Saturday, March 21, 2009

May The Best Team Win

This was one of those rare days of NBA basketball where only one underdog got the best of their marginally more talented opponent.  The four best teams in the NBA all played tonight, and all four won, though not without some drama in Chicago.  The Cavs clobbered the surging Hawks, Orlando and Boston were fortunate enough to have games scheduled with a combined 45-93 opponent's record, but Los Angeles was forced to exert some effort.  Their second half dominance deserves some credit, but perhaps lost in the shuffle is the fine recent work of Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro.

I was as skeptical as the next guy when Chicago brought in ol' "Vinny of the Black," and it seemed like he was about one loss away from joining me in unemployment when the Bulls made a key trade with the Sacramento Kings.  The last 2-3 years of trades will surely be marked by the Lakers' repeated fleecing of the Memphis Grizzlies, but this Bulls/Kings trade was a fairly spectacular blunder by the increasingly desperate Maloofs and their imploding wallets.  For those unaware, Sacramento is currently mired in a painful (and frightfully absurd) battle for a new basketball arena.  For a city as devoted to their basketball team as Sacramento, an arena should have been much easier to acquire.  But, as we all know, the economy is poor, the Maloofs are about as patient as two Mark Cubans, and the Kings were losing.  The best course of action?  Ship out John Salmons and Brad Miller, your team's best defender (and second-leading scorer) and one of the top-5 passing big men in the league for Andres Nocioni: "itis" edition, Drew Gooden's expiring contract, an 8x10 glossy of Ike Diogu, and...Cedric Simmons?  Yikes.  The next logical question, following a full assessment of this trade would have to be, "Will Vegas get a football or basketball team first?"

And some final food for thought.  Phoenix, now beginning to play with some urgency, is 4.0 games behind Dallas for the Western Conference's final playoff  spot.  Is there enough time left, and enough gas left in the Big Oil Tanker's reserve?

Saturday pick-up time, theme: flavors of medicine.

Grape (the best by default because it doesn't taste like "medicine"):
  • Trevor Ariza - Points, 3's, and a robust sack of steals, all without turning the ball over.
Minimal (sometimes described as "honey-lemon," I'm convinced a factory worker just cried in the blend):
  • Tyrus Thomas - Played over 40 minutes for the first time in ages, and posted certifiably succulent numbers.  Maybe this game will light a small campfire in his belly.  Pick him up, bench him for one more game to get a good look, then decide.
  • Jarrett Jack - He had been spiraling, but apparently a head-butt from T.J. Ford was enough to get the motor going.  An evening like tonight should be enough to earn him another start.
  • Steve Blake - Don't say I didn't warn you.  It was clear he was getting his stroke back, and tonight's half-dozen 3-pointers will probably catch the other managers' attention.  You may still have a few minutes to pick up Blake, and I suggest you use them wisely.
  • Joel Przybilla - Greg Oden is playing hurt, whether or not he wants to admit it, but Portland keeps winning.  I've been working hard to come up with a Godzilla joke, but the best I can do is to spell it all crazy-like.  Is Gdzoilla funny?  I guess not...
  • Wilson Chandler - Larry Hughes hurt his toe, so Chandler should get even better.  But "even better" in Knickglish might still offend your senses.
Cherry (does sucking down the grossest crap in the universe really make diseases go bye-bye?):
  • Glen Davis - A career night is a fine accomplishment and all, but Garnett's minutes are ramping up, and Kendrick Perkins is holding down fort at the 5.
  • Ramon Sessions - I'm afraid it may officially be time to cut bait with Sessions.  All the playing time is starting to catch up with the youngster.  Be aware, though, that once he develops the stamina to last an entire NBA season, Sessions will be a top-50 player.


Danno said...

Just getting the ball rollin'...someone else can comment without trying to break the proverbial ice.

DW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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