By Craig Kwasniewski
MMPG time, and not soon enough as both my fantasy football team and my knock-out pool entries are officially dead and buried (Did I mention that I hate the Detroit Lions?):
1. What the hell is Kevin McHale thinking? Individually, some of the Timberwolves' acquisitions in the past 12 months didn't look all that bad. They had to trade off Szczerbiak and getting the athletic Ricky Davis was an even swap. Taking a chance on Eddie Griffin, with the size, quickness, upside and cell phone use... why not. Signing Mike James looked like a coup, this thing's just crazy enough it might work.
Then I saw them in person last Tuesday, and crazy is the right word. Just how the hell is acquiring three frickin' psychos going to keep The Big Ticket happy? Rickey Davis, Eddie Griffin and Vin Baker have all ruined several franchises on their own, now with the combined power of all three... well let's just say that Garnett's already purchased a home in Malibu and according to Sam Smith, "has an escape clause in his contract after next season. My guess is he uses it, even with $23 million left for one season, and joins Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom on the Lakers."
2. Nice Offense? Throughout the 4th quarter in Saturday night's win over Indiana, the Chicago Bulls offense consisted of firing off bad shot after bad shot and crashing the boards for the rebound and put-back. The effort and sheer hustle late in the game was impressive and it worked, but this will be a problem as the season rolls on.
Merely getting Ben Wallace doesn't really solve the Bulls' low-post problem. Sheed is the key low post threat for the Pistons, drawing double teams and kicking out for open jumpers. Until they get a player that draws the multiple defenders, the Bulls will be a second round loss every year.
3. How to defend the Lakers. Very simple, just double off of Smush Parker. The past 3 Laker opponents have been leaving Smush Parker W-I-D-E O-P-E-N on the offensive end, basically ignoring him altogether. How has he responded? I haven't seen such an extreme case of Sphincteritis since Tim Duncan shot freethrows in the playoffs. Smush is 10-29 from the field with both hands firmly around his neck in the last three games.
Jordan Farmar is just weeks away from starting for the Lakers.
4. Greatest Moment in NBA History??? During the commercial break in the Spurs-Knicks game on Saturday, MSG was playing a "Greatest Moment in NBA History" clip from the 1999 NBA Finals. The play showed Avery Johnson hitting a ridiculously wide open 13-foot baseline jumper to clinch the Spurs 1999 NBA Title*.
Just how bad is a championship when the "highlight" was a journeyman guard hitting an uncontested 13-foot jump shot? That's like saying the World Series highlights were poor fielding pitchers or something.
5. No Doubt About It, Part 2: Yesterday I posted a few links to youtube to back up my argument that Bruce Bowen is a dirty player. The whole start of this discussion was a heated exchage between Isiah Thomas, Bowen and Greg Pockavich after Thomas took offense to Bowen trying to undercut
Nate Robinson Jamal Crawford on a jump shot. Greg Pockovich took offense to Thomas yelling at his player, and both benches got technical fouls. Well I found the specific clip from Saturday's game.
The video shows Bowen trying to take out Jamal Crawford on the jumper and Isiah Thomas reacting to the play. Again, note how Bowen extends his right foot underneath Crawford, increasing the odds for an ankle injury, pure bush-league.