Team USA in the 2003 Tournament of Americas. I predict that with players like him, Brazil will be a force in the years and decades to come.

    I've heard his name pronounced many different ways. I've heard Vu-ray-ho and Vu-ray-shon. I've most recently heard Vu-ray-jo. I usually like to go by what the player calls himself. For instance, I finally heard Beno Udrih of the San Antonio Spurs pronounce his own name in an interview. He pronounces it Bay-no Oo-drick (with the the ick part sounding like you are clearing the back of your throat).

    Does anyone have a definitive answer on how Varejao pronounces his name?
    bigdizave
    01-13-2005, 07:56 PM

    I've liked this guy since I saw him play against Team USA in the 2003 Tournament of Americas. I predict that with players like him, Brazil will be a force in the years and decades to come.

    I've heard his name pronounced many different ways. I've heard Vu-ray-ho and even Vu-ray-shon. I've most recently heard Vu-ray-jo. I usually like to go by what the player calls himself. For instance, I finally heard Beno Udrih of the San Antonio Spurs pronounce his own name in an interview. He pronounces it Bay-no Oo-drick (with the the ick part sounding like your clearing the back of your throat).

    Does anyone have a definitive answer on how Varejao pronounces his name?
    Virtuoso
    01-19-2005, 05:35 AM

    Fantasic article on him here (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/10667904.htm)

    He's what I call a "character"

    Does anyone have a definitive answer on how Varejao pronounces his name?
    All the broadcasters have been pronoucing his name as "vara-jon" recently. Look through some Cavs media game notes for more info on this, they always include stuff like that in there.
    NaFioN
    01-19-2005, 12:35 PM

    thanx virtouso for the article interesting stuff about his personality .
    K-2 Young
    01-19-2005, 01:17 PM

    Does anyone have a video of the Varejao dunk over Jermaine o'neal on the 2003 Olympic Qualifyers??

    Nice article virtuoso
    mvblair
    01-22-2005, 08:47 AM

    Originally posted by bigdizave
    Does anyone have a definitive answer on how Varejao pronounces his name?
    Hey, Big D! Good to see you again!! According to my Portuguese pronunciation notes, it's pronounced "vah-HEY-shao."

    Thanks for the article, Virt. Good stuff.

    Matt
    mvblair
    01-25-2005, 05:23 AM

    Big V had a big game last night, playing 18 minutes and getting 10 rebounds, 4 points, 3 blocks, a steal, and an assist. But he left in the 4th quarter with a bruised hip...

    Varejao taken off the court in pain (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo?sl...cda105&prov=ap)

    It doesn't look too bad, but he might miss a game or two.

    Get well soon, Wild Thing!!

    Matt
    K-2 Young
    01-25-2005, 06:23 AM

    can we call this forum Varejao and Brazil???
    Virtuoso
    01-26-2005, 08:43 AM

    He'll be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.
    bigdizave
    01-26-2005, 01:47 PM

    Originally posted by Virtuoso
    He'll be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.
    Exactly, Virtuoso. Here's the press release.

    http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/injuries_050125.html

    I was really looking forward to seeing him play more in the second half of the season. It looks like he should be back in plenty of time for the 2005 playoffs so that is a good thing.
    K-2 Young
    01-26-2005, 02:00 PM



    he is one of my favorites
    mvblair
    01-27-2005, 08:02 AM

    Originally posted by Virtuoso
    He'll be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.


    This is bad news. Thanks for the press release, BD.

    I didn't think it was that bad during the game, but obviously I was wrong.

    Last night, the Cavs struggled off the bench. The starters played lots of minutes. Tractor Traylor can't play more than 15 minutes a night, so Gooden played 45, and Big Z played 37.

    The Cavs won by 3 points, but I don't know how much longer the starting big men can log those kinds of minutes.

    We'll probably need to put Diop and Williams on the floor soon.

    Get well, Big V!!

    Matt
    mvblair
    01-28-2005, 12:31 PM

    Originally posted by mvblair
    Last night, the Cavs struggled off the bench. The starters played lots of minutes. Tractor Traylor can't play more than 15 minutes a night, so Gooden played 45, and Big Z played 37.
    The Cavs won by 3 points, but I don't know how much longer the starting big men can log those kinds of minutes.
    Supposedly the Cavs are looking to sign Keon Clark to a 10-day contract to make up for losing Varejao.

    Matt
    mvblair
    02-20-2005, 07:04 AM

    Cavaliers: Varejao hopes to be back by March: Link

    ...Cleveland forward Anderson Varejao has begun running on his sprained left ankle and hopes to return by the beginning of March, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I feel good," he told the paper. "There's a little pain, but I think that is normal." He has been out since January 24 because of the injury...
    Come on, Big V!! We want you back!!

    Matt
    K-2 Young
    02-20-2005, 07:47 AM

    Originally posted by mvblair
    Come on, Big V!! We want you back!!
    he should cut that afro, that should relieve some tension from that ankle
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