Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lakers 2009

Now that the dust has settled from the thorough ass-whupping that Boston put on them, the Lakers have some key decisions to make for next year.

Do they shake things up?

There's been plenty of talk about how Boston 'exposed' the Lakers as a soft team that was weak in the middle. That's bullshit. They were widely regarded as soft ever since the Gasol trade and the front office knows it. So do they deal Lamar Odom for a better defender at the 3 or 4, a Ron Artest or Shawn Marion, perhaps?

Or do they stand pat?

Andrew Bynum made significant enough progress before his injury that many wondered whether or not his presence alone would have altered the Finals outcome. The entire Boston frontline was attacking the rim and pounding the offensive glass at will- something that wouldn't have happened so easily with Bynum patrolling the paint.

The guess here is they sit on their laurels and try again next year with the same unit. Team chemistry was especially good and a big reason for the team's success. Plus Kupcake doesn't have the balls to roll the dice with so much at stake.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NBA Draft 2008- Battle Of The Smurfs

Heard from the pre-draft measurements that PG Derrick Rose measured at 6'1. A little short but not bad, I guess. But supposed PF Michael Beasley came in at 6'8. SG OJ Mayo- 6'3. Huh? And Kevin Love's a 6'7 post player? Really? Why is this draft class so consistently undersized at their respective positions? And more importantly, who are these little guys gonna guard?

I'm going out on a limb and saying that from this group, only Rose manages to overcome his height deficiency to become a bonafide star. He's physically strong enough to make up for his stature. And he's a pure point. The rest of this year's projected lottery selections seem like tweeners to me. Bayless, Gordon and Westbrook are all tiny 2s without the requisite handle or court vision to play 1. Ben Gordon types. Or worst case scenario, Trajan Langdon types.

Regarding Beasley, he's got a crazy skill set (instinct, shooting range, handle) but I can't help but feel that he's not big enough to play inside. Who knows? Maybe he's the next Carlos Boozer, an anomaly who compensates for his lack of length with quickness and strength. Or maybe Beasley's the next Ed O'Bannon, Walter Berry, Corliss Williamson, Mike Sweetney, Ike get the point. Those guys were all double double machines in college who were (or are currently) largely ineffective as pros.

I'm no NBA GM and I certainly haven't conducted any private workouts (or even seen any of these players in person) but Rose and Brandon Rush are the only players I'd draft from this class without hesitation.

F U, Floppers

So the NBA's gonna crack down on flopping next year, eh? That's good. For too long now, flopping motherfuckers have been rewarded for their bitchery by myopic refs (who are probably fixing games for the mob). Flopping's terrible for the sport. It slows down the pace, causes injuries, pisses off the fans. You don't even cheer your own players when they take a charge. It's like you're happy but embarrassed for them at the same time. Seriously, when was the last time you heard a fan yell 'Way to sell that contact, Varejao!' or 'Great reverse tackle, Ginobili'? That kind of behavior starts fights on the playground. But NBA refs keep calling it so floppers keep doing it.

And now comes this talk of reviewing tapes and penalizing obvious flops. Cool. Scoring will go up. Why? Defensive players will make more plays on the ball instead of sliding in underneath to draw charges; offensive players will attack the rim more knowing some coward isn't rushing over to stand under their legs when they land.

Last year's biggest flopper? A surprise, actually. D Fish of The Lakers with something like 50 offensive fouls taken. People usually think of Fish as a high-character guy. The Flop is anything but high-character. How about next year, they give an award out at the end of the season for most charges taken and call it The Floppy? Floppy Fisher's got a nice ring to it.