Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hardwood Paroxysm's 2008-2009 Season Previews: The Not Quite Ready For Primetime Players

Our first merry group is pretty easy to understand. We started looking at the teams that had pieces, but were missing the right combination. These were the teams that we knew weren't fascinating yet, because they're still in formulation. Now, bear in mind, when we get to our pet teams for the year, The Chosen Ones, some of these NQRFPT teams will finish with better records and honestly, better teams than some of those. Wait, we have the Nets in that group, okay almost all of these teams except the Thunder will finish better. But that group holds a special spot in HP's heart and so, got a little bit different coverage.

For these teams, they're a lot like that first season of SNL. There's definitely reasons to watch, and if you do, you're probably going to get the desired reaction about three to four times a viewing. But there are also awkward pauses, bizarre moments of jokes that should work that don't, times when the players are too brazen with their approach, others too hesitant. To be sure, still one of the better lineups SNL has seen, but just finding their way to their own greatness. And so it is with the teams we'll be covering between today and Thursday.

The Thunder and Bobcats open, being the two teams whose fanbases we just bleed for this season. And that includes Sonics fans. With Earl Watson and Collison as big names on the squad, everyone loses. Charlotte continues to boggle us as the team that should improve, yet continuously is sucked into a vortex of nothing. Maybe Chapel Hill and Durham just create some sort of negative zone over pro basketball. We're still intrigued by the Bobcats with Crash Bandicoot Wallace and the possibility of Sean May actually becoming something of value. But after last year's disappointment and the likelihood of Larry Brown killing their souls, we're a little hesitant about subjecting ourselves to that torture for a second year. Besides, Holly and Rob have joined us. There's kids around, for God's sake.

The Bulls and Pacers are the meat of this group. We like the intrigue of trying to sort out the clusterfling at guard, whether Noah will completely lose it, and as always, I'll be maintaining my steadfast belief that Tyrus Thomas will one day, someday, get it. The Pacers could turn out to be more entertaining than half the teams in the league. TJ Ford, AKA Captain Suicide, Granger unleashed, and Roy Hibbert being tall. We're waiting on dismissing their level of intrigue until we can see how they're going, but given Bird's track record, we're playing it safe.

Ah, the Kings. The tasty upper crusty that you finish as the desert of your sandwich after you've dug out the meat. The Kings are probably the best team in this group. No, they're definitely the best team in this group, unless the Bulls somehow wake up the way they were before October28th of last year. KevMart is the Must-See-TV of this entire section, capable of doing anything basketball-related at any time. Miller has evolved into some sort of anti-hero, Douby is Douby, Hawes is a big white republican tank, and Donte Green was sent from the future to destroy mankind. But theres's just something missing. Maybe it's Miller being the good-not-great fixture that keeps them locked down. Maybe it's the lack of consistent depth. Maybe it's that we haven't seen what Beno's capable of. This team could jump high or land low and it would make perfect sense. Not only would it not surprise us, it would fit perfectly in with our expectations.

It's not that we don't love these teams, we do. We love them for their faults and for their lovely lady lumps. But we know that they're fundamentally flawed, in a way that in most games, their ferocity can't overcome without a serious FAIL job by the other squad. But maybe that's the best thing about them for their fans. Waiting for them to rise to the occasion. That's what makes it worth it, doesn't it?

We'll kick things off with the Thunder in a couple hours.

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