Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Great Exercises in Internet NBA-Related Postings: 9.23.08

  • I really like Kornheiser's Cartel. I do. I think they're witty and fresh, whatever that means. But the boys put together a Grizzlies preview that reflects a pretty common thread. "These guys suck." And while we freely admit that we take a much more acceptant thread towards bad basketball, there are some significant flaws here. Our season preview will get into this a lot more. But for instance, saying that the teams is in worse shape now than it will be in a year if it drafts Mullens is a little bit ludicrous. It essentially means that Darko has regressed, Warrick has disappeared, and Marc Gasol never panned out. I'm not saying that all three of those things can't happen, but they have to ALL happen to justify moving up to get Mullens. Then there's the idea of them jettisioning Crittenton, Arthur, Warrick, Arthur and a pick to move up to 1. Really? For a freshman out of Ohio State who's not Greg Oden? With possibly either Ricky Rubio or Derozan there? Really? Additionally, I'm here to tell you, you can NEVER have too much depth at guard in this league. It's become too guard centric. And signing Carlos Boozer and Lamar Odom? What, are they thinking "Hey, Rudy Gay's pretty much one of the best all-around up and coming players in the league, let's jeopardize his development by bringing in the human block magnet for a max contract and the guy who's more inconsistent than your grandfather's stool!"? This team has a young nucleus that's going to be very dangerous if Iavaroni holds true to his word. They're not going to win, by any means. Lord, no. But there's a difference between being dangerous and winning. The latter means you're actually a good team. The former just means you're capable of putting the fear of God in some teams.
  • Now would probably be a good time to tell you I've officially adopted the Grizzlies for the 2008-2009 season as my pet team and that I expect them to win 25 games.
  • One more Grizzlies piece of news and then we'll move on. I posted this weekend on how hard it is to conduct great interviews. Next year for the Season Awards, we need to include a category for best interview by a Blogger. And Chip Crain is extremely likely to win the thing. This second part of the Iavaroni interview is absolutely slammed with stuff. You can tell that the Grizzlies think Warrick's going to have a coming out season if they can find time for him at the three in a three forward set with Gay and Darko at PF. He talks about Darko and the time he's spending on him, on versatility at position, on the Summer League, it's just great the whole way through. I keep getting the same sense from Iavaroni, which is that he's exactly the kind of coach I would want, and philosophically he's got a great vision. But there's the looming fact that this franchise has to get turned around. Now. And if the wins don't come, you can tell he knows it won't work out well. It sucks to be a guy who's visionary and yet under a ton of pressure to get wins, right now. Because the easiest way to get wins is to slow the game down, drag it out, and kill yourself on defense, and don't take any chances on the offensive end. It won't necessarily get you to the next level, but it'll get you to the basic level. I don't know if there's a right combination unless the talent just merges this season.
  • If this happened on my flight there would be a me-shaped hole on the plane from where I burst through like Roger Rabbit.
  • Check it. Alana's got new digs.
  • Clips Nation is finally looking up. I can't decide whether they're a playoff contender or not (by the way, that phrase always means "in contention to MAKE the playoffs" not win them. There are only about six teams with a realistic shot at the championship). To me it depends on how my favorite rookie from last season, Al Thornton, does. If he steps up to the next level (and at Summer League, he looked terrifying), he and Baron could be enough. But he's a second year guy and that's a rough position.
  • Great! The overrated Euro guy who no one has actual tape in finally signed after a ton of money and hassle. The championship is on the way, boys! Nice, Steve. Nice.
  • I have a feeling Greg's going to be changing his mind when he sees Marion punch the clock for a whole season (if he's not traded, which of course he will be). Here's the thing. Marion's not going to be Mr. Locker Room Leader until he's on a team without a veteran primary scorer. He has to be "The Man" in order for him to finally learn what that means (have I mentioned how much a trade to Memphis has made sense for him for the last two seasons?). As long as Wade's there and he's the Guy for that franchise, Marion's going to do what he does, which is punch the clock, rebound, score, pass, hustle, defend, and do so at at a dazzlingly efficient clip.
  • The John Salmons Enigma.
  • Mark my words, this is a bad idea.
  • Blake's going to camp! Woot!
  • This headline is only true on opposite day. Look, I loved Matt Barnes as much as anyone during the Mavs series. Workaholic oversized three? That's the Matt Moore Special right there. But was it really just him being in the doghouse with Nellie last year? Really? That's the only reason for an absolutely amazing drop in production? Why didn't they sign him longer term? There are just a ton of question marks for this right now. The only good news is it means less Diaw at the 3 and more as a backup 4 or 5. Wait, that's not good news. That's horrible news. Oh.
  • You know what also would have helped? Not missing two first round draft picks and arguably your franchise player for 25 games or more. This only serves to reinforce my belief that the Bobcats were better than advertised last season. Don't believe me? Look at wins over Celtics and Lakers. That doesn't mean I'm saying they were better, because I'm not completely batsh*t insane. But it does mean that when these guys got into a rhythm, they could compete. You can't say that for the Sonics or Heat last year.
  • Not going to lie. I sometimes wish I was Trey.
  • Check out the new blog by the author of the Peninsula is Mightier, the Trade Journal. I'll be submitting something soon. One suggestion. Site needs a Cap Judge, STAT.
  • Caption: No, I didn't cry in the NCAA tournament. Why do you keep asking me that? No. you cannot touch my mustache! No, I'm not going to Fort Wayne! What's Fort Wayne?!
  • D-Gate.
  • I really like the black mid-stripe. That's awesome. The Magic jerseys have always looked nice. You just can't go wrong with a deep blue, black and white.

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