With the NBA draft in the extremely near future, I wanted to dedicate a post to state some “blazingly” obvious advice:
Portland, please pick Greg Oden with your #1 pick.
I know Durant is going to be great. I know he’s had a great workout. I know he’s quick, and a great shooter, and played in a strong conference. I know all of that.
But I also know that more NBA teams complain about not having a quality big man than don’t. Both Oden and Durant are going to be great, but you can’t have them both. Pick the big man and get what so many teams struggle to get for years and years. Either he serves as the foundation for your team, or you trade him down the road for some solid players.
Just don’t be tempted by Durant. As good as he is, you’ll find other players to play his position that are almost as good, if not better. Odens are rare.
I’ve been silent on the disappointing end to the Mavs season so far, but I guess it’s time I get my thoughts out on the table. So, here are some observations after the series with Golden State.
To start, it sucked.
The Mavs looked scared, and I really don’t know who to blame that on. I love Avery to death, but I’m starting to wonder why he didn’t do more to get his team on track during the series. I mean, to just sit there and watch them heave up 3 after 3 (and miss, of course) was depressing. It’s not their game, but it’s like they got to the playoffs and just forgot what got them there in the first place.
A few other observations:
- I hate to say it,but I think the Mavs glory days are over. They should’ve won the whole thing last year, and they didn’t even show up to the playoffs this year. The team is getting older, and I’m tempted to think Dirk has peaked. Don’t get me wrong – I love Dirk, but I’m wondering if he really has a chance to improve a great deal from where he is now.
- With that say, I would build my new team around Dirk and Howard, consider Harris and Diop, and get rid of the rest. Stackhouse is old, Dampier is a bust, and Terry is a mirage. The Mavs need some youth in there if they wanna keep it alive.
- Everyone keeps saying the Mavs need a point guard, but I think Harris could be the man if they just handed over the torch to him.
- There is no “D” in “Dirk.” Irk looked like a confused little boy on the court most of the time against the warriors. If he’s going to improve, that’s where it’s gotta be so he’s such a liability out there.
- Nellie has found his team. When you coach a system as strongly as he does, you usually need a team that is hungry, under-estimated and not necessarily as talented as everyone else. Because then they buy into the system. He didn’t quite have that in Dallas, but Golden State is perfect. They’re like a pack of wolves, working together the way they did. And they got the Mavs so off their game that it makes you realize just how important a coach can be when he has a team that listens.
- We need a post player. In the worst way. We give defenses a big break by not requiring them to concentrate on a guy at the post.
Have your read this study yet? It’s been all over the news since yesterday. Basically, a recent study shows that white referees are more likely to call fouls on black players than white.
This is the dumbest thing I think I’ve ever heard of. Here’s why:
- Has anyone else noticed that white guys don’t get much playing time in the NBA? I mean, most people have to play at least 5 minutes just to have the chance to foul someone in a game.
- Could it be that black players do foul more often? I know the black guys I play with around here are tougher than most of us white guys. And that’s a compliment.
Luckily, many NBA players have already spoken up, showing they’re thinking along the same lines.
Interesting that the study came out during the playoffs. I’m SURE that wasn’t planned.
What’s the worst thing you can do if you enter the NBA with the promise of being “the next Michael Jordan?”
You wear his number 23.
Lebron, why didn’t you pick your own number to make famous, to immortalize in NBA history? Now every time we see you, we’re reminded that you’re supposed to be as good as Jordan. And while that might be great, it means you have one more thing to overcome before people start talking about “the next Lebron James.”
Point is, if someone else already has full claim of something (a number, a color, a position), let them have it and find your own. Otherwise, you’ll always be just a second-hand version of the original.
And I like Lebron . . . .