Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The NBA…and may we never speak of it again

The last time I was a true fan of the NBA regular season was around 1995, back when my hometown New York Knicks were the toughest ticket in town and about the time O.J was looking for the keys to his White Ford Bronco.

I can think of a few reasons I don’t always pay attention to the NBA anymore: the players are allowed to take 5 steps on the way to the rim…the season is so long the players loaf the first 60 games…we found out all the refs were probably crooked…. and the Knicks have been an embarrassing laughing stock the last ten years or so. That’s actually the main reason for me.

Sure the Knickerbockers had the one NBA finals appearance against the Spurs in the lockout year, but they were also like $60 Million over the cap under Kamikaze Isiah and all of these “players” have worn Knicks jerseys at one point or another: Vin Baker, Jerome James, Jackie Butler, 700 pound Mike Sweetney, Dan Dickau, Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry, Penny Hardaway (old Penny…not Shaq Penny), and a man who at this point should just go by one name: Stephon.

Ok…just let that wash over you for a minute.

The Knick-bashing article will have to go on ice for a while. In the meantime, a few thoughts on the NBA right now:

-Lebron James is just the big kid on the play ground. I’m sitting here watching the Cavs/Pistons game, and I am total in awe of Lebron’s size.

He has the body of a power forward basically playing point guard at times. He is listed at 6’8” and I dunno…maybe 265 pounds! To put that in perspective he’s 2 inches taller and about 70 pounds heavier than Michael Jordan at his peak. I’m actually afraid he might hurt one of the other players when he goes to the rim. The last time I felt this was when I was watching Mike Tyson in the late 80’s, actually afraid he was going to kill the guys he was fighting.

Put together his skill set (shooting, passing, dribbling) and physicality, and basically he is John Stockton with a Karl Malone body…only he is a superior athlete with a 38 inch vertical.

The guy is truly a freak of nature.

-The only series I have any interest in watching is a Cavs/Lakers final. I’ve just been informed that the playoffs will actually be going on until June, so I need not pay attention to any games or any highlights until after Memorial Day. Which is really fine by me anyways….since I’m only an occasional fan and really only care about star power.

I’m only interested in watching a Kobe vs. Lebron final. This matchup would give the NBA mustard enough to lore in the fringe fan (like myself) and ratings would be off the charts. This means big $ for David Stern and the NBA brass. So don’t be surprised when the Cavs and Lakers are getting LOTS of favorable calls in their respective Conference Finals.

Yea that’s right….I didn’t forget about the Tim Donaghy’s of the NBA just yet.

-Ok, I said I wouldn’t talk about the Knicks anymore but…. My friend Derek is a huge NBA fan, and the other day I’m on the phone with him shooting the bull about off-season moves the Knicks can make. Basically free agency, trades, drafts…things of that nature.

Free agency at this point had GOT to be about the push for Lebron in 2010. Along those lines I’d like to see David Lee stick around, and I’d like to see that umpa lumpa Nate Robinson walk.

Lee is an above average garbage guy, good fit for the D’Antoni system, and perfect Lebron compliment. Lee rebounds on both ends and get his points via boards and put-backs. Therefore he doesn’t command lots of touches nor need any offense run through him. This makes him the perfect 4 to Lebron’s 3.

David Lee also fits in as a D’Antoni guy in that he gets up and down the floor and plays exactly zero defense.

Don’t laugh…it seems like a pre-requiste in D’Antoni’s system. It’s almost like he sits the guys down during the first practice and says, “I don’t care who you are. If I see you trying to play any semblance of defense…even putting your hands up on d once…just once….I’m going to fine your ass every which way….You got me? We are going to score 100 points a game, even if we have to give up 200 just to get there!”

Along the same lines, the Knicks need to get rid of ole Nate Robinson.

Yeah I know…the little bugger is entertaining, and has actually put up some fairly gaudy stats this season…but as far as winning and losing he hurts the team more than helps. First off, although he has other worldly athleticism, the dude is still just 5’8’’. He is not a great ball handler and cannot run an offense, so essentially he is a 2 guard stuck inside the body of a JV point guard. A 2 guard in fact, who shoots a low percentage and commands a high volume of your team’s shots. Not exactly the type of guy Lebron is going to be dying to play with in two years.

Also, because of his size Nate is more likely to give up 30 points then score 20 of his own. Sorry Nate, love the dunks…but you gotta go.

As far as the NBA Draft, assuming the Knicks end up picking in the mid to late lottery, there is not a chance in hell they get any of the three game-changers in this year’s draft class: Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, or Spanish sensation (and potential All-Name Team member) Ricky Rubio.

Therefore, the Knicks will be looking to draft cogs that will fit the system they play. They would also love to find something to fill these needs: up-tempo “set the table”- type of point guard, scoring and rebounding big man, complimentary two guard, someone to keep Eddy Curry away from all-you-can-eat buffets.

Ok…you got me the last one was a trick. I don’t think there is a person alive who can keep EC away from the buffets.

People will be clamoring for Steph Curry or Ty Lawson come draft day. I believe they will be there when the Knicks pick, but I think they would be better served going for a less sexy pick. A player many of you may have never heard of: Eric Maynor from VCU. A very tough kid with good size at the PG spot (6’3”). He is more of a distributor who will run the team than a scoring guard. He may get booed on draft day if he gets picked by the Knicks, but I think he projects to be a better pro than Lawson, Curry, or even Johnny Flynn from Syracuse.

Another guy I like a lot is Sam Young out of Pitt. Guy was an underrated stud in college, and comes in as a full grown man at 6’6” and 220 pounds. A good athlete who is NBA ready.

At the very least I’d like to see them not screw the pick up. After 10 years of futility I’ve set the bar awfully low.

No comments:

Post a Comment