Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why I Don't Really Respect Lebron...Yet.

#1. I just never bought into the hype. Has the guy been a tremendous ball player? No doubt. He's definitely earned ever contract. And if this was wrestling, then sure you'd kinda have to buy him as the next big thing. But in real live game? He's only impressed me once. last year against the Pistons. That was a real pro performance. I dig that guy. And we've gotten a bit more of him this year.

#2. But just like everybody downplays Kobe for his allegiance to Jordan you have understand that Lebron didn't understand the NBA til he spent a summer with Kobe. Remember, coach K didn't even want Lebron for the current USA squad. After the world championships the US coaches felt like Lebron was their biggest handicap, because they had to play him, while he had no idea how to play nice with others. This summer, Kobe's 1st in USA basketball, Lebron learned what it means to be the top dog. Kobe didn't have to take the most shots, or dominate the ball. But everyday in practice, and come game time he imposed his will. Lebron learned. I respect that.

#3. Lebron kills his teammates. Can't blame it on the coaching cause it was happening before Mike Brown, plus it's why they hated him in USA basketball. Name one player who has played better with Lebron..? Darius Miles, Ricky Davis, Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, Smush Parker, Dsagana Diop, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Wally Sczerbiak. The List get's longer every time he adds a teammate. Some of those guys were better before playing with him, some rebounded afterwards, but the key is that they sucked being on the same floor with Lebron. Everybody talks about how gifted a passer he is, but in the actual vibe of the game he kills guys. He destroys offensive systems as easily as he splits Detroit double teams. They talk about Kobe as a ball hog, but there's numerous guys (Luke Walton, Brian Cook, Sasha Pavolic, Smush Parker, all post-Shaq guys) who owe their careers to KB.

#4. I don't see Lebron as anything more than a big Allen Iverson. Understand, I believe AI is a first ballot HOFer and one of the greatest guards to ever play the game. But just like Philly eventually realized, there's only so much of a team you can build around this type of guy. defensive oriented, with a couple guys who can hit shots (remember Aaron Mckey and Raja Bell in AI's MVP year). Wow, and how shitty for Larry Hughes that he's had to play with both these guys?! He spent 3 years in between those two with Gil Arenas in GS and Was. and was damn near an all-star. And you saw what he was doing when he got minutes in Chi. Back to the point though, Lebron, at this point in his career, is an offense killer. Sure his numbers are sweet, but it's cause he eats everyone else's game. Face the facts.

So is the kid amazing? Absolutely! I don't doubt his skill. Can't doubt his skill. My issue is his effect. Sure he made it to the Finals, in a clearly shitty conference where he faced an injured Wiz (No Arenas. No Butler.), and the Nets (Lebron versus Vince, really?). Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth. It kinda taints my appreciation of the one series he did have against Detroit. I mean, this is the same conference where JKidd took Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles to back to back finals. When Kobe said "Put me in the East" it wasn't just about the numbers he'd put up, but the wins he'd put together. And as DWade proved, all you need is an opponent to choke...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Free Thoughts...

on the MVP race...

  • There only been 3 guys who deserve discussion here: Kobe, Lebron, CP3. Period. No other players are more important to the NBA this year.
  • Quite honestly, Lebron is in the convo but really has a limited chance. He's not doing anything Kobe hasn't done in the past couple years without being shout down. Over the past two seasons no one was more dominant, in live action, or in numbers than Kobe. The knock was that team excellence outshines individual excellence. That same argument disqualifies Lebron.
  • If either Kobe or Paul win the West then that guy should get the hardware. You know who I'm pulling for...

on Houston's streak...

  • 22 straight is amazing. I hope the fans enjoyed it. No way in hell this team wins a playoff series. Playing night to night against different teams in different situations is tough, so winning 22 straight demands respect, but playing 7 straight games against the same team is a bit different. It tends to destroy smoke and mirror gimmicks. Ask Steve Nash. Hell, as T-Mac!

on the Celtics...

  • Those guys play ball. Smack them in the face, they're gonna smack back. And fortunately for them no one in East is capable of throwing more than one punch. I really hope to see them versus both Lebron and the Pistons for 7.

on Dwight Howard...

  • How come this guy isn't dominating games? Sure he's young and all, but have you watched him? He can get awfully invisible for long stretches. I love his numbers, and he seems like a nice guy, but how is Hedo Turkoglu the leader of that team? Reminds me suspiciously of David Robinson.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Killer Instinct. That's what's separating the teams in the West right now. The Lakers employ the ultimate killer. San Antonio has three guys who would legitimately shank you for two cigs. Chris Paul hasn't proven his killer credential on the Playoff stage, but we all know it's coming. Even in the East you have to fear guys like Lebron, Billups, and Sheed. And the Boston guys to some lesser extent.

Outside of those teams, who do you love? I mean certainly Utah is a solid team, but do they scare you? Over the course of 7 games do you really see Dwil and Boozer out battling any of the previously mentioned guys? No. Me neither. Down the line...maybe, but right now those guys rate as B+'s in a league heavy with A's.

The same could be said about Melo, AI, TMac, even Nash an' 'em. The league's littered with these guys who you trust to win maybe one big game in one big series, but don't have the constitution to do it series after series until the one king is crowned.

To me, Dirk is the walking definition of these killer B's. I remember two years ago when Avery's prescence was still new and he effected Dirk the same way he did Mr. Robinson back in the day. remember the '06 playoffs when Dirk averaged 27 & 12 over a 23 game playoff run that saw him single-handedly destroy two top notch Spurs and Suns squads. Ultimately though, the soft doughy heart that is Dirk Nowitzki came through.

Up two games, and about to close out a third against the Heat, Dirk took a break. For 101 basketball games and 3 quarters, Avery begged, pleaded, or otherwise cajoled Dirk to rebound, to D-up, to work the post, to take the open shot, to take the big shot, to never let up. One step from the crown, Nowitzki let up.

Enter JKidd. At 35, Kidd is no longer a dominant player. And there's no question that, on paper, Dallas gave up way too much to get him. Kidd alone simply cannot put Dallas over the top. The future of the Cuban-era Mavericks has always rested in the heart of Dirk Nowitzki. Avery Johnson, at one point, provided a shot of nitro. But like any additive there is a point of diminishing returns. The aborted Finals appearence. The grind of of a 67-win season. The devastating first round loss to Nellie's Warriors. Whatever mojo Avery started with is clearly depleted. Now it's Kidd's job (or at least that's what both Cuban and Avery are betting on) to apply a little pressure to the gas. Not just juicing up Dallas's stale offense, but also applying on-court pressure to push Dirk to his best.

Oh and um, is anybody really surprised that the Suns suck now? A bad defensive team gives up their best defender, and they're supposed to improve? It's really time to stop drinking that Nash kool-aid y'all.