By Craig Kwasniewski
Here are a few takes from the past weekend of hoops:
Does Steve Nash realize he's a defensive sieve?: How does it go... if you can't pick out the defensive liability in the room, then YOU are the defensive liability...or something like that. Rajon Rondo and later Paul Pierce took turns playing H-O-R-S-E (or is it G-E-I-C-O?) on Steve Nash all Sunday afternoon. Finger rolls, 5-foot runners, 10-foot jump shots... they literally took uncontested shots anywhere on the floor as soon as they noticed Nash was matched up on them. I really would love to see exactly how many points were scored specifically on Nash alone because I saw something like 65 maybe 70. Does it bother the two-time MVP winner that everyone he defends drops a career-high on him? He's a modest, intelligent and introspective guy, does he understand that he's the worst defensive player on his team? I actually like what he brings to Phoenix and hope he sticks around for a few more seasons, but the Suns need a young defensive-oriented two to help out on defense. Somewhere at the Glendale, AZ Applebee's is a solemn Terry Porter screaming, "EXACTLY!!!!"
Question for Pistons Fans: Do you like A.I.? This isn't a rip on Allen Iverson because quite frankly he's one of my favorite ballers of all time. But do Pistons fans blame A.I. for Detroit's sudden collapse? Since the Billups-Iverson trade, the Nuggets are clearly the 3rd best team out West whereas the Pistons long run as a title contender has come to a crashing halt. Are there very audible groans when A.I. puts up the occasional 4-16 night? Or is there a reverence for one of the best players in the past 25 years? Seriously, I'm curious how Detroit feels about watching A.I. on a nightly basis.
In my opinion, and this is why I do this site, A.I. is just a pawn in the NBA money game. Dumars traded for A.I. to clear up cap space next year and the Pistons are stuck with a terrible coach and a poorly assembled team. This summer makes or breaks Joe D's legacy as a GM. Does he clear even more salary for 2010 or does he make a move (via free agency or trade) that saves the franchise? To me, Pistons fans have to look at the recent track record: drafting Darko, hiring Flip Saunders, hiring Michael Curry, and trading Chauncey... any questions?
Kobe and the MJ fade-away: Boston Sports Guy pointed it out during one of his 1,312 anti-Kobe rants... Kobe Bryant is developing the same post-up fade-away that MJ lived off from 1996 to 1998. What better time to work on a low-post game than during Bynum's (hopefully not) annual knee injury. The Triangle Offense sets up nicely for it and MJ carried the Bulls to three titles with the virtually unstoppable move. You can see Kobe hasn't completely mastered it but there were a few nice spurts, especially during Friday's OT win against the Hornets. This is the one MJ signature move that Kobe NEEDS in his arsenal if he wishes to play until his late 30's. It conserves energy and is hard to defend, as Jordan showed during the 2 years in D.C. that never existed.