Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Offseason Off-Table: 7.15.08

Your bi-weekly checkup on the offseason, featuring news, notes, opinions, rantings, and the all important Offseason Daily Survival Guide...

Why can't Tyronn Lue get a gig?

Look, I know he's got problems and he's not a star. I get that. And he's 31. I get that. But seriously, he has a positive assist to turnover ratio, he understands his role, he doesn't take too many shots like your typical journeyman guard, and he's willing to sign for the minimum. This is not rocket science.
Who is likely to be the NBA's next Brett Favre?

With the Packer QB constantly changing his freaking mind about whether he's done or not, I started wondering what player was going to end up as the next Favre, constantly changing his mind, continuing to play even though he's a shell of what he once was (Favre played well last season, but let's face it, an awesome defense and a solid running game was what got them as far as they went). Here's the list.

1. Shaquille O'Neal: Aren't we already to where we were two years ago with Favre, here? It's time. It's just time. And yet Phoenix will keep paying the Big Shaqtus the GNP of a small nation until he finally decides to give it up. But can't you just see him coming back and signing with the Lakers or someone afterwards? This has to be a lock.

2. Jason Kidd: You see this happening, don't you? Kidd seems oblivious to the fact that he's no longer the top point guard in the league, and has the obsession with winning to pair with it. His career seems to drag on, as he goes from team to team, each one supposedly the "final, right fit" for his talents, while his shooting percentage plummets and his defense gets more and more suspect against younger point guards. I can see him refusing to give it up and pulling a Gary Payton somewhere along the way.

3. Allen Iverson: Loved by many, despised passionately by a select few. Known for trying to do too much. Constantly clashing with management. While Favre was quiet for many years, Iverson's always a powder keg. And no one will tell him when it's his turn to hang up the laces.

4. Kevin Garnett: The lovable idol who always wants to win. Incomporable. Enigmatic. If it werent' for Brett's happy go lucky demeanor, this would fit. With the championship, though, I think that's been assuaged.
Odom to the Heat?

Oh, dear, Lord, Big Baby Jesus, please, please make this happen. Please send Odom back to the Heat.

I have a special place in my heart for that 2003-2004 Heat squad. Dwyane Wade who basically walked into the NBA circus arena in the playoffs and started kicking the crap out of lions and tigers and blowing sh*t up. Odom sprinting down the floor. Butler who was actually very good that season. Haslem off the bench. Eddie Jones. Rafer Alston. That squad was without borders. You have expected them to run off the court and into the stands. They were the basketball version of Jumanji. And they can be again.

Without Shaq, with a healthy (cross fingers) Wade, with Beasley, with Odom, Haslem and Chalmers, you have the capacity for something unexpected. Marion is the better player, but returning Odom to the Wild could make him lovable again. He's not lovable in LA. It's nothing to do with LA. It's just that he's sad. The expectations are so high on him, constantly, and he can't be the disciplined professional assassin Jackson needs him to be. But to be in Miami, back with Wade, back to spasmodic outbursts and not giving a damn, that's the Odom you can love.

It makes sense for the Lakers, too. I don't even mind how absurdly unfair that would be, to have Marion, Gasol, and Bynum, because at this point, we're just splitting hairs with how good the Lakers will be next year with the conceptual Bynum. So this could conceivably happen.

Miami knows it's not resigning Marion next year. It's not happening. Get Odom, have some fun, you can probably resign him for a reasonable amount and if not, you've got the same amount of cap room.

We'll never what could have happened if Riley didn't get all "Oooh, I want to win a championship now" on us, but at least we can relive a few moments and see what a three-headed Odom-Wade-Beasley monster looks like.
Things to be wary of in the Summer League games.

A. Turnovers: If you can't handle perimeter defense from a guy who gets paid in Euros, you probably can't handle Deron Williams.

B. Shot Selection: Warning. If your guy is just out there shooting whenever he gets the opportunity? That's a bad sign. This isn't a "Well, he can shoot, he's the best player" sort of deal. He needs to show that he's not going to try and play the hero. That's how you end up going Durant and making our eyes bleed for six months, and that's IF you get that kind of playing time.

C. Focus: You have to watch off the ball. For example. DeAndre Jordan is a beast. A physical beast. He's like the Cloverfield monster. He could tear down the Brooklyn Bridge. But on several positions, he ends up not knowing where he is on the court. He doesn't know where he is, his man is, the ball is, nothing. Sometimes guys just run to the spot they usually do and stand there, boggled as some guy takes away their position entirely.
Keyon Dooling needs to get over himself.
Offseason Survival Guide.


Why? Because then you and Manu will have something else in common. Detonated ankles.

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