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I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But... 
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
fucking uconn.....


Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:28 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Can I be sooo wrong and sooo right in just one night?


Maybe.


Deron Williams (after apparently having read my posts :) ) decided to play Rambo to Jeremy Lin's cops (I'm sure there's a better analogue, but at least it wasn't racist about. Who am I, ESPN?), proving me slightly wrong. If that is his level of play, truly, and he moves it to Dallas next year AND/OR teams with Dwight - then things might just be beautiful again for him. He's still in the midst of a worthless season, but let's hope he (and his agent) can find a hopeful exit or a good reason to stay.

However, when it comes to Carmelo Anthony... close the file. Abandon ship. The Knicks go from thumping the Mavericks without Melo to.... getting squashed by the Nets at home with Melo missing shot after shot late in the game. Admittedly, I can't put the fork in him *YET*, but if you're a pro-Carmelo advocate, last night had to be a pretty depressing wake-up call. Maybe he's just a decent scorer? Either way, the REAL story of the NBA is (and, of course, playing the exact same position as Mel-overrated):

Kevin Durant. He is a BEAST. He scored the tying five points of OKC's game against the Nuggets IN THE LAST 30 SECONDS OF PLAY. Think about that. He drilled a three-pointer, then tied it up with a slam dunk. 100% of that work was in legitimate, playoff-worthy crunch-time. Oh, and he scored 51 points, too? And he willed his team to victory in overtime? I'm sold. Absolute beast, best closer in the game, and again, if he plays like this ALL season (which he has, and will), then his team is winning a championship (which they will). And hey, Westbrook may be the most dyslexic PG in the NBA, but when he's on he can be a pretty great scorer, too. I'd rather have both of those guys, and Deron (and Lin), over Melo. That guy's the one talent that *doesn't* sell in sports: he's good, but he's not a guarantee that you will be good. Put Durant in your uniform, and your team has a MUCH better chance of getting a 'W'. He just wills it in. Melo won't, he can't. After - all who is he? Jeremy Lin? Never. Case closed.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:42 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
However, when it comes to Carmelo Anthony... close the file. Abandon ship. The Knicks go from thumping the Mavericks without Melo to.... getting squashed by the Nets at home with Melo missing shot after shot late in the game.


Melo was 1-4 in the 4th, with only two shots coming in the last 5 minutes, so I'm not sure that qualifies as "missing shot after shot late in the game." Basketball-wise, a Lin-Melo combo should work -- both players are built to run the pick-and-roll (which has worked so nicely in between Lin and Amar'e), and a few times it did last night. The question, of course, is Melo's head and his ability to actually coexist with Lin, who will remain more popular than Melo for the forseeable future. Tough to believe it will work given Melo's recent history, but from a purely basketball standpoint, it certainly can.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:07 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Durant is becoming an all-time great right before our eyes, and the media isn't even talking about it. It's the single most baffling non-story of the season. It's almost like his ascent has been taken for granted since we knew it was likely coming, and that's just a shame. I will keep harping on this issue on the forum as long as the media continues to ignore it.

As far as Phil damning Melo, I agree for the most part because, as Shade said, Melo's track record doesn't lend kindly to the idea of him sharing the spotlight. That said, it's more than a little unfair to comdemn the whole experiment based on one game. Give Melo a few weeks to get back into top form and give the team a few weeks to intigrate JR Smith and B-Diddy.

The Knicks are a pretty fascinating team right now. They're a game under .500 (16-17) and the 7 seed in the East right now. However, they're only 4.5 games behind Philly for the 3 seed and the Sixers have been steadily declining for a month. If everything breaks right for the Knicks (Lin is legit, Melo meshes well, Smith and Davis are in shape, focused, and able to accept their roles, and Amare regains something that even slightly resembles his old self), they could be a legit contender by the end of the season. If nothing breaks right, they could implode in disasterous fashion. They're one of the few teams that could be legitimately great, awful, and anything in between. However it breaks, it should be an entertaining watch.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:45 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Listen, I know from general feedback that I am a bit too harsh on Melo. Truth is, when he entered he league as an underdog to LeBron (although quite deservedly so), I liked him and immediately knew that his numbers would be excellent (point-wise, at least) and he did not disappoint (I still consider Detroit's decision not to draft him as one of the worst decisions by a team - ever). I just realized, slowly but surely, that he didn't have the transcendent skill that made LeBron and Wade superstars (and the latter a champion), that he was a score-only kind of player who amassed stats like rebounds, blocks, steals, and assists almost incidentally, which made his trade bid last year hard for me to swallow. I felt the league wasted so much attention on his decision when I knew, quite reasonably, that he was not going to change the face of the Eastern Conference by himself no matter where he went; that although he was talented, he had no place getting that kind of attention or making that kind of fuss over a decision which was ultimately more about how the Nuggets would survive without him than what the East would do when he arrived (did Bron, Rose, or Wade even flinch?). And, to stain Melo further, the Nuggets looked amazing out of the gate and into the playoffs (to their credit, they still look sharp this year, even with their recent slump), and the Knicks have amassed what I'm assuming is a losing record in his collective time on the court. Does this diminish Melo's undeniable ability to score with the big boys? No. Is having him on your team a bad thing? No. Is Gallinari better? No. But Melo's guaranteed All-Star spots, league-wide acclaim, and now widespread antagonism (I live in NJ, and may I say, the Knicks fans I know have been fuming) are all out of proportion; he's a 'good' player who was only going to be 'quite good' under the right circumstances (even allowing for Simmons' rightful acclamation for his Olympic performance), he is arguably not even the fifth best player at his position in the league (Durant shows what a true small forward is capable of - hell, he's the textbook definition of it), and he is not the cause of the Knick's problems - but is that really enough? Would LeBron be despised as a Knick for even one day? Who wouldn't look forward to him playing, coming back from an injury, etc? That Knicks fans are even scared of Melo's return, Lin's phenomenal success aside, is to me a proclamation of the limits of his amazing talent; he is a good player, but I'm not counting him in the elite anymore. He has to earn that back. And the funny thing is, he has the chance to - if he really wants to come back and succeed and take the Knicks to the next level, he has that opportunity. But I'm going to assume right quick that he does not, and if he does not... is there a hotter seat in Sports Hell than ruining Gotham's hope for redemption? Ask Harvey Dent how that one feels.


P.S. - Kevin Durant's huge game not being the headline of EVERY SPORTS SITE DEVOTED TO BASKETBALL is an unmitigated sin. We're talking one of the best NBA players that has ever laced up. We're talking a guy who turned a junk franchise into a premier title contender. We're talking about a guy who has *gasp* better all-time potential than LeBron (he has a clean slate, a clear path to the NBA Finals each year if things stay as they are, and he hits clutch shots at an alarming rate). I expressed pessimism about the Thunder last year, and although it was answered by the Mavs' dominance of them come the Conference Championships, I did not see Durant making the jump he has now. This is frightening. Forget scoring champion. He is the only player in the league capable of giving LeBron (who is now one of the best three in terms of talent to play the game - ever) night-sweats. If the Heat and Thunder meet in the Finals, expect a thrilling classic of epic, unpredictable, chilling quality. I'm wishing life had a fast-forward button at the mere thought. And yes, I'm now *that* sure that Chicago won't make the cut (barring a major Heat injury). They're like the Spurs; great collective team, but when and how you get that entire team on the court is always in question, and therefore, you will never be able to escape the inevitability of doomed potential. Rose's injuries, and even simply the preponderance of them, will sink Chicago's title hopes. As for the Mavs.... can Dirk do it again? Should a 'P.S.' be this long? Are you asking, or am I? Shut up, Phil. Ok.


Fin


Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:29 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I think we all don't care for Carmelo and that's mostly a good thing. Let's not go too far though. Yes, he's mostly a scorer but scoring at an elite level isn't that easy to do. He's one of the few players who can get his shot almost anytime he wants and he nails them at a decent (not elite) percentage. He's also really good in crunch time. In fact, there was some list that once listed him as shooting the highest percentage on game winning shots of all players in the league. Not something LBJ could say, but then most players are better than James at the end.

That said, I don't see a team winning a title with him as the #1 guy. He just doesn't make his team better which is something all the great players can say.

I still think LBJ is the clear MVP if only because the MVP is a number's game. KD is playing at a ridiculous level though. His closing is almost Dirk-like ;)

Re: Lin. The kid is the real deal. He won't sustain those numbers (not with Melo, Amare, JR Smith) but he's playing great. Mind you, he'd easily lead the league in TO's which is something most people are happily ignoring. How can you not love the story though? Dude is living the dream. It would be interesting to see if he could put up those numbers outside of Mike D's system though (I do grant that it's mostly pick & roll hoops).


Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:40 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I think Phil's lengthy paragraph above is much more fair to Carmelo, and I more or less agree. He is an elite scorer, and that's a great trait to have, but, as Ed said, he's not the kind of guy who's going to make others better. I do give him credit for at least being willing to try that this season before the Knicks discovered Lin, but he was failing pretty spectacularly. Hopefully, now that he no longer has to play the point forward role, he can go back to doing what he does best - getting buckets.

I don't think Melo can get a team to the brink of a championship as its best player, but if he's a member of a team that gets to that point, he can certainly deliver a title. Closing games is the most important part of the NBA game, and Melo is an elite closer. It's too bad he never rounded out his entire game the way guys like Lebron and Durant have.

As for Lin, I also think he's legit. I do think he's playing over his head a bit right now, and we all know D'Antoni's system inflates any halfway decent PG's numbers, but I do think he's going to be an NBA starter for quite some time. It's a great story and the kid makes it really easy to root for him. His high turnovers are a little easier to live with when you consider that he's essentially a rookie getting his first extended minutes. Most young PGs take some time to adjust and get the turnovers down. Lin will get better with that in time, and the success he's having in spite of those TOs points toward a promising future.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:29 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
So... Celtics. I almost give up. Funny thing is, I enjoyed having Rondo out, but KG being away for anymore than one game makes me panic. We cannot play decent ball without him. I'd say KG, under worse circumstances, is more valuable now than Duncan, mostly because his defense is still so insane. We will make the playoffs, but Dear Lord... we need a trade. Is there any hope for Boston this year, short of Rondo finally going on medication?


Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:52 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
The C's are a tough bunch to gauge this season. Their biggest issue isn't one of chemistry or talent, it's that they're old. Really old. The regular season was going to be a slog for them before the lockout, and the insanity of the compressed schedule has only amplified that. Again, they're so old!

I usually wouldn't count a team like them out (experience and know-how tend to work in the postseason), but it's hard to envision them rising above the 7th seed simply due to the schedule and their old bones. A first round meeting with Chicago or Miami has to be a pretty terrible thought for C's fans.

A trade would be nice, but they'd likely have to give up Rondo to get anyone of real value. It isn't a bad idea to trade him since no one knows how good he'll be when he isn't dishing to future HOFers. He's a very good player, but I don't think he's quite good enough to carry a team. I'd consider trading him while his value is high.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:32 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
The C's are a tough bunch to gauge this season. Their biggest issue isn't one of chemistry or talent, it's that they're old. Really old. The regular season was going to be a slog for them before the lockout, and the insanity of the compressed schedule has only amplified that. Again, they're so old!

I usually wouldn't count a team like them out (experience and know-how tend to work in the postseason), but it's hard to envision them rising above the 7th seed simply due to the schedule and their old bones. A first round meeting with Chicago or Miami has to be a pretty terrible thought for C's fans.

A trade would be nice, but they'd likely have to give up Rondo to get anyone of real value. It isn't a bad idea to trade him since no one knows how good he'll be when he isn't dishing to future HOFers. He's a very good player, but I don't think he's quite good enough to carry a team. I'd consider trading him while his value is high.


Here's my thing: I like the C's against the Bulls if Rose is anything less than 80%. I don't think they'll win, but at the same time, good defense versus good defense is always an interesting match-up and always a coin flip. However, with the Heat, just no. Nobody can match the Heat, the Celtics especially. The Heat were made to break the rules, and in the playoffs, they have the ability to do so all the way through. The only way to truly beat them is to out-crazy them like Dallas did. You might never see a team do to Miami what Dallas did last postseason. Still an absolute shock and a damn-near miracle. And people actually didn't want Dirk in as an All-Star? Really? If Wade is in, despite being injured all season, if talent is the number one reason and commodity for All-Star votes, then Dirk is on, no question. I'm sick of people bitching about that. He'll obviously get his numbers. He's Dirk. You are a fool if you expected him not to.

As for trading Rondo, my only long answer is 'yes, and soon, for anyone at all'.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:33 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
As for trading Rondo, my only long answer is 'yes, and soon, for anyone at all'.


Why? He's a headcase, sure (although the ball at the ref I had no problem with -- Rondo got murdered on the play leading up to that). Yes, he's flawed with his jumpshot. But he's their most consistently good and important player. Who could they possibly trade him for that would bring good value? Just remember that every flaw you can point out in Rondo at this point could have been pointed out in Jason Kidd at the same point in his career. Not saying that Rondo is on Kidd's level or will be, but Kidd thrived most in Jersey with the perfect assembly of players around him to maximize his particular gifts.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
If Wade is in, despite being injured all season, if talent is the number one reason and commodity for All-Star votes, then Dirk is on, no question. I'm sick of people bitching about that. He'll obviously get his numbers. He's Dirk. You are a fool if you expected him not to.


But unlike Wade, Dirk hasn't been good when he was playing. No one is saying anything about him not getting his numbers, but he hasn't gotten them yet.

Regarding Melo, he's as good a scorer as the game has right now. He's absolutely elite, he's just not a superstar. Which is fine. I agree that you can't win a title with him being the team's leader or best overall player, but you can certainly win the title if he's your best offensive player and you have the right pieces around.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:55 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Why? He's a headcase, sure (although the ball at the ref I had no problem with -- Rondo got murdered on the play leading up to that). Yes, he's flawed with his jumpshot. But he's their most consistently good and important player. Who could they possibly trade him for that would bring good value? Just remember that every flaw you can point out in Rondo at this point could have been pointed out in Jason Kidd at the same point in his career. Not saying that Rondo is on Kidd's level or will be, but Kidd thrived most in Jersey with the perfect assembly of players around him to maximize his particular gifts.


I disagree some here. You have to remember those Nets teams were coming out of the East when it was at an all time low (they wouldn't have been in the top half of the West in either season) and they went 2-8 in the Finals, including being swept by the Lakers. Those Nets teams were good, but they were far from great teams. I'm not saying any of this to knock Kidd, he's a legit HOFer and one of the best pure PGs ever. I just think you have to remember these things if you're advocating the C's rebuild around Rondo once Pierce, KG, and Allen are gone. Kidd had the perfect running mates for his skill set, was in his prime, and they were still just a good team. I'm not sure Rondo will have the stars align the same way, and even if they do, it's tough for me to see the C's better than "pretty good" with him as the unquestioned leader.

Shade wrote:
But unlike Wade, Dirk hasn't been good when he was playing. No one is saying anything about him not getting his numbers, but he hasn't gotten them yet.


I think this debate boils down on how you view All-Star selections. Are they the best players from the current season (and within that the best players from winning teams or the players with the best numbers) or the best players in the game period? As with Duncan last year, it's quite obvious Dirk made it on rep this season. I'm fine with that, as both of those guys are all-time greats. To me, it's better to let them stick around a little longer than they should than it is to get rid of them a little too early. For the most part, I think the All-Star Game does a pretty good job of balancing the two.

Also, Dirk's been rolling along pretty well lately. I don't think he's gonna give up that championship belt without a good fight this summer.

Shade wrote:
Regarding Melo, he's as good a scorer as the game has right now. He's absolutely elite, he's just not a superstar. Which is fine. I agree that you can't win a title with him being the team's leader or best overall player, but you can certainly win the title if he's your best offensive player and you have the right pieces around.


Agreed and it's what I was getting at with my post.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:17 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
I disagree some here. You have to remember those Nets teams were coming out of the East when it was at an all time low (they wouldn't have been in the top half of the West in either season) and they went 2-8 in the Finals, including being swept by the Lakers. Those Nets teams were good, but they were far from great teams. I'm not saying any of this to knock Kidd, he's a legit HOFer and one of the best pure PGs ever. I just think you have to remember these things if you're advocating the C's rebuild around Rondo once Pierce, KG, and Allen are gone. Kidd had the perfect running mates for his skill set, was in his prime, and they were still just a good team. I'm not sure Rondo will have the stars align the same way, and even if they do, it's tough for me to see the C's better than "pretty good" with him as the unquestioned leader.


I actually don't disagree with you at all here. You are absolutely right about Kidd's Nets coming out of a very weak East. Like Kidd, Rondo would require a perfect situation to thrive that much (and maybe that ship has already sailed for him). I guess I just need to hear who you guys think he has comparable value to. I wouldn't trade him for the likes of, say, Monta Ellis. An (unexisting) healthy Steph Curry? Awfully tempting. We all know PG is the most loaded position right now, but there's not a better defender of the position, which is important because of the previous statement. I agree with your last sentence in the sense that it's hard to see them competing for a title, for sure.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:13 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
I usually wouldn't count a team like them out (experience and know-how tend to work in the postseason), but it's hard to envision them rising above the 7th seed simply due to the schedule and their old bones. A first round meeting with Chicago or Miami has to be a pretty terrible thought for C's fans.

A trade would be nice, but they'd likely have to give up Rondo to get anyone of real value. It isn't a bad idea to trade him since no one knows how good he'll be when he isn't dishing to future HOFers. He's a very good player, but I don't think he's quite good enough to carry a team. I'd consider trading him while his value is high.


I kind of agree with Phil re: Boston's chances. The Heat would probably annihilate them, but if Rose's back isn't what it should be then I think that the C's have a real chance (provided they have a healthy core).

Re: Rondo trade - how about...Rondo for Westbrook? I know it wouldn't work straight up because of salaries (or would it? I haven't checked...) but it would be an interesting move. KD gets an elite disher and Westbrook's one man offense would help a Celts team that struggles to score. What say you?

Shade wrote:
But unlike Wade, Dirk hasn't been good when he was playing. No one is saying anything about him not getting his numbers, but he hasn't gotten them yet.


Dude! He did start really poorly but he's been at a Dirk-level (or pretty damn near to it) since about his 3-4th game after coming back from his rest. They can't win the title with the bigs they have (right?) but I wouldn't count against Nosferatu doing his clutch thing in the playoffs. Especially since the Mavs seem to be finding their D.

Bucket?


Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:54 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
I guess I just need to hear who you guys think he has comparable value to.


I think it would be really tough to trade him straight up for someone and get equal value. Ed's suggestion of Westbrook is about as close as I think you can get, but that would cause Boston to rebuild their entire roster and change their style of play. I think the only way they trade Rondo is if they think they don't have a legit shot this year (which I don't think they do), and they think their 3 older stars are pretty much done (that's debatable). They'd have to decide whether or not to keep Rondo and build their future around him, or trade him now while you can get a ton for him and rebuild around that. If the decision was to trade him, I think their best option would be to get multiple pieces for him (a few good players and high picks). I think there's a bunch of teams out there that could use him, although there's way too many for me to propose specific deals.

I wouldn't trade him to the Lakers for Gasol. He's much too old and wouldn't be around by the time they built the team up again and were ready to contend.

ed_metal_head wrote:
Dude! He did start really poorly but he's been at a Dirk-level (or pretty damn near to it) since about his 3-4th game after coming back from his rest. They can't win the title with the bigs they have (right?) but I wouldn't count against Nosferatu doing his clutch thing in the playoffs. Especially since the Mavs seem to be finding their D.


Agreed. In a loss last night he put up 25 and 12. He's been Dirk-like for a while now, and we knew he would return. They're 4th in the West and have been playing pretty well of late. I think the West, despite OKC's dominance, is totally wide open this year. The Mavs' bigs don't inspire too much, but the same can be said about OKC and San Antonio, AKA the West's 2 best teams. Right now, I just don't think any team out West is head and shoulders above the pack. My point is, Dallas, with an in-shape, focused Dirk, has as good a shot as anyone. Shit, we saw the same thing happen last season.

The East? It's Miami or Chicago and it has been since about halfway through last season.

ed_metal_head wrote:


I watched 10 seconds of that and have no idea what the fuck that is. By just looking at the title of the youtube video I knew I was going to be left clueless.


Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:54 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
But unlike Wade, Dirk hasn't been good when he was playing. No one is saying anything about him not getting his numbers, but he hasn't gotten them yet.


I'm discounting this and assuming you were high or drunk, because this is probably one of the weaker points you've made as a poster. And believe me, flaky forum habits aside, I've seen quite a bit of your debates. I even made this NBA thread that everybody loved arguing in...

Dirk has been playing great for at least the last three weeks. He was actually quite good in the Knicks-Mav game as well but Carlisle, great as he is, had no answer for Lin. Marion needs to stop mad-tweeting and start zoning better.

Shade wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
I disagree some here. You have to remember those Nets teams were coming out of the East when it was at an all time low (they wouldn't have been in the top half of the West in either season) and they went 2-8 in the Finals, including being swept by the Lakers. Those Nets teams were good, but they were far from great teams. I'm not saying any of this to knock Kidd, he's a legit HOFer and one of the best pure PGs ever. I just think you have to remember these things if you're advocating the C's rebuild around Rondo once Pierce, KG, and Allen are gone. Kidd had the perfect running mates for his skill set, was in his prime, and they were still just a good team. I'm not sure Rondo will have the stars align the same way, and even if they do, it's tough for me to see the C's better than "pretty good" with him as the unquestioned leader.


I actually don't disagree with you at all here. You are absolutely right about Kidd's Nets coming out of a very weak East. Like Kidd, Rondo would require a perfect situation to thrive that much (and maybe that ship has already sailed for him). I guess I just need to hear who you guys think he has comparable value to. I wouldn't trade him for the likes of, say, Monta Ellis. An (unexisting) healthy Steph Curry? Awfully tempting. We all know PG is the most loaded position right now, but there's not a better defender of the position, which is important because of the previous statement. I agree with your last sentence in the sense that it's hard to see them competing for a title, for sure.


Rondo for Curry? Eh. I think the best value would be for D-Will, only because he's a PG and he apparently is one of two people (along with Jarret Jack) who can best Jeremy Lin one on one, and for some horrible reason I feel like we have a series with the Knicks coming up in the playoffs because we beat them so badly last postseason. I don't even care that it's not logistically plausible - it's going to happen. Sports karma never fails. The Niners beat the Giants 39-38 in the biggest modern comeback in sports history... and then you know what happened ten years later. Thank you, Kyle Williams.

As for the Nets, as somebody who kind of lived in New Jersey most of my life and saw their home games - yes, they were never able to beat any of the West's elite, ever; yes, they folded even when down by a deficit as low as seven points; yes, Jason Kidd hitting two consecutive threes would be as rare as seeing Blake Griffin knock two consecutive FTs down (all kidding aside, is it weird that Shaunie O'Neal complimented Blake via Twitter when he plays almost exactly like Shaq - including terrible free throws - and plays in L.A.? Cougar alert!); yes, they usually scored all of their points early and never could close games unless they had a lofty cushion in the final five minutes.

HOWEVER

They were a fun team that was able to flow as well as any team I've ever seen. Say what you will about Jefferson, K-Mart, or J-Kidd, but their chemistry rating was a perfect 100. They made the most of each other and, according to everything that happened afterwards, Martin and Jefferson owe almost everything on their resume to Kidd's mastery during this period. They simply played like different people as Nets. Jason Kidd being traded to Dallas for Devin Harris and a few other schmucks is the blackest day in Nets history, and that says things that are almost unspeakable. I will always be happy for Kidd's success no matter where he plays or what team uni he wears for the Hall of Fame - which he's not only making, but should be first-ballot. The Nets may have been overrated (at least when viewed historically), but he deserves all of the accolades he's received, and if there was any fairness in the world, at least one of the Nets' Finals runs would have netted him MVP over Tim Duncan, aka the luckiest bastard to ever wear play on a sports team (seriously, does he have a horse-shoe up his ass or what?). //End rant

Also, although maybe this is just my fan-ship of Boston peaking through, but wasn't there ability to go from being down 72-49 at the half to begin within six points of OKC in the final few minutes pretty impressive? And without Rondo? The Thunder nearly let that game slip away to a Boston team that looked hungry - even possessed - during the second half of play. It's important that Celts fan appreciate that their team is running on its last legs, but it is also important for the rest of the league to remember that they are a team with three future HOFers, a crazy white guy over-achiever in Pietrus (an always dangerous - and ridiculously funny - thing), and a psycho PG who will probably end up killing someone one day over a game of Spades. They can tear the house down - they just need some Ovaltine and slippers, first. I'd say their chances of winning it all this year are as good as the Spurs, only because both, records aside, have no hope unless the universe implodes and Ray Allen and Gary Neal are the last men on Earth. And, due respect to Neal, who is playing out off his mind, but Ray Allen will. Never. Die.

P.S. - Fuck you, ed, for making me think the Celtics have a chance to nab Westbrook. I still don't get the hate for Westbrook - he's an elite scorer as much as anyone besides the big three (Kobe, LeBron, and Durant) who would be the best guy playing in an OKC uniform if it weren't for Durant making the jump to better-than-just-elite status. I would be absolutely OVERWHELMED with excitement if we got Westbrook. We get one of the best players in the NBA and the Thunder get a guy who should could come with a Zoloft coupon? Forget the Perkins trade (which has gotten to be so overrated that it actually overshadows the Melo-bacle last year), the Celtics would have absolutely slaughtered OKC at the trade game. God willing, we may even have Green back next year (I legit hope he's okay, basketball reasons aside), who I believe can be an effective sixth man in Boston. Things might look pretty bad in Boston-town right now, but we have one thing that most other teams do not - a psychotic GM who would trade his grandmother's real estate for a championship team. You get places with that killer-type of mentality. Counting out the Green as contenders in the future seems to be as silly as betting on Jason Kidd nail his next two three-pointers. Can't you just feel that money leaving your pocket? Me too. //Point made


Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:42 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
he apparently is one of two people (along with Jarret Jack) who can best Jeremy Lin one on one


I would normally let this slide, but I can't this time. I can only assume you're referring to when the Hornets beat the Knicks. If so, that was the one and only Greivis Vasquez who got the better of Lin that night. You see, Mr. Vasquez, the former Maryland Terrapin, is something of a local legend around my way. I will not stand idly by as credit that should go to him undeservingly goes to another local kid (who went to Georgia Tech!!!). Greivis has taken Jack's starting gig this year and is playing really well, albeit for a terrible team. He had 15 and 11 against Lin, while Jack went 1-6 from the floor with 1 assist, 4 rebounds, and 3 turnovers.

All hail Greivis. I love that guy.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
As for the Nets...


I agree with most of what you say about the Nets. They were a good, fun, chemistry-laden team. They just weren't anywhere close to great and benefitted from a very weak conference. My point wasn't to bash that team, but to use their fortunate circumstances as evidence that a Celtics lead Rondo team would be unlikely to be title contenders. If the ceiling for a team built around a true PG without a jump shot is 52 wins and the distinction of being one of the worst teams to reach the Finals, the C's are in trouble. And that's before we even get to debating about who's better - Rondo or Kidd. And the answer is Kidd, by a wide margin.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
MVP over Tim Duncan, aka the luckiest bastard to ever wear play on a sports team (seriously, does he have a horse-shoe up his ass or what?).


I'm not sure what you mean by this. It sounds like you're saying Duncan owes his career to luck or something. Again, I'm not really sure. Please elaborate.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
Also, although maybe this is just my fan-ship of Boston peaking through, but wasn't there ability to go from being down 72-49 at the half to begin within six points of OKC in the final few minutes pretty impressive?


That's definitely fandom rearing its ugly head. They're professionals. They don't get credit for coming back and still losing. The game never should have been that one-sided in the first place. They made the game entertaining in the second half, but as professional athletes, I'm not giving them any credit for doing something they're supposed to do. Compete all game next time.

Finally, Mickael Pietrus might be French, but he certainly isn't white.


Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:32 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
he apparently is one of two people (along with Jarret Jack) who can best Jeremy Lin one on one


I would normally let this slide, but I can't this time. I can only assume you're referring to when the Hornets beat the Knicks. If so, that was the one and only Greivis Vasquez who got the better of Lin that night. You see, Mr. Vasquez, the former Maryland Terrapin, is something of a local legend around my way. I will not stand idly by as credit that should go to him undeservingly goes to another local kid (who went to Georgia Tech!!!). Greivis has taken Jack's starting gig this year and is playing really well, albeit for a terrible team. He had 15 and 11 against Lin, while Jack went 1-6 from the floor with 1 assist, 4 rebounds, and 3 turnovers.

All hail Greivis. I love that guy.


General Greivis? Alright, I'll concede. That's still a nitpick of my greater point - D-Will roundly defeated Lin at the peak of Linsanity, with Mleo back (although, then again, that may have aquatically helped). There goes Jarrett Jack, ruining something beautiful again. What a Jack-ass.

I think Duncan is a great player who had the beneficiary of amazing timing; the Spurs organization as a whole was in an up-trend during his time there. Duncan won with Robinson in 99', but there is no doubt that the weight of the Spur's long-term title runs rests with Parker and Ginobli's emergence, maybe moreso than Duncan. I think KG was and remains a more valuable player than Duncan, but until 2008 he was never really put in position to truly succeed. You can't ask for for better teammates than Duncan routinely gets. KG, by contrast, played with Steph Marbury and Latrell Sprewell. Double ugh.


Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:53 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
I think Duncan is a great player who had the beneficiary of amazing timing; the Spurs organization as a whole was in an up-trend during his time there. Duncan won with Robinson in 99', but there is no doubt that the weight of the Spur's long-term title runs rests with Parker and Ginobli's emergence, maybe moreso than Duncan. I think KG was and remains a more valuable player than Duncan, but until 2008 he was never really put in position to truly succeed. You can't ask for for better teammates than Duncan routinely gets. KG, by contrast, played with Steph Marbury and Latrell Sprewell. Double ugh.


I think you're the one who's high now, Phil. I think you're reaching a bit to discredit Duncan and give props the KG here. I don't have a problem with thinking KG is better (although I disagree), but Duncan was the driving force and unquestioned best player on all those title teams. Sure, he had better teammates than KG did in Minnesota, but he also won 4 titles with those teammates as the main guy on those teams. KG's got one title with even better teammates in Boston.

There's also the closer factor that people seem to forget about now that KG's won a title. He's never been able to close games out offensively, and that was the #1 reason why his Minnesota teams struggled in the playoffs. As The Man, he couldn't get it done on the offensive end. He still can't. He just now has Paul Pierce to do it for him. Or had. KG is one of the best to ever play outside of that, and it's something that will likely be glossed over once his career ends, but he's never been a go-to guy on the offensive end. It's why, despite being the emotional leader and defensive monster the Celtics needs, he and Pierce were equally valuable to their title run. You might not put Duncan in that category either, but the Spurs' offense ran through him in every 4th quarter of every big game they ever played.


Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:39 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
I think Duncan is a great player who had the beneficiary of amazing timing; the Spurs organization as a whole was in an up-trend during his time there. Duncan won with Robinson in 99', but there is no doubt that the weight of the Spur's long-term title runs rests with Parker and Ginobli's emergence, maybe moreso than Duncan. I think KG was and remains a more valuable player than Duncan, but until 2008 he was never really put in position to truly succeed. You can't ask for for better teammates than Duncan routinely gets. KG, by contrast, played with Steph Marbury and Latrell Sprewell. Double ugh.


I think you're the one who's high now, Phil. I think you're reaching a bit to discredit Duncan and give props the KG here. I don't have a problem with thinking KG is better (although I disagree), but Duncan was the driving force and unquestioned best player on all those title teams. Sure, he had better teammates than KG did in Minnesota, but he also won 4 titles with those teammates as the main guy on those teams. KG's got one title with even better teammates in Boston.

There's also the closer factor that people seem to forget about now that KG's won a title. He's never been able to close games out offensively, and that was the #1 reason why his Minnesota teams struggled in the playoffs. As The Man, he couldn't get it done on the offensive end. He still can't. He just now has Paul Pierce to do it for him. Or had. KG is one of the best to ever play outside of that, and it's something that will likely be glossed over once his career ends, but he's never been a go-to guy on the offensive end. It's why, despite being the emotional leader and defensive monster the Celtics needs, he and Pierce were equally valuable to their title run. You might not put Duncan in that category either, but the Spurs' offense ran through him in every 4th quarter of every big game they ever played.


PeachyPete wrote:
You have to remember those Nets teams were coming out of the East when it was at an all time low (they wouldn't have been in the top half of the West in either season) and they went 2-8 in the Finals, including being swept by the Lakers.


And guess who cleaned house during this period? If you guessed the Spurs, then you are very right, sir. They beat the Nets with J-Kidd, The Pistons featuring... (?), and The Cavs with LeBron (hey, when else would you rather face him?). Oh, and they won a title during a league-shortened strike against the Knicks. KG, with Pierce and Allen, beat THE FUCKING LAKERS. Now, you have to be careful to note that I'm not saying Tim Duncan isn't a HOFer, or that he didn't deserve his championships, but he was a man, like Tom Brady, who essentially cashed in literally all of his chips when the other side of the league looked weak. Ever sine the East surged into prominence and Kobe re-established himself as King of All Things Western, there was no more question about who would win during odd years. There was no more Spurs basketball being played after the first or second rounds. To me, it's symbolic that the Spurs miss a title run seemingly every year with a Ginobli injury (is it just me or does this seem as likely year-in, year-out as anything in sports? Anything), because, fluke 99' title aside, they needed the core team they had to win those championships. Now, I might be going overboard in calling it 'luck' (there was certainly some great, HOF skill involved), but you yourself underlined the weakness of the Eastern Conference at the time they were banking in rings, and really, the Western Conference hadn't formed a worthy adversary. The Lakers were bridging in between periods of dominance with years of relative weakness (funny how the Spurs suddenly started winning after the Lakers' dynasty fell...), the Mavs were initially clueless in terms of playoffs basketball, the Suns with Nash were the same way, and then there was... Portland? Utah? New Orleans? The Webber-Kings?

Duncan's ability will never be up for debate, but his route to the championships he accrued was anything but death-defying, like say, Dirk's title run was last season. When people put Duncan ahead of Dirk and KG, I think that the criteria of the titles he won weighs a little too heavily. I'd argue that he's probably better than KG All-Time (there' no definitive reason for KG to overtake him, although in terms of ability it's oh-so-close), but that Dirk is my favorite for best PF of his generation. The title sheet doesn't back it up, but then, I'll take beating Bron and Wade and Bosh over beating Bron and... Ilgauskus? Everybody here knows I've never espoused great love for San Antonio, a team I've never cared for, ever, but objectively I do think Duncan gets a little too much credit, as Brady does, for dominating the league during its weaker period, and people generally forget how solid both of their surrounding casts, from GMs to coaches to the exact right type of teammates needed to make them prosper, were. KG finally got that (although I'm not sure I'm willing to call Danny Ainge 'great' without putting ten asterisks afterwards), but it was as his prime was just beginning to fade. History will favor Duncan, but Dirk left perhaps the most positive impression of any athlete in any sport on me last postseason. I know Duncan was generally aces whenever he was on the biggest stage, but I'm not sure he was ever as accountable and magnificent every single play like Dirk was. I still get stunned when I think about it, even for a moment. If you're an NBA fan, you can never put that out of your mind when addressing Dirk. It's almost haunting how good he was. For me, that changed how I categorize Dirk in relation to Duncan; logic says it is not so, but my eyes provided a much more overwhelming counter-point. I say he's the best PF of his generation.


Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:29 pm
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